PACK AND PLAY
Latest travel products make getting away a lot easier
No matter your age or your destination, comfort and ease are essential for an awesome journey. That's why tools of the travel trade — the ones that really work — are so worth finding. With that in mind, here is my somewhat annual take on new travel items that make the going great:
Briggs & Riley Transcend VX: Which suitcase to choose? The larger one that gives you room to bring home some goodies or the smaller one that just fits what you need to bring? How about both in one single suitcase. We've all seen suitcases with an outer zipper that allows them to expand. The Transcend VX takes that concept to a new level. Inside, there are four simple clips to leave closed for a regular-sized suitcase. Click them open and your space increases exponentially. The Transcend VX can increase up to 2 A inches in depth, and without fussing with clunky zippers. It also features ergonomically designed soft grip handles, a Smart Link System for attaching bags to one another and SpeedThru pockets to hold small items at check points. For me, it's a smaller bag on the way to my destination and a larger one, holding all my treasures, on the way home. And get this: Briggs & Riley is the only company to offer a lifetime repair guarantee, meaning not only can you use one bag in place of two, but it will be a long, long time before you need to replace it. From $429 to $529, briggs-riley. com.
The Dreampad Pillow: Despite having been a world traveler for a long time, I just cannot seem to sleep well in
hotels or on planes. The culprit? Pillows. They just never seem to feel right. That was, until the Dreampad Pillow came into my life. Easily transportable, this therapeutic smart pillow links to an app on your phone and plays — so quietly even your neighbor on a plane won’t hear it — soft, relaxing music to lull you to sleep. You feel the music, too, thanks to the pillow’s soft vibration. Easy to set up, a snap to pack and covered with a smooth cover, the Dreampad Pillow helps you on the road and at home as well. It’s a must-bring for me on the road, particularly on long flights. From $129 to$179, dreampad sleep.com.
Poncho Towel: Now that I’ve entered the exciting world of grandparenting, I’m reminded of how hard it can be to travel with kids in tow. So many things you need, so few items you can do without. I love the Sonoma Poncho Towel for my granddaughter because it serves multiple purposes. It’s an adorable beach or resort cover up — the fringe edges and patterns are fashion forward. It’s a towel with an absorbent liner that soaks up water when you pop it over your little one’s head. And it’s fluid — pop it on and let them run and play as they dry off; no more need to burrito wrap them in a towel and stop them from activity while they dry. Best of all, it’s made of a 70 percent sustainable bamboo and 30 percent cotton blend. There’s even a deep pocket for seashells and other treasure found along the way. From $35 to $57, kindhood.co.
Your Library Card: That’s right, your library card can help you have an amazing travel experience. Here’s how: John Steinbeck wrote dozens of books and earned the Nobel Prize. But did you know that he lived in Sag Harbor, Long Island, and hung out at Baron’s Cove, where his favorite drink was the Jack Rose? Now you do, and with your library card, you can sleep — and drink — like he did. Baron’s Cove is celebrating Steinbeck’s 116th birthday, when guests who show a library card during February not only receive a special room rate of $116, but also two free Jack Rose cocktails. There’s a Birthday Bonus: Stay the night of Feb. 27 with the Steinbeck package for $116 and get a $100 dining credit in celebration of the author’s actual birthday (yes, that means it’s a $16 stay). The hotel even has dog-friendly rooms. Grab your favorite Steinbeck edition and your library card for this fun deal, baronscove.com.
Read the Herald Traveler blog at bostonherald.com.
SAG HARBOR SOIREE: Literary legend John Steinbeck loved Baron’s Cove in Sag Harbor, N.Y., above left, which offers the Jack Rose cocktail, above.