Travel Gear Favorites

Sometimes it is the little things that help you survive a road trip or multiple planes or living out of a hotel. Besides Pete Yorn’s latest album playing off my laptop in my hotel rooms for over a month and nice little soaps and throwaway toothbrushes, often it is travel gear and gadgets that help you get through the perils of transportation via planes, trains, and automobiles.

After the last few months traveling in the US, Mexico, Thailand, Myanmar, Scotland, England, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, and Germany, I decided it was about time to compile a list of goodies that saved me or at least made me feel better when living out of a suitcase. Here are my latest favorite travel finds that will help make your travel life a bit easier or a bit more glamorous.

Herschel Backpack

If you haven’t heard of Herschel, then you might the living under an LA rock because they have dominated the Angeleno market for quite some time. Guys are taking their hip backpacks to work rather than messenger bags and kids all over Los Angeles are wearing their fun backpack prints with the pack’s quality design to keep laptop and tech gadgets protected. Their Summer 2016 Collection is so rad. We are pretty much obsessed with the backpack collection. After buying my cool grey Little America Backpack with bright yellow straps for around $100, I have used the bag more than I imagined. My first trip biking up the Whiskey Coast near Copenhagen I fell off my bike and busted the metal clasp off on the ground. Herschel kindly sent me new ones when I contacted them. This Canadian company is definitely here to stay. The best part of the stylish travel gear is the comfort. The stylish straps and bags are also designed to carry and sit well on your back, as well as ensure your expensive computer gear stays safe with a padded fleece sleeve. Other features I dig are the magnetic clasps on the straps, the easy to adjust drawstring inside perfect for keeping out pick pocketers and the water resistant fabric. Around $100

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Myllow Travel Pillow

This fully adjustable travel pillow filled with microbeads transforms into a square pillow or neck hugger. The drawstring cords allow you to adjust the firmness. The convenient snap on top allows you to secure the pillow to your backpack or luggage, and even a small pocket allows you to stick your iPhone, iPod, or earbuds into the pillow for easy access. To learn more, see our past Holiday Gift Guide. Around $25

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Chariot Travelware

My crazy colored splash art luggage with 4 wheels in all sizes has miraculously helped me travel solo in many countries due to the ease of being able to push the luggage, along with a backpack and many things in my hands. The great feature of my wild print called Color was being able to quickly identify my bags, especially when working and traveling on tour with many other people on tour buses, numerous hotels, and planes. My “hardside” Color bags have been abused all over the world, so I still marvel at the fact that the zippers still work. Another favorite feature of the suitcases was the zipper nylon lining component that allowed me to put soft items (socks, underwear, scarves, bikinis) behind my packed items. Prices vary.

Denver to LA with Chariot Travel luggage. Dockers men’s jacket that turns into a travel pillow and Eddie Bauer woman’s jacket that can be easily squished into a bag or turned into a soft pillow or blanket. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)

4-in-1 Universal Travel Adapter

The travel store Flight 001 provides us with many gadgets we can’t live without like this colorful easy to use adapter that helps you plug in to over 150 countries when you need to charge your prized possessions, like cameras and phones. Some hotels I stayed in offered the converter plugs, but many countries I visited, you are on your own. My cell phone acts as my camera, so I can’t live without this adapter that breaks apart into 3 pieces and forms a cube for easy storage travel. Each country is clearly identified on the box with the corresponding color for easy use. $25.00

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MyBumper Phone Charger

It always seems when I want to take the best candid shots traveling, my cell is on its last leg. The winner is making sure you carry MyBumper with you which is the world’s slimmest, detachable battery case for the iPhone. It comes with a handy bumper that surrounds your phone. When you need you, snap on the battery case and unplug the wire from the battery and insert it in your phone. Double-click the button on back and the LED light lets you know the amount of charge on the battery pack. MyBumper charges as fast as a wall charger and you can recharge the case with a micro-usb charger. Around $65.
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I wish I had this gorgeous leather organizer the last few months. I will now use this convenient organizer everywhere I travel after losing my wallet in Copenhagen eating a Danish dog on the street, losing $400 in cash in my suitcase (stupid traveler syndrome) to misplacing my passport and trying to manage 4 different kinds of currency. It’s time to get it together, AND I thought I was organized. The Travel Org comes in several colors and allows easy access to your passport and boarding passes from the secure, expandable zipped pocket on the back of the organizer.The interior features 15 pouches to store tickets, reservations, itineraries and all your other essential travel info; 1 zipped pocket for valuables and 1 pocket to hold 8 cards and an array of pockets to store currency, your car keys and more. Everything in one place! Finally, a solution to my travel madness. This is a much better than carrying the canvas pouch with all my money, valuables, and receipts shoved in it. A life saving accessory! Around $350.


These handy little guides are easy to carry in a purse and help you find the luxurious hotspots in a city. My Chiang Mai guide let me know where to find a cooking school, where to shop for particular items, along with where to sleep, eat, and explore. $11.99

Gigs Foldable Bluetooth Headphones

My lightweight red headphones have last much longer than a more expensive brand that the ear pads flew off after a couple uses. The built in sensitive microphone lets you take calls while you’re listening to music. Volume and Next Musical Selection controls are right on the headset. Take or reject phone calls, redial last number, play or pause music.  All at your fingertips and the foldable design makes them easy to pack. Around $80.


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Kiehl’s Turmeric and Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque 

Sometimes you feel better with a hotel beauty treatment of your own, like a quick nature powered mud masque right before bed. Kiehl’s newest masque cools and energizes your face brightening dull and tired travel skin. The cranberry seeds can be used as an exfoliant when taking off the masque. Around $32.

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Dockers Lightweight Quilted Jacket that turns into a Neck Pillow

At Sundance this year, I scooped up this lightweight puffer jacket made with real down in a simple navy design for my boyfriend. He has been loving it ever since to keep warm on cool LA nights, but mainly because when he travels he can quickly turn the whole jacket into a travel neck pillow, and then carry the neck pillow of the plane with its convenient strap. I am loving the Eddie Bauer Microtherm StormDown Jacket for women because I can roll it up and use it as a pillow on the plane or a blanket. Around $180.

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GoPro Hero4

Small and light this new Go Pro was fun to attach to my head as I climbed up grand temples in Myanmar and biked through stupas and temples too. Since it is waterproof, snorkeling in the Sea of Cortez with the Go Pro attached to my head for an up close view of puffer fish and sea cucumbers was a fun way to capture an afternoon. The Go Pro App allows you to synch your videos to your phone. The wide angle views are a beautiful way to capture expansive scenery. Go pro and capture your adventurous flow. Around $200.

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