A world traveler’s 11 essential travel gear — all on sale for Memorial Day!


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Pack wisely with these travel gear choices I swear by. (Photo: Amazon/Getty)

If anyone knows how to pack a suitcase, it’s me… because I live on it! As a teleworker, I spend a large part of my time abroad. Believe me: understanding how and what to bring can make or break a trip.

As a general rule, it’s extremely helpful to have things that evoke comfort, security, and a sense of familiarity (no, it’s not just about cute outfits!). Some of my travel essentials are totally unexpected – like an HDMI adapter and sunscreen for my hair – and 12 of them are also on sale for Memorial Day…

If you have Amazon Premier, you will of course benefit from free delivery. Not a member yet? No problem. You can sign up for your 30 day free trial here. (And by the way, those who don’t have one Prime always get free shipping on orders of $25 or more.)

Travelpro Platinum Elite Softside Expandable Upright Luggage

Travelpro Luggage

Travelpro is the brand that flight attendants and pilots use. (Photo: Amazon)

…and that includes the suitcase itself. In this connected world, it makes sense to travel with luggage that also charges your phone; it’s so useful when you’re stuck at an airport gate or on a long bus ride. Flight attendants and pilots swear by Travelpro luggage – and that Travelpro Platinum Elite Softside Expandable Upright Luggage is the perfect choice. It’s a softside (I find these wear better than hardsides), and has an external USB port and a dedicated power bank pocket (the power bank itself is separated). Plus, it’s $55 off, or just $275 — the lowest price I’ve ever seen on Amazon.

$275 $330 at Amazon

As for what to put inside? I consider the following pieces of travel gear essential.

Anker PowerCore 10000 portable charger

    Anker Power Bank

An Anker power bank is a must. (Photo: Amazon)

Do you remember that portable power bank I mentioned? This will save the day, so don’t skip it. Now that we mainly use our smartphones for taking pictures, getting directions, and even paying for things, it’s important that yours is always charged when you’re sightseeing. best selling Anker PowerCore 10000 portable charger is compact enough to fit in your purse and charges your iPhone or Android phone up to three and a half times at high speed. Get it 15% off now.

$17 $20 at Amazon

Women’s Funky Monkey Comfort Slides

Funky Monkey Slides #1 Best Selling Flip Flop on Amazon

I live in these. You also. (Photo: Amazon)

I like to spend as much time as possible in beach towns, and I practically live in those Funky Monkey EVA beach slides. They’re basically Birkenstock dupes for a fraction of the price, but just as comfortable (they’re heaven, actually), and they’ve never given me blisters. That says a lot that they are Amazon’s best-selling flip flops and have over 31,000 five-star reviews. Right now they’re on sale in select colors, including my favorite: white! They go with everything.

$20 $23 at Amazon

Realgrandbazaar Lucky Turkish Towels Beach Towels

turkish towel

Forget bulky hotel towels: this one is cuter, more absorbent and doubles as a blanket! (Photo: Amazon)

I always thank myself for buying a Turkish towel three years ago. It’s durable, highly absorbent, ultra-thin, and takes up about the same luggage space as pants. I got mine in Croatia, and it’s been my constant companion all over the world, holding up impeccably through countless days at the beach, road trips, and machine washes. This 100% cotton Turkish towel by Realgrandbazaar – 30% off for Memorial Day – is the same as mine. It’s super cute and doubles as a take-out blanket.

$18 $23 at Amazon

Coola Organic Scalp Spray & Hair Sunscreen Mist with SPF 30

Coola Scalp & Hair Mask

Your hair is susceptible to sun damage, just like your skin. (Photo: Amazon)

You know you need a good sunscreen for your skin every day (I prefer mineral sunscreens, like this choice of Kate Somerville, which relies on your skin to deflect the rays), but don’t overlook the damage UV rays do to your hair and scalp, either. My delicate, colored locks get fried and bleached by the tropical sun if I don’t use a great product like Organic Scalp and Hair Sun Cream Coola, which is down $5 right now. The lightweight, coral reef-friendly mist has an SPF 30 to protect against harsh rays and provides 80 hours of protection against another culprit: salt water.

$21 with on-page coupon $26 at Amazon

QRxLabs Pure Plant-Based Squalane HA+ Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer

QRxLabs Squalane & Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Cream

Squalane is a magically hydrating ingredient – it smells a little funny, but it works! (Photo: Amazon)

The low humidity on airplanes is notorious for drying out the skin, and then there’s the elements, jet lag, and forgetting to hydrate on your trip. All of this is expensive. I always have a small stash of skincare with me while I travel, and a light but deeply hydrating moisturizer is absolutely essential. I’m loyal to ingredients, not brands, and this top notch QRxLabs moisturizer contains two of my favorites: plant-derived squalane and hydration superstar hyaluronic acid. Grab it for 53% off (!) and stash it in your purse — it’s a two-ounce carry-on.

$19 $40 at Amazon

Takeya Ocean Originals Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Takeya water bottle

Keep your water cold while on the go. (Photo: Amazon)

Here’s another great way to keep your skin — and your whole body — hydrated while you travel: keep drinking water! Original idea, huh? This is even more important if you’re walking more than usual, visiting ancient ruins, or doing something that puts you in the scorching sun all day. This top-rated, vacuum-insulated, reusable Takeya Ocean Originals Water Bottle MAKES IT EASIER: It features a loop handle that lets you clip it to a bag or belt and carry it hands-free. It keeps water cold for a full 24 hours, and it’s 32% off.

$17 $25 at Amazon

QGeeM USB C to HDMI Adapter

QGeeM HDMI adapter

This HDMI adapter is my secret weapon. (Photo: Amazon)

Not everyone considers an HDMI adapter essential, but I do, and here’s why. Many hotels and vacation accommodations offer smart TVs, but that means you have to sign in to your own Netflix, Hulu, and other accounts. And then you forget to log out, which is a security risk. This QGeeM HDMI Adapter connects your smartphone or laptop to any flat screen TV with its attached HDMI cable, and mirrors whatever’s on your screen. I don’t travel anywhere without mine. This one is on sale for 45% off with an on-page coupon.

$12 with coupon $20 at Amazon

Bose QuietComfort noise canceling headphones

Bose QuietComfort Headphones

Bose is the benchmark in noise canceling technology. (Photo: Amazon)

My Bose QuietComfort Bluetooth headphones are my constant companions. They have superior noise canceling and audio capabilities, are sweat and water resistant, and have seen me on long trips by plane, train, and automobile – and boat! My favorite part is how fast they charge – around 15 minutes for up to 12 hours of play time. They’re compatible with Android and iPhone, and they’re 29% off in three colors. Bose’s are rarely on sale, so grab them for Memorial Day!

$199 $279 at Amazon

Flents foam earplugs


Those little ears make a huge difference. (Photo: Amazon)

Sleep quality is one of the least predictable things about travel. Will you have noisy neighbors? Construction? Will you be stuck next to a loud snorer during your flight? During my stay in Bali, I had a rude awakening — I was literally awakened by the crowing of roosters every morning at dawn. Lesson learned: Now I never travel without foam earplugs. They are absolute game changers, and this box of 10 pairs of Flents earplugs is over 50% — only $3. You will thank me later.

$3 $7 at Amazon

Lug RFID shoulder bag with multiple straps and charm

RFID Lug Purse

It’s the perfect handbag for travel: a super cute shoulder bag with RFID technology. (Photo: QVC)

I never advocate fear-based travel advice. But pickpocketing and card skimming are real, so I advocate the best safety precautions so you can enjoy your trip with a clear mind. This Lug shoulder bag is a perfect example of a smart handbag. A shoulder bag keeps your things close to your body and up front where you can see them, and RFID technology protects all the cards in your wallet. It also has plenty of handy compartments, so you don’t have to dig down a bottomless pit to find your keys, wallet, phone, and all your little accessories.

$55 $61 at QVC

Bcozzy Flexible Travel Pillow

Soft travel pillow

This travel pillow is fully adjustable for different sleeping positions. (Photo: QVC)

Neck pillows cost a dime and yes, they do make traveling much more comfortable. But I also have back pain while traveling, and sometimes I need pillows elsewhere. This Bcozzy travel pillow is one of my best Amazon finds, and it comes with its own travel case. It is flexible so you can adapt it to your shape and for different sleeping and sitting positions. That’s probably why it’s Amazon’s best-selling travel pillow. And good news! It’s 30% off right now.

$35 $50 at Amazon

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