I travel often. And, unless the trip is longer than three weeks, I don’t check a bag. The airlines have lost my luggage too many times. So I have hacked my carry-on strategy till it runs without a hitch. Even though I am carrying my home in a 22″ inch hard side carry on (with a smaller bag that fits under the airline seat in front of me riding on top), I am through security in a flash and can dash across an airport to catch a flight without hurting my back. Keeping it light is key to this strategy so I think long and hard before I include something in my travel bag. Here are five things I pack every time.
$25 and up
I travel with gadgets. I can’t afford to go offline. And even if I could, I need that GPS on my phone, the ability to do a Skype call from a hotel room, and to write wherever I am because I am always working. So the right charging rig is essential. I am a complete geek for chargers and have tried bazillions of them. Right now, I love this Ventev charger collection. The components are cute, compact, and colorful. And I can choose exactly the right cables and chargers for my rig. I bring a dual-USB-port wall charger and car charger as well as some color-coded cables that fit all my gear. I can get all my essential charging needs into one tiny and organized bag.
Traveling can be hard on the skin. And with a three-ounce liquid limit, it can be challenge to moisturize mine. So I love this little atomizer. I travel with a three ounces of a thick night cream and use this to stretch it so it will last an entire trip. It also helps me make it through a long, dry flight. (Yes, I am that kind of pampered female.) Push the button, hold the atomizer six inches from dry under eyes or lips and then apply a dab of moisturizer to seal it in. Apparently the Novo turns that little bit of water into nano particles that my skin can absorbs easily. Feels great, works, and involves sci-fi terminology. Right up my alley. It only holds a few teaspoons of water so it goes easily past the security check. But I often travel with it empty and add some bottled water in-flight.
Looks like a lipstick. Charges your phone while it’s in your purse. This thing is must-have for travel — even if the trip is only across town. I simply plug it into a USB plug (like one of the Ventev wall or car chargers above) or the USB port on my laptop to charge it up. Then I toss it in my purse. If my phone is threatening to power down just as I need it to navigate to my hotel (always), I plug this into my phone’s charger and am saved. (It also makes me very popular at dinner parties when someone else’s phone is powering off.) It charges a phone phone fully once.
Before I got these bottles, it was a night-before-the-flight ritual to run to the drugstore for small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, face wash, etc. I never found exactly what I wanted. And I ended up doing an unnecessary amount of stress spending. Now I just unscrew one of these and refill from the Costco-sized bottles I keep in the shower. I can even fill a spray bottle with my favorite styling product. I feel much more organized. And I have exactly what I want when I arrive.
If you are wondering if you need a laptop or if you can get away with traveling with just a tablet, consider the freeKEY Bluetooth, roll-up keyboard. I roll it up and stash it in any bag and drag it out and connect it wirelessly to the phone or tablet I have with me whenever I find myself typing too much for that on-screen keyboard. Battery lasts up to 60 hours and it won’t die forever when my in-flight neighbor ties one on and starts spilling his vodka and cranberry on me and my gear. (True story.) Comes with a retractable charging cable. I never bother to get my laptop out on a flight anymore, though. This keyboard and a tablet take me from coast to coast.