One of the hardest parts of travel is not deciding where to go, but determining all the things you need to bring along for the ride. When it’s time to pack, everything feels like it’s a “can’t leave home without it” item, which leads to overpacking and forgetting things we actually needed.
As a travel editor I’m always on the go for both personal and business adventures, and over the years I’ve curated my own little collection of must-have items that never leave my carry on bag.
From cute and functional wallets to power banks and face masks, these are ten essentials I never leave home without no matter the destination – and you shouldn’t either. Take it from me, you don’t want to go on your next escape without them.
Lo and Sons O.G.
I travel often, and finding a multi-purpose carry on for my fluctuating needs can be difficult - that was until I found Lo and Sons. This lightweight carry-on bag is great for every kind of traveler and holds pretty much everything. Wipes and toys for the baby? The O.G. holds that. Sexy heels and some snacks? O.G. holds that. Work computer, keys, and wallet? Yup, the O.G. holds that too. I seriously can't imagine traveling without it.
No one wants to be bogged down with heavy shoulder bags while they're out exploring crowded city streets. But according to my friends, stuffing all my essentials into my bra isn't socially acceptable. Enter the Panama Zip Currency Case from Smythson. Cash, cards, passport (or passport copies), a hotel key and even a small lip gloss all fit into this easy to carry case. Definitely an upgrade from my bra.
I'm that travel friend that's always feeling a bit chilly, especially on flights. Trouble is, I don't trust airplane blankets to save my life. From economy to first class issa a strong no from me. Thankfully I saved up my coins and invested in this chic and durable wrap from White + Warren and it was one of the best decisions ever. Not only does it keep me warm and snug on flights, but it comes in handy in destinations where modesty is key or layers are a must.
You've seen all the viral videos online of folks on their nastiest behavior on flights. Planes are just an incubator for germs and even though I'm sure flight crews do their best to clean, I give myself an added peace of mind by wiping down any and everything with these multi-use wipes from Dettol.
When supermodel Naomi Campbell shared her flight routine with the world, I felt seen. I also picked up a new travel obsession - seat covers. These cute, travel-friendly seat covers give you another layer of protection from germs and are easy to clean. Thank you Naomi!
Jetsetting across the globe is all fun and games until you end up with swollen, sometimes painful, legs and feet. Extended periods of time seated on flights can also cause Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), which can be deadly. One way to help combat swelling and DVT is by wearing compression socks to help improve circulation in your legs. Between these socks and getting up to stretch my legs every few hours, I'm usually good to go on arrival.
There's nothing worse than spending all day in the salon getting your hair done, only for it to end up smushed and frizzy before you even land at your destination. No one wants to look a mess on arrival, but no one wants to be that person on the flight either (ya'll know who I'm talking about). I've found that wearing bonnets and headwraps provides a happy and fashionable medium on my travels. Not only is my hair kept fresh, but I look good as well. Check out these dope bonnets and headwraps you can buy from Black women who want to be fly in the sky too!
Photo Credit: Baddie Bonnets
Bose 700 Noise Cancelling Headphones
From chatty neighbors and snorers to crying babies who are not as thrilled to be flying to Bali as you are, nothing can ruin a flight faster than noise. That's why I choose to block it all out with a good pair of noise-canceling headphones. Once I put these bad boys on, I can't hear a thing and that's just how I like it. Bye, bye noise, hello peace and quiet.
Plane air is harsh on the skin, that's why I've adopted an entire inflight beauty routine to make sure I look my best when I land. The star of my little show? Dr. Jart's rubber hydration masks. These things are like a kiss from the moisture gods, and will have your skin feeling brand new every time you use them. Trust me!
As a travel editor, I need all my gadgets at full power so I can capture awesome adventures while on the go. This power bank from Anker does just that, and it's travel-friendly so I can literally take it anywhere.