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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.

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How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023