Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Monday, January 11, 2016

Travel hacks

Because of all my travel, I'm constantly on the lookout for the latest travel hacks to help make flying  easier or less stressful/more restful. I've mentioned before that I'm a big fan of the Travelrest pillow, but I was intrigued by a new pillow called the Trtl, which claimed to be "The Travel Pillow. Reinvented".

I decided to buy one on Amazon over the Christmas break ($29 on Amazon US or 29€ on Amazon FR) and tried it out at home.  It wasn't a great sign that the people I was staying with immediately laughed at it and said it looked like I had been in a car accident.  (It's true, it did look more like a neck brace than I'd expected).  The fabric was really soft, but the inner support system was just not strong enough to fully support my head, so I ended up sending it back and sticking with my Travelrest for the flight home.  There are some positive reviews for it online though, and I have to say that their Customer Service was great.

There are two other cool new crowd-funded products that I would also love to try out - the first is the BlueSmart Suitcase, which promises to be the first Smart luggage.  It sounds really fun - it's got an internal tracking system, so you always know where it is; you can unlock and lock the case via your smartphone; it's got a built-in luggage scale; and it can even charge your smartphone or tablet, which is great for all of those airports out there that are stingy with their power outlets.  But it's also only available in the carry-on size for now, and after reading some of the reviews of the first model, I couldn't really justify the $399 expense.  Their customer service has also been criticized, and I have to admit that I wrote to them with a few questions about the product, and never got an answer back...

The second product is the Baubax Jacket, which claims to have 15 travel hacks in one jacket:
I actually think this is something that would be really handy for going through security - almost all of those things listed in the picture above are in my purse or pockets when I travel, so it'd be really practical to have them all in one place.

Because of my frequent flier status, I am often in the front row of economy class (unfortunately no business class for me!), which equals great leg room but also means I have to store all of my belongings in the overhead compartment during take-off and landing. So I think this jacket would also be useful for in-flight entertainment during those times since it can store both my tablet, water bottle and headphones. Plus no more digging around for my passport and a pen when it's time to fill out the customs forms. It also comes with a built-in neck pillow, blanket, 3/4 gloves and a hood with an eye mask.

And I like that it exists in several styles, since I at least *try* to look somewhat presentable on the plane (in the hopes that my magical unicorn first class upgrade will one day appear).
Prices are between $149-189 depending on which style you choose, so it's not exactly cheap, but at least for me, it's something that I would use enough to justify the cost.  It's only been recently released, so I'm going to keep googling reviews of the jacket over the next few months to see what users think, but I'm pretty sure this one will be going on my birthday wish list.

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Paris Giveaway

There's a great new website** for women called Inspirelle that launched last fall, and they are doing an amazing giveaway for two nights at a four-star hotel in Paris and dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant.  If you're interested in participating (and who wouldn't be??), you can enter their drawing here.  I'll be crossing my fingers!

**I may be a bit biased because C has written a few articles for them, and I'm really proud of how well he can write in English. :)