Fly light

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 May, 2011, 12:00am


GEORGE CLOONEY'S jetsetting character in Up in the Air might have popularised the concept of light travelling, but ask anyone who's frequently on the road and bringing just your iPhone, iPad and Kindle isn't going to cut it anymore. Modern travelling, with expensive international calling, luggage restrictions and constant security hassles has frequent fliers squeezing endless accessories into their carry-ons. Toss it all out, and pack these essentials for stress-free travelling.

Skype has revolutionized the world of affordable business calls, and while first-world jetsetters are never far from a WiFi connection, the same can't be said for those journeying around the developing world. Instead of paying ridiculous roaming charges or constantly topping-up on different numbers, consider purchasing the Mobal World SIM.

The SIM is an international card that assigns you a single British number with the ability call to more than 190 countries worldwide, including countries with complicated connectivity such as South America, Japan and Korea. Rates are as low as US$1a minute, you're billed every few weeks and the SIM never expires, allowing you to country-hop as much as you please while never being far from that virtual meeting.

With our economy still struggling and companies forced to cut costs by sending employees long-haul on the dreaded economy class, comfort has become a major issue for travellers. Blow-up headrests just aren't good enough these days, but leading design company Anywhere Comfort has a solution.

Renowned for its selection of compact, comfortable travel cushions, its Anywhere Travel Neck pillow is what every red-eye flier lays awake thinking of: portable enough to be carried inside any carry-on, the pillow is made of memory foam, automatically custom-fitting itself to support your head, neck and back, with knit nylon fabric that won't irritate the skin. The pillow can also transform into a variety of positions depending on your sleeping habits, from a cradle shape that provides side support for heavy dozers to a collar shape that works for light sleepers. It retails for US$24.99.

Theft is a constant worry while travelling - insurance might ease the burden, but no-one wants to deal with the bank's bureaucracy. The problem only worsens at resort getaways, with your wallet, phone and keys never safe while dipping in the pool. But when has anyone ever stolen your flip-flops? Reef's Stash Sandals (right) are just your average, everyday pair of eco-friendly flip-flops - synthetic Nubuck and hemp base, soy fibre lining, recycled footbed - but with the ingenious extra of a secret pocket hidden in the heel to store valuables. Retailing for an average of US$60, depending on men's, women's and size.

The type of bag you use is equally as important as what goes in it, and the ideal suitcase can save you from numerous stresses while on the road. For 30 years, luggage-maker Tumi has designed sleek, functional suitcases that are ideal for every traveller. Its Frequent Traveller Carry-On is designed exclusively for jetsetting business travellers, made from the company's signature ballistic nylon that can withstand all the elements. A lightweight, removable suit sleeve fits up three of your finest Saville Row's, while a variety of compartments ensure you always separate clean from dirty. At US$595, it's more expensive than most large suitcases, but this is the kind of heirloom that your grandkids will one day thank you for.

Equally as impressive is hybrid luggage-maker Thule's Rolling Duffel, designed for sports enthusiasts who struggle to balance suits with their snowboard gear. Designed to look like a regular carry-on, its wide-mouth access can pack up to 87 litres of equipment, while the specially designed crush-proof SafeZone is a removable compartment that ensures rugged protection for fragile equipment.

And if you must check in luggage, save yourself the embarrassment of the counter attendant screaming that your bags are overweight with a Balanzza Mini. Basically a miniature digital scale that looks like a tag, it easily attaches to the handle of your suitcase and is versatile enough to be sent into the cargo hold. Simply lift off your bag, hold it up for a couple of seconds and the Mini will do all the work, accurately weighing the entire contents up to 45 kilos. Pay just US$24.99, and never again be subjected to absurd extra weight charges.