Packing and Travel

Portable Body Scale

If you hadn’t seen the title, would you have guessed what this was? At first glance, it sort of looks like a new tablet device, or very huge smart phone. Or a pice of plastic that reads your weight by scanning your irises. All those exciting things are unfortunately incorrect, as it is a portable body scale. However, if you’re a tad fanatical about losing some of those pounds, you will be excited, because now you can weigh yourself wherever you want. Have a small bathroom? It’s only 8.27″ x 4.33″, so it’ll fit. Weigh yourself (or your suitcase) when traveling, or pull it out of your bag while you’re waiting in line at the fast food joint.

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Purchase Information:

Price: $29.99
Available from: ThinkGeek

Go Clean Bags

Don’t let dirty laundry or wet suits get you down when traveling- use these Go Clean Bags to separate and store your items appropriately. There’s quite a few bags to choose from, so you can either purchase the few you need separately, or spring for the Go Clean Set ($58) which includes the Laundry Bag, 2 Shoe Bags and 1 Stuff Bag.

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Purchase Information:

Price: $18.00 and up
Available from: Flight 001

RinserBrush

Here’s a toothbrush that allows you to rinse without the aid of a glass- it has a small channel for water to flow up and outwards to provide you with a fountain of water. And, the bristles may be popped out and replaced so that you can use the toothbrush longer and minimize waste. See video below.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $22.00 (presale price)
Available from: Amron Experimental

Digital Travel Scale

Travelers: if you’re often wondering if your bag is over the weight limit, do yourself a favor and carry a travel scale. If it doesn’t encourage you to lighten your load, at least you’ll be prepared for luggage fees. To use, you hook the strap around the carrying handle on your luggage and lift- you’ll get an accurate reading up to 88 pounds. For a non-digital scale, check out Kikkerland’s Travel Luggage Scale ($10).

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Purchase Information:

Price: $18.95
Available from: Spoon Sisters

Unique Nail File

Nail files aren’t a favorite subject in design, for obvious reasons. They’re throw away items that we wouldn’t give a second thought, or at least they were before this little item. It’s made from natural stone from the Pyrenees Mountains and will never wear out. That’s right, never. There’s three smooth sides for finishing and one coarse side for shaping and filing down. Let’s face it, if you have to file your nails, it’d be nice to do the job with this rather than a flimsy pink thingamajig.

Size: 2.75″ L x .375″ W x .375″ H

Purchase Information:

Price: $32.00
Available from: Fitzsu

Lipault FOLDABLE Upright Luggage

If you’re the sort that hates wasting space, you might like this foldable luggage from Lipault that comes with its own plastic storage bag. It’ll take up less space in the closet and will be dust free when you’re ready to hit the road. It might also work well for those trips when you know you’ll need more luggage on the way back than on the way there- just pop it into your larger case. There’s an upright version as well as a duffel bag (below).

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Purchase Information:

Price: $189.00
Available from: canvas

Two Sided Sleep Mask

For long haul flights, this mask is a must. Display your meal preference with no room for error (exception: you sleep on your face) and make the best out of the generally unpleasant experience that is flying for hours on end.
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Purchase Information:

No longer available.

Crumpled City Maps

What? You’re still doing your holiday shopping? Check your local bookstores for these maps, because they are genius. Instead of endlessly folding/refolding, you just crumple up this map and throw it in your bag or pocket. Plus, it’s 100% waterproof and includes streets, monuments, museums, art galleries and much more (as in, 10 “SoulSights” to excite you).
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Purchase Information:

Price: €12.00
Available from: Palomar

Source: Dwell

Zip Pouches by Pamela Barsky

Whether you’re traveling around the world or just around town, these pouches by Pamela Barsky will keep your stuff organized… with a little bit of commentary thrown in. More below.

Main image: How much I have seen Pouch, 7.75in X 6.25in, $15.00
“No matter how much I have seen there is always so much more I have not”.

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Purchase Information:

Price: $15.00 - 28.00
Available from: FLIGHT 001

Dopp Kit by hard graft

Have you ever seen a nicer wash bag? It’s almost too nice to get anywhere near water, though you could protect the leather/suede with a Scotchguard-ish spray and wax. If you’ve cycled through several wash bags in your recent past, it might be time to consider investing in something that will last, not to mention that looks so darn good. It’s worth mentioning it could also be used as a case for gadgets and cables and such.
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Purchase Information:

Price: €149
Available from: hard graft

MUJI Hard Carry Suitcase

MUJI rarely goes wrong, and for that very reason I’m extremely curious how well these suitcases will stand up to the tests of travel. While they don’t meet FAA carry on guidelines (45 linear inches is the maximum), they do look durable and are much more affordable than some other similarly attractive hardcases. More info below.

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Purchase Information:

Price: $197.50
Available from: Muji

Spacepak™ Toiletry Bag

If your current travel bag is worse for the wear, consider the Spacepak™, as it’s currently on sale at MoMA Store. The tri-fold case has mesh pockets and compartments to organize your stuff easily and a built-in hook means you can hang it anywhere. If you don’t mind bright orange, it’s a good price for a durable travel toiletry bag.

Made of durable 100% nylon with a bright orange exterior and handle and a gray interior.
Hand-wash only.

Purchase Information:

Price: $29.95
Available from: MoMA Store

Global Entry Program

If you travel to international destinations more than a couple of times a year, you might want to consider the Global Entry Program. It’s a trusted traveller program that allows speedy passport checks and customs declaration. Upon arrival, you’re able to go straight to the Global Entry kiosks where your passport is read, fingerprint verification is taken, and customs declaration is printed out, all of which takes about 3 minutes. You completely skip the long lines for passport checks, which are usually half an hour or longer (as you might know), and proceed directly to the baggage claim and exit.

I applied/joined last year, as I travelled back and forth from the UK to the US several times, and I fully recommend it. You do have to go through a background check and interview*, which most likely takes an hour total, and it costs about $100 for the application fee, but that quickly becomes well worth the time and money. It’s been incredibly convenient to skip right past the long line for passport checks, and I’ve noticed lately that airports are increasing the amount of kiosks as more people apply (even so, with airports that have two or three kiosks instead of a dozen, I’ve never had anyone in front of me). Interested? Global Entry: How to apply. Also, to check and see if your home city has enrollment centers and kiosks, see the kiosk & terminal maps.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $100.00
Available from: Global Entry

GearPods

If adventure has a habit of calling, you might think about having a couple of these GearPods in your pack. Durable watertight containers keep things tidy, with several sorts of options for necessities inside. Whether you go for individual kits (first aid, survival, shelter and cooking) or multi-kit systems (backcountry, frontier, wilderness, etc.), you’ll be prepared for the unexpected. A few are shown below, but check out GearPods for the complete collection.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $8.95 starting price for individual kits
Available from: GearPods

NPR Map

For the devout National Public Radio listener and traveler, the NPR Map lists radio stations across the United States that carry programming from National Public Radio. Interstate highways and freeways are shown to locate stations easier, as well as an alphabetized listing of all stations in each state. Who knows, maybe listening to a few episodes of Car Talk may get you out of a pinch if your car breaks down along the way.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $10.00
Available from: Gessato