5 Ridiculous Travel Products – Save Your Packing Space

Everyone admits that packing for a trip is one of the most painful parts of the experience. Endless lists (which often have a list themselves), agonising decisions about filling limited space and the inevitable panic at the airport or train station when you realise you’ve forgotten something. This isn’t made any easier by the seemingly constant supply of pointless travel products cheerfully promoted by companies. All, naturally, claim to remove stress from your travel experience, demanding space in your already bulging suitcase.

So what are the biggest wastes of space that we’ve found? Let’s keep the list short, for fear of hypocrisy following comments about packing…

1.Pillowig
We open with a combination product verging on anti-social. The Pillowig is, as it suggests, a pillow that you need never take off, held in place eternally behind your head by an attached bathing-style cap and fetching chin strap. Sleep anywhere!

2.Stashcard
Where better to put your valuables than…somewhere valuable? The stashcard helpfully allows you to hide your credit cards, keys and cash in the empty slots in your laptop. Thieves will naturally avoid your personal computer when rooting through your belongings.

3.Vending machine urban camouflage costume
Urban violence. It’s everywhere. Travel to any city in the world and you’re sure to be set upon by young drug-addicts who will take everything, except your laptop and its secret Stashcard. But wait; there’s a solution! To blend seamlessly into the urban environment where you are likely to be set upon, one design genius has come up with a skirt that unrolls into…a vending machine costume! The only thing giving away your impenetrable disguise is your shoes poking out of the bottom. According to the designer’s website, she’s also created a backpack that looks like a Japanese fire hydrant for children to hide behind. Bottomless creativity…

4.Weather forecasting umbrella
Thanks to a chip in the handle that receives a wireless signal, the owner of the Ambient Forecasting Umbrella will be informed via a selection of small lights on the handle if there is a chance of rain. Those of us without Ambient Forecasting Umbrellas can use the more old fashioned indicator of looking out of the window before leaving our accommodation.

5.Portable espresso maker
Thanks to the latest in mobile coffee preparation technology, you too can enjoy a shot of espresso in remote locations. With its “stylish black shoulder bag” measuring only 27 x 21 x 9cm the remote wilderness explorer can get his system buzzing with a caffeine kick. Incredibly, this simple pleasure is ‘affordable’, with the whole kit only costing you around $190.

For a look at the pictures of these travel essentials, visit the Escaped to Peru website using the link below. We assure you that they really do appear as ridiculous as they sound…

Do you agree with the selection, or is it a bit mean? Got any other nominations for the list? Maybe you are a representative from one of these companies and would like the chance to sell us the benefits of your product…leave your comments using the form!

Design Styles – Urban Bohemian Style

What exactly is Urban Bohemian style? I like to think that it is like many urban women out there: beautifully traditional, and yet thoroughly modern, influenced by world travels, unconventional, and yet, comfortingly familiar. And Urban Bohemian style is becoming an increasingly popular design.

In the 19th century, Bohemians were those people who lived unconventional lives, that weren’t concerned with traditional ways of thinking and living. They often were artists, writers, musicians, and actors who though very creative were also somewhat eccentric by the days’ standards. The term came from roving gypsies that were thought to come from Bohemia, but today, the term refers more to an attitude than an exact lifestyle.

Now when we talk about Bohemian Chic design or Urban Bohemian style, we are talking about a look that is more about the mix of collected things than a specific style. It is often traditional, sometimes glamorous, mixed with modern and ethnic pieces all blended together to suit the individual’s liking. It is difficult to summarize a style that is so varied, personal and eclectic but there are a few basics to know.

Here are a few ideas to help create Urban Bohemian style:

-Colors-
The great thing about urban bohemian style is that you can choose from any color palette you like. It can be all white for instance or rich jewel tones or soft muted shades. Before deciding on an actual color scheme, it is important to decide how the room should feel. Sometimes bohemian spaces are romantic and dark with rich colors and bold patterns. Other times it can feel breezy and light filled like an artist’s studio. Or it may have a worn elegance that muted colors achieve.

-Furnishings-
As with choosing colors for Bohemian style, choosing furniture is directly connected to how the space should feel. A few ornate but worn pieces look spectacular when paired with simple modern shapes and colors. For instance, you may have a very ornate bed with luxurious and exotic bedding but when put with modern nightstands or a clean lined bench would look stunning. They key is mixing periods and styles to find the right balance for you.

-Artwork and Accessories-
Artwork and accessories are what bring a room to life. This definitely holds true in bohemian design as well. They breathe life and your personality into the space. Whether minimalism is your bag or if you like “stuff”, both have a place in urban bohemian style. Accessories can be mementos from traveling or simple things that have meaning for you. The key again is to mix styles for an interesting blend. You might have very modern sculptural vase next to an ornately carved mirror creating a stunning juxtaposition.

-Putting it all together-
Overall it is important to choose what you like. And how neat is it that there is finally a style where you can be an utter design schizophrenic and still be incredibly chic at the same time? At the end of the day your room should be uniquely yours and speak volumes of who you are.
Design should be fun. So don’t be afraid, go for it!

London: A Top Educational Travel Destination For Geographers

With its endless variety of geographical features, both natural and human, London is in many ways the perfect educational travel destination for geography students. No matter what topics your class has been exploring, there will be plenty of opportunities to explore the curriculum in one of the world’s most dynamic cities – from its diverse population demographics and the variety of urban planning on display, to the city’s relationship with the mighty River Thames, to the many informative and exciting museums to choose between. It is also a fun and memorable city for young people to visit, ensuring that their learning experiences will stay in their minds long after returning to the classroom. Read on for some of the top attractions London has to offer geography students.

The River Thames

London’s most striking geographical feature is, in many ways, the reason there is a city on this site in the first place – and an investigation of the Thames and its connection to the surrounding city is bound to prove educational. Travel the river by boat, observing the structures on its banks, or observe its winding passage from above via a trip on the London Eye. There are also many ways to explore London’s great river in closer detail. Students can visit the city’s docklands and learn about the history of London as a port, or even investigate the history of the other ‘lost’ rivers of London, including the Severn, the Fleet, and the Walbrook – which once flowed into the Thames and connected far-off parts of the city to the river. Finally, the Thames Barrier provides a great setting for talking about flooding and flood management.

Olympic Sites

The excitement of the 2012 Olympics was felt across the world, but nowhere more than London. Groups visiting the city for educational travel will have the opportunity to see several sites used for the Games, including the iconic Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London. They can assess the effect of these urban developments have had on the city and beyond. This is an excellent way for educators to connect multiple topics, as the Olympics affected the city not just physically, but economically and culturally as well, with effects ranging from impact on local communities to the landscape of the city as a whole.

Kew Gardens

London may be an immense urban area, but that does not mean it isn’t also a valuable place to explore natural geography. Educational travel groups will find a wealth of natural phenomena to investigate at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, one of the world’s most impressive botanic gardens. Covering 300 acres, the gardens date from 1759 and contain the world’s biggest collection of cultivated plants, as well as a collection of millions of preserved specimens.