Guys. 2016 has been pretty rough, but we can't ignore the good stuff.
Like the TECH GADGETS.
The Wanderlove³ is seven traveling tech goodies all in one, and it's a great holiday gift idea if you've got the dough to splurge, the person who deserves it, and the wherewithal to part with what's inside.
Otherwise, just keep your favorites and give the rest away. Let's break down what's inside this little cube of wonder:
What we love: It's super sleek. I have two other mobile battery packs that I've gotten over the years, but this one is unassuming, thin, and definitely not glitzy. Easier to pack, unisex-friendly. Hours and hours of power. Overall, worth it.
What we don't love: Why does the iPhone have to be so freaking annoying? This, like every other battery charger, comes with a cord that's compatible with Android. You have to use your own iPhone cord to put this guy in your phone. It's not eBags fault, I know... It shouldn't therefore factor into its score, but that does impact its ease of use.
What we love: Oh, man. Do you even know how useful wide-angle lenses are?! Sometimes touting around your DSLR just isn't an option, and the Olloclip just snaps right onto your phone. There's also the zoom option, which phones are notorious for being shaky at. The Olloclip makes the resolution way better, too. Whenever I don't want to hassle with my actual camera, Olloclip is the way to go. So easy, and such better photos. Amazing.
What we don't love: You have to take the case off your phone for it to fit. Kind of annoying. Other than that, it's 9.5 only because there's always room for improvement!
What we love: Not gonna lie, at first I thought this was a little weird. Why would I want a wearable safety device? But then I realized that there are more situations in my life than I realized where things could go wrong (especially with travel). And I don't technically have to wear it — I can attach it to my keychain, and I much prefer the more subtle use. It's a great way to feel a little bit safer when going out and doing you, and when going out and doing you and traveling in foreign environments. And my mom approves, too.
What we don't love: It's not nearly as useful as the others in this crop. It's only getting a slightly lower rating because I don't think I'm the target demographic. For moms, 10/10. For adventure hikers, 10/10. I bet the guy from 127 Hours sure wished he had this Revolar product.
What we love: OMG GUYS ITS PURPLE AND IT WORKS IN EVERY COUNTRY AND ITS PURPLE AND THERE ARE USB PORTS AND ITS PURPLE AND OMG. What's more, it doubles as extra, regular outlets when you're not traveling.
What we don't love: Well, there are adaptors out there that are one piece and that have connected plugs so it's less of a hassle (as in you don't have to carry around separate country-based pieces; they're built in), but this thing is so frickin' cute I don't care (and those don't double as normal outlets). Probably my favorite tech toy in the cube.
What we love: This thing is legit. I have a Memorex bluetooth speaker that's totally effective, but this one, pictured above, seems to have a longer/wider range, get louder, and has a longer battery life. You can just pick this bad boy up, program him to your phone, and throw him on your bike or in your bag and you're good to go. It's amazing! My life has changed since owning a bluetooth speaker (seriously, working from home, it's amaaaazing; I'm using it right now), and this is a really, really good one. SUPER good gift, too.
What we don't love: It's not purple.
What we love. It's a pretty color. It's long. It's useful. It appears really strong and durable.
What we don't love: It's a cord...love is a strong word.
What we love: This kind of thing is something you can technically live without, but once you have one, you'll see just how useful they are. Two things that I do now that I'm a more savvy traveler are rubber band-ing my clothes and using dividers, like the one above. It's so much easier to have a separate section for dirty clothes, or clothes you're setting aside, and this super lightweight, super durable cube meets my needs exactly. And when it's empty, it barely takes up any room.
What we don't love: It's another thing to remember to pack. That's about it!
If you have to pick one? PowerCube. Not as much of a traveler? Sound Blaster. You can't go wrong either way, for yourself or someone else. And no, neither Shannon or I get any dolla dolla bills when you click the above links. We wish. Maybe next time! Until then, we'll have to be content with our seriously-upped travel tech game. 2017, here we come!