What’s in my suitcase?

Shooz, meant for travel, feature a design that unzips in half to make for easy packing.
Shooz, meant for travel, feature a design that unzips in half to make for easy packing.


Now appearing on Kickstarter and fully-funded after just a few days: A travel-friendly shoe. The premise behind Shooz is that your clothes lie flat in your suitcase, so why not your shoes? Shooz come in two parts, the skin (the top of the shoe) and the sole (hopefully you all know what that is). There are an endless — well, not quite endless — number of combinations you can create by zipping different skins to soles. It allows you to swap from casual to dressy without clogging your suitcase. The skins lie flat, allowing you to bring several pairs of shoes (well, Shooz) on your trip. Bring a single sole and as many skins as you need. The first batch ships in March. $149 at

The Karma Go Wi-Fi hot spot.

Karma Go

Occasionally a piece of technology enters my life that I assume has been handed down from the heavens. This month it’s Karma Go Wi-Fi. It’s a pocket-size box that uses an LTE signal to create a mobile hot spot. This means no more logging into substandard, pricey airport Wi-Fi, no more ridiculously slow and expensive hotel Wi-Fi, and no more scrambling to find a coffee shop with free Wi-Fi. I can now log in wherever I like (as long as it’s in one of the 460 cities where coverage is available). The Karma Go holds a charge for eight hours and you can connect as many as eight devices to it. There are many other portable hot spots available, but I’m a fan of Karma’s pay-as-you-go data plan, which carries over month-to-month (there’s also a flat rate service). $149 at

Savvy Travelers

We’ve all had moments when we wonder where a particularly foul smell is coming from, and then we realize that it’s actually us. If you’ve never had one of those moments, congratulations. For the rest of us, a pair of clever women have created a product called Savvy Travelers. Think of these as wet wipes for areas other than your hands. The individually wrapped sheets are available as mouthwash, antiperspirant, and facial cleanser and moisturizer. As abonus, they’re TSA friendly. $10 at Nordstrom and

Dopp kit made out of old fire hoses by Oxgut Hose Company.

DC Hunter Dopp Kit


I’m amazed at all the uses the Oxgut Hose Co. has dreamed up for decommissioned fire hoses — mats, ottomans, stools, chairs, hammocks, and tote bags. The company’s mission is to keep the old hoses out of landfills and create cool products while donating a portion of profits to the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation. More importantly, the upcycled hoses look very chic when given new uses. The DC Hunter Dopp Kit is smaller than most kits, but sometimes it’s handy to have a more compact bag on hand, particularly on an airplane where space is at a premium. It’s made of white synthetic fire hose liner, and the inside is rubberized so your shampoo can’t leak out onto your unmentionables. $52 at

Richard Valencia
The Peanuts leather luggage tag from Cambridge Satchel Company sells for $23.

Peanuts Collection Luggage Tag

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I was waiting until “The Peanuts Movie” was in theaters before I recommended adorning your luggage with this pre-embossed leather tag. Because the film received decent reviews, I think you can now break out the Snoopy tag without fear of judgment from fellow fliers. The Cambridge Satchel Co. released the Snoopy tag in several colors, and you whimsical literary types can also find leather notebooks with Woodstock on the cover. $23 each at

iS Clinical Hydra-Cool Serum

When you reach a certain age (specifically, my age), there is a strong temptation to travel with a suitcase full of moisturizers, ointments, and liniments to ward off the damaging effects of sitting under a (sometimes) desert-dry air vent on a plane for 10 hours. In an effort to streamline packing, I’ve begun looking for multipurpose skin care products. Lately I’ve taken a liking to iS Clinical’s Hydra-Cool Serum. In addition to hydrating after travel, it claims to calm irritated skin, soothe sunburnt faces, and help with post-shave irritation. I can’t attest to all of its qualities, but I do know that my face no longer resembles a tray of dried apricots. $90 at

 1 Voice Sleep Headphones. It's a velvet eye mask made of memory foam with built-in headphones that are compatible with any phone or MP3 player. Photo credit: Handout -- 22suitcase
The headphones are a velvet eye mask made of memory foam with built-in headphones compatible with any phone or MP3 player.

1 Voice Sleep Headphones

This velvet-covered, memory-foam eye mask with built-in headphones might be one of the oddest looking things you could wear on an airplane — and I’ve seen people wearing a lot of odd looking things on airplanes. But strap it on and hook up your phone (or, if you’re old school, an MP3 player), and escape from your surroundings. While it looks heavy, the memory foam stays surprisingly cool on your eyes, and the built-in headphones may not be noise canceling, but they do the trick.

Christopher Muther can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Chris_Muther.