You may wonder how you’ll ever travel light again after coveting all the latest innovations at the International Travel Goods Show, the world’s largest exhibition of travel products.
“The 2017 Show was the largest in its 70-year history,” according to Michele Marini Pittenger, President of the Travel Goods Association. “Since 2010, the show has doubled in size, and we anticipate continued growth.”
With dozens of new products being introduced, there are lots of options for traveling smarter – and lighter.
Here are some of the top trends and products to look for:
For kids only
BedBox by JetKids — Photo courtesy of JetKids
The trend: More families are traveling than ever before, and there’s a variety of new products designed specifically for children.
The gear: If you have young kids, the piece you will want to run out and buy right now is the BedBox from JetKids, which won the Show’s Innovation Award for good reason. It’s a suitcase that kids can ride through the airport but, most importantly, it turns an economy seat into a comfy bed. Hello? Can you please make this for adults?
Pluggage by Delsey — Photo courtesy of Delsey
The trend: Staying connected has become non-negotiable, and USB ports are becoming a standard feature in luggage so you don’t have to worry about someone pulling out your cell phone while it’s charging in a shared airport outlet.
The gear: USB ports are so important to travelers that Delsey has created a whole new line appropriately called Pluggage. Of course it has a USB port, but its technology goes so much further. A dedicated app weighs your bag, unlocks it and lets you know when the TSA has opened it. It also tracks your bag. Smart? It’s brilliant.
Solid solutions for liquids
HydraPak Stash — Photo courtesy of HydraPak
The trend: With the TSA limiting liquids to three ounce bottles, companies are coming up with creative ways to carry your water with you.
The gear: The collapsible Stash by HydraPak is the most creative and practical way to keep hydrated anywhere. When it’s empty, it’s a tiny little disc that takes up barely any space. Once you’ve gotten through security, just twist and expand it to fill it up. This cuts down on the expense of buying water, avoids plastic bottles, making it environmentally-friendly, and is half the weight of a reusable metal bottle.
Comfort is key
Airopedic Portable Self-Inflating Seat — Photo courtesy of Airopedic
The trend: Airplane seats keep getting smaller and passengers are looking for anything that will help make their flight more comfortable, from travel pillows to eye masks.
The gear: Getting to the bottom of the issue is Airopedic International, an expert in products designed for prolonged sitting. Their self-inflating portable seat is a fold-up version of their iconic ergonomic office chair, and it automatically adjusts to your individual posture, weight and body structure. It’s a game-changer for long flights.
Smoots — Photo courtesy of Smoots
The trend: Manufacturers are coming up with new ways to get travelers through security faster and easier.
The gear: Part sock, part shoe, Smoots Comfort Conscious Footwear is checkpoint-friendly so you can walk right through without having to take anything off your feet. These bamboo/cotton blend socks are grounded with a recycled rubber sole, offering support for walking through the airport and cushion to get you through the flight.
Thule Subterra Luggage — Photo courtesy of Thule
The trend: Manufacturers are using lightweight fabrics to build flexibility into luggage, giving you options to pack as much or as little as you need.
The gear: The Thule Subterra conveniently unzips into two independent bags, so you can take one on the plane or just check the whole thing. A spacious interior lets you get organized in one big packing space or divide and conquer in two separate compartments. This piece is ready for anything!
Popticals — Photo courtesy of Popticals
The trend: When it comes to travel, smaller is better. Travelers are looking for ways to pack the most into their carry-ons so necessities have to be able to squish into nooks and crannies.
The gear: For outdoor enthusiasts, those necessities include sports sunglasses, which can be cumbersome and a challenge to keep from breaking. Popticals, winner of the Show’s Buzz Award, are portable, premium wrap-around sunglasses that fold into a durable little case you can take anywhere. This high-performance eyewear is a vision in ingenuity.
Luggage Leash — Photo courtesy of Leash It
The trend: Lost luggage is one of the most frustrating parts of traveling, but it may become a problem of the past, thanks to smart technology.
The gear: Leash It is a small Bluetooth-enabled chip you throw in your bag so you can track it with an app you download for free on your phone. It sounds an alarm when your bag is approaching on the carousel or if it’s removed from your immediate area. GPS lets you see its location and, if you join the Leash It community, you’ll be part of a network looking out for each other’s possessions.
Travelpro Crew 11 Carry-On Soft Duffel with Suiter — Photo courtesy of Travelpro
The trend: No one wants to carry extra baggage, so manufacturers are combining different types of bags in one.
The gear: The Travelpro Crew 11 Carry-on Soft Duffel with Suiter is a great-looking carry-on that unexpectedly opens into a garment bag-like interior that keeps jackets, pants and skirts unwrinkled and ready to head into business meetings. Its powerful look also extends to an external USB port.
Transmover by Villagio — Photo courtesy of Villagio
The trend: It’s hard to imagine a time before roller bags, and wheels are now featured on bags of all sizes and shapes.
The gear: Taking the trend to a whole new level is the Transmover by Villagio, a luggage scooter that has a top speed of 12 mph. Even if your next flight is in another terminal, you’ll never have to worry about missing your connection again.