Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 29/4/2017 (419 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Every year around this time, the Travel Goods Association hosts its annual trade show in Las Vegas. Here the latest inventions and product improvements are introduced to buyers from throughout North America.
Some of the newest gadgets will become an important part of many travel households. Others will simply not find a market and disappear from online, and brick and mortar listings.
Here are a just 10 that were displayed at this year’s TGA show. You can decide for yourself which of these will flourish and which will fade.
Anyone who owns this style of bag can attest to the fact that, on uneven surfaces, if you are not watching, it has a mind of its own and seeks to travel to the smoothest floor level.
I found this out the hard way as I stopped to buy a subway ticket at the Paris train station. I turned around and my eight-wheeler had drifted more than 25 metres away. I still have it only because a helpful Parisian captured it, and was on his way to returning it to me.
At least one series in a couple of brands has introduced a braking system to keep your wheeled bags in place on major or minor inclines.
One is the Delsey Chatelet Plus series, samboro.ca/chatelet-plus, and the other is the Lojel Novigo grouping, lojel.com/luggage/novigo.
My best recommendation for luggage scales has always been from the digital Balanzza series. However, I found in this, and most of the other battery operated scales, that the batteries wore down all too quickly.
Now the Balanzza organization ends that frustration with a scale that can easily be recharged, amazon.ca/Balanzza.
One of the more unique displays at the show came from Norway, in a product called Jet Kids Bed Box. The product is tucked into a four-wheel pull container, which can be opened to fit perfectly on a regular airline seat as a full bed for children who, by age or parental preference, purchase a separate child fare.
While its size may be a deterrent, for parents travelling long distances with small children, it may be the perfect option. http://jet-kids.com/bedbox.html
It is known that light therapy may have a positive effect on how the body reacts to Jet Lag. Circadian Optics has introduced the Lumos Therapy Lamp for travelers.
USB-powered LED lights mean the need for a dedicated adapter or power concerns are eliminated. Closed, the product is compact and portable, and easily opens for placement on an airline seat tray.
As they suggest it may become "an indispensable tool for the frequent traveller moving between time zones". https://circadian-optics.myshopify.com/
With a suggested retail price of $600, many will choose to wait for their second cup. But for those who need to keep their java fix close at hand, the Visionaire Beverage-Pal LUX may be just what keeps you buzzing.
Visionaire has design a cup holder for the top of their bag to hold whatever is your liquid of choice as you travel through the terminal.
It should be noted that this is a quality series of luggage and the benefits are not exclusively related to the cup holder. http://visionairluggage.com/hardside.html
While a number of companies are introducing portable power packs for travelers, I heartily recommend the one in the GO Travel product line.
This British company has a reputation for quality, and its products are available in a number of retail stores throughout Canada, including CAA and UN Luggage in Winnipeg. https://go-travelproducts.com/
There seems to be no end to the number of headrest options that seem to be introduced to the travel market every year.
The Cardiff Wings headrest does not curl around your neck as some many of the others do. It is essentially a side rest, which is designed with a universal mount so it can be attached to any airline seat.
It weighs less than a kilogram and is really ideal for those looking for comfortable lateral support. cardiff-products.myshopify.com/
The FaceCradle Travel Pillow, on first sight, looks like two neck pillows connected by a hinge that allows for changes in shape and structure.
It can be used in the way it is packaged as a traditional headrest. But when it is opened, it can provide lateral support, but then by connecting its attached strap to your seat back, it provides support for those whose head tends to fall forward when they try to sleep on aircraft as well. facecradle.me/collections/facecradle
Since Oprah promoted this series in her magazines several years ago, the LUG product series has taken the organization from a small, to a very large company.
Its range of colors and unique pattern has made fans of women all over Canada and the U.S.
Most of their products have leaned towards compact bags, with a couple of carry-on luggage styles that have found a place in the market as well.
More of a re-introduction than introduction, they now offer a very smart backpack for the business traveller, It contains the usual compact features of the rest of the line with the addition of a storage area for a laptop. It holds its shape even though it is quite light. luglife.ca/
Working with a laptop while in flight can at times be a frustrating experience. The table trays are low and once you are using it for to work on, you have no room for anything else.
The A-Stand is a packable desktop that is designed to open easily for your iPad or small laptop to sit at a higher level to provide easier use (it is not serviceable for 17-inch models). It is double-tiered for travel with what they call a zero-spill drink tray, plus a convenient tablet storage area with a supplied mousepad for hotel or home use.
They say it offers 20 different viewing configurations, but I did not try to experiment with them all. a-stand.com
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Are some these new entrants perfect for you? Check them out online to examine all of their product features.
I have not included pricing since some of these are only available in the U.S., and others will be priced differently if, or when, they come to Canada. Most are available online from Canadian sites. All can be purchased online in the U.S., if not Canada.
Read Ron’s blog at thattravelguy.ca. Listen to Ron’s latest podcasts via his website, or on demand on iTunes. email@example.com
Ron is a dedicated traveller, having explored 65 countries around the world as well as all but one province in Canada (Newfoundland).