Ten Weird But Wonderful Travel Inventions

I know that best travel inventions are done before, and some of my suggestions appear on other lists, but here’s my compilation of travel inventions that either have, or should, revolutionise travel:

Yes, people have always travelled on ships, horse, camels, donkeys, carts, trains and on foot but when Wilbur and Orville Wright invented the aeroplane they probably didn’t realise that they were going to revolutionise travel and make crossing the world easy and relatively cheap for all. When you consider that humankind has been flying in heavier-than-air aircraft for just a tad over 100 years, that despite the fact that flying is not a natural pursuit for humans but that we do it safely, efficiently and usually manage to meet up with our luggage at our far flung destination, then you would have to agree that the aeroplane is the greatest travel invention of all time.

I can’t believe that the wheeled suitcase was invented just over 40 years ago. I mean, it would appear to be a no brainer, but it was Bernard D Sadow, the Vice President of a luggage company, who thought of the idea and patented it in 1970. Mister Sadow is a genius!! For generations humans have lifted their luggage and carried it around with them, which is a most strenuous and tiring activity. Adding wheels to luggage and an extendable handle with which to push or pull luggage was a brilliant innovation which deserves world wide acclaim and a Nobel Prize for Anything.

The what, you say? These days most budget airlines charge you exorbitant amounts of money for the privilege of putting a change of clothes into a suitcase and taking it away with you. If you are a frequent flyer on budget airlines, the Scottvest with save you money. Scottvest is an American manufacturer of garments, many of which are specially designed with the traveller in mind. According to Scott Jordan, CEO and Founder of Scottvest, he invented the product because he needed a place to keep all of his electronic gear and other stuff whilst travelling, but disliked the thought of carrying a “man purse”, which used to be trendy a decade or so ago. So, Scott invented a type of jacket that had a multitude of pockets for carrying stuff around in, including clothes. His jackets are the clothing equivalent of the Swiss Army Knife.


The internet was originally invented so that academics at universities could communicate with each other but since then both the porn and the travel industries have really revolutionised the internet to make it such a great tool. Thanks to the internet you can be anywhere in the world and compare travel products, learn about destinations, book flights, accommodation, car hire, tours, travel insurance. You can also keep in contact with family and friends, plan your route, work out distances, download maps, choose the best seat for you on a plane, work out currency exchanges and keep control of your costs. Simply brilliant!


Before the Eurozone was introduced in 1995 travelling through Europe could be a bit of nightmare as far as working out your currency was concerned, and you would always lose on the exchange rate when you crossed borders. Not only that, your pockets were filled with notes and coins of different currencies and denominations, and it was rather confusing. Now there are 22 countries in Europe which have the Euro as their currency and that, together with borderless entry to neighbouring countries in Europe, has made travelling in Europe much more efficient.


I’m really luck as I seem to have a cast iron gut, and I seem to be able to eat just about anything without suffering from, what is politely called, liquid bowel movements or diarrhea. Many people, which seems to include most travellers, are not as fortunate as I, so my advice is that when you travel always pack the Imodium because chances are that it will come in handy at some stage during your trip.


We’ll probably never have world peace, but can’t we have a universal electrical plug? Apparently there are twelve different systems operating around the world, but wouldn’t the world be a much happier place if there was just one? Let’s face, we all travel with a variety of devices which need charging from our phones to our digital cameras. I have a multiplug adaptor which hasn’t yet let me down, no matter where I am. Best of all, it only cost me a few bucks, and I keep it in my hand luggage so it can be used wherever I am.


Brilliant! Skype for computers, iPads and the like and Viber for mobile/cell phones allow you to make free calls to anyone else who has them anywhere else in the world. I actually don’t mind being out of contact when I travel, but when I do need to check up with the family and talk to a provider about my travel plans, these two inventions come in very handy indeed.


Most cities seem to have them, and I thoroughly recommend them. These buses will normally take you to the premier tourist, shopping and entertainment areas in the cities in which they operate, and I find them invaluable if I am visiting a city for the first time. A ticket is normally valid for 24 hours so you can hop on and off to your heart’s content. I normally do the whole circuit when I first purchase my ticket, to see the main tourist areas but also to get my bearings so I can better understand the layout of a city. Highly recommended for those who like to do their own thing.


These are cheap, handy, light, usually come with their own cup and fork and seem to be available everywhere. I wouldn’t recommend instant noodles for every meal, and I wouldn’t guarantee their nutritional value, but if you just have instant noodles once a day you’ll be able to splurge more on a better meal at a local restaurant. Constant travel makes you hungry, and instant noodles are a great panacea as they fill you up and you can eat them anywhere.

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