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The 6 coolest gadgets we spotted at this year's Travel Goods Showcase

March 07, 2020
4 min read
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Your travel plans may be on hold for a while due to event and conference cancellations, reduced flight schedules and concerns about the spread of coronavirus.

But someday – let’s hope soon - your adventures around the globe should resume in earnest. And when they do, you might want some fresh travel gear to take out on the road with you.

Need some ideas? The latest luggage, travel gear and travel accessories on the market were on display at the Travel Goods Showcase held in New Orleans this week. We walked the aisles and found some gear that solves problems and in some cases is just really cool.

A 2-inch suitcase

In a convention room filled with suitcases of all shapes, sizes and prices, the Rollink suitcase stood out for its ingenuity and convertibility. The two outer sides of the company’s hard-side 21” carry-on bag are connected with a soft-but-sturdy material that allows the bag to fold down to just 2 inches when not in use. So, it seems perfect for storage between trips or when you’re staying in one of those hipster teeny-tiny boutique hotel rooms. Prices vary by style.

Cue the coffee

Coffee is key when you’re traveling. But many hotel rooms don’t have coffee machines anymore and when they do, the cleanliness of the machines may be in question. That’s why we like the idea of the Aeropress Go, a compact self-contained coffee brewing gadget that can makes French press hot or cold brew coffee in minutes – in its own travel mug. Just add water.

Tiny eco-friendly towels that fit in your pocket

We can think of a million uses for these compressed towels from Lightload that are made from sustainable wood and plant products.

The mini size could be handy during hotel stays in countries where washcloths aren’t standard issue. The medium size could be used for going to the gym or for quick clean-ups. And the ‘beach towel’ size could, of course, be useful at the beach, but also as a wrap on the plane or as a mat when you can’t find a seat at the airport gate. Quick drying, washable and reusable, they can be used as a fire starter in a pinch.

Airplane seat covers

In the past you may have gotten the hairy eyeball from other passengers if you stretched your own protective cover over your airplane seat. But given the current concerns over coronavirus, no one will likely bat an eye if you put one of these disposable Fresh Flight covers on your seat.

Each single-use package comes with a seat cover, a strip to attach to your airplane seat and an antimicrobial wipe. The “plus” version comes with a face mask. Price: $9; $10 with mask.

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Wipe your feet

If you think for just a half a second about all the germs at airport security checkpoints, you’ll know that it is never a good idea to walk barefoot through the airport metal-detectors.

It’s gross, but people do it. If you’re one of them, or if you travel with someone who insists on wearing flip-flops or going sockless at the airport, then these new individual packets of Foot Wipes from GetSet (the folks who make a line of suitcases that weigh themselves while you pack) will come in handy. Price not yet available.

Bullet-proof travel gear

Traveling in the age of coronavirus is scary, but the ArmorMe line of bullet-proof bags addresses a different travel fear.

The company’s backpacks, tote bags and laptop bags look like the familiar bags we all carry, but empty they’re a bit heavier than you might think. That’s because each has one or more panels inside that is made with bullet-resistant material that, the company says, allows your travel bag to be used “as a shield to stop a knife, bullets from a pistol, or from other light weapons.” Scary, right? Prices start at $140.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.