If you travel frequently, whether for work or for pleasure, you develop habits and routines over time. Comfort and predictability are crucial when you’re on the road. Forgetting one important thing once is one time too many.
The key is to pack lightly and efficiently, and the frequent traveller knows a trick or two to save time and money during their travels. Here are essential travel items for any adventurer.
A travel pillow
For long trips or night flights, you need a pillow that is compact and convenient (forget inflatable pillows)—a practically weightless and bulkless comfort. Much more than a luxury item, the Casper nap pillow is lightweight and fits easily in any backpack or even a purse. Its small size makes it the perfect pillow for any trip, small enough to keep in your bag all the time—just in case.
An ultralight carry-on luggage
The wheeled carry-on suitcase has become the rule rather than the exception at airports. Unbreakable, ultralight, and practically self-propelleing, the smart “Carry-On” from Away Luggage is available in a dozen colors, and is a great travelling companion for many reasons: it can be kept at your side at all times, it saves time at both departure and arrival, and it helps you pack sensibly. We chose an ultralight model so as not to dislocate our shoulders when stowing it in the overhead compartment, and it gets bonus point for rolling smoothly.
A compressible water bottle
Although security protocols forbid 100-mL or larger containers full of liquid, it is permissible to carry an empty bottle and fill it with water once you’re through security. Not only do you avoid airport prices on bottled water, you help save the environment! And it’s imperative to have hydration on hand at all times during a flight. Rigid plastic bottles take up too much luggage space, so a compressible bottle like the Duolock Soft model sold at MEC offers the best of both worlds: it’s at your fingertips when you need it, but disappears as if by magic when empty.
A portable charger
A portable charger for your mobile phone is an absolute must on any trip. Simply slip it into your bag (charged, of course) and spend the day exploring with full peace of mind. What could be more stressful than being stuck in the middle of nowhere with a dead cellphone? The TP-Link model, sold at Best Buy, even allows you to charge two mobile devices at the same time! The savvy traveller never runs out of power.
The SOS travel adapter
A travel adapter is essential when visiting countries with different electrical outlets. The Pro World adapter is especially useful for nomads who are planning to travel to several different regions as it works in more than 220 countries! You’ll never experience the frustration of having the wrong adapter. On a long trip, where you’ll visit countries with a wild array of AC outlets, a universal adapter both saves space and provides precious peace of mind.
A versatile backpack
The backpack is undeniably the most useful type of bag: it leaves our hands free and allows us to stow almost anything. But some models, like the Poppy & Peonies Brooklyn Backpack, are specifically designed for travellers, featuring an interior pocket to keep your laptop secure. And an external strap also allows you to hang it it on your suitcase. What more do you need? Practical and intelligent.
A comfort kit
Planes, even trains, certainly buses… Let’s just say it, they tend to be cold and uncomfortable. For comfort you can take anywhere, try the New York City travel kit from Montreal company Vol Privé. This “survival kit” includes everything you need to warm up and rest during your journey: travel-size wool blanket, stylish and comfortable sleep mask, matching pillow, and washable, reusable storage bag. A little bit of luxury to make any trip «first-class».
Travel-size skin essentials
The biggest challenge when travelling light is fluids. We must winnow down our innumerable creams and ointments, selecting compact formats and all-in-one products to fly with us. Unfortunately, few brands offer quality products in carry-on formats (100 mL or less). When we finally find one, it’s a Holy Grail! And, fortunately, Caudalie offers an absolutely great facial care product: its Moisturizing Sorbet Cream has a rich, luxurious texture and is available in a “travel friendly” 40-mL tube, or in a 15-mL format within a travel kit containing other essentials.
A portable Wi-Fi hotspot
If there is one essential thing for the modern day traveler, it’s Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, even in present times, it is sometimes deficient, unavailable or simply unaffordable in some places. However, access to Wi-Fi is essential to the traveler who wants to find an address or do research on its destination. The solution: a portable Wi-Fi hotspot that keeps you connected at all times in more than 130 countries. Skyroam offers a simple package at $9 for 24 hours of “unlimited data”. The hotspot creates a network that can connect up to 5 mobile devices and you can use as much data as you want. It works great and it helps when Wi-Fi is not available.
What every traveller needs, both in their suitcase and on their person, is comfortable black pants. They should move well, breathe well, and be stylish. Not only can they be worn in transit; they are also useful for cool evenings, or simply when we have no idea what to wear once we arrive. Quebec company Dish has created excellent styles designed for frequent travellers, available both online and in stores.
Finally… All-purpose shoes
To match our black casual pants, we also need a pair of all-purpose shoes. And since we are travelling light, we need them to be versatile, suitable for both sports and everyday wear. Reebok’s “Urban” shoe is casual, super-light, stylish, goes with everything, and can even be worn for workout sessions at our destination. Choose black for a classic look, or powder blue for a little more dash.
And there you have it! These simple luxuries can make your trip a whole lot more enjoyable—take it from a frequent traveller.
Cover photo credits: Skyroam