This Tiny Compression Bag Vacuum Can Double the Space in Your Suitcase

Pacum
Pacum

The overstuffed, overflowing suitcase is a sight that overpackers around the world are all too familiar with. Sure, there probably isn’t any good reason why someone would need to pack 30 pairs of underwear for a one-week trip, but does it really hurt to be prepared?

The Pacum vacuum is designed with these types of travelers in mind. Just put all your clothes in a compression bag, and watch it shrink as the handheld Pacum sucks all the air out in one minute. It’s said to double the space of your luggage, freeing up more room for shoes, souvenirs, and whatever else you can possibly fit in there.

The vacuum itself is smaller than an iPhone and charges via a wall charger or portable power bank. The standard pack (available on Kickstarter for about $33) comes with a vacuum, compression bag, USB cable, and adaptor, which lets you attach the vacuum to most other compression bag brands.

Pacum has two pump modes: Eco for smaller food bags, and Super for larger travel bags. It can also function as an air pump, letting you easily inflate basketballs, pool floaties, or balloons. The product is made in Hong Kong, but shipments can be sent anywhere in the world, beginning in June.

If you do decide to order a Pacum—or any compression bag—be wary of the illusion of extra space. To avoid surprise fees for overweight baggage, you'll want to weigh your suitcase before heading to the airport. Amazon offers a handheld luggage scale for under $10, or you could always do it the old-fashioned way by stepping on a bathroom scale with your suitcase and then subtracting your body weight. The latter isn’t quite as accurate, but it gets the job done.

You Can Rent This Wizard of Oz-Themed Cottage in North Carolina

Airbnb
Airbnb

This year marks the 80th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, the classic 1939 adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s book. In addition to watching the film, you can opt for a more immersive way to celebrate the occasion. As Travel + Leisure reports, a cottage in West Jefferson, North Carolina offered on Airbnb is perfect for any traveling Oz fan—and it’s only $35 a night.

The studio cottage is considered a glamping destination and is slim on amenities—it has a breakfast nook, porch, sofa bed, and a Porta John—but the Oz-themed details more than make up for the lack of luxurious perks.

A pair of stockinged feet are visible under the home, hinting at a witch’s untimely demise; a character mural of Dorothy and her three escorts, the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion, appears on the side of the cabin; inside, various other decorations pay homage to Baum's books, including a pair of ruby slippers and a few stuffed Totos.

A cottage with a 'Wizard of Oz' theme in West Jefferson, North Carolina is pictured
Airbnb

If you go, you’ll have to act quickly. The cottage is open only in the spring, summer, and fall, as it has no heat.

The Airbnb listing has a perfect score across 16 reviews. You can book it here.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

Visit Any National Park for Free on September 28—or Volunteer to Help Maintain Them

Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park
Nick Hanauer/iStock via Getty Images

By the end of September—which always seems especially busy, even if you’re not a student anymore—you might be ready for a small break from the hustle and bustle. On Saturday, September 28, you can bask in the tranquility of any national park for free, as part of National Public Lands Day.

According to the National Park Service, the holiday has been held on the fourth Saturday of every September since 1994, and it’s also the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort. It’s up to you whether you’d like to partake in the service side or simply go for a stroll, but there is an added incentive to volunteer: You’ll get a one-day park pass that you can use for free park entry on a different day. Opportunities for volunteering include trail restoration, invasive plant removal, park cleanups, and more; you can see the details and filter by park, state, and/or type of event here.

If you’re not sure how you should celebrate National Public Lands Day, the National Park Service has created a handy flowchart to help you choose the best course of action for you—which might be as simple as sharing your favorite outdoor activity on social media with the hashtag #NPLD.

National public lands day celebration flowchart
National Park Service

There are more than 400 areas run by the National Park Service across the U.S., and many of them aren’t parks in the traditional sense of the word; the Statue of Liberty, Alcatraz Island, and countless other monuments and historical sites are also run by the NPS. Wondering if there might be one closer than you thought? Explore parks in your area on this interactive map.

For those of you who can’t take advantage of the free admission on September 28, the National Park Service will also waive all entrance fees for Veteran’s Day on November 11.

And, if you’re wishing a free-admission day existed for museums, you’re in luck—more than 1500 museums will be free to visit on Museum Day, which happens to be this Saturday.

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