Summer is here, and I’m caught sitting at my desk, dreaming off far-off lands. Oh, how delightful to travel in August, maybe taste gelato from real Venetian streets… And then the anxiety sets in: how am I ever going to fit all my favorite shoes, four different “night out” outfits, AND all my cosmetics in that teeny tiny carry-on? Not to mention my two cameras, travel materials, and, oh, all the things I actually need every day. Have no fear: our travel hack guide is here. From the sleekest journals to the tiniest towels, this list is chock full of all the packing essentials that you need to make your next voyage a success. Because, whether you’re heading to the beach, embarking on the classic American road trip, or traveling for a quick business weekend, smart packing is a must. And I’m here to show you how.
With comfort, function, and design in mind, here are my savvy travel picks for 2015:
1. Packing Fundamentals
Eagle Creek Pack-It Cube Set ($26.50)
Packing cubes are like dresser drawers—dresser drawers in your suitcase, that is. You know that moment when you’re searching for a pair of sunglasses and suddenly your hotel room floor is piled with dirty laundry, unpaired socks, and a ball of wrinkled T-shirts? Well, say goodbye to that moment. With packing cubes, you can organize all your stuff by type and need—which will save you suitcase space and searching time.
2. Protect Your Passport
It’s hard to lose track of your passport when it’s tucked into this classy case by Kate Spade. Available in black, robin egg blue, or polka dotted, this case will protect your travel documents from harm and allow you to travel in style. Republic of Kate Spade, here we come!
3. Muscle Relief
Whenever I pack a suitcase, I always make sure to include Tiger Balm. Filled with herbal extracts, this menthol-based salve provides instant relief for tired muscles. And when it comes to soothing itchy mosquito bites, Tiger Balm is the best stuff out there. Plus, it’s all natural!
4. Cancel Out the Noise
Il200K Ktc In-Ear Headphones ($69.99)
I never travel without headphones. Compact yet mighty, these Koss IL200 KTC headphones are made from durable metal, to prevent any on-the-go accidents. Perhaps best of all, they’re soundproof, allowing you to drown out a rumbling airplane engine or the crying baby down the isle. Hello podcasts!
Staying hydrated while traveling is key. Staying hydrated with spa water, is like, the dream. Crush half a citrus into the bottom half of this dual-compatrment bottle and enjoy refreshing, fruity flavors—without the seeds or pulp. Drinking water has never been so fun.
Moleskine Cahier Journal (Set of 3) ($13.95)
I never travel without a journal. Actually, more specifically, I never travel without this journal. It’s discreet, durable, and lightweight. What’s more, it has a built-in folder, so you can keep slip in postcards and other souvenirs.
7. Carry-on Whenever Possible
Exorbitant fees and too many experiences with lost bags have turned me off checked bags for good. But what to do about the TSA’s pesky liquid limitations? Fortunately, these 1 oz bottles are carry-on approved. With shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, face wash and body wash, Malin+Goetz have got you covered.
8. Comfortable Shoes = Happy Feet
Womens Birkenstock Arizona Sandal ($99.99)
There is nothing like wandering the romantic backstreets of a picturesque European city…only to discover that your feet are covered in blisters. When it comes to travel, comfortable shoes are NOT overrated. For summer, I bring my Birkenstocks everywhere I go. Kind-to-my feet, breathable, and newly fashionable, my Birkenstocks are there for me. As a result, I’m free to think about the important things in life—like where to find gelato?
9. Say No to Damp Luggage
Easy Carry Beach Towels ($8.95)
We all love thick terry cloth towels. But I love them a lot less when they are wet and musty and taking up too much space in my suitcase. That’s where the travel towel comes in. These “survival” beach towels are lightweight, absorbent and quick-drying. And their manufacture cites even more potential uses–a diaper, a first aid kit supplement, and a fire starter! Hmmm, maybe we’ll just stick to the towel function…
These are just a few of my go-to items, but we want to know—what’s in your packing list? Sound off in the comments section!