There is one part of travel that I don’t particularly enjoy, and my guess is that you know exactly which part that is.
If your guess was packing, you would be right.
Packing is essentially a science, especially with suitcases and their weight being a major factor in the cost of travel.
After a decade that has included travel by air and sea, I keep certain items handy and stowed away.
In this post, I’m focusing on items that fit perfectly into my carry-on bag.
Disclaimer: The products mentioned in this blog post are my personal recommendations. The links provided are for convenience and I did not receive free products or paid endorsements from any brand mentioned.
What’s In the Bag?
1. Michael Todd Beauty Sonicclear Petite
Travel can affect the look and texture of skin, and skincare is something that I keep up with even when I am away from home. Don’t let the size of the Sonicclear Petite fool you. This brush is small and mighty, yet gentle on travel-weary skin. It comes with a charger and a hardshell travel case. Bathroom countertops in hotels are limited on space, and this mini-marvel doesn’t take up much room.
2. Michael Todd Sonicblend Makeup Brush
Thanks to a good skincare routine, I can go days without makeup when I travel. If I need to wear makeup to a special event, my Sonicblend Makeup Brush is charged and ready to go! It comes with a charger and hardshell travel case. Like its counterpart above, it takes up very little real estate on the bathroom counter.
3. PurseN Amour Travel Case
Organization has always been the name of my packing game. Even when I didn’t have the latest tools, I looked for ways to use what I had on hand to make the packing process more efficient.
The PurseN Amour Travel Case has been my constant companion during travels by air, land and sea since 2017.
Prior to purchasing my first travel case, I packed my cosmetics and cosmetic accessories into separate makeup bags. All of my brushes went in one bag, eye makeup went in another bag, and so on. I needed one travel-friendly piece to put everything in and I discovered PurseN on Good Morning America’s “Deals and Steals”.
The Amour Travel Case has space inside for everything . It measures 12″ L x 5” W x 7” H and fits into my carry-on luggage with ease. My favorite feature is the small hook on the back of the travel case that allows it to be hung on a towel rack, saving counter space. There’s also a zipper on the outside of the case that makes it expandable for a bit of extra room.
4. Eustachi – Eustachian Tube Exerciser
Severe ear pain upon descent was an unpleasant aspect of airline travel that I dealt with for many years. There were times when I landed and couldn’t hear clearly for a day. It felt like I was being robbed of the enjoyment of my vacation.
During a flight to Oahu, I leafed through an in-flight magazine and found an ad for the Eustachi – Eustachian Tube Exerciser. I purchased my own Eustachi device in Honolulu and wrote about how it became a game changer for me. I no longer have to endure travel with ear pain nor do I have to deal with blocked ears when I arrive at my destination.
It took leaving my tweezers at home to make me realize that I needed to purchase a pair to be used exclusively for travel. Unlike my plain silver tweezers at home, I bought a decorated pair in a bold, blue color and keep them packed in a small compartment in my carry-on.
6. Disposable razors
I purchase disposable razors in a multipack, keep one packed, and replace them as needed. I am in the process of finding a more environmentally friendly razor, as plastic is already a problem in our landfills.
7. Cotton Rounds
For many years I traveled with cotton balls and used them as a part of the skincare routine away from home. I traveled with a small supply of cotton balls in a plastic snack-sized bag and placed them in one of the pockets in my carry-on.
I noticed that most of the hotels where I stayed provided cotton rounds as a bathroom amenity, and decided to try traveling with them. What I like about traveling with cotton rounds is that their flat, round shape is a perfect fit for one of the compartments in my makeup bag. No more separate plastic bags.
8. Laundry Bag
Family travel is something that I do often, and I usually stay in a family suite with a washer and dryer. It’s a great feeling to come home with clean laundry.
Whether I am traveling with family or it’s just my husband and I traveling together, a laundry bag is a useful travel accessory.
If I don’t have access to a washing machine, a laundry bag allows me to keep dirty clothes separate from the clean clothing in my suitcase until I get home and wash them.
I used to carry two large “His” and “Hers” laundry bags, but when my husband donated our old luggage, he forgot to look inside the front pocket and they became part of the donation. It so happened that each new suitcase I ordered came with its own laundry bag, making it easier for each person to be responsible for separating their clothing.
9. Waterproof Cell Phone Case
A waterproof cell phone case comes in handy for trips that involve being in or near water. It’s great for keeping my phone safe from sand too, and I couldn’t think of a better accessory to have with me when I take photos near the ocean.
10. Compression Socks
About 4 years ago, compression socks became a part of my travel wardrobe. I bought two pairs of basic black socks that were on sale at a pharmacy. After wearing them, I noticed that the achy feeling I had in my legs post-landing was no longer a concern. I began wearing them on long commutes and road trips and noticed the same result.
One day I spent quite a bit of time hunting for my black compression socks among my husband’s black socks and wondered if there were more colorful and stylish socks available on the market. While browsing the website of a popular talk show, I noticed a section of products being offered at significant savings.
VIM & VIGR was one of the vendors on the page, and their colorful, fun compression socks stood out. I ordered 3 pairs and have been wearing VIM & VIGR socks ever since. Recently, I featured my newest socks on my Instagram page:
Clothespins come in handy for hanging up wet swimsuits. The cabin of many cruise line bathrooms have a clothesline in the bathtub.
The main reason I travel with clothespins is to keep my toothbrush off of the bathroom counter. It’s a hack that I discovered a long time ago.
12. Sleep Mask
Most of my adventures usually begin early, and sometimes, depending on how far I’m going, they can last through late evenings. It doesn’t matter what I’m traveling in, a sleep mask helps me relax and shields my eyes from the first peek of sunlight or the last sunset glow. When a hotel curtain won’t shut out a streak of light (I’m sure you know what I mean), it’s my sleep mask that comes to the rescue.
Which items make travel easier for you?
What makes your list every time?
Travel is about enjoying the journey, and it has helped me to have a group of essential items that I can count on for making the journey easier.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the travel plans I had for this summer have been cancelled, but when the time is right to travel again, everything I need is ready to go in the bag.