Disclosure: Ummi Goes Where? is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. There may be some affiliate links on this page, which means when you click, I get a small percentage of the purchase at no extra cost to you. This allows me to keep sharing great travel tips, so feel free to click away!
Still thinking of what to get for yourself or that travel addict in your family for Christmas? Think no further. Here is a list of 10 extremely useful travel inventions that every traveler must have in 2020.
1. Microfiber Towel
If you haven’t already switched to microfiber towels, you must.
The usual culprit of a bulky backpack is a bulky towel. Not only does it take up a lot of space, it also weighs a ton when wet and takes ages to dry.
This is where microfiber towels come to the rescue. These lightweight and quick-drying towels are more absorbent than ordinary towels and can be air dried and reused in a short time.
A large microfiber towel can fold to the size of your palm.
2. Packing Cubes
We all know that what distinguishes a seasoned traveler from the newbies is how well they pack.
We tend to assume that experienced travelers pack less. While this may be true, I also think that there’s more to it than that — they pack smart. They know how to optimize the limited space in their luggage while staying organized at the same time.
One of the ways to do this is by using packing cubes. They are usually made of lightweight and durable nylon that doesn’t add weight to your luggage.
With packing cubes, your items won’t shift in transit and the breathable mesh design allows you to see the content in each cube without you having to open them. That means no more hectic searching for misplaced items!
GoTenna is a must-have accessory for hardcore travelers who frequently venture to off-grid places.
It is a device that, when paired with your phone, can help you send texts and location information to another goTenna user without cell service or Wi-Fi.
You can send private one-on-one messages, group chats or public emergency broadcasts to all nearby users, making it the perfect tool for hiking in areas where cell service is unreliable.
The free goTenna app also includes detailed offline maps for any region in the world. Compatible with Android or iOS devices.
4. Scrubba Wash Bag
Scrubba Wash Bag is a waterproof bag with a washboard-like inner scrub panel that produces a machine-quality wash.
It is easy to use: simply place your dirty laundry inside the bag, add some detergent and water, seal, then scrub for 30 – 180 seconds, rinse and dry.
Never pay for a laundry service ever again! Scrubba Wash Bag offers you a simple, cheap, and quick solution to clean clothes on the go.
And you get to do your part for the environment while you’re at it. Washing your laundry in the wash bag uses less water and detergent than a typical laundry service or washing machine.
What’s more, the lightweight and portable wash bag weighs only five ounces and easily fold to the size of a wallet.
5. Portable Water Sterilizer
A portable water sterilizer is an essential item for every outdoor junkie.
But it can also be beneficial for regular travelers. Remember — not every country has drinkable tap water. And traveling with diarrhea is never fun. So, the next time you find yourself in a restaurant where the drinking water looks dubious, use a sterilizer.
This portable water sterilizer can eliminate over 99.9% bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. It treats water in as little as 48 seconds and can provide up to 3,000 liters of water purification.
6. Female Urination Device
For female travelers, urinating in the outdoors can be messy, and not to mention, awkward, especially when there are other people around.
But with a female urination device, you can now pee standing up without having to drop your pants completely.
The pee funnel is small, lightweight, foldable and easy to carry. Its wide mouth and long spout ensure no spillage, dripping, or splashing.
It is made with flexible medical-grade silicone that is moisture- and germ-resistant. To clean, simply rinse with water and soap when you get home, or disinfect with boiling water.
The female urination device helps women pee more freely when traveling, camping, hiking, or doing any kind of outdoor pursuit where toilet facilities are absent or less than desirable. It can also help those, who are unable or prefer not to squat.
7. Real-Time Translator
Learning a new language is not your strongest suit?
Sure, there are phrasebooks, Google Translate, and all sorts of language-learning apps out there. But sometimes you need fast, real-time translation — like when you’re talking on the phone with someone speaking a foreign tongue.
This particular KingBaas translator supports mutual translations in 39 languages with 99% accuracy. Some of the supported languages are English, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, French, German, Dutch, Greek, and Portuguese.
The translator can provide both text and voice translations. Its small size and light weight make it suitable for travel, business, study, and social purposes. Comes with a 750mAh battery.
8. Diversion Safe Stash Can
When traveling, it is wise not to keep your money and valuables all in one place. I like to come up with new ideas on where to stash them. So far I’ve hidden them in sanitary pads, used socks, and inside a loaf of bread — just to name a few.
Alternatively, you can buy one of these “diversion safe stash can” that are designed to look like everyday items.
Made from genuine product containers, they come with removable bottoms that provide access to a secret storage compartment. No one is going to think of stealing a deodorant!
They are also available in various other designs, including canned food, household items, and stained underwear.
9. Mini Hand-Crank Generator
This mini generator allows you to manually generate electricity on your own by using the hand crank to wind up the internal battery.
Perfect for those times when you have limited or no access to electricity, such as in the wilderness or in one of those lousy airports that seem to have only one electrical socket in the entire building.
Apart from the hand crank, the battery can also be recharged using either solar power or USB cable.
This multi-purpose gadget has a 1000 mAh power bank for charging your gadgets. It also doubles as a radio and a flashlight.
10. GPS Luggage Tracker
Do you have this habit of always forgetting or misplacing your luggage? Or are you worried about your luggage getting stolen? Worry no more.
This luggage tracker comes with a Bluetooth feature that can be connected to your smartphone via an app. Both the tracker and your phone will alert you when your luggage is out of a safe distance.
The app will record the time and the latest location details, which can help you retrace your luggage.
One app can be used for multiple tracker devices and the battery can last for up to 5 years.
Know any other useful travel inventions to be featured here? Comment below.