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Into the Stockings with Care


Many editors at various websites and magazines usually produce a best-of-the-year list of some sort during this holiday season—be it books, movies, or even celebrity mishaps. So following that similar line of thinking, I wondered what a travel blog might produce that could fit the bill. I came up with an idea of highlighting some travel products that have passed by my desk this year. Now mind you, this isn’t a "best of" or personal favorite list at all. Let's just call them some of the “most unique” items that one might place into the stocking of a family member or friend who suffers from wanderlust, albeit with some care.

Bedol Squirt Alarm Clock
This “unique” travel item is downright odd. Designer Mark Bedol has created an eco-friendly clock for someone on the go. What makes this full-featured timepiece, which includes an alarm, truly unique is that it doesn’t run on batteries; it runs on water. That’s right, you read correctly. Inside the water reservoir in this clock are proprietary metallic plates that allow the ions in the water to be turned into a current to power the clock and alarm. Just fill with water and you’re done. The water-drop shaped clock comes in five colors to fit your travelers’ fancy: blueberry blue, kiwi green, tangerine orange, plum purple, and smoke gray.

Vers 1E Sound Isolation Earphones
In keeping with the eco-friendly theme (and unique to boot), these noise-canceling earphones keep sound out while making a big statement all at once. Like the company's other sound systems, these discreet earbuds are individually crafted with sustainably sourced U.S. Walnut or Bamboo. They also include an integrated microphone with mute, play/pause control making them good replacements for iPhone users. Still feeling guilty about the wood? The company has partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant 100 trees for every tree used to create their products. Plus, if you promise at checkout to plant a tree, they will plant one more too.

GRID-IT Organizer
How do you handle your electronic cables when you travel? Do you wind them up and tie them with cords? Stuff them deep into a bag with other items? If you’re like me, you usually put them all into a single pouch and then spend the first 15 minutes of a flight trying to untangle your earbuds from power cords. This new GRID-IT organizer provides a unique solution. Dozens of crisscrossing elastic bands create a, well, grid that provides an endless array of options on which you may not only wind your cables but also hold flash drives, mice, and other digital devices at the ready. The board even features a zippered pocket on the back, and the entire organizer slips inside a larger bag. It fits the “unique” test for this list. It also makes you wonder why you haven’t seen any of these ideas before.

Samsung Galaxy Camera
It’s hard to tell what is a phone or what is a camera these days. The Samsung Galaxy is now a name for both. This week Verizon Wireless is introducing the Samsung Galaxy Camera, the first 4G LTE camera. The Galaxy line has included tablets along with very popular phone models. Now this fully functional camera, complete with zoom lens and other functions not found on camera phones, allows users to shoot, edit, and share high quality video and images all from one device.

These were just a few that made my above and beyond (and in some cases over the top) travel tools list for 2012.

For a more extensive list of the top travel tech of 2012, check out National Geographic's list.

Happy Holidays! And happy travels in 2013!

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About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

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