Modern technology has led to many inventions that are useful to a lot of people, although there are cases when they also fail. Travel gadgets are no exception. With the availability of budget travels, most holiday goers have to look for items that will make their lives easier, convenient and more practical while on the road or in another country. We have here a collection of some wacky, wonderful and weird travel gadgets that work, although with some reservations (according to some people). Some of them are actually good, if you do not mind looking either geeky or someone from another planet.
1. Five finger barefoot shoes
These shoes really look weird, with a pocket for each toe, just like hand gloves do. And the manufacturers claim that they prevent foot injuries while running, on the premise that barefoot running is better and beneficial to the muscles of the feet. While it may be good to wear these shoes if you are on the beach, maybe walking, looking for shells and engaging in some beach sports, it has been found out that these five finger barefoot shoes have nothing beneficial when it comes to leg and foot muscle health. In fact the manufacturers had to settle out of court on several claims of unproven health benefits and even had to set aside several million dollars in refund. Still, they have their uses, even if only to keep your feet warm and dry.
2. Metal detecting sandals
If you are one of those people who enjoy finding metal things buried in the sand, you should take a look at the Metal Detecting Sandals. It takes the burden of carrying your metal detection tool with you while you’re on a trip to the beach during your holiday. The right sandal has a built-in copper coil that is powered by a 9-volt battery pack that you strap to your calf. It can detect metals up to two feet underfoot. It alerts you with an audible buzz, a slight vibration or a flashing red light. The battery lasts for about six hours. The sandals are made from polyurethane foam and have non-skid soles, making them light and easy to pack. Be careful though, for in some areas you might be mistaken for a person under house arrest, with that battery pack strapped on your lower leg. Otherwise, good luck with your treasure hunting.
3. The Upright Sleeper
For sure you have experienced getting sleepy while in transit. It can be embarrassing when your head rolls to the side, or you end up resting your head on the person sitting next to you. Now there is a new sleep-assistance tool that looks like a neck brace but still won an Innovation Award. The Upright Sleeper is an adjustable neck brace that helps you to sleep upright while seated. You may look silly and get your pictures taken and uploaded to photo sharing sites, but it gets the job done. Of course, you should not be surprised if some people come up to you and ask what happened, if you had been involved in an accident or whatever. If you do not want to appear totally out of this world, you can cover the brace with its own blanket that also functions as its tote bag.
4. Ostrich Pillow
The Ostrich Pillow is one weird product that is supposed to give you the benefit of having a power nap, with some cushioning between your head and your hard desk. It is mainly recommended for office use where power napping is almost impossible. The contraption is like a padded cloth helmet, with openings for the mouth and nose so you can breathe normally and holes on each side where you can insert your hands. Many have tried it so it seems to work. But it can be a difficult thing to use outdoors, such as in airports, buses and planes, unless you do not mind looking like a bug with a sweatshirt.
5. Washing-on-the-go (Portable washing machine)
Scubba Wash Bag is claimed to be the smallest washing machine in the world and it’s portable, as well. With its flexible washboard inside, it can give clothes a “machine quality” wash, which is quite neat, in fact. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, you just add water, cleaning liquid and a maximum of six pieces of clothing (small ones). The top should be rolled at least four to five times and then clipped. Pressing and rubbing the clothes on the internal washboard for about 30 seconds will give lightly soiled clothing a decent wash or you can do it for three minutes if you want it to be super clean. Rinsing is done in the same way. You can use the portable washing machine anywhere, but you should avoid having its surface punctured by sharp objects, including zippers, buckles and buttons.
Oral hygiene is very important but there are times when you simply cannot give your teeth a proper brushing. Forgot your toothbrush and toothpaste? That’s no problem with Toothettes portable and disposable toothbrushes. With its secure and soft foam toothbrush heads, you can easily lift and remove debris from your teeth and even clean between your teeth. It comes unflavored and is also available in mint flavor. Another good thing about it is that it can be used without or with water. It is treated with dentifrice, a cleansing agent for teeth, which ensures good oral care. This is a product that you can include in your personal hygiene travel pack.
7. Stash Sandals
Where to stash the valuables is a common problem among beachgoers. There is always the question of where to put some extra cash, hotel key or credit card when going for a dip in the sea. Hiding your valuables under a towel does not work these days, unless you are planning to just sit on a recliner to get a tan. Stash sandals solved the problem by having a secret tray in the sole of the sandals. The slide-out tray is deep enough to hold at least a credit card, hotel key or key card and some cash (no coins, please). You can then slide the tray back in and the tab attached to it becomes its snap-on closure that fits in the slot on top beneath your heel. A perfect James Bond-y thingy that’s also very comfortable to wear at the beach.
8. USB air conditioned shirt
Hats off to the Japanese. They do make some wacky gadgets that work. The Kuchofuku USB Air Conditioned Shirt is one of those crazy Japanese inventions that provide cooling relief. If your office is too cheap to provide decent air conditioning during the hottest times of the year, you can always wear this. It is a button down polyester and cotton blend shirt that can be connected to your PC via a USB port. Cool air is blown from its 1.2-watt fan. Great for home use as well, although why you have to wear a button down at home poses a question. Pity you cannot use it outside, unless you have a heavy duty power bank with you. Hmmm, that’s an idea.
9. Go-Girl and Shewee
These are two different brands of female urination device (FUD) that allows a female to urinate while standing up. These are made of medical grade silicone, in a funnel-like shape and comes in different colors. What do these FUDs really do? They allow females to go do their thing while standing up, eliminating the need to squat in places that are too icky to do just that. It is a convenient device when you are in an area where the lines to the toilets are long, such as during concerts or in areas where the bushes can endanger your butt, the squat toilets are too repulsive and when you are in the great outdoors where trees are the only means of cover. These are easy to clean, store in a neat little package and ready to be used again, and again.
10. Super Mini Camera
A seasoned traveller normally travels light. Even if this is so, there are many travellers who want to record special moments, beautiful and scenic landscapes and other momentous occasions, which means taking a camera or two with you. While most high-end smartphones have the capability to take pictures and record videos, it can be limited by the phone’s memory. But today, there are super small cameras that allow you to do all your picture taking and video recording without the need for bulk. There are mini USB cameras and digital cameras that are suspended on a key chain. Just like a spy gadget, these mini cameras can be size of a small flash drive and are so convenient to use. Now you do not have to carry a heavy and bulky imaging equipment and still be able to enjoy memories of your travel later. They come in several configurations, too.