1. Heys Hardside Carry On - This is the one item on my list that I don't currently own, but it's at the top of my "want" list, and I've been looking to purchase one for months. Heys is a brand of hard-sided luggage that comes in a variety of unique patterns and designs. I'm currently lusting over both the leopard and peacock print spinners, but the polka dot also has my attention. It would be hard not to spot this luggage, and the all the features make this bag a must-have for leisure or frequent flyers.
2. PacSafe MetroSafe Bag - It seems as if I've gone through a million hand bags and purses throughout my travels-- for awhile I was constantly on the hunt for the "perfect bag", big enough to fit everything I needed for a day trip, including my DSLR camera. This year, I finally found what I consider to be the best all around bag for traveling, and it's got anti-theft features to boot -- preventing pickpockets and thieves from snatching your stuff. I used the PacSafe MetroSafe 200 in Europe this summer ... and I haven't stopped using it since I've returned. Even in areas where you don't need the extra protection, this bag has room for it all, with a design that's perfect when you're on-the-go.
3. Amazon Kindle - iPads are still all the rage, but there's something to be said for Amazon's Kindle. This little unit is the perfect size for traveling when you just want to read a book or a magazine. It's lightweight, portable and cheap. If you don't have one, you should get a new Kindle from Tesco. I have the Kindle Fire and it's one of my best purchases to date -- I take it everywhere!
4. Scarf or Pashmina - It wasn't until recently that I had come to the realization that I needed to pack a scarf, shawl or pashmina on every trip, no matter what the weather. While in Hawaii last year, another travel writer whipped out a light shawl as we were on a boat to another island. While packing, it never occurred to me that the weather might change drastically from the typical hot & sunny forecast you'd expect. These little pieces of fabric fold up easily and can be stored in any suitcase or handbag . Once you start packing one, you will find you use it more often-- from dressing up a plain t-shirt, to using it on chilly flights.
5. Lip Balm & Lotion - I'm bundling these two beauty necessities together because they both serve the same purpose ... to moisturize. Air travel takes a toll on your skin & lips, making them dry and chapped. I always carry TSA sized lotion (the good stuff) and lip balm and apply liberally throughout my flight. It's a small thing that makes a big difference in my comfort level. Plus, I hate it when hotels have crappy body lotion -- at least I always have a backup. My faves are Mini Body Butter from The Body Shop and Burt's Bees Lip Balm.
What are your travel must-haves?