It’s finally December–time to start your holiday wish list. Scribble, scribble, as fast as you can, Santa is on his way and chances are you’ve been a good kid this year. Get ready to mail your list to the north pole. Or, post your list on the refrigerator as a less-than-subtle wish list hint for your boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend or parents. Sure Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but that hardly means shopping season is over. So grab a pen and paper because here are five travel gear must-haves of 2010.
Airline baggage fees make checking a suitcase a pain in the butt. But hauling a carry-on through the airport wasn’t much better, until I tried the TraveLite Convertible Carry On. This bag is two in one. It can be a backpack or a duffel depending on where you’re going and how you’re getting there. The zippered shoulder strap quickly converts to backpack mode so switching is hassle-free. The Carry On has a squishy gel shoulder strap so it’s comfortable for your shoulder. It meets carry-on standards for both US and International flights. There’s a handy secure body-side zip-pocket for your boarding pass or other valuables. It fits neatly into the overhead bins and at just 2lbs 1 oz it’s 1/3 lighter than most convertible carry-ons. Its zippered system keeps your clothes neatly packed and organized, moving you through airport security lines. With the Carry On, you can travel light and save lots of money on unnecessary baggage fees. $125.00.
These sunglasses are sweet. Period. In rasta colors–red, green and yellow– Ryders Grindhouse sunglasses are the epitome of personality with a purpose. They look cool, they feel good and they’re the ultimate sports eyewear. They look like a smaller Ray Ban Wayfarer with a tighter, sporty fit to the face. Anti-slip nose pads keep the sunglasses on your nose while you’re biking, cross country skiing, walking or driving. The anti-glare lens are scratch resistant and the sunglasses come with a soft cloth case to protect them in your purse. $39.99.
Say goodbye to bulkiness with the Sarek Softshell Travel Hoody. This lightweight, super warm, fitted garment is a cross between a sweatshirt, a polar fleece and a jacket. It feels as light as a feather but it’s as warm as a wool sweater making this the traveler’s dream piece of gear. Banish bulky outerwear in your backpack or suitcase for this cute, lined hoody. The two best features of this hoody are the fit of hood itself and the wind-resistant construction of the body. There’s nothing worse than a hood that’s too small or a hood that sits awkwardly on your head. The Sarek hood fully covers the hairline and falls halfway down your forehead–with two drawstrings you can pull it tight to shield your face from wind. The body of the hoody is wind-resistant and the fitted structure keeps the breeze out and the warmth in. The hoody is the ideal layering piece under a vest, a heavier coat, and it can also stand alone as a light jacket.$125.00.
You only have two hands, and when you’re traveling you need both of them. Juggling a cup of Starbucks, your phone, your boarding pass and your passport, in addition to rolling a bag just makes it more likely you’ll scald yourself. TuGo Luggage Drink Holder is a nifty gadget and the perfect stocking stuffer. It suspends your coffee or water bottle between the prongs of your roller suitcase so you can take your drink with you wherever you go. It’s made specifically for your rolling luggage and its rubbery plastic holds a small or medium cup size comfortably. It slips on and locks tightly, but it’s easy to remove for storage as soon as you’ve finished your drink. $9.95.
It’s important to keep your energy up on the road. Whether you’re trekking through airports or hiking across Europe, these tasty GU Chomps deliver important nutrients to keep you healthy and satisfied. Just one packet fuels 1.5 to 2 hours of activity and it delivers amino acids, vitamin C and E (antioxidants that combat tissue breakdown) and sodium and potassium to restore electrolyte balance. One packet has two servings at just 90 calories each and the Chomps come in five delicious flavors: Blueberry Pomegranate, Orange, Strawberry, Cranberry Apple, and Watermelon. If you like gummy worms and gummy bears you’ll love Chomps. These high energy snacks are caffeine free so you’re getting pure, good-quality energy instead of jitters from other (unhealthier) energy products. While they’re not a meal-substitute, Chomps are filling and packable–a yummy, on-the-go snack. $35.20 (per box).