Take it from me – when you’re packing for a long trip you do not have space for things you don’t need! I’ve spent the last seven years traveling nonstop. I live out of suitcases, on planes, and in hotel rooms of all shapes and sizes. Here is my gift guide for my true travel essentials – the things I could never leave home and make it through a trip without. Each thing on this list has been tried and tested, all over the world.
Packing Made Simple
If there was one item that truly changed the way I travel – it was my Hudson Bleecker garment bag. I used to fold up all my dresses and pack them in my suitcase – which led to an overweight suitcase, and a bunch of wrinkled clothes on the other end. This garment bag allows you to fit so many skirts, dresses, coats, and anything else you don’t want to put in your suitcase right in a garment bag instead. I pull what I’m taking right out of the closet, put in it my bag, zip it up and volia! Packing made easy. It’s vegan leather, so it looks stylish and comes in a few colors to suit whoever or wherever you’re buying for. I always carry this right on the plane, and sometimes I don’t even need to travel with anything else. The best part is once you pick your garment bag, there is a whole line of travel goodies you can get in the matching color. So get ready to channel The Darjeeling Limited.
Use code ANNA20 for 20% off your purchase at Hudson and Bleecker.
A Travel Steamer $130
There is nothing worse than arriving at your destination and getting dressed in wrinkled clothes. It will kill your whole look. if you don’t yet have a steamer at home, you’re going to want to gift yourself this one. Steaming is the easiest way to de-wrinkle your clothes, and is also the best way to do it to preserve their quality. Steaming is so much quicker and easier than ironing. Options come in all sorts of budgets – I often travel with one that is less than $30 on Amazon, but the Rolls Royce is a little steamer developed in Sweden. It heats up in 25 seconds and comes with a heat protective bag perfect for travel. The brand also makes little fabric shavers to keep as those little pills of your favorite sweaters! And P.S. girls – it comes in pink.
Stay Comfortable & Fit
You might not think that Yoga Pants is what you want to sit on a plane in, but if so you haven’t ever felt the space-dye leggings from Beyond Yoga. They are so soft and cozy it feels more like a sweatpant – but they make your booty look good! The high waist and long leg keep you warm on the plane, and they come in just about every color. These leggings + cashmere sweater is my in-flight uniform.
Keep in Shape
AK Rope – $40
Stay fit while you get away. Jumping rope is the one exercise I have found that you can do everywhere, and anywhere. Literally, anywhere. Hotel rooms, parking lots, balcony, cruise ship decks – I even jumped rope on safari in the middle of the an African safari reserve. And thank goodness I packed it, because it was the only workout I could do there! Jumping rope burns more calories than swimming or running, tones your whole body, and it’s fun! This rope comes with a handy little travel bag, and it rose gold! It’s the perfect gift for any fitness junkie who’s worried about staying in shape on holiday. You can even whip this thing out in an airport on a long layover and get a quick workout in – I’ve done it!
Learn the Lingo Language
Pimsleur Course $20/month
Speaking the local language make all the difference
Ask anyone who travels abroad – knowing a bit of the local language changes everything and makes your experience so much more fun! Pimsleur is an amazing program, available online or as an app, that teaches you a language through thirty minute conversation classes that you listen to. That means, you can do it anywhere – including on the go. You can do this in the shower, while jogging, driving, cooking – literally anywhere. They focus on what people actually say and don’t shy away from teaching slang, contractions, and other things that will help you actually sound like a local. With over 50 languages, this is perfect for every trip.
Pimsleur FREE one week trial. Subcriptions prices range.
Everyone wants to come home from their travels with amazing photos. But it’s sometimes hard to capture them alone or to even know the best spots and time of day to shoot. With Flytographer, you can book a friendly local photographer excited to capture your vacation memories and show you around their city. Shoots are usually one hour, but you have a choice of package lengths and they have photographers in destinations all over the world.
On their site, they also offer gift cards. They never expire, go right into your inbox, and can be used in any of their 300+ locations.
Those airline freebies aren’t allowing anyone any shuteye. My world was changed when my friend gifted me the Dream Sleep Silky Sleep Mask – a silky, soft, massive blackout eye mask that feels like a duvet for a face. This will not only block out the light so much better than the standard shaped eyemask, but the thick cushion and fabric make it extra luxe!
In case you don’t like silky fabrics, there is similar version by Lunya Sleep Mask
My top essential on this list is $17. This travel pillow changed my life. I tried them all, and this is the grail. It is inflatable, which means you are not carrying it around and trying to find creative ways to lug it through the airport. You will also never lose it in transit. The design is genius – it acts as both an eye mask, and travel pillow in one. It will change the way you travel and everyone around you is going to be super jealous of how comfortable you are on the plane while they’re neck pillow is doing nothing for them. You just have to get over looking a little crazy in-flight, but honestly – you’re never going to see those people in row 23 again.
You know how that setback pocket on plane is not actually usable? It’s stuffed with Skymall mags and pamphlets and often there are bits of pretzels and biscoff cookies crammed in the bottom. You can’t stick your stuff in there!
But on a long haul, you need that pocket. So Beis thought of something better. This Beis In-flight Organizer Pouch features loads of pockets so you can keep everything you need for a stylish flight close at hand and have a place for your headphones, iPad, snacks, reading material, rose toner – and anything else you need. The cool this is, you can pack it at home, stick it in your carry on and pull it on the plane. It comes in a few colors to suit anyone. Hooray for no more lost items!
I know we live in a digital age, so you can call me old fashioned but I’m a sucker for a hand-written note. As a traveler, you never know when you’re going to need to give someone a thank you note, make an impromptu birthday card, or send a little love letter. I have traveled with stationery in my luggage for the last two years, and it comes in handy more than you can imagine.My favorite place to buy it from is Minted, and they have beautiful designs.