Posted on the AHA Travel Talk, Aha Connection
December 13, 2018
When helping people plan their vacations, I’m often asked about travel items that are needed for their trip. I love passing my travel experiences on to others! When I travel I’m very particular about having certain accessories with me. Below are a few of my recommended travel accessories that will make your trip more enjoyable and may be the perfect gift this Christmas season!
1) Hard Case Carry-On Luggage. One of my most asked questions is about packing/luggage. I typically try to talk most clients into using a carry-on only, which means no checked luggage. This seems like a daunting task and I understand that! I used to be one of those over packers lugging around half of my items that I never wore! Then I experienced lost luggage (twice on a non-stop flight with a reputable airline). I have been a carry-on packer ever since! I went to Europe for 2 weeks in a carry-on...it can be done! The type of carry-on you choose can really help. Two years ago I switched to hard case luggage. I was very suspicious whether my things would actually fit, but they are surprisingly more spacious than your typical soft case. There are many options out there, but Costco has a great carry-on bag for only $45 on-line (shipping included) or $40 in the store! I liked it so much I bought a second one for my college student. Another bag I’ve had my eye on and hoping Santa delivers this year is the Away carry-on bag. These are hard case bags with a built in USB port! If you are interested in the Away bag, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a $20 discount.
2) Crossbody Purse. This is especially important when you are traveling overseas or to big cities like NYC, as a crossbody purse is more secure and convenient. The last thing you want to deal with while on vacation is your stolen purse. However, your crossbody purse may not be large enough to carry those items you want with you during the flight. I always travel with a larger “travel bag” that I carry on the plane and I put my crossbody purse inside for later. I have a couple different crossbody purse sizes I use depending on if I’m on a trip with my kids or just adults. For family trips, I like the NeatPack Crossbody Bag. A slimmer option with lots of color choices is the Baggallini Hanover Crossbody Purse.
3) A Scarf. This is a big one for me! I am very cold natured, so if I don’t have one of my scarves with me it’s not a fun flight. I’ve been on too many flights when all of the blankets are taken. I will typically bring one of my larger scarves (fabric will depend on season) that can also serve as an evening shawl or a blanket for warmth. Two summers ago my family was in the Greek Islands and I made the mistake of not packing a thin larger scarf to use for the evenings. Athens was very hot, but the Islands had a breeze. So I now own a beautiful, thin turquoise wrap from a shop in Milos that is perfect for those breezy summer evenings!!
4) Portable Charger. This is another must, especially if you are on the go a lot. There’s nothing worse than being in an unfamiliar area with a dead cell phone. This is the perfect gift if you have a college student planning to study abroad. Teenagers love them too! My 16 year old son, Chase, is the tech savvy one in our family. He recommends the Anker brand for portable chargers because of their charging speed and capacity. The Anker PowerCore ll Slim 10000 is a great option for travel.
5) International Power Adapter. A must for any international travel. I personally like the ones that are universal and have multiple USB ports. What gets confusing is the wattage converter. You can buy a combo adapter/converter but many of those cannot handle the higher voltage of hair dryers, hair straighteners, etc. As a result, I recommend buying a separate wattage converter. For a universal adapter for many countries, check out the Power Adapter by SublimeWare. For a more simple adapter for just Europe (does not include UK countries), check out the Tessan European Travel Adapter with dual USB ports.
6) Electronics Travel Case. For the person that prefers to have all of their techy gadgets in one place, a case/pouch for all electronics is ideal. For a simple smaller case, check out the AmazonBasics Travel Case. Amazon offers many other options in different sizes, styles and colors.
7) Neck Pillow. For those long international flights, this is a must if you would like to be more comfortable. I recommend buying one in person instead of on-line. There is a lot of variation in the firmness and having the right support and comfort is key. Another great gift for that college student studying abroad and or that person in your life that travels a lot.
8) Foldable Travel Bag. Packing an extra bag that folds up to nothing is a handy idea for international trips, NYC trips or any trip that may involve shopping or bringing home souvenirs. This bag can serve many purposes, but I specifically like it for those family trips when I know I will be coming home with a lot more than I left with. It’s also a great college student gift or a weekend getaway bag. The Wandf Foldable Travel Duffel Bag is water resistant, comes in a ton of colors and is under $20!
9) Headphones. A great stocking stuffer idea, especially if your teens are always taking your headphones like mine! And for your little one, have you ever been on a trip and your kid doesn’t have their own pair of headphones? Enough said! :) Another option are the noise cancelling headphones. These are great during flights, but the best quality ones are not cheap! Chase recommends Bose or Sony as the best. Sony also has an option at a lower price point.
10) Quart Sized Travel Pouch w/ Travel Bottle Set. If you are traveling with a carry-on, then this will be important for your liquid items. They must be packed in a quart size clear bag and the bottles cannot be more than 3.4 oz. This TSA approved pouch is a set with 3 leakproof bottles and 2 jars.