In recent days, there’s been much talk about travel bubbles; the one with Hong Kong just got finalised (at time of publishing); there’s a plan for one between Singapore and Australia by July; and discussions about a possible travel bubble with Taiwan. With hope in the air, we’re gearing up with our dream travel kit that has all our practical essentials — but better. Because the day we can finally book tickets for Super Nintendo World, we want to be packed and ready to go.
THE SLIM WATER BOTTLE — MEMOBOTTLE
Who remembers the flat water bottle? Back in 2014, these reusable bottles took off in a big way when they were first launched on Kickstarter. They fit into bags and pockets the way no other water bottle can — because they are flat. The brand has since launched new sizes (there’s Letter, A4, A5, A6, A7 and Slim), colours for the bottle caps, and even silicone and leather sleeves.
Above: The memobottle in slim, A7, A6 and A5 sizes.
Above: The gold metallic cap on the A6 MemoBottle.
The bottles are made from BPA- and BPS-free plastic, can handle both hot and cold liquids, and are easy to clean. We recommend one in every size for all your bags. This will be one of the best travel purchases you’ll ever make.
Above: The white metallic cap on the A7 Memobottle.
Shop at memobottle.com. Bottles start from USD22.
FOR YOUR TYPE-C LAPTOP — NATIVE UNION USB-C SMART HUB
Above: The smart hub in the box.
If you bring your laptop or iPad Pro along with you on your travels, you’ll do well with this pocket-sized smart hub that lets you connect and read your SD cards, USB-A peripherals and more.
Above: The smart hub plugged into the iPad Pro.
With an iPad Pro, it’s straightforward to use; just plug in and import photos directly from your inserted SD card. We also love that it’s crafted with sleek aluminium and has a high quality textured finish.
Above: ports for HDMI, SD card, Micro SD and USB-C. The other side has 2 USB-A ports.
Priced at $169, available at antelimited.COM.
THE ESSENTIAL FACE MASK — KAZE
Above: The Kaze mask sits away from the face and is comfortable to wear and easy to breathe with.
This is possibly the most stylish, comfortable, and protective disposable mask out there. It sits away from the face so it doesn’t touch the mouth, has soft, adjustable ear bands, a soft spongey nose bridge that’s fully bendable to fit the contours of the face, and most importantly, is certified FFP2 and KN95, which is sufficient protection for daily use. We particularly love the bundle sets, like the Character Series that includes five striking colours (which can also be bought separately). Get the Variety Bundle for a different colour for every day of your trip!
Above: There’s an adjustable sponge at the nose bridge, making the mask both comfortable and functional.
Shop at kazeorigins-asean.com. The original series is priced at $40 for a box of 10.
THE MASK CHAIN — LOOKA MASK STRAP
Above: There’s a leather band that sits comfortably at the back of the neck.
There are tons of mask chains and straps available on Shopee, but if you’re looking for something unique, stylish and high quality, check out this chain from face mask brand, Looka. It’s a simple chain with a leather bar that sits behind the neck; it comes in both black and white and is made in Korea. When hanging the mask down when not worn, the drop is lower than other generic chains we’ve previously bought online, making it far more comfortable and less intrusive. What’s also special is that it hooks onto the straps of masks with leather tabs that have magnetic fasteners, making it easy and quick to attach and detach.
Above: The chain resembles the Hermès “H” Chain D’Ancre design.
Priced at $59.90 and available in black and white. Shop at antelimited.com.
MUSIC — EARIN A-3 EARPHONES
Above: The new Earin A-3 in box.
Back in 2015, EARIN was the first brand to release true wireless earphones, and now, they’ve launched their 3rd generation called the A-3.
Above: The small and light Earin A-3 earphones.
Above: The storage and charging case for the A-3.
The earbuds claim to be the smallest and lightest on the market, and they sit comfortably in the outer ear. They are designed in a shape that guarantees a secure fit, and I took them on a run, and they didn’t drop out. What’s also different with the design is that there’s no designated “left” or “right” earbud; they are identical and can be worn either side. EARIN engineered a patented automatic placement recognition technology, so the A-3 assigns itself the appropriate left or right audio channels.
Above: Earin A-3 earbuds in the charging case.
Other features include 14.3mm speakers, passive noise cancellation, and wind noise reduction algorithms. On each earbud, there’s also a microphone and voice accelerometer (it recognises when you’re speaking), and the result is better call quality.
EARINS A-3, $269 (U.P. $299), available in Black or Silver, at SHOPEE.SG.
SHOOT PICTURES — LEICA D-LUX 7
Above: Leica D-Lux 7 in all black and silver/black,
Sure, you can take photos with your smartphone, but nothing beats the quality and charm of the pictures you get out of a dedicated camera, especially one that’s by Leica. The perfect starter camera from the brand is the D-Lux 7; it’s fully automatic, super easy to use, light, and compact, making it an ideal travel companion. There are accessories you can get to complement the D-Lux 7, including a hand grip, additional black paracord camera strap by COOPH, a spare battery (always useful!), and an auto lens cap that means you never have to fumble with a removable lens.
Above: camera and accessories for the Leica D-Lux 7.
the Leica D-Lux 7 is priced at $1,970, available online at LEICA-STORE.SG.