• pearldoor

    I bought those Revelation Pants (or ones EXACTLY like them) at Target for $17.99 :)

  • Keri

    Do you wear those flats with or without socks? (I hate stinky feet but does it look bad with socks?!)

  • Heather Armstrong

    Oooh! Awesome. Are they durable?

  • Heather Armstrong

    Without socks. But I only wear them when I fly. I’m in other shoes with socks when I get to my location.

  • JudithNYC

    No, you didn’t.

  • HeatherNC

    I work for an international non-profit and do lots of traveling. I love that Passport/Wallet combo, but I can’t seem to find anything with RFID blocking that is that cute! I am going to have to check out those essential oils because there is nothing worse than getting off a 20 hour plane ride and still smelling like the developing country you left THE DAY BEFORE.

  • Marie

    Those patent leather flats are cute and look very practical. I might have to buy a pair, maybe even two pairs. Speaking of pairs, when it’s plural, it should be “pairs.” I know this is nit-picky but it’s SUCH a Utah thing to say “pair” no matter how many pairs you’re referring to (“I got me three pair of pants on sale at the Dillards!”).

  • Torchness

    A must is earplugs. I’m the lightest sleeper, and if you’re going abroad, Europe be LOUD in the mornings. I don’t like the passport wallet b/c I don’t like to carry my passport around, town I’d rather lock it in the hotel safe. I bring the combo iphone/wallet that has space for only 3 cards and some cashola– that’s all you need. I also recommend taking a pic with your phone of your passport and emailing it to yourself in case you lose it.

  • Michael Mathews

    I have a zip bag from Kiehl’s and little containers that I refill. I never have to think about anything except the toothpaste and my disposable lenses. I know everything else is always in that bag. I also have a little routine for taking things out of the closet and I can usually go from starting to pack to ready to leave in 45-60 minutes. I can repack faster because all I have to do is check all the drawers, closet and bathroom and I know how I arranged it on the outbound.

  • Nancy B.

    Stupid question here: Do you put the travel cubes inside your suitcase? Those look awesome. I’m not traveling as much as I used to for work, but you never know…

  • Leanne

    I am a flight attendant and compression stockings are my must have….. now seeing these I can’t wait to get some that actually look good for personal travel as well :D Thanks!!!!

  • darkfoxx

    I’m a big fan of the Yes to Cucumbers wipes, lots of exciting plane snack options (usually chili lime nuts + some sort of ridiculous jerky (like Krave chili lime) + something that feels like a vegetable (butternut squash hummus is fantastic) – I also love Steve’s paleo goods for plane snacking, and Evian face spray. Yep. Spritzer water for your face that costs $7 a tiny bottle. I fall asleep any time I’m in motion and this stuff really wakes me up. Plus peppermint stress relief roller balls – I’m crazy smell sensitive and nobody needs to deal with my wretching because of bad plane miasma

  • Shana Anderson

    You said boyfriend again. .good god heather! Heh

  • theboldsoul

    OMG I’m so glad you said that because $98 is too steep for me. But Target prices? Perfect!

  • Windy Pixels

    I’ve been in the process of making my travel more minimalist and awesome. I have an ugly Kata backpack that serves the DSLR/laptop function (why I ordered yellow to save $10 is beyond me). My next step has been sticking to outfits that will work with one pair of shoes, rather than having to pack brown/black/heels/etc. I have eliminated a lot of the “extra” clothing I don’t ever use. Plus I leave my camera accessories like flashes and remotes at home.

    My toiletries used to take up a HUGE bag, but with travel versions of everything, including flat little gel toothpaste samplers, it takes up next to nothing. Love it.

    Now I just need a good carry-on bag. I love the cube idea!

  • Kimberly Wydeen

    I keep an extra cell phone and laptop charger in my carryon. I also keep a contact case, filled with solution, and an old pair of glasses just in case I misplace or break my contacts and/or glasses.

  • Heather Armstrong

    Yes, the cubes go into the suitcase. Makes the whole thing organized.

  • Pamela Wik-Grimm

    Thanks for the tip, Heather! Just bought a couple pairs of the pressure socks — that’s been on my list for a while but I hate the medical beige ones. Can’t wait to get them!

  • JennC

    My best travel life-saver is a fully stocked toiletry kit. It has travel-size bottles of all my favorites (shampoo, conditioner, hair gel, moisturizer, etc) and all the beauty/grooming supplies I use regularly, plus common meds (tylenol, sudafed, cough drops, etc). It even has a small sewing kit. Whether I’m staying at hotel, with a friend, or even camping, I just gave to shove it in my suitcase and I know I have everything I need. When I return from my journeys I refill/replace as needed, and I’m good to go when the next adventure comes around. I love it so much I made one for each of my kids last Christmas. Now I don’t have to worry about packing their stuff either – BONUS!

  • JennC

    Old Navy has similar pants as well for around $25. Very thick spandexy fabric, and come in long and cropped length. I’ve had 4 pair for about 5 years now, and though they are a bit faded they are still going strong. LOVE!

  • Jen M.

    More than I hate having to take off lace-up shoes at security, I hate walking around security barefoot. But they are much cuter than what I normally wear on the plane.

  • jen

    Please, please, please can you make a airport rule guide? Like don’t wear perfume on the plane, don’t spend 30 minutes putting your shoes and belt when your bag comes through the screener (pick that stuff up and move to a bench, you’re backing up the line!), take your jacket off BEFORE you get on the plane, wait until your zone is called before rushing the door (I could go on and on…I fly twice a week)

  • kmpinkel

    Why can’t I see #9 – #13? dang it! and yes, earplugs are a must! What do you use for your toiletries once they are in your containers? I can’t find a toiletries bag that does not take up an unreasonable amount of space…..

  • http://ferryfolk.com Danalan

    I travel enough that I now qualify for pre-check, which is awesome. The security procedure I’m subject to is essentially identical to pre- 9/11 security. Shoes – on. Laptop – in bag. Pockets – full of stuff. The only thing I need to worry about is metal on my person (metal detector) and liquids.

    As far as ‘things’ I recommend for the frequent traveler? Decent noise-canceling folding headphones; 4-wheeled luggage. Of course, I always check a bag, so YMMV.

  • Julie

    Your comment about the Epiphanie London Backpac made me chuckle. I’m in constant searches for good camera/laptop bags that don’t look masculine or butt-ugly.

  • chuck

    I like the passport holder wallet bc of the colors however i use the RFID blocking wallet/passport holder for security reasons. a little pricier but it is also larger so it holds more stuff. thx.

  • Jo DeBell

    Wipes always! I wipe down my arm rest and tray and window if I’m going to rest my face on it because yes, I do have OCD and I can’t stop picturing all the other people and their bathroom hands. Also extra socks and underwear in case I have to spend an extra day somewhere or I work out in the gym.

  • Andrea Shipman

    What?! The SOCKS?! With the compression!? I am 7.5 months pregnant and a (sidelined for the moment) runner. HOW HAVE I NOT HEARD OF THESE?! Bless you Heather. BLESS YOU. Those cubes are genius.

  • jawnbc

    I travel a lot, often long-haul, through all sorts of countries. Things I would add to your list:

    earplugs – for the flight and for sleeping in strange hotels

    noise cancelling headphones – for the flight. For sleeping on planes I put in the earplugs then the headphone with the noise cancelling turned on (no music)

    Body Shop teatree oil zip zapper (not what they call it). Seems flying and jet lag make me spotty. This little stick dries ‘em out in a day or two

    slippers – the psychology of slippers is amazing. I have some LL bean flannel ones that take up almost zero space

    mini wifi router – for hotels with either no wifi or crap wifi, but the room has an ethernet cable. Plug it in and all my devices are on wifi

    400mg gelcap ibuprophen – migraines, rubbery legs from hours of walking, it’s all good.

  • Nanette

    My husband and I traveled through the UK and Jordan with a 2 year old, and those packing cubes helped make our junk-show slightly less spectacular. :) The other thing I love when traveling are those little tiny speakers that you can hook to your phone or ipod or whatever. I downloaded some nice ocean wave music and it helps drown any outside noise.

  • Anna B.

    I am a big fan of the ziploc bag while travelling. I use them for everything. Toiletries, snacks, socks and underwear, activities for the kids, and so on. If stuff leaks in them you can just throw them out. I also use them to pack my kids daily outfits, so while away we can just pull a bag out of the suitcase with that day’s clothes get dressed and away we go! But I love the look of those cubes too!

  • EM

    I am an UNAPOLOGETIC privileged white person with way too many options and a raging sense of entitlement.

    Fixed it for ya.

  • EM

    “smelling like the developing country”…..really?

  • Donna

    thank you for posting the link to those flats! Steve Madden had a very similar pair called ‘keepsake’ that were my favorite and now cannot find. I finally threw out my last black pair, under duress!

  • Jay Pfaffman

    A super-geek acquaintance (the kind of person who builds RFID readers that will work at 50 feet) did tests of every RFID blocker on the market and said that you were at least as well off just wrapping it in a few layers of aluminum foil.

  • Litenarata

    Books to read.

  • Amy

    My sister :)

  • http://www.cliopatra.net/ Cheryl

    Link or it didn’t happen!

  • Dana

    I love this list. I am too lazy to ever google “how to make packing/travel easier/better,” so, yay!

    However, I’m never traveling again now that mini-bars are going away.

  • Kimberly Zingale

    Great list! If you’re looking for a laptop/DSLR bag, you might also want to check out ONA bags.

  • Kathleen

    I wear the same pair of pants every time I travel! They look like khaki skinny jeans, but they are mostly linen with a little lycra. I got them at Benetton years ago. So they look slightly nicer looking that jeans, but are super lightweight and feel like I’m wearing pjs!

  • Carla King

    You said wipes. I can handle wipe. I wipe every day. But I can’t stand wipes.

    Now it’s time for a quick rap.

    Hey, yo. Hey.
    It’s goes like this.
    I got big gripes.

    Whoot.
    Yeah.

    Major huge gripes.

    Whoot.
    Yeah.

    Blah blah blah. Rhymes with wipes and I gotta go eat. Too tired to wrap the rap.

    Whoot.

  • Judealou

    To go with the great pants, a great lightweight knit sweater for travel is a necessity for me. I alternate between an Anne Klein long buttoned cardigan with a cute self-tie and 3/4 sleeves and a black long sleeved knit “jacket” I actually picked up at Costco! Putting one of those on at the end of a long flight makes me feel instantly put together presentable, especially in Europe. Endlessly versatile especially with a scarf.

  • Kate H

    My perfect pair of black ballet flats came from, of all places, Walmart for $10. They were an emergency buy five years ago when I went to my mom’s for Thanksgiving and forgot to bring the right shoes. I have to put gel insoles in them, but they don’t scuff and are holding up nicely even though I wear them constantly.

  • Jen Wilson

    I just did a 10-day trip with just a carry-on and a personal item and it was so freeing! Especially going through customs.

    I’m so excited you’re going to Haiti! My husband’s family goes there often to work with Haiti Arise (I think they’re in or near Port-au-Prince), which right now has a school and such but is in the process of building a Children’s Village. Looking forward to hearing about your time there!

  • Luciana

    Are you being ironic, or did I miss something? Traveling to raise funds for “Haiti for Hope” with $608 of “essential travel items” ?… Then again, maybe PIH should be stocking up on those destress essential oil rollerballs. They could come in handy with some of those Haitian mothers. Darn those stressful high risk pregnancies.