I’m always on the look-out for travel items and products I think may make my journeys that little bit smoother but inevitably a few failed to work for me so thought I would share a shortlist though just because they weren’t my thing doesn’t mean they may not work for you.

To minimize the amount of liquids & gels in my toiletries bag I bought a small matchbook size box of a solid toothpaste tablets called Toothy Tabs from LUSH. These toothytabsall-natural tablets are meant to be crushed in your mouth just before you wet a toothbrush and begin scrubbing your pearly whites but I found the peppermint, spearmint, lavender oil and wasabi flavored Ultrablast tablets didn’t fully dissolve while brushing leaving small bits behind. The upside however is the grittiness I’d expected wasn’t there.

A small box however isn’t a huge investment at only $5 and am using up what I have left so it’s far from a huge loss for trying something new.

compI’d read several articles on compression sacks or bags which reduce the volume if not the actual weight of clothing in luggage by squeezing out the air and so ordered a two pack set online from Amazon for $5.99 with S&H. I should note that this amount is a fraction of what these bags can sell for through various luggage or travel retailers as some sets can be $30 or more.

After inserting clothing the air is designed to be forced out through a one way valve by rolling the bag but what I found happened was the items didn’t roll but bunched up at one end instead of laying flat as advertised. This effect was somewhat reduced by putting fewer items into the bag but doing so would mean you would need more bags and so after one of the bag valves gave way I abandoned this packing experiment. I found good old Ziploc bags in the larger sizes perform well at a fraction of the price of some of the name brand compression bags and always have a few handy in an outside pocket of my carry-on bag.

While staying in Brooklyn and taking in the excellent New York Transit Museum I bought a Mighty Wallet in the gift shop largely as a souvenir because of the subway map design but also because I thought the lightweight Tyvek material would be lighter than leather and less conspicuous in my pocket. wallet

Tyvek is the same synthetic material used in courier envelopes so delivers a strong lightweight material but found after a number of trips the card slots didn’t hold credit cards as firmly and a wrinkled patina with wear stains was forming which detracted from the wallet design.

For $15 it was an impulsive museum gift shop purchase that didn’t quite work out for me but have kept the wallet for future trips to New York City.

My travel product hits & misses are my own personal experiences as a result of trial and error and will continue tinkering with things to see if they fit my travel routine. Please leave me a comment if you’ve had travel items not work out as well as intended.