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10 Must Have Travel Items for Your Packing List

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Over the years, I’ve tested out dozens of products that claim to make travel and packing less of a hassle.  Some of them do, some don’t and some are so good, that they truly have become a necessity for me every time I travel.

Here are my 10 must have travel items!

A Good Carry-On Bag


A carry-on bag can serve different functions for different people. For me – as with fashion – I prefer look over function.

However, having travelled to over 80 countries in the last 7 years, there are a few must design features that I look for in a carry-on bag. First, it needs to be compact with internal straps to flatten contents down. Secondly, it has to have a hard shell. I have had far to many things break in a soft shell (including my first Mac … let’s not go there!). It definitely needs wheels and a handrail. And finally, a combination lock is a must (have you ever travelled in Africa?).

Here are my favourite [easyazon_link keywords=”hard-shell carry-on suitcases” locale=”US” tag=”tbelles-20″]hard-shell carry-on suitcases[/easyazon_link].

My bag of choice is the [easyazon_link keywords=”Heys Britto Collection Carry-On” locale=”US” tag=”tbelles-20″]Heys Britto Collection Carry-On[/easyazon_link]. I have not set foot on an airplane in 3 years without this bag.

My bag literally stops traffic – I’ve had people on the streets of Manhattan stop me, and every single time I’m in the airport, someone tells me how fabulous this bag is. I couldn’t agree more.

Roll-up Garment Bag


For those of us looking for a bit more function over fashion, this [easyazon_link keywords=”Roll-up Garment Bag” locale=”US” tag=”tbelles-20″]Roll-up Garment Bag[/easyazon_link] has done me proud over the years – especially when you need to bring a suit or dress.

The genius design allows you to roll up your clothes (we all know by now this is the best way to prevent wrinkles) around an inner tube, which you can then fill with your shoes and toiletries.

Shoe Bags For Travel


I have almost 200 pairs of shoes, but much to everyone’s shock I am quite good about packing shoes. I have learned which shoes I can actually run through airports in and still look chic, I have learned which shoes I can’t walk 3 New York blocks in so I can only take them when I’m planning to cab it the entire time.

But when it comes to packing my shoes, a must for me are [easyazon_link keywords=”shoe bags for travel” locale=”US” tag=”tbelles-20″]shoe bags for travel[/easyazon_link]. Why on earth would I put my filthy city streets-covered shoes up against my freshly dry cleaned clothes?

A word of advice: do not get a shoe bag that doesn’t have a fabric divider separating the shoes. Having your $700 shoes rub against each other for 5 hours en route is not doing any good.

Here are my recommended [easyazon_link keywords=”shoe bags for travel” locale=”US” tag=”tbelles-20″]shoe bags for travel[/easyazon_link].

Hair Curling Iron



I have naturally curly hair. This has absolutely no meaning to your life except for the fact that I must travel with a flat iron because I simply refuse to allow my hair to go wild in a professional setting.

The [easyazon_link keywords=”Cinda b curling iron” locale=”US” tag=”tbelles-20″]Cinda b curling iron cover[/easyazon_link] has saved me on a number of occasions because it’s fabric allows you to pack a still-hot flat iron (or curling iron) into your bag without having to worry you’re going to accidentally light your clothes on fire or burn a hole through your favorite pair of pants.

Tugo Coffee Holder


I owe the biggest “Thank You!” of all to the creator of the [easyazon_link keywords=”Tugo coffee holder” locale=”US” tag=”tbelles-20″]Tugo coffee holder[/easyazon_link]. This genius little device attaches to either side of my carry-on bag handle and holds my coffee for me so I have free hands to dig through my wallet and retrieve my ID, run through the airport to catch a connection, thumb through the latest US Weekly at Hudson News – you name it.
I’m already cranky at 6am in an airport, so not having to juggle 6 things in my hands and worry about spilling my coffee at the same time makes the day start a little easier.

Digital Luggage Scale


Okay, so we’ve already made it clear I have a lot of shoes. Shoes add weight. The airlines have weight limits. Thank goodness for the [easyazon_link keywords=”Balanzza Digital Luggage Scale” locale=”US” tag=”tbelles-20″]Balanzza Digital Luggage Scale[/easyazon_link].

This simple little device, which hooks onto your bag and weighs it for you just by lifting, has saved me many embarrassing moments in the airport of unpacking, repacking, all with the hope that my delicates were packed somewhere close to the bottom where no one can see them.

Travel Safe Perfume


With liquid limitations, I try and find anything that comes in a 3 ounce container. I have everything from my favorite shampoo, to deodorant, to face wash and even my dry shampoo. But I always fear the possibility that something will leak or break en route. Lucky for me one of my favorite brands, Barr Co, has a solid perfume that fits TSA requirements and can’t break or leak. The [easyazon_link keywords=”Barr Co Solid Perfume” locale=”US” tag=”tbelles-20″]Barr Co Solid Perfume[/easyazon_link] is the perfect size and the perfect refresher.

The Paper Shower Or Wet Wipes


This may seem silly but it’s saved me on a number of occasions. Yes, wet wipes or my favourite brand, [easyazon_link keywords=”The Paper Shower” locale=”US” tag=”tbelles-20″]The Paper Shower[/easyazon_link]!

Have you ever jumped on a flight, and had to go straight to an event or meeting and by the time you’ve arrived you’re looking a bit, well, stale? The Paper Show is a genius creation- it really will leave you feeling refreshed and even smelling better- and you don’t need any soap and water.  Trust me on this one – leave one in your purse, glove compartment, travel bag- you’ll wind up keeping one in every possible location.

Content and Calm’s TrayKit


This one is for the mum’s out there! I don’t have kids but I have been on enough airplanes to know which kids I won’t mind being stuck next to for 2 hours and which ones I will pretty much pay anyone to trade seats with me for. If I saw a child board the plane equipped with [easyazon_link keywords=”Content and Calm’s TrayKit” locale=”US” tag=”tbelles-20″]Content and Calm’s TrayKit[/easyazon_link], I would gladly take my seat and buckle up for take-off knowing that child will be content for the duration of the flight.

The TrayKit is an all-in-one kids carry-on backpack that can strap to the plane tray table (or even hang from a car seat for road trips) to provide an extendable play surface with raised sides so the toys and art supplies aren’t falling everywhere.

Luxury Splurge


Remember the days when you used to be greeted by a pillow and a blanket, sometimes even headphones on your flight? Yeah, those days are long gone. I am always freezing when I fly, so a must for me is a blanket. In my adult years, I’ve become something of a germophobe, likely because the last thing I have time for is to get sick- so I prefer to travel with my own blanket.

[easyazon_link keywords=”travel blanket” locale=”US” tag=”tbelles-20″]This is the softest travel blanket[/easyazon_link] I have ever used. It has accompanied me on every flight for the past 7 years and it’s still in brilliant shape. The soft delicious material seems to have an internal activator that heats you up within seconds, and the blanket rolls right up into a bolster to make for easy travel and a doubly functioning pillow.

What are your personal favorite luxury travel products? Anything you’d like to see us cover in upcoming months?

About the author

Taryn started TK PR in Greenville, SC in 2008, and has spent the past 7+ years building the public relations firm. She  has orchestrated appearances for her clients on Fox and Friends, The Today Show, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, Good Morning America, Bloomberg TV as well as features in O the Oprah Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Esquire, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and thousands more. She was named the Small Business Administration’s 2011 South Carolina Young Entrepreneur of the Year and one of Greenville Business Magazine’s Best and Brightest under 35 in 2012. Taryn was selected as one of 13 Visionaries for 2013, the Greenville Business and Professional Women’s Young Careerist, one of PR News’ People-to-Watch in PR for 2013 and Business Black Box’s Future Leader in 2014. She is the incoming Chairman of the Board of both Euphoria and the Clemson Small Business Development Center. She has also served as Gala Chair for the JDRF Greater Western Carolinas and the Center for Colon Cancer Research and the TEDx Greenville planning committees.

4 thoughts on “10 Must Have Travel Items for Your Packing List”

  1. Some good tips but I find the travel blanket a little excessive in price. Although it might fit the bill for keeping warm, I travel with a black wrap that can also be used to wear at night to keep warm. This eliminates having to pack a heavy jacket.

  2. As soon as I read about the tugo coffee holder I had to have one. It has become my favorite travel item! I’m buying several for holiday gifts for friends. So easy to use! Just what I needed to carry my coffee, especially when leaving on an early am flight. Have also used it when wheeling my bag down a long hotel corridor. LOVE my tugo!

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