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Gear Up: Great Travel Finds for the Mature Traveler

8 travel tools to make the going easier (or just a little more fun)

By Stephanie Oswald | June 20, 2012

Decades after our Eurail pass expired and we last hoisted an Army and Navy surplus backpack to hike, train or hitch our way across Europe, the creature comforts of travel receive a much higher billing. While we may still be young at heart, the rest of the body needs, or simply desires, a little pampering. The little aches and physical issues we experience at home can be intensified by the rigors of the road: pain, stiffness and limited mobility of the back, neck and joints; digestive and "bathroom" issues; sleep problems; diminished ability to lift or carry heavy objects — and for some of us there are hot flashes.

Technology has, however, kept pace with our advancing needs — not to mention our desire for cool new gadgets to enhance the travel experience. Today, there’s a clever, accommodating, load-bearing widget and gadget for pretty much anything you can think of. These aren’t just fancy toys, either. They’re smart and practical ways to put yourself on the path to comfortable travel (and enhanced communication), whether you’re heading off on a road trip through our national parks, a trek into the Alaskan wilderness, a weekend on the Cape, or a 17-hour flight to Australia.

As a travel journalist who's been to more than three dozen countries, I have had the opportunity to road-test a number of products. These eight items grabbed my attention. Happily, they don’t scream “made for the mature traveler,” but they will make your journey easier — or just a little more fun.

Stephanie Oswald is an Emmy Award–winning journalist, television correspondent and the co-founder/editor of Travelgirl magazine.


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