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I love to travel for work and as a family. My husband and I are both frequent fliers and our status not only has its perks with the airlines but it also makes us extremely knowledgeable about the best gear to streamline travel and minimize space in our carry-on bags. I’ve whittled down my must-haves to a short list to make packing and unpacking quick and easy while also ensuring I have everything I need whether for an overnight work trip or a 3 ½ week family trip to Thailand and Vietnam.
Here is my list of must-haves for frequent fliers, road warriors, and families who love to travel that will make your time away enjoyable and your packing efficient.
Travel Must-Haves for Frequent Fliers
Evevu Cube Mood & Utility LED Light ($29.90)
Frequent fliers know how dark hotel rooms can be when lights are placed in inconvenient places. Solve that problem with Enevu’s CUBE, a compact yet powerful white light that emits up to 100 lumen for up to 100 hours. Powerful enough to light up an entire room yet small enough to fit in any pocket, it can be used as a night light, reading light, tent light, spot light, or even an emergency light. CUBE has three brightness settings and can change colors to run through every color in the rainbow or lock on a single color. It can even flash for up to 48 hours with the included 3 AA batteries. It also has a hanging hook and is IPX4 splash proof so you can truly use it anywhere and rest assured that you have your own tiny light source during your trips.
Make your luggage stand out among the sea of black on the luggage carousel or parking shuttle thanks to Mabel’s Labels Bag Tags and Travel Label Pack. Mabel’s Labels bag tags are metal tags that can be personalized with designs of your choice, text, and a phone number. The durable tags can be affixed to backpacks, duffels, roller bags, and more to make it easy to identify your bags at a glance. The Travel Label pack consists of 4 large luggage labels (3.91″ x 2.91″) perfect for checked or carry-on bags and 15 personalized name stickers (2-3/4″ x 5/8″) to affix to travel essentials. Win a set of Personalized Bag Tags and a Travel Label Pack valued at $46.99 at the end of this post, courtesy of Mabel’s Labels!
There is a reason why Ventev makes frequent appearances in my gift guides. I just can’t live without their ChargeSync cables to charge all of our USB, USB-C, and Lightning devices, Dashport ($29.99) for car trips so we can charge two devices at a time, and Wallport ($39.99) that helps prevent the problem of too many devices and too few outlets. ChargeSync cables have become the standard in our house. We love the colorful flat tangle-free cables in bright colors ($14.95-19.95) or gorgeous metallic alloy ones ($24.99) and while they seem pricey compared to other cables you might find, they’re well worth it because they outlast the cheap ones! We’ve been using the same ones for years, adding USB-C ones to our collection!
Lululemon Scuba Hoodie ($118)
For years I have been searching for my perfect hoodie and Lululemon’s Scuba Hoodie is it! This classic hoodie comes in a variety of different weights of cotton (lightweight, terry, and classic) as well as a fleece option ($128). I love my classic hoodie because it’s the perfect weight for providing substantial warmth on chilly flights or wearing as a jacket to destinations that don’t require a full coat. It’s packed with features like a large hood that helps block out your neighbor’s reading light during a flight, an elastic zipper pull that doubles as a hair tie for my daughter in a pinch, a media pocket with a cord exit for tangle-free headphones during a workout, and thumbholes. I just LOVE thumbholes and these are perfectly placed to keep my hands warm so I don’t have to pack gloves.
Lucy Cardigan ($75)
During the time of the year when I’m traveling to warmer destinations and don’t want something heavy like a sweatshirt, I always reach for my Lucy Cardigan. It provides enough warmth for chilly planes, takes up hardly any space in my carry on, and is made of wrinkle free fabric that always looks great. I love the hidden zippered pocket and deep pockets because I never have to worry about my passport, boarding pass, or other items getting lost in transit.
My Bose QuietComfort Noise Cancelling Headphones are another one of my must-have items. They minimize white noise that comes with traveling and help block out your seatmate’s snoring, hum of engines, cries from the overtired baby who just can’t fall asleep, or sounds from your surroundings when trying to do a conference call from the car with the windows down. These compact earbuds feature soft silicone tips (comes with three different sizes for you to customize your fit) and come with a soft zippered pouch that slips right in your pocket, laptop bag, or backpack that barely takes up any room in your carry on and are honestly worth every penny. I love mine so much that I bought my husband a pair a couple years ago! Yes, they’re pricey but we can attest that they’re worth every penny if you’re a frequent flier!
Why rely on movie options on the plane and live TV when you get to your hotel when you can catch up on episodes of your favorite show, discover new content, or watch movies you haven’t seen in forever? Over the summer while we were traveling throughout Vietnam and Thailand, Emily (age 13) and Thomas (age 11) bonded over a love of Riverdale. Emily would rejoice about having a fast internet connection in our hotel so she could download the episodes on her tablet. They plugged their headphones into a headphone splitter so they could both listen while watching the first season. They bonded over the storyline, guessing what would happen next, and opinions about each of the characters and convinced me I had to watch it too. A couple months ago I was getting ready to leave on a work trip that involved many flights to different countries in the Caribbean. Part of my trip preparation was downloading the entire first season of Riverdale to watch on the plane. Now I’m obsessed with the show too and sitting down and watching the latest episode together has been a great way to bond with my middle schoolers!
Kindle Oasis ($249.99)
I never leave home without my Kindle Paperwhite but the newest Kindle Oasis has me coveting an upgrade. The Kindle Oasis boasts the highest-resolution Paperwhite display, a thin and light ergonomic design that promotes comfortable reading for hours, boasts a battery that can last for weeks, can be fully recharged in less than 2 hours, and it’s the first ever waterproof Kindle so you can read in the bath or poolside.
Travel Accessories for Frequent Fliers
Sitting Pretty Mini Case ($99)
Every woman needs a good place to store her jewelry when she’s on the go and whether she’s heading to the gym or on an weekend getaway, This is Ground’s Sitting Pretty Mini Case is the perfect size to ensure that her favorite pieces are with her at all times. Gorgeous leather and a thoughtful design keep items safe and organized when she’s on the go. A larger Sitting Pretty Case is also available from This is Ground for $175.
4 inches wide (opens to 8) by 5.5 inches tall, just right for your passport. Internal pockets to hold drivers licence, credit card, cash and more.
Compression socks from VIM & VIGR ($32.95 and up)
While socks as a gift might not be so well received by others, frequent fliers know how therapeutic they can be to energize your legs, alleviate achiness and heaviness, prevent swelling, and aid in muscle recovery during a flight where legs, feet, and ankles can swell uncomfortably during a flight. Vim & Vigr’s line of graduated compression socks are scientifically designed to support your legs during travel and they come in darling patterns and an array of fabrics. Choose from cotton, nylon, wool, tights, and even wide-calf varieties in patterns and colors that match any wardrobe or workout gear
Zizzybee Reusable Eco-Friendly Zippered Multipurpose Bags ($17.99 for a set of 3)
When traveling, I like to have my things contained. You never know when TSA might pull your luggage for screening and instead of having them look through layers of clothes and sift through small items, I find that it’s easier to have things in bags or pack cubes that can be taken out, patted down, or opened for screening and then easily repacked so you can continue on your way. ZizzyBee’s set of reusable bags come in a variety of sizes and make it easy to contain items of various sizes in your suitcase and carry-on bag. They’re great for snacks, cords, pool gear, laundry, and so much more!
Wherever you go, keep your home around your neck with a made to order state necklaces or custom necklace made by theFolk. Choose from sterling silver or gold filled wire. I adore my theFolk necklace that features my home state of California necklace. It was a gift from a dear friend during her recent visit to Washington, D.C. and adore it!
Isabelle Grace Personalized Rings (starting at $32)
When I travel internationally, I leave my engagement ring and wedding band at home in favor of a pair of Isabelle Grace silver rings. These beautiful hand stamped rings are personalized with my husband’s and my initials and the other features our wedding date. The pair of stacking rings honors our love and helps my left ring finger feel not so bare while being a more affordable substitute for my engagement ring and wedding band if they were to ever get lost on a trip.
PortePlay Cord Organizers (under $20 each)
Frequent fliers who need to corral cords in their luggage will appreciate PortePlay’s line of tech accessories designed to organize cables, adapters, chargers, memory cards, phone and all of your electronic gear. Nicely priced under $20 per organizer, these well-designed products are made from long lasting materials and feature heavy zippers. Choose from pouch sets, tablet cases, and organizers featuring mesh pockets that make it easy to account for your chargers and cables at a glance before leaving a meeting, your hotel room, or the airplane.
Travel Inspiration to Help Use Frequent Fliers Miles
Atlas Obscura ($21.93 from Amazon)
If you’re like us and want to find the hidden gems of the place you’re visiting, consult Atlas Obscura. This hefty book is a guide to the world’s most wondrous places that might be out of the way and not featured in other guide books but are definitely worth adding to your itinerary. The Atlas Obscura is also full of travel tips, articles, strange facts and unique events that you can access on the go for free.
If you’re needing some inspiration for your family travel bucket list, the 100 Places Scratch Off Poster can help! The 100 spots feature attractions within the US and around the world and you can scratch off each square after your visit to reveal an illustration that will forever remind you of your trip.
Addicted to Americana ($29.95)
If you’re heading out on a road trip, Addicted to Americana is the perfect read before you go. Charles’ Phoenix’s new book highlights midcentury marvels, retro pop culture, roadside wonders, and restaurants that are throwbacks to a different era that you may want to add to your itinerary.
Ways Frequent Fliers Can Monitor Homes from Afar
Nest ($239 on Amazon)
We’ve been using Nest for just over 2 years now and love how we can to turn the heat or air back on before we get home from a vacation. In the winter, we’ve returned from a weekend away to find the house temperature set at 55° or 62°. It can take hours for our old house to recover to normal temperatures after being that low but with Nest, we can pull up the app when we’re en route to turn on Nest to help our house reach the desired temperature. For a more detailed review, readNest Thermostat Connects Your Home to Save You Money.
Arlo’s tiny wireless indoor/outdoor cameras with night vision produce high quality videos for your home monitoring needs to help you keep your house more secure when you’re away.
Upgrade your existing doorbell with a smart Skybell that features WiFi and video streaming so you can see who is ringing your doorbell from the comfort of your couch, conference room, or while on vacation anywhere in the world. When your doorbell is pressed, SkyBell’s app sends a push notification to your phone. Tap on it to access a video feed of who is at your front door and you’ll be able to see and talk to them directly from your phone. It also features a motion sensor that detects when someone is at your door even if the doorbell hasn’t been pressed. One-way video capabilities allow you to see who is at your door without them being able to see you, even before you decide to answer. Comes in silver or bronze. For a more detailed review, read SkyBell: See Who is At Your Door From Your Smartphone.
ENTER TO WIN A SET OF PERSONALIZED BAG TAGS AND A TRAVEL LABEL PACK FROM MABEL’S LABELS!
My fabulous friends at Mabel’s Labels want to ensure that your gadgets are properly labeled and are providing Mabel’s Labels Personalized Bag Tags ($21 for 6) and Travel Label Pack ($24.99) ($46.99 value) as a giveaway! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below and good luck!
2017 Holiday Gift Guides
Age Appropriate Gift Guides:
2017 Holiday Gift Guides
Age Appropriate Gift Guides:
Specialty Gift Guides:
- Top Tech Toys of the Year
- STEM Gifts for All Ages (preK-teen)
- Best Subscription Boxes
- Gadget Lovers
- 9 Gifts that Make it Easy for Families to Give Back
- Gifts for Teachers (from the perspective of a former teacher, with input from current teachers)
Samples were received to facilitate this post and affiliate links are included. No compensation was received for this post and all opinions are my own.