• Hydro Heater hydration tube warmer
Really? We’re in California. Does it ever get cold enough that the tubes connecting to our hydration packs freeze? Yes, it’s been known to happen at higher elevations, global warming notwithstanding. This pricey product takes care of that problem by using a batter-powered “heating element” in the tube. Press a button, and it thaws the water coming from your hydration bladder.
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• Mitscoots socks
There are a lot of running and cycling socks from which to choose, but how many have this selling point: With every pair of socks you purchase, the company will donate a pair of socks to the homeless? That’s the mission behind Mitscoots, a Texas company that also offers “casual” socks. They aren’t cheap, at $13.99 a pair, but really not that much more expensive than competitors’.
• 12 Biggest Travel Mistakes You Are Too Smart to Make
We think Condé Nast Traveler’s Wendy Perrin may be giving people too much credit for foresight, but, anyway, here’s the list of mistakes:
1. Handing your most indispensable possessions to a stranger. (Example: luggage containing medicine.)
2. Missing out on the royal hotel treatment (let the hotel know it’s a special occasion, such as an anniversary).
3. Getting ripped off by your credit card. (Use a card that waives the 3 percent foreign-transaction fee.)
4. Being scared away from a fascinating destination. (Such as Napa, because of a recent earthquake.)
5. Wasting precious hours at your destination fumbling with local logistics. (That’s what concierges are for.)
6. Paying airline ticket-change fees. (Choose more flexible airline carriers.)
7. Failing to visit the one place on your cruise itinerary that was your top priority. (Book a cruise that starts or ends in, say, Athens, rather than stopping there mid-cruise.)
8. Losing out on V.I.P. hotel perks and free nights. (Hotel credit cards can save you hundreds of dollars, yielding benefits worth far more than the cards’ fees.)
9. Getting stuck paying for rental-car damages you didn’t cause. (Be sure to photograph any pre-existing damage with a time stamp.)
10. Lacking enough miles for the airline tickets or upgrades you want. (Log on to your account on your preferred airline’s website and click to its retail shopping portal.)
11. Assuming your passport is valid until it expires. (Certain countries require that passports be valid for six months past the date of your flight home.)
12. Making sure everyone knows you’re a tourist. (Nothing marks you as an out-of-towner more than your brand-new white sneakers.)
Rebecca Tobin (@TWrtobin): “Mom on phone with tour company: ‘Yes. Our flight to Rome is out of Houston. But we live in DC. So, uh, this is not going to work.’ #travelfail”
Compiled by Sam McManis, firstname.lastname@example.org