Travel Trend Watch: Bizarre Travel Gadgets

(Photos courtesy of Amazon, Studio Banana Things, and The Scrubba Wash Bag)

Nowadays there are plenty of gizmos and gadgets to make our traveling experiences more enjoyable. From Wi-Fi T-shirts to Ostrich Pillows, travel accessories are certainly advancing from the functional to the bizarre. Have these designers gone too far in search of the perfect travel gadget?

  • PlaneSheets—Plane seats experience a lot of wear and tear and many times it's difficult to move past their unexplainable stains and dingy appearance. PlaneSheets allow you to experience "clean flying" by putting a clean sheet in between you and the thousands of other travelers who have sat in that seat. Sold in a washable and disposable version, PlaneSheets puts the "personal" back into personal travel.
  • Scrubba Wash Bag—The Scrubba Wash Bag is perfect for washing clothes on the go. It's proven to be twice as effective as hand washing: Travelers simply fill the bag with water and a cleaning agent, roll and clip the bag, open and squeeze to expel air, rub against the internal washboard, and rinse.


Happy Belated National Camera Day!

(Photos courtesy of Flickr members cphoffman42, Andries3, and H.A.S. Photo Designs)

We know, we know...we're late! We were so busy taking travel photos that we forgot to wish everyone a happy National Camera Day! June 29 was the holiday, and to celebrate, we've put together a list of our favorite destinations to photograph:

  • Sri Lanka—The island of Sri Lanka is packed with diversity and cultural heritage just waiting to be photographed. But be careful, taking photos of Buddhist imagery is considered disrespectful, and it is forbidden to be photographed with statues and murals. The beaches, landscapes, people and all-around scenery are stunning, though, so bring extra film!


Travel Trend Watch: Themed Cruises

(Photos courtesy of Royal Caribbean, Holland America Cruise Lines, and Flickr member kellinahandbasket)

A few weeks ago we posted about themed hotel suites, and it got us thinking about other themed hotel trends. Cruise lines have started to offer themed cruises, and there are plenty of options available, but we picked a few that really float our boat:

  • Dancing with the Stars: At Sea—This cruise, based on the hit television show Dancing with the Stars, travels to Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico, and a few other islands. Holland America Cruise Lines even hosts dance lessons and a competition, similar to the show, at the end of the cruise. The days at sea will fly by as you're getting your groove on!


Pack, Roll, and Go with SkyRoll!

(Photos courtesy of SkyRoll and Flickr member Canadian Pacific)

A few months ago, we posted some of our best packing tips, and the top suggestion on that list was to roll clothing instead of fold it. We recently found a piece of luggage called SkyRoll that does just that! The SkyRoll Garment Bag allows you to pack suits, ties, and other articles of clothing in the garment bag, roll it up, and go!


While You're Away, FlightCar Pays

(Photos courtesy of FlightCar and Flickr members Hunter-Desportes and mynameisharsha)

A new start-up called FlightCar is out to change the airport parking industry! FlightCar, which now operates in Los Angeles and Boston, helps people parking at the airport rent their vehicles out while they are away. As a car owner, FlightCar is great because you don't have to pay for parking at the airport—just drop your car off at the FlightCar lot, then a black car will drop you off outside your terminal. 


We Found Sand-Free Beach Towels!

(Photos courtesy of REI and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts)

We found a great beach product, just in time for summer! CGear's Sand-Free Beach Mat will help you leave the sand at the beachwhere it belongs. Its patented fabric filters out sand and other particles, ensuring that you will not take a sandy beach accessory home with you. And you won't have to shake out your towel, risking sand in your eyes. It features UV protection and also comes with a drawstring carry bag. A matching Sand-Free Tote Bag is also available, so you can hit the beach in style and with the latest technology.


Travel Trend Watch: Themed Hotel Suites

(Photos courtesy of Eden Hotel, Seven Hotel, and The Plaza)

If you couldn't already tell, we love following hotel trends. We've posted about the most bizarre hotels, boatels, and Sleepboxes. Recently, themed hotel rooms are trending. From the girlie to the macho, these hotel rooms grant guests access to everything from Arkham City to the wonderful world of Mattel.

  • Hello Kitty Suite, Grand Hi-Lai Hotel, Kaohsiung, Taiwan: While we're aware of the cult following for Hello Kitty, we didn't imagine a room would be devoted to the cartoon-esque feline. The Hello Kitty Suite has a living room, dining room, and master bedroom outfitted in—you guessed it—bright pink Hello Kitty-adorned décor. Top off a purrfect getaway by taking a long, hot "Kitty bubble bath."
  • 007 Suite, Seven Hotel, Paris, France: Channel your inner James Bond in this suite fit for only the stealthiest. Enjoy the elegant design and sophistication that is so quintessentially Bond, accented by golden toilets and an endless mirror. We won't blame you if you start humming the theme song.


Summer Travel Stress? There's an App for That!

(Photos courtesy of Flickr member MTAPhotos and Apple)

We're sure anyone who owns a smartphone can say an app has come to the rescue at one time or another. Whether they've been used to pay a credit card bill on time, find a gas station, or double as a flashlight, apps have revolutionized the way we use (and rely on) our phones—and travel apps are no exception. This summer, check out these travel apps that will come in handy on any getaway:

  • iPatrol Travel Advice: Travel with peace of mind with this trusty app. iPatrol catalogues the most visited destinations and offers safety tips for visitors unfamiliar with the area. Whether you're traveling to Times Square or the Eiffel Tower, this app will keep you and your family feeling safe and secure.
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The Hottest Gadgets for Summer Travel

(Photos courtesy of Sensu, iBattz, Amazon, and Divoom)

The summer travel season is literally right around the corner. Here at Tingo, we've been busy researching the latest travel technology trends. Without further ado, here are the 12 hottest gadgets that need to make it into your suitcase this summer.

PowerSkin PoP'n, $79.99*

powerskin pop'n - copy.jpg

(Photo: XPAL Power)

There is nothing worse than being on the go and receiving that dreaded "10% battery remaining" message. The PowerSkin PoP'n prevents that from happening. This sleek, lightweight external battery sticks onto the case you already have on your phone. The device is made for Apple phones, but it can connect to other phones via USB. It can charge your device anywhere, and you can keep the cute stylish case you already own.


Marvel at the Mesa Verde

(Photos courtesy of NPS Photo)

A member of the Tingo team recently visited Mesa Verde National Park, and it sounds terrific! The southwestern Colorado park, famous for its preserved pueblo dwellings, offers an unforgettable experience. The admission fee is only $15 per car, so it's a great stop to make on a road trip.