My week-long series continues! In case you’ve missed days 1 through 3, each post is devoted to tips on how to stay cool during hot weather travel. Since we are leaning into the Memorial Day weekend here in the U.S., today’s post covers gadgets designed to help cool you down as you enjoy all summer has to offer (home and abroad). So gather the men, who have felt left out over the past three days of gynocentric posts, and start reading!
Looking at travel gadget is a favorite activity of mine (Magellan & TravelSmith catalogs – whoo hoo!). From the amazing to the ridiculous, seeing what people conjure up is educational and amusing. When it comes to travel gadgets to keep you cool, I get a little obsessed. This is because in addition to living in a hot (9 months of a year) place, I frequently travel to hot places and somehow, I always arrive during that locations hottest time of the year. Maybe because I am usually cold and my planning thermometer is on the fritz?
Even though my operating temperature is low, I still get hot and know how being overheated can harsh a great travel vibe. Long days of hot, dusty roads and 3-story walk-up guest houses with no aircon leave you feeling like a wilted plant or wrung-out dish towel. My list is made up of small, portable items, mostly low-tech, that promise to keep you chill, as the cool kids say (do they?). Well, regardless of what the cool kids are doing, let’s get cool with some travel gadgetry, shall we?
iPhone fan – This fan supposedly puts out a lot of power and measures about 3 1/2 by 1 3/4 inches. It seems like a good idea, but you still have to hold it to your face. It comes in a lot of colors and has mixed reviews but, maybe, when you are sitting on a crowded bus in India for 8 hours, this would mentally transport you to an icy limousine?
Personal misting fan – Measuring almost 7 inches, this misting fan is a bit large when travel space is at a premium, but if you are someone who needs powerful cooling wherever you go, this may be the answer. I had the chance to see this fan in action and was surprised at the relative power of the air flow. You use it as fan-only, mist-only, or fan and mist making it pretty versatile.
Misting water bottle – I think this invention is pretty genius. Something you need to carry anyway, especially in hot climates, that has a trigger to send a cooling mist to your flushed cheeks? Sign me up! It looks like this company offers a few different styles of bottles, all with the mist feature. I’d buy this if they could figure out a way to make the bottle collapsible like mine.
Cooling towel – I own this and strongly recommend that if you travel ANYWHERE that gets warm, you buy this. The Enduracool Microfiber Cooling Towel from Mission is worth it’s weight in gold. It takes up no space whatsoever, is low-tech (like really low-tech), and works like a charm. All you do is get the towel wet, wring it out, flick/snap/whip it (the action you take to shake out a towel) and then, place the towel wherever you need a bit of chill. As long as the towel stays wet/damp it will provide a cooling effect. You can use it dry to absorb moisture but WAIT! There’s more! It also has a UPF50 factor so you can use it as a sun shade, if you need to. I have my eye on this one to use as a summertime scarf. Can you imagine? A bit of style AND a lot of cool?
Cooling wristbands – Another ingenious product from Mission, these little guys promise hours of cool. My grandmother used to run my wrists under icy water when I would get ‘tomato-faced’ as a child on a hot day. While these wristbands don’t have the same emotional feeling as my Granny tending to me, but the idea of rapidly cooling off is just as appealing!
Cooling spray – This product sounds intriguing. While this may not be suitable for plane travel due in some places (due to the aerosol nature), it seems like it would be great for overland adventures or just sitting outside on a hot day. I’m not sure where you can buy it outside UK and Ireland, but it may be worth investigating.
Witch Hazel Wipes – Not really a gadget, but definitely cooling, these TSA-approved wipes are perfect for morning, noon, or night refreshment. Witch hazel is a mild astringent and has a history that dates back to the indigenous peoples of North America. It’s been a widely used remedy since the late 1800s and I remember my grandmother always having a bottle of Dickinson’s in the medicine cabinet. These are great to clean your face in the morning, remove make-up at night, or just to get a cooling sensation across the back of your neck in the middle of a steamy day. These have a permanent place in my in-flight comfort pouch. When I am home, I always have a pack in the refrigerator for an almost spa-like treat at the end of the day.
All gadgets are under $20 and all can offer some sort of relief from the heat, whether the dry heat of the desert or the oppressive heat and humidity of a tropical rain forest. What do you think? Did any of the gadgets catch your eye? Let me know in the comments. As always, thanks for reading!