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The Aquapure Traveller, for fast, easy, clean water on the go
The Aquapure Traveller, for fast, easy, clean water on the go

Useful Travel Gadgets

While planning your next get away, consider the wide array of travel items that have recently hit the market to help make the trip a little easier.

For a beach vacation in Mexico, clean drinking water can come in the form of a water purification drinking bottle. Toting neck cushions or warm travel socks could be the key to making a long plane or car ride as comfortable as possible.

And for techies who can’t live without their iPhones, travel accessories like a portable fuel cell charger or a stylus for easy typing make bringing electronics abroad a snap.

Explore some new options below:

The Water Purification Bottle

The creators of the Wellness H2.0 Water Bottle are trying to eradicate bottled water altogether.

On average, Americans buy more than 30 billion bottles of water a year, and less than 14% of those bought are recycled. This means 26 billion plastic bottles a year are laid to waste in landfills or incinerators.

Environmental impact aside, bottled water is expensive. Consumers now pay more for bottled water than they do for milk or gasoline.

The folks behind the Wellness H2.0 Water Bottle claim that their customers will save up to $1,000 a year by not buying bottled water, with health benefits to boot: the purified water created by the bottle is packed with antioxidants.

Across the pond, a similar bottle has been created: the Aquapure Traveller from the British water filter distributor Pure Hydration.

The Wellness H2.0 bottle is great for outdoor adventures, purifying water anywhere.
The Wellness H2.0 bottle is great for outdoor adventures, purifying water anywhere

It too is a refillable water bottle that purifies any tap water for its drinker. Both bottles employ a similar method: fill with water, shake, wait, and drink.

The H2.0 Bottle has the more sporty design of the two, and holds more water than the Aquapure, but it can be harder to operate.

When tested the Aquapure Traveller was the easier of the two to operate.  It has simple directions printed on the bottle, and the water tasted fresh, not too chemical.

The Aquapure testimonial page relays stories of world exploration; the bottle is a favorite among nomads and has proven successful on trips to the Himalayas, the Amazon, and beyond.

The Ultimate Travel Pillow

Travelrest pillow inventor John Mittelstadt was fed up with trying and constantly failing to fall asleep sitting up, crammed in tight airplane quarters. Mittelstadt needed something he could lean into; something that would support his head as well as his body. So he tethered his airline pillow to his seatback with shoelaces and the Travelrest was born.

The Ultimate Travel Pillow
The Ultimate Travel Pillow

He calls it the Ultimate Travel Pillow, and it delivers. The pillow is a soft inflatable tube that can be strapped on to any seatback, and sits on one’s shoulder, perfect for getting comfy in tight quarters.

The Travelrest is easy to fill, with a simple air nozzle and a pouch that inflates in seconds. The pillow can be washed with soap and water, and is relatively cheap as travel accessories go: $27 for one, with deals for larger orders.

The Right Travel Socks

When dressing for travel, its all about comfort and functionality. One aspect not often considered is health. But for those with blood circulation problems, a plane ride lasting longer than three hours can mean a higher risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis, or “Economy Class Syndrome.”

Ames Walker travel socks reduce the risk of deep-vein thrombosis.
Ames Walker travel socks reduce the risk of deep-vein thrombosis.

Ames Walker offers Travel Socks just for that reason. The footwear works through graduated compression to increase blood circulation and comfort in legs. DVT occurs when prolonged inactivity causes blood flow to slow in the deep veins of the lower legs, leading to pooling and clots.

This syndrome is a threat, even for heart-healthy individuals, and the Travel Socks provide circulation, comfort, and peace of mind for the equipped traveler.

The Journeyman’s Hat

Looking for a hat fit for the Amazon? How about one for that safari in Zambia? The Tilley Insect Shield Hat seems up to any challenge, and the hat’s lifetime guarantee ensures years of trailblazing ahead.

The Tilley Insect Shield Hat protects wearers from sun, rain, and those pesky bugs.
The Tilley Insect Shield Hat protects wearers from sun, rain, and those pesky bugs.

The Tilley hat helps protect the wearer from sun and insects, having been given the highest possible rating of ultraviolet protection as well as being doused with odorless and invisible Insect Shield® repellent.

The hat is light and comfy, sitting on one’s head gently, helping to avoid the embarrassing so-tight-it-leaves-a-mark situation. And it floats!

Also boasting rain repellent, non-shrinking, breathable material, the Tilley hat seems to think itself the Swiss Army knife of travel hats, and we’re not complaining.

The Portable Electronics Charger

Finding a power source for electronics while traveling abroad can be a challenge. Power converters are cumbersome, and for intrepid travelers who want juice for their iPod while camping in the Outback, something more portable is needed.

The 24/7 Xtreme Portable Charger comes with multiple adapter tips
The 24/7 Xtreme Portable Charger comes with multiple adapter tips

The 24/7 Xtreme Portable Charger from Medis is a fuel cell powered device that provides 20 Watt-Hours of power for electronics essentials, which is good for up to six full charges of most cell phones.

The Portable Charger is compatible with most Smart Phones, iPhones, Blackberrys, iPods, MP3 players, Bluetooth accessories, GPS devices, and more. It’s lightweight and easy to use, and has a Department of Transportation permit which allows the device to be used on airplanes as well as abroad.

The charger kit comes with adapter tips compatible with Micro, Mini, and Standard USB, as well as the Standard Nokia tip, with more adapter tips available for purchase.

For reviews and good deals on new and used portable chargers, try

The Pogo Stylus makes operating an iPhone oh-so easy.
The Pogo Stylus makes operating an iPhone oh-so easy

The Travel Stylus

The iPhone can be a big help on over-sea adventures, putting a directory of local attractions, eateries, transportation and lodging at one’s finger tips.

But if the slippery touch screen pad proves difficult to master, consider the Pogo Stylus, created specifically to make operating iPhone and iPod Touch display screens a breeze.

The stylus has an ultra-light aluminum body with a soft tip that makes typing and sketching on an iPhone easy and fun. Included in the package is a travel clip that anchors the stylus to the iPhone, ensuring it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

The stylus is especially helpful if traveling to an icy destination; gloves can stay on, meaning warm hands while typing on the tundra. Added bonus: finger-free typing means no more smudges or grease on the display screen.


Isadora Dunna



Isadora Dunne recently studied abroad on the Semester at Sea Spring 2008 Voyage. She travels as much as her waitress tips allow and is a former editorial assistant at




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