Over my international excursions and local weekend trips, I’ve collected some products that have become my travel essentials, whether I’m going to Florida for a weekend or across the globe for weeks at a time.
- Vapur collapsible water bottle. This super-convenient pouch-bottle was a lifesaver in European countries where tap water is safe to drink but rarely available at restaurants. I was constantly filling it from sink taps to stay hydrated. It’s still my favorite bottle to reach for when flying domestically, because it can roll up to fit into any purse or carry on and bring through security. Even domestic travel can be long and dry and this keeps me from gasping “I. Need. Water!!!” when my host picks me up from the airport.
- Over-sized black cardigan sweater. This super cozy, oversized, knit sweater is the perfect plane accessory. It wraps around me like a blanket, the extra collar acts like a hood when I want to block out smells or light, and it’s black so it travels well and doesn’t wrinkle or show smudges. Winner winner grandma chic.
- Quest Nutrition protein bars. I try to maintain a relatively clean diet and while I often indulge in cheat meals on vacations, I keep a Quest bar or two in my bag for when hunger strikes on a flight delay or to tide me over until a meal later on. Having a healthy option available keeps me from wasting calories and money on sugar-filled airport food or fast food.
- Longchamp Le Pliage black large tote with shoulder straps. My mom gave my one of these as a gift shortly after I moved to the District, and it has truly saved my stuff on more than one occasion. It is water resistant (tested in downpours), durable, zips completely closed, has durable leather straps, holds things like a Marry Poppins bag, and folds up into a little rectangle if not needed.
- Lifeproof iPhone case. While I’ve luckily never had to put this thing through any real test, I feel better knowing that my phone, which often serves as my only camera on travels, is safe from sand, water, and falls.
- Makeup removing wipes. Traveling often means sharing a bathroom, and when you get home late and just want to catch some sleep, waiting to wash your face can seem unbearable. Look for a brand with resealable packaging so they won’t dry out in your bag.
- Black leggings. Not only are these a staple in my casual at home life, they are my must-pack for any trip. You’ll be prepared when a spontaneous hiking trip comes up, or when a hotel room is too cold, or the temperature drops and you only packed sundresses, or halfway through your transatlantic flight when you realize your jeans have permanently imprinted the waistband into your skin. Plus, stretchy pants means you can eat more desserts.