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A keychain-sized "sound grenade" (Robocopp)
What travel destinations are on your 2016 bucket list? Whether you're headed upstate or south of the border, you'll want to be prepared. Here's our shortlist of practical, quirky, ingenious, and occasionally ridiculous travel products for the guy or gal on the go, plus a couple of items to remember your journey or vicariously satisfy your sense of wanderlust.
Feel secure with this ingenious gadget in your hand. Robocopp is a keychain-size "sound grenade" that when activated, emits an ear-piercing distress signal—whether it's a petty thief or bear in the woods. $23.99 at www.robocopp.com.
FancyPack by SavvyRoot
We've all seen wide-eyed tourists traversing the subway with an overstuffed backpack strapped to their chests. Consider a style upgrade for your own trip with a hip FancyPack by SavvyRoot. A 48-inch gold-plated steel chain makes the bag versatile enough to wear while museum hopping in Paris or a night on the town in London. Sourced and handmade in the U.S. $76 at www.savvyroot.com.
Jump Starter Battery+
Are you the road trip type? Weego's ingenious jump starter will charge your phone... and your car (or motorcycle, ATV, boat, etc.)! Includes pre-charged battery pack, jumper cables, wall and car chargers, and a 3-in-1 USB charging cord. Three different products will jump-start a gas engine ranging from 4.6 to 9.6 liters. $99.99 - $189.99 at www.myweego.com.
Packable jackets are a go-to item for the traveler looking to save space on something essential. Urban Undercover takes that concept below the belt with packable and stylish female undergarments. A patented pocket is stitched into the waistband, providing a discreet little bundle to throw in your purse or daypack. From $24 at www.urbanundercover.com.
Burly Stone Solid Cologne
Swipe. Rub. Go. That's the strategy from Burly Stone Soap Co., which has created a line of solid colognes crafted from high quality waxes and essential oils. Available in three scents. $23 at www.burlystone.com.
Hello, sunshine. Be prepared for your next tropical getaway with Supergoop's line of TSA-approved sunscreen products. Beyond the drugstore sludge, these products combine moisturizer and up to SPF 50 sun protection. Prices vary at www.supergoop.com.
Most of us are forgoing checked baggage and saving the ridiculous airline fees for that extra round at the hotel rooftop bar. Skip the leaky travel bottles and opt, instead, for Squeeze Pod's disposal toiletry collection, crafted in the U.S. from all natural ingredients. Prices vary at www.squeezepod.com.
Are you headed on an extreme adventure but a bit uneasy about the possibility of a medical emergency? Global Rescue has been in the business of crisis management for more than a decade and performs more than 1,000 missions annually. It claims to be "the only emergency response service that will rescue you anywhere in the world and bring you home to safety." Learn more at www.globalrescue.com.
Rescue at Matterhorn (Global Rescue)
TV junkies, rejoice! If your idea of the perfect vacation is holing up in some Airbnb in the middle of nowhere and vegetating with your favorite shows, Slingbox M2 is your new bff. The device is compatible with all cable and satellite providers and can even access your DVR. Once set up, it will "sling" your content to any of your devices... anywhere in the world. $199 at www.slingbox.com.
Struggling to get your suggested servings of greens while gorging on raclette in France or prime rib in Las Vegas? 8G founder Dawn Russell created this dissolvable tablet that packs nutritional powerhouses such as kale, wheatgrass, chlorella and blue green algae. A great pick-me-up that is also gluten-, dairy-, and sugar-free. $12.50 at www.8greens.com.
Are you ready to trade the concrete jungle for the real deal but worried about going off the grid? goTenna is a "cognitive digital radio" that generates its own signal and can connect you one-on-one or broadcast an open signal up to four miles in most outdoor terrains. $199/pair at www.gotenna.com.
Made from food-grade silicon, this 21-ounce collapsible water bottle is as cool as it is functional. It's watertight and collapses to 1.5 inches to neatly fit in a backpack. Available in six colors. $21 at www.hydawaybottle.com.
If you've got a spare $100,000, consider a 25-hour Jet Card from Magellan Jets, which will buy you air time on a luxurious charter jet. Perks include guaranteed availability within eight hours, fixed fuel rates, and Wi-Fi — and the fact that you'll look super cool stepping onto the runway. Selfie sticks not included. Learn more at www.magellanjets.com.
Kitchen Table Passport
For those with wanderlust but without the budget to jet on a whim and little ones at home, Kitchen Table Passport offers vicarious journeys to exotic locales around the world. Customized packages include details about each country, discovery cards, a destination-inspired recipe with spice packet, and a special memento. From $9.95 at www.kitchentablepassport.com.
Paper is so 2015. Preserve that ultimate vacation photo as an aluminum print—a method that has traditionally only been available to professionals. Made in Brooklyn, prints are completely customizable and will add wow factor to your favorite memories. Use code gothamist35 for a 35% discount. Prices vary at www.aluminyze.com.
The Posture Shirt
Are you getting ready for a long haul flight or plan on doing more physical activity than your usual 9-to-5 desk job? Neuroband technology may help deflect some of the aches and pains with purposefully placed resistance. Experiment with the shirt for a couple of hours before wearing it on a red eye and if all goes well, you'll arrive in your destination less cramped and crabby. $95 at www.alignmed.com.
Matthew Wexler is a contributing travel editor for Gothamist as well as the national travel editor for EDGE Media Network. Follow him on social media at @roodeloo