While the fitness industry might try to sell you supplements and equipment that you don’t need, the travel industry will also try to promote numerous products that might seem intriguing, but in reality, they’re overrated. If you’re getting ready to travel, you’re going to need to pack some travel gear, but what should you skip?
Overrated Travel Gear
Bringing too much overrated travel gear can just take up space in your luggage. It can be tough to carry and haul around, especially if you have to carry it on your back. It’s easy to assume that you’ll need some of these things, but chances are that you will free a lot of room in your luggage if you skip out on taking them.
Here are 5 items of travel gear that you should skip:
1. New Travel Shoes
The travel shoes that you bring with you should be ones that you won’t mind walking in, getting dirty, wet, and most importantly, ones that won’t give you blisters. While you might believe that you need specific traveling shoes for the European roads that are covered in cobblestones, that’s not the case.
2. New Clothes
Fancy new clothes aren’t always required for travel. You might come across specific circumstances that can call for new clothes, like a new snow jacket if you’re living in Southern California and don’t have one that’s suitable for the cold weather.
Another case where you might need new clothing when you travel is if you’re traveling to a country that has a more conservative culture, in which case you’ll need long-sleeve tops and more. In most cases, you’ll have no reason to purchase specific clothing or travel gear for your trip.
3. A Passport Holder
These can be cute, fun, and seem like the perfect aesthetic asset for your travels, but they’re typically unnecessary. Most customs officers will ask you to remove the passport from the holder while some might give you a hard time if you haven’t removed it already.
4. A Document Organizer
In the old days, document organizers were that piece of travel gear that you couldn’t forget as it kept all of your MapQuest directions, phone numbers, addresses, and more. These days, digital documents are all that you need, and they can go right on your phone. This includes boarding passes, hotel reservations, and more.
5. Over-the-Top Toiletry Bags
If you have a fancy toiletry bag with various pockets, pouches, and compartments, it’s likely that it will only take up space. Placing all of your toiletries and cosmetics in a plastic bag will help you organize your items and save you space. This can also help you prevent accidents and messes from damaging the rest of your stuff – for instance, toothpaste explosions and more.
This is the kind of travel gear that most hotels will offer you free of charge during your stay, so think twice about what kind of toiletries you should bring with you.
Airlines Are Trying to Help the Environment by Boosting Efficiency
After the oil crisis of 1973, scientists began searching for ways to increase the efficiency of air travel and reduce the costs and the impact on the environment. This is a problem that Richard Whitcomb, a Langley researcher, and a decorated NASA engineer, has been tackling ever since.
Back in 1974, Whitcomb focused on an old idea for gaining energy efficiency by bending up the wingtips of an airplane. The models and wind tunnel tests he did back then showed that “winglets” could reduce the fuel use by up to 9%, and the actual trials of a Boeing 707 confirmed the results.
Winglets Help Save the Environment by Lowering the Use of Fuel
Whitcomb’s winglets are among the technologies that US airlines have used to boost their fuel efficiency by 130%. To get further gains, planes are designed with lighter materials, more aerodynamic airframes, and better engines. Old planes have also been upgraded and retrofitted with more efficient engines.
Although improvements in the practices of air traffic control have already helped reduce emissions as well, many companies believe that more can be done in that regard. Certainly, the Federal Aviation Administration’s major air traffic control project called NextGen takes that seriously and aims to implement even more measures, including reducing air & tarmac traffic jams and using GPS-based routes.
Airplanes Can Use Bio-Fuels for Better Efficiency
Adopting sustainable fuels has been a talking point for the aviation industry for some time. Such fuels can be made of sources such as plant oil, algae, food waste, and landfill emitted gas. The use of such biofuels can reduce the emission of greenhouse gases but these fuels will have to be cheaper, available at scale, and generated in a sustainable way.
Even though there have been some true improvements to the efficiency of airplanes, the problem still remains and is even getting bigger with each passing day. While people fly too much, the quest to save the environment becomes more difficult for every party involved.