5 Weird and Wonderful Travel Gadgets

January 04, 2014

We’ve all seen a few odd gadgets being sold online and at the airport and wondered, “Who the heck needs that?”  But believe it or not, there are actually a handful of those wacky gadgets that can be useful, and a few that are downright lifesavers.  Check out these funky gizmos and you might just want one for your next trip!

Waterproof Bags for Phones and Tablets

If you’re going to the beach, on a whale-watching tour, or just to the pool, there’s a chance your device to get wet.  Cell phones, tablets, and cameras cost hundreds of dollars and are often difficult or impossible to replace while on a trip.  These waterproof bags are very cheap, often just a few dollars, and they’ll save you the stress of keeping your phone dry.  They’re also semi-submersible, so you can dip it in the pool and take photos underwater.  Best of all, the special plastic allows you to keep using your touchscreen devices, so you can play Candy Crush while lounging on an inner tube!


Waterproof Camera Case

The underwater world is an incredible place, so if you plan on snorkeling around a coral reef on your next vacation, think about bringing a waterproof case for your camera.  Some cases are made of hard plastic, and can be taken to depths of up to 60m/200 feet.  These cases are called “housings” and they can cost several hundred dollars—or several thousand for a DSLR housing.  Fortunately there’s a cheaper option!  Bag-type cases can be bought for less than $20, and are waterproof to 10m/33ft.  Unlike the bags for phones and tablets, most of the camera cases do not allow you to use touchscreens, and are made to be taken under the water.  Bring home some incredible coral and fish photos to show your friends!

Safety Tattoos

Every parent’s worst nightmare is losing their child.  You may not be able to stop your child from running away, but you can make sure that they have your contact information on them.  An ID card or a dog tag necklace is fine, but wouldn’t it be better to have the information literally on your child?  Fortunately you can buy customized temporary tattoos with your name and phone number.  Put one on your child’s arm and the Disneyland staff will know exactly who to call when your child turns up alone at the cotton candy stand.


Spray Fans

Hand-held fans had their heyday in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, but unlike the fanny pack/bum bag, these fans are still in vogue.  They’re cheap, lightweight, and battery-powered, making them easy to carry around on vacation.  But one man had a stroke of genius, and he attached a spray bottle.  The wide mouth allows you to add ice, keeping you cool all day long.  You can buy these online for about $10, which is a small price to pay for not getting heat stroke.

Bottle Armor

You want to bring home a nice bottle of wine from Italy, or that fancy bottle of sake from Japan.  You can’t take it in your carry-on, but will it survive the trip home in your suitcase?  It will if you’ve got bottle armor.  Essentially bottle-shaped bubble mailers, they cushion your booze and make sure it gets home safely.  They’re pretty cheap, and you won’t have to worry about finding a wine-soaked suitcase waiting for you at baggage claim.