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Tips For The Traveling Executive: Crowd-Sourced Travel Gear Is Fun To Explore
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Tips For The Traveling Executive: Crowd-Sourced Travel Gear Is Fun To Explore - Executive Leadership Articles

Tips For The Traveling Executive: Crowd-Sourced Travel Gear Is Fun To Explore

Executive Leadership Articles

Tips For The Traveling Executive: Crowd-Sourced Travel Gear Is Fun To Explore

Crowd-sourced stuff is cool, the kind of stuff that inspires “Where did you get that?” questions by total strangers. If you love the feeling of carrying, wearing, using, or referring to something nobody around you has ever seen, crowd-sourcing platforms such as Kickstarter are your Toys R Us, with seemingly a different cool device with every exploratory click. And for some reason, travel accessories are a hot item in experimental design, and crowd-sourcing websites are the place to go to see the newest ideas. For the business traveler who likes to pack a new toy for each trip, we offer a sampling of what’s brewing on Kickstarter.

The most common travel accessory on the crowd-sourcing platforms is luggage. Everyone’s coming up with new ideas for packing, towing, and stowing the things you need. Among the hundreds of offerings are many that offer multiple-use functionality or conversion, as with the cabin bag that contains a briefcase. The briefcase slides into and out of the rolling cabin bag, creating two bags that travel as one. The briefcase itself is dual-use, with a hard top that serves as a table or workstation on the go.

Other bags offer flexibility in how they function, with multiple configurations offering a duffelbag, rolling carryon, or backpack. Still others have modular interior designs, like those bags photographers carry with separate padded compartments for each lens, lamp, or camera body. With this luggage, however, you create compartments in your bag to suit your packing style. It’s difficult for some of us to imagine needing separate sections for socks and boxers, but if that’s your thing, there are bags out there that will do the job.

An unexpectedly common offering for frequent travelers is a wide assortment of travel pillows, which of course makes sense. Those of us who aren’t finalizing our slide decks are catching up on sleep, and even the most comfortable of airplane seats can use a little bit of help. We were especially taken by travel pillows allowing a forward-leaning posture for sleep, like the one you set atop the seatback tray in front of you, high enough to allow a comfortable place to put your head and broad enough to wrap your arms around.

Another interesting design is an H-shaped pillow you place beneath your chin. The pillow rests on your chest and keeps your head up in a comfortable position, allowing comfortable sleep in those crazily configured airplane seats. If you’re of a height where the back of your head rests on a certain part of the seat’s headrest, you know there’s an impossible forward tilt that makes sleep impossible. You’re going to look weird, but if it lets you sleep better, that’s not going to matter.

Travel jackets, travel shirts, travel pants, and even travel bras are offered on crowd-sourcing platforms, and while that’s all very interesting, what really catches our eye is the assortment of weird gadgetry for the frequent business traveler (although, shout-out to the insect-repellant clothes, which seems like clothing and a gadget at the ame time). For example, when you’ve got your laptop on the seatback tray, where do you put your beverage? One manufacturer offers a solution: a laptop case with a pull-out drink holder. The laptop sits atop the case, the case sits atop the tray, and the beverage holder slides out of the case. It seems an awkward position for typing, but it probably beats having to hold your drink between your legs on the seat.

We’re not germaphobes, but it doesn’t hurt to be careful, and with the super-lightweight, universal seatcover, you don’t have to worry (much) about how many people have sat wherever you’re sitting now. The seatcover looks like a fitted bedsheet, only you slip the ends over a seat’s headrest and cushion, creating a little lean-to, which you then sit upon, the flexible fabric giving way as you settle into the seat. It will fit on chairs in airport gates and (presumably) buses or trains, if that’s how you’re rolling to your next convention. It folds into a small package of 14 centimeters by 8 centimeters and is hypoallergenic and bacteriostatic.

Many of the products offered on Kickstarter are passed their crowd-sourcing periods, but if you find something you really like, you can usually find a link on the product’s page, taking you to a company website where you can order the product, usually at slightly above the early-backer pricing. And it’s worth noting that if you’re ordering something still in the crowd-sourcing round, you’re not going to get your product right away--and you may not get it at all. This means you’re not shopping necessarily for your next trip, so keep that in mind if you’re in a hurry.

Honestly, business travel can get tiresome and routine, but if you’re keeping an eye on the latest ideas in design and invention, you can add a fun what-shall-we-try-this-time element to each trip.


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Tips For The Traveling Executive: Crowd-Sourced Travel Gear Is Fun To Explore - Executive Leadership Articles

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