The coolest travel-friendly items on TIME’s 2019 Best Inventions list

Dec 7, 2019

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TIME magazine’s list of 100 Best Inventions of 2019 just came out and it’s filled with nifty items such as fully recyclable sneakers and a multitasking oven that solve problems, make life easier and, in some cases, are just darn cool.

The list of winners and special mentions includes plenty of items frequent travelers will want, covet and line to up to buy or, in the case of Eviation’s all-electric 9-seat plane named Alice, ride.

Here are some of our favorites from the list.

Fresh food from an airport vending machine

In Chicago, New York and Philadelphia, Farmer’s Fridge stocks vending machines with salads, bowls, snacks and other healthy meal items made and delivered that day. Anything unsold at the end of the day is donated to local food pantries.

Sound yummy? Passengers traveling through Chicago’s O’Hare Airport will find Farmer’s Fridge vending kiosks at multiple spots across the terminals and in some bag claim areas. So, you can grab something fast and healthy between flights or on the way to your hotel.

Indoor farming for meals in the sky

AeroFarms grows baby greens and microgreens in indoor vertical farms using an aeroponic method that skips sun and soil and instead relies on LED lights, a unique reusable growing cloth and 95% less water than field farming.

(Photo courtesy of AerorFarms)
(Photo courtesy of AerorFarms)

One of AeroFarm’s clients is Singapore Airlines, which now serves business class passengers on its Newark (EWR) to Singapore (SIN) flights a customized blend of fresh produce grown at an AeroFarm facility about five miles from Newark airport.

Impossible Burger. Possible to find at the airport

Impossible Food’s Impossible Burger 2.0 made with plant-based proteins instead of meat is on Time’s Best Inventions list this year because the burger tastes good, is good for you and looks and smells like a classic meat burger.

(Photo courtesy of ImpossibleFoods)
(Photo courtesy of ImpossibleFoods)

You can try one of these alt-burger on your next trip to the airport. 17 of OTG’s “order by iPad” restaurants in Philadelphia (PHL), Newark (EWR), New York (JFK) and Houston (IAH) have the burger or a dish that makes use of the Impossible ‘meat’ on their menus. Croque Madame in JFK Terminal 2, for example, has Impossible Tacos and Mezzogiornio, in PHL (B), has Impossible Meatballs.

A growing list of HMSHost-operated airport restaurants around the country now serve Impossible burgers as well.

Tools to help stay healthy in transit

Travelers who suffer migraines or sinus pain know these common ailments are always worse when experienced on the road. Two small and smart medical devices on Time’s Best Inventions list this year offer relief.

Theranica’s Nervivio (by prescription) is a smartphone-controlled device worn on the upper arm that tracks migraine episodes and sends out electronic pulses that can help modulate the pain. Clear Up, from Tivic Health, is a small, chemical-free device (no spray; no drops) that emits microcurrent waveforms – and relief – when a user applies the metal tip of the device to treatment points on the face.

(Photo courtesy fo Tivic Health)
(Photo courtesy of Tivic Health)

Carry kids hands-free

Walking around with a little kid on your shoulders isn’t as easy as it looks. In addition to watching out for low branches and doorways, you can’t carry anything because you must hold on to your kid, so they don’t fall off.

(Photo courtesy of MiniMeis)
(Photo courtesy of MiniMeis)

That’s where MiniMeis comes in. The hands-free shoulder carrier has waist belts and legs straps to comfortably keep a kid in the carrier and an ergonomic design that spreads out a kid’s weight across the parent’s shoulders. Even better, the carrier is lightweight and foldable, so you can take it on hikes, through airports and through new towns.

The “in” kids backpack

Away’s line of hard-sided luggage has a dedicated following and is known for being hip, Instagramable (the carry-on comes in 17 colors) and charge-your-gadgets smart. Now, a nylon Away backpack with three compartments, a cushioned laptop pocket, a hidden passport pocket and a place to carry a water bottle or umbrella has joined the family as the newest travel accessory in the line.

(Photo courtesy of AWAY)
(Photo courtesy of AWAY)
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