Whether you've got the vacation of a lifetime or a business trip to Sandusky on your docket, there are ways to make your travel experience more enjoyable and easier than you thought possible. Today's travel market is huge as gadget, clothing, and accessory retailers create objects of delight to take some of the pain out of layovers, security hassles, and packing problems. Whether you pick up all of these items or just one, be assured that you can start looking forward to your next long distance commute.
Bucky 40 Blinks Mask Sleep Mask
This specially designed travel mask is contoured to avoid putting pressure on your eyes so you won't smudge your makeup. If you have yet to try an eye mask, you'll be amazed at how it helps you to mentally retreat from unwanted surroundings like a busy airplane or European youth hostel you should have vetted out a little better before you committed to spending the night.
$12.95 at Bucky.
Malin+Goetz 1 oz. Essential Kit
Who has time to run to the drugstore, buy tiny bottles and fill them with your favorite beauty products, all the while being observant of the 3 oz. security rule? Not the busy TFS staff. And likely not you. This is why an all-in-one skincare kit could just be the thing. In exactly the right quantities, you get moisturizers and cleansers as well as shampoo and conditioner. With ingredients like grapefruit, peppermint, bergamot, Vitamin E, and cilantro, it's no surprise the SOHO Grand Hotel in NYC offers these in their room as amenities.
$30 at Malin+Goetz.
DreamSacks Extra Roomy Opening DreamSack
Remember that European hostel we were talking about? Here's a product that will take care of any concerns you have sleeping in sheets countless strangers have seen before. This full body "sack" of pure silk helps keep you cool in hot weather and retain body heat in cool weather. It comes in several colors and folds up to the size of a pair of socks. Even if you aren't a germaphobe, you'll like the idea of having what are essentially silk sheets wherever you go.
$75 at Yala.
Conair Portable Fabric Steamer
Never ask for an iron and ironing board again. This dual-voltage handheld steamer will help you get rid of wrinkles (and there always are some, no matter how well you pack) and if you swipe it over your bed a few hours before turndown time, you can ensure you'll kill things like dust mites or bed bugs that might be lurking in the threads. It comes with a lint brush too!
$22.99 at Conair.
KeyFolio Keyboard Case
This will add a keyboard and a stand to your iPad, ensuring that you get the most out of your tablet whether you're at an Internet cafe or a hotel lobby. People who buy these say they can leave their laptop at home. It's definitely worth the price tag if you shelled out for an iPad in the first place.
$99.99 at Kensington.
If you don't have a tablet such as an iPad, this is a more budget-conscious choice. Pick up the nook color which allows you to download not only books, games, and music, but lets you carry all of your magazine subscriptions wherever you go. Imagine being able to peruse several different glossy books without having to carry around all of that paper weight. Better for the environment too, non?
$169 at Barnes & Noble.
Jays a-Jay One In-Ear Noise Isolating Headphones
A marriage of high design, quality and convenience, these surprisingly affordable (compared to similar products) noise-canceling headphones will help on even the noisiest flight or airport layover. Not to mention the fact that they're in your ears instead of giving you the Princess Leia vibe so many noise-canceling 'phones do is a big bonus.
$59.99 at Jays.se.
Gap Bow City Flats
These gorgeous flats have a function besides being cute and classic at the same time. The soft genuine leather feels like a dream on your feet and the pouch they fold into makes them ideal for travel. No matter how comfortable you think your favorite pair of sandals or flat boots are, these are a must. They'll cover your feet and provide easy-on, easy-off capabilities necessary for airport sojourns.
$39.99 at Gap.
WineSkin Bottle Transport Bag
Whether you're in California or Upstate New York wine country, or perusing a winery in Tuscany, you'll be tempted to buy a bottle abroad. But with security restrictions, there's no way you can carry it on. You have to pack it away. What if turbulence breaks the bottle in your suitcase all over your sequin dress? Yikes, no bueno. The brand WineSkin creates "bottles" out of bubble wrap with super strong seams that don't let out wine, even if there is bottle breakage. Air tight seal, and cushion against damage makes this the perfect way to take home a bottle (or two) of vino.
$9.85 at Magellan's.