You are on vacation, on a remote beach, and take a photo of yourself. A minute later, on the other side of the world, your mother is walking around her house and sees that same photo of you smiling back at her from the digital picture frame in her living room.
That’s the world we live in today. Photos can be shared across geography in all sorts of cool and creative ways.
Previously, Spot Cool Stuff reviewed the best travel cameras. But how to share your trip photos once you’ve taken them? Here are three creative sharing options that you can use while you are still traveling. None require use of a computer (either your own or one in an internet cafe) through you will need to be traveling with either a smartphone or a tablet.
Spot Cool Stuff is a huge fan of glamping. The word is a conjunctive of “glamorous” and “camping” and can describe pretty much any travel experience that is more luxurious than staying in a typical tent but more outdoorsy than an ordinary hotel. A glamping experience might involve sleeping in a portable treehouse, staying in a human-sized bird nest, making an espresso in the middle of nowhere—or touring in a cool camping trailer.
The number of unusual, creatively-designed campers currently on the market is truly amazing. Clearly neither the upward trend in road traffic or fuel prices are deterring some people from taking a mini-home with them on an adventure. Here’s our rundown of five especially cool caravan camping trailers:
Maps look great when they are brand new. Not so much a few days into a trip.
After multiple unfoldings and refoldings (perhaps along the pre-folded map creases but more likely not), after exposure to wind, rain, the curious hands of children, the clumsy hands of adults, the bottom of a jostling bag and/or coffee spills, a nice paper map can become a mangled monstrosity. Not so with Crumpled City Maps.
Travelers spend big money on upgraded airline tickets and medium money on upgraded luggage. Yet, for only a few extra dollars (or pounds or euros or yen or somoni) an upgraded experience can be had on an arguably more significant piece of travel gear: socks.
Travel (save for the armchair variety) tends to involve a lot of standing and walking and being outside. And a surprising percentage of one’s physical comfort starts with one’s feet.
For the previous few months Spot Cool Stuff has been trying out different socks; some were provided to us and others we purchased ourselves. The central take-away from this sock testing frenzy: Don’t purchase generic socks, or at least not exclusively. There’s an impressive variety of socks on the market, produced by several dozen small- and medium-sized manufacturers. Spending a bit more on their socks is worth it, especially for travel.
As for specific sock suggestions, here’s a review of some of our favorites:
They call it a “portable suspended habitation unit.” It functions like a hybrid between a tent and a hammock. We think of it as a portable treehouse apartment.
It’s the Tentsile.
Suspend one between trees and the Tentsile provides a cocoon-like sleeping and living area above the forest floor. It might not be “the world’s most versatile tent” that the manufacturer claims it to be. But it is one of the coolest glamping (glamorous + camping) products we’ve seen.
Three models of Tentsile are available:
Taking photographs of people can be an uncomfortably self-conscious experience, both for the photographer and his subject. With that in mind, here are three items you can pair with your camera that will help you take photos on-the-fly. Each is inexpensive and makes for a great gift of a photographer.
A handful of companies have been working on bags with built-in batteries capable of charging gadgets on-the-go. Most of those efforts have relied on slow and fussy solar panels to charge the bag. A few others are either very expensive or don’t work well. One very promising battery bag from Quirky, a cool online store of crowdsourced products, spent a year available for pre-order but never went into production.
Which is why Spot Cool Stuff is thrilled that there’s one company is getting the bag-with-built-in-battery right: Powerbag.
Here’s a challenge: Find a gift for a frequent traveler that’s very light weight and easy to pack. Make it something cool and creative. Only pick items that your gift recipient is extremely unlikely to already own. And, oh yeah, your gift can’t cost more than US$10.
Spot Cool Stuff recently went shopping with those exact criteria in mind. Here’s our review of five cool travel-related gifts we found that meet those criteria. Each makes for a great stocking stuffer. But there’s no rule saying you can’t shop for yourself too.