Whenever you travel, you have your essentials: your passport, your carry-on, your in-flight distraction of choice (iPad, Kindle, magazine). Then you have items that are…not so necessary, like these very odd travel gadgets and gizmos.
Warning: these are for those who aren't planning on packing light.
Portable Infrared Sauna
If your hotel doesn't have its own spa, but you can't live without your daily schvitz, just bring the sauna with you. The system deploys 600-watt, infrared heaters to make you work up a sweat—you just have to be cool with looking like you're resting in the world's least comfortable sleeping bag. skymall.com, $400.
Napping on the go is hard: Lights are too bright, sounds are too loud, the temperature is less-than-ideal.
Stick your head (and hands) in the sand with the Ostrich Pillow, which lets you escape all of these distractions for a quick power nap.
Note: Even though you might think you're hiding in your own cave of comfort, people can definitely still see you—in fact, you might even be calling attention to yourself—so you can't crawl in there when you want to get out of work meetings. studiobananathings.com, $100.
You want to keep yourself safe from germs and pollution, but those stark clinical masks clash with your wardrobe.
Vogmask offers microfiber fabric masks—which they claim filter out 99 percent of dust, ash, germs, and pollen—in more attractive patterns. You will, however, still look paranoid. magellans.com, $20.
(See also: February deals)
Packable Walking Stick
Walking sticks that you find outdoors along a trail may have that cool, hippie Gandalf vibe to them, but they are so single-function—and dirty.
Instead, opt for a sleek, 50-inch, metal walking stick, which comes with a built-in compass and place to attach a camera. When you're finished using it, the whole thing packs up into a 11.25" carrying case. hammacher.com, $40.
Tugo Cup Holder
You're zooming around the airport with your roll-on suitcase in one hand and your boarding pass in the other—where do you put your coffee?
The Tugo cup holder lets you suspend a drink in between the bars of the handle of your suitcase—for a short time, at least, since you definitely have to remove it before trying to get your luggage into the overhead bin, or risk a face full of hot coffee. goodtugo.com, $3 to $13.
Sure, these bars may make you look like you're suffering from a neck injury, but they're really designed to help you get your 40 winks by keeping your head in place and your neck aligned.
If the look of it gives you nightmares of headgear, you can also buy a silky cover to go with it. skymall.com, $40 for the UpRight Sleeper alone, $47 for the Sleeper/cover combo.
When you travel, you don't want to waste time adjusting to jet lag. Re-Timer's sci-fi-looking goggles will try to help you adjust before you even take off.
The glasses emit light that mimics sunlight to adjust your internal clock in smaller, baby steps. We can't prove it works, but it's definitely got fewer calories than those creamy, venti coffees you use to wake yourself up after entering a new time zone. re-timer.com, $290.
Long journeys can wreak havoc on the breath, and sometimes your toothbrush is too packed away for a mid-trip freshening.
Consider slipping a few Toothettes into your travel bag. They clean teeth and freshen breath, and don't even need any water to work—your saliva is good enough—so you can use them anywhere. Plus, they look like cute little lollipops. magellans.com, $9.50 for a pack of 20.
Even when you're away from home, you have your standards—and flimsy plastic takeout utensils just will not do. The reusable ForkChops are not only more stylish, the three-in-one eating utensil—which includes a fork, knife, and chopsticks—covers most any meal you will encounter. Just don't order soup (unless, of course, you also buy a Titanium Spork). thinkgeek.com, $5 for ForkChops, $10 for the Titanium Spork.
Hand Crank Emergency Cell Phone Charger
How many times have you needed to juice up your phone, but can't find a public outlet?
If that text absolutely, positively has to go out right that minute, this device can solve your problem with a little elbow grease. One minute of cranking gets converted into 30 seconds of energy, so you'll also get to work out those arm muscles. hammacher.com, $60.