While the pandemic-weary world has not returned to what we now call “normal,” and while we are confronted daily with news about virus variants and new regulations governing where and how we can go, we are certainly traveling more now than we did at this time last year.
We are stepping out albeit with more caution and forethought. Here are a few things that can make travels at any time a bit more hassle-free.
Cut your plastic bag habit, eliminate waste and make laundry day at the end of your trip (or anytime) easier with these laundry bags humorously called STNKY. They also keep the dirty nicely separated from the clean in your suitcase. The inner zippered mesh bag means that at the journey’s end, just turn the bag inside out and let the dirty laundry slide out. Throw the bag in the washer, too. Instructions say you can even wash and dry clothes in the bag. (You go first.) Two sizes. $30-$40. Also available on Amazon.
tomtoc Sling Bag
Whether traveling across town, cross-country or across The Pond, digital gear needs protection. tomtoc makes a variety of carriers that are convenient and will safeguard your phones, charger cords, batteries, earbuds, keys and wallet. The many styles include this 8-inch, expandable Sling Bag ($42). Also available: protective cases and backpacks for tablets, laptops and game controllers.
This Cabeau incredi-belt is the brainchild of David Sternlight, a pro basketball player for Maccabi Tel Aviv. At 6 feet 8 inches, Sternlight had a difficult time traveling comfortably, so he designed a line of products that provide support in all the right places during that long flight. This belt ($30) also provides relief during those long hours at the computer or in the car. Inflate with one breath. Unlike other bulky support devices, this belt deflates and fits in a compact carrying case.
Also from Cabeau: Compact first-aid kits of varying sizes and prices. Each comes equipped with supplies for emergency situations such as blocked airways, bleeding, sprains, dehydration, burns and more. Starts at $50. Some items are on sale during the holidays. Also available on Amazon.
Road Trip Activities and Travel Journal for Kids
Road trips are more popular than ever, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, but getting there can be a challenge if you’re traveling with kids. Nevertheless, “Road Trip Activities and Travel Journal for Kids” offers “the rare chance for kids to reignite their own imaginations, where they can make memories and have experiences that they’ll keep for the rest of their lives,” says author and award-winning travel journalist Kristy Alpert. Her book makes the trip as much about the journey as the destination. Games and activities include learning to write in code; creating a playlist; playing time-tested favorites like license plate bingo and word searches; and keeping a travel log.
100 Things to Do in San Diego Before You Die, 2nd Edition
Third-generation, native San Diegan and acclaimed writer-photographer David Swanson () presents the best sights of San Diego County in a tidy paperback that serves both as a prompt for hosts and a pre-trip gift for visitors.
The usual, well-known attractions (SeaWorld; San Diego Zoo; Legoland) are there, but “100 Things to Do in San Diego Before You Die, 2nd Edition” also gives readers some off-the-beaten-path gems like the architectural tours at the Salk Institute in La Jolla; Living Coast Discovery Center on the bay in Chula Vista; and the Asian food sector along Convoy Street in Kearny Mesa. Available on Amazon and local bookstores.
Read more Hit the Road columns here.