10 most ridiculous travel accessories
There are heaps of cool gadgets for the discerning traveler. But there's a lot of junk out there, too. Unfortunately the junk often has a devious way of appearing useful ... until you look a bit closer.
Just remember, when you start thinking, "Oh that's cool, never seen that before," there's probably a reason you've never seen it before. It's stupid.
10. The Cabin Pillow
Just when you thought the airplane tray table was already hugely annoying -- with its faulty catch and slick surface that sends your coffee into your lap -- along comes The Cabin Pillow.
Imagine the scene: the seatbelt light has been switched off, the movie starts, passengers are nestling down with their complimentary drinks and John Grisham novels and then: Wham!
You set this giant gray recycling bin on the tray table, instantly making you the most ludicrous person in your row.
Get more info about The Cabin Pillow (US$28.95) at Travelproducts.com.
9. Zebco 220 Umbrella and Shelter
Is it a tent? Is it an umbrella? Maybe it's a tentbrella. Who knows? Who cares? It's probably good for fishermen, and anything that's good for fishermen is probably not good for the rest of us.
To get your money's worth out of this thing you need to be going somewhere where it's pouring rain, and that already sounds like a bad move.
You may as well stay in the office and spend your time searching for wacky travel accessories on the Internet.
Find the Zebco 220 Umbrella and Shelter (US$44.40) at Amazon.
8. Highlander Camping Cupboard
Call us crazy, but one of the things we're not thinking about before we leave to go camping is where we're going to store our underwear and tins of beans.
However, we also concede that some obsessive-compulsive types like to keep their things in order even when out in the wild. For these people, the "portable camping larder" fills a need.
Get more info about the Highlander Camping Cupboard (US$32.45) at Surplusandoutdoors.com.
7. Travel Door Alarm Stop
Wedge this shiny gadget under the door of any sleazy motel room and anyone entering will set off a 120-decibel alarm.
It might send your would-be attacker running for the hills, but it might also give you a heart attack, ripping you out of your sleep with all the subtlety of a rhinoceros.
Next time, why not just go with the knob lock, deadbolt and safety chain?
Upside: great laughs substituting this for your mom's sewing machine pedal.
Get more info about the Travel Door Alarm Stop (US$14.95) at Goinginstyle.com.
6. Guardian Gear Dog BackPack
If you ever wanted to embark on an epic adventure in the great outdoors, only to be held back by all that lard around your six pack, this canine backpack is going to open up your world.
OK, it’s essentially a doggy slave-maker, but look at this furry little guy ... he's so happy!
Dog backpack sells for US$64.99. Dog not included.
Get more info about the Guardian Gear Dog BackPack at Dogswigglesandgrins.com.
5. Deluxe Seatback Organizer
And you thought you'd never get to show off your fine collection of Old Spice toiletries, sentimental family photos and fresh copy of Biscuit World on the plane. Ye of little faith.
To the rescue comes the Deluxe Seatback Organizer, which has two pen loops, so there's no excuse for failing to finish your sudoku. What with this and The Cabin Pillow, life on board becomes far more comfortable. But beware -- you're now getting serious hate-stares from seats D through K.
Get more info on the Deluxe Seatback Organizer (US$34.85) at Magellans.com.
4. Sun-Mate Solar Safari Hat
We've all been there -- you're on your Kenyan safari, you're being charged by a two-ton bull elephant while a pride of lions stalks you from the tall grass and all you can think is, "Jeez, it's hot."
That’s when you regret not forking out a measly pile of change for the Sun-Mate Solar Safari Hat, with in-built electric fan.
Oh wait, that's what the well-intentioned people at Sun-Mate would like you to think. But face it, the only way you're going to be cool while wearing this thing is if you ... nope, sorry. There's simply no way to be cool while wearing this.
Get more info about the Sun-Mate Solar Safari Hat at Sun-mate.com.
3. Hotel / Motel Room Inspector
It's black and blue and glowy. Promising. Then you find out what it does.
The Hotel Motel Room Inspector is a portable black light that when scanned over surfaces can detect blood stains, vomit, feces, semen, urine and saliva.
Listen, if you really insist on staying in sketchy motels, do you seriously want to know what people have been doing on your pillow or in your bathrobe?
Sometimes ignorance is bliss. Smarter to spend the 20 bucks on a better hotel.
Get more information about the Hotel Motel Room Inspector (US$19.95) at Goinginstyle.com.
2. Beam N Read LED Hands Free Light
We're not saying the elderly shouldn't travel. In fact, one's dotage is a perfect time to travel. So many grandkids to visit! But, please, leave the knitting at home, can't you?
We like the idea behind the Beam N Read Hands Free Light -- seeing things is good. Extra light is good. But did they have to make it look like a reject prop from "Star Trek"?
Read more about the Beam N Read LED 6 Deluxe Hands Free Light (US$26.95) at Readinglight.com.
1. GoGirl Female Urination Device (FUD)
"You won’t be like a man. You’ll just pee like one."
That's one of the lines from GoGirl's website, and perhaps in itself justifies the device's top ranking on our list.
Here are more of the maker's reasons to consider the pink, plastic attachment that allows women to pee standing up:
"GoGirl fits easily in your purse, pocket, or glove compartment."
"Don't take life sitting down."
"Just lower your panties, and put GoGirl against your body, forming a seal. Aim and, well, pee. Pretty simple, huh?"
Read more about the GoGirl FUD (US$9.99) at Go-girl.com.