I Travel Like It's My Job — Here's What I Always Pack in My Suitcase
Before the shelter-in-place order went into effect, I would travel a lot. In fact, I'd always compare my flight itineraries to George Clooney's in Up in the Air. And, after 18 months of staying put, I'm finally kick-starting my travel schedule. (A wedding here. A work trip there. Believe it or not, I'm actually writing this story from 35,000 feet in the air.) When it comes to packing my suitcase for the first time in months, I wasted no time restocking the travel essentials I swear by.
Going somewhere? Before you depart, scroll through my go-to travel essentials, which runs the gamut from in-flight tech to game-changing skin-care. It doesn't matter if you are traveling via plane, train, or automobile — these picks will make your time away from home a lot easier.
Make no mistake, just because traveling is somewhat resuming doesn't mean the world is back to normal. It's important to assess the risk, follow CDC recommendations, and mask up. After all, nobody wants to have a worry-filled vacation.
Mask Up: All in Motion Women's Contour Face Mask
Nowadays, a mask isn't just a good idea; it's often required in populous places like airports and hotel lobbies. But who's to say you can't look cute, too? I always bring a handful of my go-to cloth styles, like this All in Motion Women's Contour Face Mask ($5).
Stay Connected: Travel Smart by Conair Nested Adapter
Depending on your destination, you might need to buy a converter. Instead of picking up a new adapter whenever you travel, snag up this Travel Smart by Conair Nested Adapter ($17). Not only do the options have something for virtually every destination, but the nesting construction will also fit nicely in your suitcase.
Lather, Rinse, Repeat: Made by Design Travel Beauty Set
I love hotel toiletries as much as the next person, but those disposable bottles aren't doing Mother Nature any favors. (Plus, I often find myself missing my favorite lotions and potions.) For the best of both worlds, fill up your favorite creams and cleaners in this Made by Design Travel Beauty Set ($7).
Monitor Marvel: SideTrak Solo Freestanding Portable Monitor
As a freelance journalist, I work during most (if not, all) of my vacations. And, I have to be honest with you: I sometimes miss my permanent setup. But, thanks to this SideTrak Solo Freestanding Portable Monitor ($300), I have access to more screen space — minus the unnecessary bulk of my home office.
Type to Learn: Logitech K780 Bluetooth Keyboard
My fiancé recently surprised me with this Logitech K780 Bluetooth Keyboard ($65) — and it's been a complete game-changer to my work-from-wherever setup. If my computer is out of battery — or I don't have the room to bust out my laptop — I can pair my smartphone with this gadget and get to typing.
Work Those Wrinkles: Downy Light Fresh Wrinkle Releaser
It doesn't matter how compulsively I steam my clothes beforehand, the contents of my suitcase always wind up wrinkled by the time I get to my destination. This Downy Light Fresh Wrinkle Releaser ($2) isn't fool-proof, but it gets my pieces looking somewhat polished again.
Wipe Away: Neutrogena Cleansing Facial Wipes Individually Wrapped
I always wipe my face with Neutrogena's Cleansing Facial Wipes ($7) before I go to bed. But, instead of lugging around a bulky pack, I can slip a few of these individually wrapped wipes in my dopp kit.
Hello, Hydration: Clinique Moisture Surge 100 Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator
Thanks to your airplane cabin's low humidity levels, it's only natural that your skin will get a little dry post-flight. I swear by Clinique Moisture Surge 100 Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator ($41) for its hefty helping of hyaluronic acid — and always apply a huge glob of this moisturizer before takeoff.
Stay Sanitized: Megababe Squeaky Clean Hand Sanitizer
Anyone who wants to err on the side of caution should definitely pack some hand sanitizer in their carry-on bag. Megababe is the purveyor of cool-girl personal hygiene — and its Squeaky Clean Hand Sanitizer ($7) will keep you feeling clean and chic.
Stay Charged: Anker 2-Port PowerPort 24W Wall Charger
From snapping selfies for the 'gram to navigating foreign streets, it very important to keep your go-to devices charged. I always bring one of these Anker 2-Port PowerPort 24W Wall Chargers ($18), so my fiancé and I both have somewhere to power up our phones. (Or, if I'm vacationing solo, I can charge my headphones or tablet.)
In-Flight Chill: Cabeau Evolution S3 Support Pillow
I spend most of my flights working or catching up on my favorite podcasts, but I do like to take a midflight nap every so often. Consider this Cabeau Evolution S3 Support Pillow ($40) the perfect travel pillow, striking that balance between supportive and soft. Plus, the snap construction lets you fasten this around your carry-on.
Practical Packing: Made by Design Packing Cube Set
Packing the perfect suitcase requires a lot of trial and error — and I'm ready to incorporate Made by Design Packing Cube Set ($30) into my routine. As a recovering over-packer, these cubes will help me stay organized and force me to edit my belongings down to perfection. After all, does anyone really need five T-shirts for a long weekend?