TRAVELS WITH NINA

is the online portfolio and journal of Australian travel writer Nina Karnikowski.

GADGETS AND TRAVEL ACCESSORIES: PARADISE MAG

Roll-up backgammon set
Travel means waiting, and lots of it. Best to keep yourself entertained with Pickett’s beautiful, handmade roll-up backgammon set, made with fine British leather and available in eight different colour combinations. Includes a zipped compartment that holds nickel and leather counters and dice, leather fastening ties, and a weighted metal bar at the end so it lies flat when open. About $360, pickett.co.uk

 

Sleep Phones
You can think of sleep phones – speakers embedded in a comfy fleece headband – as pyjamas for your ears. Developed by a doctor, they sync with your smart phone or other Bluetooth-enabled device so you can reduce ambient noise with music or sleep sounds to help you get to the land of nod anywhere, anytime. The rechargeable device comes with free sleep sound downloads, is available in a wireless version, and comes in a variety of colours. From about $30, sleepphones.com

 

Mahabis Slippers
Taking the design of the Moroccan babouche slipper with its folding back as inspiration, UK-based company Mahabis has reinvented the humble travel slipper. The felt design comes with a detachable rubber sole (available in six colours) and collapsible heel that you can pop on for arrival at the airport, then pull off to switch to relax mode once you’re on board. About $90, mahabis.com

 

Bamboo Bluetooth keyboard
A Bluetooth keyboard is just the thing if you want to travel without your computer but need to work on the road. Impecca’s eco-friendly bamboo version, for use with tablets, smartphones and iPhones, is lightweight and thin, wireless up to ten metres, has a long lasting battery and is designed for ergonomic comfort. It also comes with four colour options on the trim. About $60, impecca.com

 

Micro travel umbrella
Travel in the tropics makes an umbrella a non-negotiable travel companion, but to avoid awkward packing dilemmas they need to be small. Genius Pack’s micro travel umbrella folds away neatly to only 15 centimetres in length, meaning you can tuck it away just about anywhere to whip out for protection from unexpected showers or extreme sunshine. Available in black or white. About $18, geniuspack.com

 

Korjo luggage strap with lock
Luggage straps have always been a snazzy way of easily identifying your luggage, but now Korjo has taken the clever devices to the next level by adding a combination lock that will help keep your belongings safe and sound when you’re in transit. They come with an in-built name indicator, in yellow, red and blue. About $14, korjo.com

 

LaCie Fuel
This sandwich-sized, wireless hard drive will keep your music, photos and videos safe when you’re on the move, and is especially good for movie streaming on your iPad, laptop or iPhone. It includes 1TB of wirelessly accessible storage, which means more than 500 movies can be streamed (or 160,000 images or 190,000 photos) to up to five devices at once. About $180, lacie.com

 

Travel pillow
Forget your kidney-shaped travel pillow: 2015 is all about the NapAnywhere. You can twist the disc-shaped pillow into the ideal shape to nestle between your head and shoulder, so your neck can relax and you can sleep comfortably on planes. It also comes with a chest strap for greater stability, in crimson, lime or black. About PGK150, napanywhere.net

 

Pebble Steel watch
A smartwatch that’s also stylish? Yep, miracles do happen, in the form of the Pebble Steel. With a slick and funky design that comes with a choice of leather or metal bands, the Pebble Steel sends pop-up notifications of emails, texts and social media accounts, lets you control music playback on your phone, and comes with a huge choice of watch faces and Android and iOS apps from the Pebble appstore. It’s only a matter of time before this watch will pack your bags for you. About $190, getpebble.com

 

Paklite duffel bags
The benefits of hard shell suitcases can’t be denied, but for your more adventurous trips, something soft, yet sturdy, is in order. Enter Paklite’s new Escape duffel bags, which feature an aluminium lockable trolley handle, easy-glide wheels and a lightweight yet durable fabric construction. The perfect, no-nonsense travel companion that will make even the most action packed jaunts a breeze. Available in three sizes, in green, rust and black. From about $120, paklite.com.au

 

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