The weather is changing and the cooler temperatures are a welcome relief for anyone who can’t sleep with an air-conditioner going (like me).  Shorter days also mean beautiful fall foliage and lower prices at many hotels and resorts.

Leaves aren’t the only thing that will be falling.  Airline prices drop way down starting in the middle of August. The same four-day direct return flight from Calgary to Victoria, B.C. that costs $530 in the summer is only $292 after August 16th, almost half price. With all the money you’ll save on that flight, here is some great travel gear for looking good and packing smart!

Have No Fear Wonder Woman – Your Cape is Here

The last thing you need to be doing on vacation is wrestling with an umbrella. Defeat the fall droplets with this 100% waterproof poncho from November Rain.  Can a poncho be pretty?  These ones are.  Designed in Australia using an eco-friendly waterless printing process, they do more than keep you dry.  Ten percent of the company’s revenue goes towards providing clean drinking water and irrigation for crops in developing countries. The circular cape fits easily over any kind of jacket.  Unsnap the cuffs and there’s lots of room to keep your purse or backpack dry. After the clouds roll away, the cape up rolls up into its own tidy carry bag. Smart!

Travel Gear - November Rain Poncho

Use It and Lose It

Two words – get one! There’s nothing more disheartening than spending an hour in a dressing room surrounded by swimsuits that just don’t fit or flatter.  The Miraclesuit will fix that. Guaranteed to make you look 10 pounds lighter in 10 seconds, they come in a myriad of styles and colours.  I’ve tried swimsuits that make similar claims, but I like to be able to breathe when I’m swimming. Somehow, Miraclesuits do just what they say they will and leave you feeling shapely, not strangled. Available in Canada at Swimco, The Bay and other retailers or online at Miraclesuit.

Dad Department

Hands full or hands-free? I know how I’d rather travel. Fill up the zippered pockets on the Joey Jacket from Global Travel Company with an IPad, passports, and sunglasses and you’ll still have room for extra diapers, wipes, small toys, sunscreen and your boarding passes.  This versatile jacket has zip-off sleeves, an eye shade in the removable hood, side vents, a suitcase strap and an eyeglass cleaning cloth. It’s wind resistant, so perfect for fall weather, and machine washable. It looks great too.

Travel Gear - Joey Jacket

Packing It In

All the stuff that we like to have handy –  tablets, iPhones, chargers, pocket cameras, we love them and we hate them – well, not really, but we hate their cords. Until the day when everything is wireless and solar powered we have to carry around miles of tangled plastic wire – or do we? The Travel Media Pouch from Great Useful Stuff will bundle up those cords and keep them from escaping with nifty reusable Velcro ties. Small but mighty, there’s a padded pocket that can hold a 7” tablet, two deep pockets just right for cell phones or pocket cameras, two additional pouches big enough to hold batteries or rechargers and a zippered pocket for small items like USBs. Take that, cords.

Travel Gear - Great Useful Stuff- Travel Media Pouch

Great Useful Stuff- Travel Media Pouch

Loosen Up

Short flights on small planes can leave you short on space. Give yourself or wiggly kiddos more room to manoeuvre with The Airhook.  This nifty little gadget slips behind the tray table and its adjustable bungee holds your phone or tablet securely in place.  Presto – your pre-downloaded movies are at eye level. Instant extra lap room with no tray tables in the way. Use the cup holder attachment to hold baby bottles or other small items like stuffies and reading glasses that can get lost in a seat pocket.  But beware of the reclining whims of the person in front of you. Drinks will be safer with a top on them.

Travel Gear - The Airhook

Weekend Warrior

Eagle Creek’s new Expanse International Carry-On is perfect for a weekend away.  It’s rugged enough to take anything that you can throw in it, with lightweight rip-stop poly construction and heavy duty, treaded wheels. The 33.5-litre case expands an extra 3 litres if you pick up any souvenirs. Most of your packing will happen wheel-side. There’s a slimmer zippered side with a padded tablet sleeve and a pocket for travel docs.  The deep case has plenty of room for bulky items like masks and flippers or packing cubes if that’s your style. The lockable zippers are sturdy with an optional toggle closure for pickpocket protection. Best of all, it’s true to size and covered by Eagle Creek’s famous lifetime No Matter What Warranty.

Travel Gear - Eagle Creek Expanse™ International Carry On