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Here are the Getaway Mavens 12 picks for Best Travel Tools and Accessories for Spring 2015
1. Tees By Tina. You can mush these one-size-fits-most dresses into little balls, throw them in an overnight bag, and look va va voom and wrinkle-free after hours (or days) on the road. A unique stretch fabric with lots of ruching (gathered fabric) that hides bulges, each dress is easy to dress up or down, so you only need one or two for a week of travel. (Crinkle Dress $110, teesbytina.com)
2. Shake Tote. These good looking (and well made) beach totes feature a bottom that unsnaps to reveal a mesh panel. Shake out sand from shoes and beach towels without having to turn the tote upside down. Ingenious. ($20.00, quirky.com.)
3. Recoil Automatic Cord Winders. This gadget not only keeps your charging cords untangled, it is compact, easy to use, spring-loaded automatic and perfect for travel. If your cord storage basket looks like a bird’s nest and it takes you ten minutes just to untangle just one, Recoil is the best antidote to smart phone, smart pad and laptop cord mayhem. ($28 SML Combo Pack, recoilwinders.com, also available on amazon.com).
4. Aqua Vault. Have you ever felt chained to your beach or pool chair because there’s nobody around to watch your keys, wallet and other valuables? This portable durable plastic lockbox fits securely around beach furniture, bikes and fences, and fits most of your personal items, so you can go and frolic in the waves knowing that your stuff is securely stowed away. A roomy 120 sq inches, each Aqua Vault makes a great container for small items in your luggage as well. ($39.95, theaquavault.com)
5. Puddleton Packable Rainboots. Completely waterproof, these pop-art styled rain boots fold down to fit in a backpack or small suitcase. If you’re the type of traveler who doesn’t let rainy weather or mud-season stop you from exploring the world, you’ll probably want a couple of pairs of these lightweight, adorable, comfy, warm boots. At just $40 a pair, they’re a great deal. ($40 includes a drainable travel bag, puddletons.com)
6. Propet has crafted a sturdy yet lightweight walking shoe that folds up! The Propet Travel Walker II ($50, Amazon.com) is tough enough to stand up to any terrain with a corrugated sole that allows it to roll into a tidy, space-saving ball. Comes in five eye-catching colors with a 1,000 mile guarantee. (The pair shown is my own, well used and loved. It is my most comfortable, go-to shoe for long walks in foreign lands).
7. Dude Wipes. Babies and women move over. These wipes are “Dude Approved,” and packaged in masculine charcoal colors for optimum macho appeal. It’s a standard tushy-wipe, but the marketing (especially the website) is hilarious. Perfect for globe-trotters who find themselves in rustic situations. ($6.99 for pack of 48 wipes, $10.99 for 30 single-pack, dudeproducts.com)
8. Wine Condoms. Seals the top of an open wine-bottle like a, well, you know. This is a “wine stopper with a funny name” and works like a charm. You can lay an uncorked bottle of wine horizontally in the fridge or in a cooler with utmost confidence that it won’t leak. ($10 for a box of 6, winecondoms.com)
9. Wallet Ninja. It’s the ultimate all-in-one tool, and just the size of a credit card. With “18 tools in 1” and considered the “World’s First 100% Flat Multi-Tool,” the sturdy steel Wallet Ninja sports 6 Hex heads, 4 screwdrivers including one for your glasses, and serves as a box-cutter, ruler, cell phone stand and more. It’s TSA-approved, too. ($9.99, at toolsforninjas.com and 25 major retailers.
10. DripDrop Medical Grade Hydration. These packets of powered electrolytes solve the problem of dehydration on long flights, long hikes or as a result of illness. Developed by a Mayo Clinic-trained doctor, DripDrop contains 2 to 3 times the electrolytes and half the calories of sports drinks and hydrates 34% more effectively than water and 20% more effectively than sports drinks. Comes in pleasing lemon or berry flavors. ($10 for a 4-pk; each pack flavors a 17oz bottle of water, dripdrop.com or at CVS and Walgreens).
11. Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus. Oh no. Ten minutes to get to your meeting and it appears as if you slept in your clothes. Don’t worry. The company that gave us “Downy Soft” clothing has also come up with a spray that magically releases wrinkles. And it also removes odors. Just spritz, tug on the fabric and wrinkles be gone. Comes in several sizes – even a TSA-friendly 3oz travel version, just $1.99. Find in any mass retailer. More information at DownyWrinkleReleaserPlus.com.
12. Bottle Bright. Do you loath to use last year’s Camelbak, for fear of ingesting something nasty from its hard-to-clean reservoir and tube? Clean Ethics has come up with an all natural, but potent way to cleanse even the most rank water carriers. It takes just 20 minutes to eliminate gunk, stains and smells from plastic or stainless steel water bottles, coffee mugs, and yes, even Camelbaks using one chlorine-free, biodegradable environmentally friendly effervescent Bottle Bright tablet .( $5.99 for a 10 pack, $10.99 for two 10 packs, Bottlebright.com).