As a travel writer who hits destinations all over the world, sometimes for a day, other times for a long weekend or a week, I have certain “musts” that I pack in my suitcase again and again.
Of course, they change depending on where I’m going, the weather and my latest discoveries that replace my current favorites. My friends and acquaintances often ask me what these go-to’s are and invest in my recommendations to use on their upcoming trips.
I thought that it would be fun to give you a peek inside my bag and share the latest staples that have gotten me through the winter travel season and will stay with me beyond.
What’s any trip without a fabulous bag that holds all your stuff? In my book, that piece of luggage needs to be chic yet practical. Luggage brands abound today, but Royce & Rocket is the one that caught my eye.
Founded by mother-daughter Rana and Camryn Leibowitz, the line has suitcases in varying sizes, all of which have organizing features such as fold-down that transform the suitcase into a portable wardrobe, a zippered hang-down pocket and hidden pocket. The company also offers accessories like durable, stylish packing cubes. I get compliments every time I travel with one of their bags. The Super Set has the full range—a Castle Classic check-in suitcase, a carry-on, a set of packing cubes, a laundry bag and a privacy mesh. Don’t miss the fashionable color choices that include burgundy with tobacco and black with cloud pink.
A laptop substitute, device to watch movies and shows, play games and take pictures and videos, the iPad Pro seems to do it all. It’s sleek and light, yet the 12.9-inch height makes it functional and usable at the same time. No matter the trip- the length or the destination-this is the gadget I take with me everywhere I go. I attach Apple’s keyboard to it when I want to work and write a story and prop it up to catch a film or get caught up on the latest hit series I’ve missed out on. Basically, the Pro is my route to entertaining and working when I’m on the road and even when I’m not.
Given that I cover beauty products as part of my beat, I’m fortunate enough to try an array of products that brands send me. Most of them are skippable in my book because they simply don’t work for my dehydrated, dull and sensitive skin. Enter the Brightening Saffron Serum from Ranavat, a line that combines the best of science with ancient Ayurvedic traditions. This truly is a miracle product that I use every day, twice a day and absolutely can’t travel without. It’s silky and moisturizing, brightens my skin and makes it smooth. If I had to pick one beauty product to use and ditch all the others, this would be it.
You never have to rely on airplane socks again, even if you’re flying first class— the thermal socks from Heat Holders do double duty and are so soft that you won’t want to ever take them off. They’re something I don almost daily beyond travel as I walk all over New York this winter. My feet are never cold when I’m wearing them, and I’m a double socks on cold days type of girl. I’m also a fan of their hats, gloves and bath robe— all soft, and incredibly warm without being stifling or too constricting.
Toronto, St. Moritz, Aspen… your cold has nothing on me with Overland’s sheepskin gloves. They keep my hands incredibly toasty, are buttery soft to the touch and win points on fashion too. These gloves also feature a high wrist design which keeps the chill at bay. Overland, for your information, is a family-owned, American heritage brand that’s known for its outerwear and accessories. PS- the trapper hat and slippers are other items to consider.
I never leave home without tasty and healthy snacks that keep me fueled throughout my trip and can be a makeshift meal in case my flight is delayed or I’m caught without food. The options from Damn, Man are part of my arsenal. Although the company markets itself as “Snacks Guys Love,” this woman loves them too- the crunchy, delicious peanuts, almonds and cashews in snack bag sizes are all part of my travel arsenal. Meat jerkies and flavored nuts like whisky are also part of their lineup.
TerraNut is another favorite of mine. Founded by a lovely husband-and-wife, the company offers gluten-free, high-fiber snack bars plus popcorn created with premium ingredients. The bars only have a handful of ingredients in each variety. The Pnut, my top pick, for example, is made with peanuts, oats and organic coconut nectar while the Nana Bites is literally just bananas. Talk about yum.