10 travel accessories you can also use at home
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Travel accessories can be indispensable when flying, staying in unfamiliar destinations or touring a new city. Many TPG staff members (and readers) won’t leave home without their trusty noise-cancelling headphones for the airplane, a blackout sleep mask for that hotel room or a handy reusable water bottle.
But you can also use many travel accessories at home. In fact, for those acclimating to a new at-home living/working environment alongside housemates or family, these items may be downright essential, too. Read on to find out how to best utilize the travel accessories you may already have at home and for our top picks if you plan to purchase some new ones.
Appropriate for both air travel and at-home Zoom meetings, the Bose QuietComfort 20 headphones are tiny but pack a powerful punch in blocking out external noise. Their small size means they can easily be tucked into a carry-on bag or not be the center of attention during an important video work call (they also feature an inline microphone).
Outside noise, which may come in the form of the kids screaming on a plane to kids screaming at home, is efficiently blocked. If you can’t get your hands on these, find whatever noise-cancelling headphones you usually use on planes and put them to use for those remote work meetings and virtual video happy hours.
If you’re having issues sleeping thanks to heightened anxiety, change in routine or any other reason, pick up the Bucky 40 Blinks sleep mask, which eases you into complete darkness in your hotel room, on an airplane or in your very own bedroom at home.
Although Bucky’s 40 Blinks got top marks in our sleep mask review roundup thanks to its relatively affordable price and soft, comfortable material, the good news is that almost any sleep mask might help you sleep better. Find one you have lying around at home or in that old amenity kit and give it a test run.
When my husband first purchased the Blitzwolf selfie stick/tripod combo last summer, I laughed. Did we really need a high-tech selfie stick with a Bluetooth remote?
Now we’re fighting over it — but not to take Eiffel Tower selfies, unfortunately. Instead, the tripod perfectly holds my phone hands-free during video calls or guest appearances on Instagram live sessions (have you joined in for A Cuppa TPG yet, TPG U.K.’s thrice-weekly Instagram live?). The selfie stick also ensures I can comfortably hold my phone during video calls at a much nicer angle for my face. If you don’t have this particular tripod/selfie stick model, any phone-holding tripod or selfie stick can help give you a better angle during video chats — and give your hand/arm a break.
Since everyone’s at home, noisy neighbors can be especially bothersome — especially for those living in apartments or any kind of close quarters. Even roommates or family members can be annoyingly loud. While you can always put in a complaint for those obnoxious neighbors or beg your family members/roommates to keep it down, a more effective idea offering immediate results is to use those earplugs you usually reserve for airplanes.
We love Eargrace’s comfortable silicon reusable earplugs, which you can easily clean and reused as needed, whether you’re using them to sleep, to work or simply to block out noise.
Reading can be done anywhere. So dust off the e-reader that you usually reserve for those long-haul flights and read at home. If you’re purchasing a new one, the Kindle Paperwhite is ideal. It’s lightweight and waterproof and the adjustable light allows you to read comfortably outdoors or indoors, day or night.
Of course, reading isn’t limited to just e-books, now is a great time to open that paperback or hardcover you’ve been meaning to start.
While I previously used my S’Well bottle at the beach, while touring new cities or on airplanes (it keeps water cold for up to 24 hours), I’m now using it at home for tea (it keeps liquids hot for up to 12). It’s also ideal to place next to your computer at home, because if it gets knocked off while the top is screwed on, it won’t spill liquid on your electronics, which can easily occur while drinking out of a glass or mug.
S’well bottles are made of stainless steel, BPA-free and come in varying sizes/price points.
Ideal for the beach, a barbecue or picnic, the Tribit X Sound Go speaker is also perfect for at-home use. Listen to music indoors while you work or podcasts out in your garden while getting a little sunshine. It’s waterproof, so you can sing in the shower, too.
I find it especially useful to magnify sound during Zoom yoga classes or Instagram live workouts via my phone or computer, pumping up the music I need to hear to stay motivated to exercise. Best of all, it’s affordable, and the sound-to-price quality is excellent.
If you’re working from home in a makeshift office space, it can also be especially helpful to use behind your lumbar zone, or even to sit on to ease some pressure off your tailbone. Made of soft bamboo fabric, you can toss the pillow in the washing machine when needed and fold it up efficiently for storage.
Available for men and women, Allbirds Wool Loungers are easily slipped off aboard an airplane or at airport security — and just as easily slipped on and off at home. The perfect mix between a slipper and a shoe, the loungers are equally appropriate for a quick visit to the supermarket or for relaxing at home.
The loungers are made with zero-itch, soft merino wool, regulating temperature and moisture for maximum comfort. You can even test the shoes for up to 100 days and return them if you’re unhappy. And, if you’re feeling extra generous, you can donate a pair to a health care worker.
If you’re on your phone more than ever at home, using the Anker external power bank, (which can charge your phone or tablet several times over) that you may usually reserve for travel or airplanes is the best plan. This way, you can move about your home, garden or balcony while keeping your phone charged for all those Slack messages, Zoom calls, virtual House Party happy hours, Netflix series or online Scrabble games.
If your favorite travel accessories are just sitting around unused, dig them out to help with comfort and productivity at home. It may be worth ordering some of the aforementioned ones if you don’t already own something similar, improving both your at-home social distancing experience and your future your travels, too.
Featured photo by Ashim D’ Silva/Unsplash
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