travel gear

A Genius Beach Bag

I’m a total beach girl, but I’ll admit that once I’ve left for the day, I don’t want it following me home.В I’m not a fan of stepping on sand that’s made its way into my apartment. (Which is woefully not anywhere near a beach.)

The other day, I stumbled upon this genius Quirky beach bag.

Quirky's Shake Bag 1

It looks like a typical beach bag, made from water-repellant canvas, with a few pockets for stashing your stuff.

Quirky's Shake Bag

But if you undo a panel on the side…

Quirky's Shake Bag

…it reveals a mesh bottom with a little pull-handle you can shake to get all the sand out.

Quirky Shake Bag

Pretty brilliant! It’s amazing all beach bags aren’t built this way.

Quirky, if you’re not familiar with it, is an awesome company where anyone can submit their product idea. People can vote on what ideas they’d like to see come to life, and each week, the Quirky team decides which products they’ll produce. Eventually, they’re brought to market, and people can purchase those items from the Quirky shop.

I love the Everlane tote I’ve used as a beach bag for the past two years, but maybe it’s time for an upgrade?

(Images via Quirky)

Spy Gadgets That Can Improve Your Vacation

As one of my old bosses would say, here’s a bit of shameless self-promotion: I recently wrote a BudgetTravel.com piece about spy gadgets that are surprisingly useful on vacations. (It’s tied to the a new Bond movie that’s coming out–who doesn’t want to travel like him?) Below are my favorite products from the story, but check them all out here.

chloe hoodie

Clothing that conceals your valuables in numerous hidden pockets. (The slideshow displays a photo of one of the men’s options, but I personally like the Chloe hoodie above.)

Hammacher Schlemmer camera

A tiny camera for capturing surrepititious shots.

peeble watches

Watches that sync with your smartphone and alert your to emails, calls, texts and more.

(Also, another recent story I wrote for TravelandLeisure.com about America’s most popular zoos–check it out, especially if you love animal photos!)