For the space-challenged, technology-hooked traveler, there could be few better products out there than the Chargecard ($25; Nomad), a thin smartphone cable that fits in your wallet and can deliver instant juice to your battery-deprived device. Never again will you suffer from technology withdrawal on the road.
GoPro Hero 3+
You know those amazing HD travel videos you drool over on YouTube and Vimeo? Chances are, most of them were made using a GoPro ($300; GoPro), the tiny weatherproof camera that packs a big punch. You can hold it in your hand, wear it on your head, mount it on your body, or even fly it up in the air on a remote control helicopter for aerial shots. This camera was made for the adventurer.
Travel can cause even the best of us to look harried at times, and a good skincare kit can make all the difference. Kiehl’s offers basic kits for men and women ($42; Kiehl’s) that should do wonders for anyone with a classic case of “travel face.”
Italian brand Moleskine has cornered the market on travel journals and notebooks ($10 and up; Moleskine). Found in the pockets of nearly every travel writer the world over, these simple, durable, products are made with acid-free paper that insures your scribbles survive the test of time.
Let’s face it. The point and shoot camera is fast becoming obsolete in the era of the smartphone, and there’s no need to buy a waterproof or dirtproof camera if you’re only going to use it once or twice. That’s where the LifeProof ($90; LifeProof) case comes in handy. Snap it over your smartphone and you can swim underwater, bury it in the sand or snap a selfie in the snow.
Microfiber Travel Towel
For the backpacker headed out into the wilder world or the business traveler who needs to freshen up in the airport, a microfiber travel towel ($22; L.L.Bean) is a must. This fast-drying wonder is made from plush, absorbent materials that will wick away the water while keeping your luggage dry.
The Joby Gorillapod ($18; Amazon) comes to the rescue in moments when you want to take that perfect photo but there’s nobody else around to hold the camera. This versatile mini tripod can bend around a tree branch, hang from a rafter or sit safely above the sand.
Hikers, bird-lovers and amateur animal-watchers alike would all love a good pair of compact binoculars, and REI offers a 10x26 waterproof option at a great price ($55; REI). The fully coated optics use high-transmission antireflective lens coatings to ensure bright and color-true imaging.
A messy bag makes for a messy trip, but using a few packing cubes ($20; eBags) can make all the difference when it comes to storing your smaller items.
Bluetooth Travel Speaker
If you’re playing a movie from your iPad in the hotel or want to put on some music while you lounge by the pool, a Bluetooth travel speaker like the Jawbone Jambox ($150; Best Buy) can save you from the twang of the devices' internal speakers. This compact boom box can blast tunes for up to five hours on a single charge, making it ideal for those on the go.
The travel scrapbook may be dying a slow death, but Prinstagram (prices vary; Printstagram) helps you transform your Instagram pics into everything from tear-off desk calendars to photo stickers and tiny flipbooks. The young company offers special holiday gift cards emailed directly to an Instagrammer near you.