Wednesday, August 10 07:00 AM
Ever wonder how to catch those time-lapse images of a growing flower or the changing seasons? It usually involves a few thousand dollars' worth of equipment and a whole lot of patience. But now those of us who prefer to spend our vacation in a hammock nursing a daiquiri rather than sitting patiently behind a camera can get in on that pro-style photography.
Just set up this sturdy new Time-Lapse Camera (available from Photojojo, $149), click a few buttons, and leave it to its work shooting frame after frame and stitching them together into a time-lapse video. So you can bring home footage of the changing light across a cityscape, the rise and fall of the equatorial sun, or a full day of your kids frolicking on the beach. All of the payoff with none of the effort? That's our idea of a vacation.
Photo: Courtesy of Photojojo
Thursday, August 04 07:00 AM
Just because you're always on the road doesn't mean you're any good at packing. Somehow, the cab is always honking outside as you hurriedly shove things into a carry-on. Thankfully, there's a new app to help whip your suitcase into shape.
Meet Saving Grace, your own personal trip organizer. Created by the folks at Grace Hotels, this helpful (and free) app asks what kind of trip you're taking and suggests specialized, thematic packing lists. You can adjust them, add or subtract categories such as baby stuff or videography, check things off as they go into your bag, and save lists for future use. Grace also looks after your other pretrip chores, by suggesting that you clean out your fridge and stop your mail before heading out. And you don't even have to send her a postcard!
Photo: Courtesy of Grace Hotels
Wednesday, July 27 07:00 AM
You can't take the prospect of another cardboard slice of Sbarro airport pizza, and those overpriced snack boxes the airlines peddle won't cut it, either. So you've decided to take matters into your own hands. Good news, hungry traveler: Now there's a container that can help you BYO food for your flight in style.
Black + Blum's Lunch Pot is a stylish riff on a tiffin, in the form of two BPA-free containers and a matching spork that snap together for hassle- and spill-free transport of your snacks. The in-flight entertainment of making your seatmates jealous is part of the package, too.
Available in black with red trim, white with orange, or white with lime, $22.
Photo: Courtesy of Black + Blum
Wednesday, July 20 07:00 AM
Wrangling your tech gear, reading material, snacks, earplugs, and assorted other ephemera onto a plane can make you feel a bit like a bag lady. But this smart new canvas bag from Travelteq ($740) can turn your carry-on into a lean, mean (and organized) flying machine.
Two easy-to-reach outer pockets are perfectly configured for holding your passport, iPhone, and wallet. The interior has a shock-resistant laptop sleeve, a section to keep magazines and newspapers crease-free, and a third area to zip away other flotsam and jetsam (hence the bag's name). So, you've got controlled chaos on the inside and a classic canvas-and-leather look on the outside. Everything in its place.
Photo: Courtesy of Travelteq
Tuesday, July 12 07:00 AM
Tunes and travel go together like O'Hare and lost luggage. But hiding under your headphones keeps you from interacting with other people. Until now. May we introduce you to the new Kikkerland Music Branch Headphone Splitter ($10)?
The mod, woodsy key chain plugs into your iPod and three sets of headphones. So your travel companion and your new best friend from the airport bar can join you in rocking out to your playlist...or run away in horror at your musical taste. (How did Justin Bieber get on here?) But, hey, all that matters is that you extended a musical olive branch.
Photo: Courtesy of Kikkerland
Thursday, July 07 07:00 AM
The best travel images tend to be stealth shots. But unwieldy digital SLRs can make discreet photography difficult. That's why we'll be packing the new 3.88-ounce mini Minox ($179), brought to you by the creators of 1940s CIA spy cams.
The body, a 5/8th-scale replica of the Cold War-era Leica M3, is pure James Bond cool. But that pretty packaging also shoots with precision, thanks to a German-engineered glass lens and 5.1-megapixel resolution. Best of all, it fits in the palm of your hand.
Photo: Courtesy of Photojojo Store
Thursday, June 16 03:53 PM
There are parts of Australia where cloud sightings are a rare occurrence, so it's little wonder that when it comes to anything ray-related, the Aussies really know their stuff. That's why we're so psyched that these rad sunglasses by Oz brand Omar Seluj have arrived on our shores.
Two friends from Down Under spent five years developing their line of unisex shades. The spring-hinge design enables the acetate frames to mold to your face, and with nylon UV 400 lenses, they provide legit eye protection. The frames have luxury touches like gold, wood, or leather detailing. Style and substance? Mate, they're just what we've been looking for.
Omar Seluj Bal sunglasses (pictured), $179.95
Photo: Courtesy of Omar Seluj
Thursday, June 16 07:00 AM
What's that hiding beneath that handsome herb garden of yours? Oh, you know, just a super-secret undercover charcoal grill.
The Black + Blum Hot-Pot BBQ ($124) is a genius contribution to the world of space-saving appliances. Pulling the top off this terra-cotta pot reveals a stainless steel grill underneath. At about 15 inches wide and 11 inches high, it's big enough to cook up kebabs for friends but compact enough to transport to a vacation home, campsite, or (very grown-up) tailgate. How's that for multipurpose?
Photo: Courtesy of Black + Blum
Wednesday, June 15 11:15 AM
The combo of sea and sand can play havoc with a fancy camera, so it's little wonder that many of us don't pack that pricey piece of gear for a day at the beach. But things are looking up, sunseeker: The new Underwater Digi Cam is about to become as essential to your summer as a high-SPF sunscreen.
The shock-resistant casing lets you throw this camera into your beach bag with abandon (it has a plastic lens, it can take it). Plus, it's waterproof down to 100 feet. It's as simple (point, shoot, done) as it is affordable ($35), and there's enough memory for 75 photos--or two minutes of video--to capture the mellow bliss of your day by the sea...and in it.
Photo: Courtesy of Photojojo
Tuesday, June 14 07:00 AM
You've scored an invite to a friend's beach house, but you can't show up empty-handed. It's time to do like your mama taught you and find a hostess gift. We suggest avoiding the tired old bottle of wine and instead opting for this nautical schnapps set ($29.95).
The mod stoneware carafe--designed like a New England lighthouse--is perfect for holding the chilled liquor of your choice. And the handblown glasses that stack on top gleam as blue as the sea. When it comes to getting invited back next year, we're pretty sure you'll find this little beacon to be a lifesaver.
Photo: Courtesy of Broadway Panhandler
Tuesday, June 07 07:00 AM
There are few summer traditions more hallowed than a lobster bake. Unfortunately, this may also be the ritual most likely to make a mess of your madras. Thankfully, the prepsters at J.Crew have got you covered with the Original Maine Lobster Kit.
This pocket-size wooden case, filled with four shell-crackers and picks, does more than expedite your dinner: Proceeds help support the Nezinscot Guild, a Maine nonprofit organization that provides employment to people with disabilities.
The only catch? Lobster bibs aren't included. So you might want to pick up an extra polo shirt while you're at it.
The Original Maine Lobster Kit available from J.Crew ($32) or direct from the Nezinscot Guild
Photo: Courtesy of J.Crew
Thursday, June 02 07:00 AM
The future is looking bright for you, dear traveler. Especially now that Sunpocket has solved the problem of where to store your shades when it's, well, shady.
This hip Swedish company has revived a cult '80s foldable frame that fits into a teeny carrying case and slips into your pocket, which keeps your hands free when you dip into a dark bar or dim boutique. The lenses are nonglare with 100 percent UV protection and are, they say, unbreakable. But we were sold after one look at the retro-chic design ($65).
Photo: Courtesy of Sunpocket
Wednesday, May 25 12:04 PM
If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many tweets can you get for video footage? Viddy, a new, free app for your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad allows you to shoot, stylize, and share your vacation videos with friends and followers. You know, just in case they're not envious enough that you're off traveling, this little gizmo can really rub their noses in it...real time.
Viddy makes it easy to share your travel experiences on Twitter, Facebook, and your Viddy profile (see footage of England's Stonehenge and San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge courtesy of two budding Viddyographers). And if it gives you the filmmaking bug, you can add visual effects and a soundtrack to your mini masterpiece, too. Phone, camera, action!
Download the Viddy app for iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad (Android app coming soon)
Photo: Courtesy of Viddy