I took a travel writing class called The Global Traveler a few years ago at NYU. The teacher, Michael Luongo (who is fearless and awesome!), told me about Round the World trip tickets, which are the easiest way to travel to multiple countries or continents in one single trip. Upon hearing that RTW tickets have special discounts for anyone under age 26, I made circumnavigation a goal to achieve before my 26th birthday. I circumnavigated with my best friend Joanna in January 2012. We were 25.
We had to plan to be away for almost a month, so I went to Flight 001 in the West Village to pick up a few travel accessories. At the time I thought I had no idea what I was doing, but to this day I am still surprised by the pin-point accuracy of my guesswork. After that RTW trip I became a travel writer, and I can tell you that all of the items below - whether they are obvious, trite suggestions or not - are my must-haves.
1. I drink Jetpax's fizzy, fruity, floral drinks whenever I fly across time zones. Pour these powder packets into a glass of water in the AM (citrus) and PM (lavender) for the first few days of your trip while you're adjusting from jetlag. I swear it helps!
4. Every time I pack for a trip I feel like a chemist. I pour my products into these small bottles, keep them in the plastic case and slide it into my dopp kit. It's the best way to stay organized.
7. A Baggu! This bag is nylon, which means it's lightweight and waterproof. It folds into a square the size of your palm and fits into a tiny, flat case. You can use it for wet bathing suits, dirty sneakers or basically anything else you want to keep away from the rest of your stuff. I never go on a trip without it.
2. Okay. I'm telling you to buy what appears to be an ordinary dopp kit. But wait! There's a reason why this case is perfect for travel. It's lightweight, has no piping and can fold in any direction you want. It also has a handle that can hang on a hook or knob.
5. SKROSS makes the best travel adapters out there. The top piece charges a USB and each button on the side slides down to push out a plug for a different continent.
8. You may think a sewing kit is unnecessary, but I've had instances where I've needed to use it. This particular kit is practically microscopic so I just throw it in my suitcase.
3. Suggesting to travel with an eye mask seems trite, but most people don't bring them along. If you're on a flight where you need to sleep or on an overnight flight and they don't turn out the lights (ahem - El Al), having an eye mask makes all the difference. I love this one because it has pillowy padding that falls just beneath your eyes.
6. Again, a travel document case seems obvious, but you'd be surprised by how many people don't use them! Putting your passport, tickets and travel docs all in one place makes the airport experience faster and easier.
9. Flight socks. I always bring the same pair. Trust me, once you get in the habit of putting on socks in lieu of going through security barefoot, you'll always keep them in your carry-on. =)