The Best Travel Accessories for 2018
From the hottest tech to functional fashions, we look at what frequent flyers will be packing this year.
Practise your presentations in your hotel room with this compact new DLP projector, roughly the size of a soda can. And when the work is done, use it as the ultimate entertainment centre on the run. Great for live-streaming the game from home or binge-watching Netflix thanks to its Android 7.1 Bluetooth connectivity, the Nebula Capsule doubles as a portable speaker with a 360-degree sound cone design that delivers room-filling audio. A single charge will get you four hours of movie playtime and 30 hours of non-stop music.
Deemed better than Bose by TechRadar Magazine, the Sony WH1000XM2 wireless headphones combine the highest-quality noise-cancelling tech with top-notch clarity for the sounds you actually want to hear. Full-sounding 40-mm drivers combine with a super-wide 4Hz–40,000Hz frequency response curve for a great music-listening experience on these ergonomic wireless headphones, with 30 hours of battery life per charge. But one of the coolest things for frequent flyers may be the fact that you can easily pause both music and noise-cancelling properties to hear things like the captain’s announcement.
The perfect solution for space-saving packing, the Memobottle A5 is a handsome, slim-line, reusable water bottle designed to fit into carry-ons, backpacks and laptop bags better than any of its cylindrical counterparts. This size holds 750 ml – the volume of the average wine bottle – which promises to keep you hydrated for your entire flight, but it’s also available in a smaller format, called the A6, that’ll fit into your back pocket.
We’re big fans of the Vancouver brand Native Shoes, whose primary objective with the new Apollo Moc is to create a slipper shoe that feels as light as air – at 136 grams, it’s hard to get any lighter. Available in black or grey for men and women, and perforated for both style and breathability, it’ll take you from flight to boardroom with understated panache, and slip on and off with ease at the airport security check. Plus, its soft Lycra lining and Superfoam insole mean you can explore the city for days.
Compression socks have been medically proven to prevent swelling and stimulate good circulation during extended sitting sessions, like on flights, which is why Sockwell compression socks are licensed by Health Canada as a Class 1 medical device. Stylishly conceived to be both business- and lifestyle-friendly, Sockwells are available in a rainbow of colours and prints for both men and women. The signature cashmerino/bamboo blend will keep your feet dry, odorless and at the perfect temperature all day, not to mention prevent slippage and ensure comfort in the toe. They come in different “strengths,” with moderate (15–20 mmHg) being the ideal for all day, every day – perfect for prolonged sitting, standing or flying.
Made by Montreal bag experts Lowell, this handsome leather weekender is small enough to bring on board as a carry-on, yet sturdy enough to withstand checking as well. Available in cognac or black, it can be worn as either a shoulder bag or a backpack, making it a handy hotel gym bag at destination.
Available in a panoply of hand-drawn prints by Toronto artist and designer Ryley O’Byrne, Strathcona sleep masks are made of 100-percent silk, ensuring they’re soft and light on the face – as well as the most stylish masks on board, guaranteed. The brand also produces silk leisure wear for women that goes from bedroom to street to airplane to, dare we say, catwalk.
The award-winning language app Duolingo isn’t new, but it’s recently upped its game big-time with the addition of bots that prompt text conversations, and free podcasts in many of the 23 languages offered (with more to come, including Korean and Klingon). The free version of the app is all you need to turn language lessons into an easy, addictive game with morale-boosting feedback and virtual rewards, so take it up a notch at your next presentation abroad. The new Duolingo Plus ($10 a month) means no ads and the ability to work the app offline from wherever you are in the world, even mid-flight, without using up precious data. Muy bueno.
Free, available for iOS and Android