According to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker holiday travel survey, 80 percent of U.S. travelers are frustrated by aspects of holiday travel, up from 78 percent in 2012 (what were those two percent thinking last year, huh?). But, it is the season to be merry, have fun, or at least relax, so Metro found some nifty gear and gadgets designed to ease holiday travel stress.
Alien space mask or the world's comfiest neck pillow? You decide
You might look like an alien wearing this, but Hammacher Schlemmer’s Power Nap Head Pillow becomes a personal haven during airport delays, or for long car, train or bus journeys. It’s cleverly designed to block out noise and light to create your own private comfort zone, allowing you to grab some shut-eye. But again, fair warning: You will look crazy wearing it. $99.95, www.hammacher.com
Foolproof and spill-proof
Cheers without tears: Transporting wine or other fragile items is foolproof with the VinniBag. This reusable bag has inflatable air chambers that protect and insulate, and it’s engineered for altitude and temperature dips. It’s also transparent, allowing for easy TSA inspection, and folds flat when empty. $30, www.flight001.com
Still lugging luggage? A wheelie is best for whizzing from terminal to terminal. Sturdy and cheap, this Rio two-piece has you covered. It has big outside pockets for easy access to important documents, and there are handy handles on the side and underside for grabbing from the overhead bin. Unpacked, it’s lightweight and, at under $40, damage or loss isn’t as heart-stopping as losing a Louis Vuitton. $37.69, www.wayfair.com
Take a seat
Thinking ahead and anticipating needs is the key to less travel stress. Regular travelers might want to order the aptly named EVENaBAG, which is available now via Kickstarter. While this versatile bag looks like a smart carryall, it folds out to form a seat, or a clothes hanger, too. It has two main compartments and lots of pockets, including an outside pocket for quick-access items, and a removable key fob as well. $145-$175, www.evenabag.com
Poop in peace
It’s not the most glamorous aspect of travel, but due to hours spent sitting, the change in time zones and not getting enough liquids, travelers are prone to uncomfortable constipation. Add holiday stuffing and missing one’s own bathroom space, and your trip is easily ruined. Good To Go is a four-day preventative regime containing bulking fiber (psyllium husk and chia seed), prune and apricot extracts, aloe vera, magnesium and senna to help you, you know, get going. It’s designed to be used at the start of a trip to avoid intestinal blockage. While it’s formulated for most people to tolerate without problems, check with your doctor before taking it, particularly if you have digestive or stomach problems. $12.99, www.begoodtogo.com
Chargers to the rescue!
Avoid losing battery power with the Datexx PowerNow USB Rechargeable Battery Charger. No matter where you are, this energy store holds juice for up to a year and is a useful addition for emergencies, so you always have a power source for phones. It works in flight and during blackouts too. $23.18, www.wayfair.com
Prefer your chargers even more portable? The Cabelet is both a handy gadget and a funky bracelet. Just slip it onto your wrist and you’re wired with an iPhone 5 and micro-USB device charger. It’s perfect for people who like to pack super light and accessorize with high-tech cool. $69.99, www.kyteandkey.com
Your hands will thank you
Airplane travel leaves your skin cracked and dry. We love that Dermelect Cosmeceuticals Timeless Anti-Aging Daily Hand Treatment is packed with water-reactive technology that keeps your hands smooth even after you wash up in that minuscule on-board bathroom. Upon touching water, the cream builds a barrier around your skin to lock in moisture. $22, www.dermelect.com