Travel Gear for Every Destination

travel_gear_travel_gadgets.jpgThe season for traveling is rapidly approaching; some of you may already be heading off to exotic destinations to escape the dreary weather, or treating yourself to a mini-spring vacation somewhere nearby. Personally, I’ve been doing a lot of traveling for work, and it has caused to me to reevaluate my luggage situation considerably. I have been reluctant to invest in luggage or travel accessories, but now that I’m taking several trips a year, I’m realizing how a well-designed suitcase or carrying case can make things exponentially easier.

Whether you’re headed to the beach, the city, around town, or far away– this roundup of travel accessories can help you plan for what to bring. Too often I’ve been stuck in a hot, summery beach town with just a heavy leather bag, forgotten to pack a smaller pouch for walking around town and exploring, or scratched my camera by tossing it in my tote with other things. It might seem excessive to have multiple bags, but they really do come in handy when you’re out and about in different destinations–the fact that these are all stylish and beautiful are just icing on the cake. Hopefully there’s something here for everyone; whether it be inspiration for your next trip, or just the right accessory to help you finish packing. Happy travels! 

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  1. 1. Macarons iPhone case by Elle Moss for Society6, $35
  2. 2. Delmare shopping tote, $88
  3. 3. Casemate Kayla cross body phone wallet, $88
  4. 4. Baggu tote in foxes print, $10
  5. 5. Marc by Marc Jacobs Arrowhead iPhone 4 case, $38
  6. 6. Dusen Dusen bucket bag in grid pattern, $84
  7. 7. Bottega bag in apricot/orange, $270
  8. 8. Neon hard body camera case, $18
  9. 9. Kate Spade Hand in Hand circle tote, $198
  10. 10. Magic wallet in neon coral, $23
  11. 11. Tokyo Dreamer camera strap, $20
  12. 12. Juicy Couture canvas phone wristlet, $88
  13. 13. Karen Walker Anytime sunglasses, $280

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  1. 1. Leather Satchel Co. Standard 11″ blue handbag, $187
  2. 2. Felix Rey vintage dot print umbrella, $80
  3. 3. Grifiti Dootle iPad book with built in notebook and removable ipad shell case, $20
  4. 4. Uma leather wallet, $128
  5. 5. Incase DSLR camera bag, $60
  6. 6. Marc by Marc Jacobs Werdie tablet messenger bag, $378
  7. 7. iPhone photo lens dial, $249
  8. 8. Incase capsule headphones, $50
  9. 9. Lodis Mod iPad easel, $118
  10. 10. Marc by Marc Jacobs Werdie 15″ commuter bag, $458
  11. 11. J. Crew Spectator satchel, $895
  12. 12. Mophie juice pack reserve portable charger, $35
  13. 13. Marc by Marc Jacobs Take Me embossed phone case, $118

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  1. 1. Ray-Ban Sunnie In Havana sunglasses, $109
  2. 2. Rebecca Minkoff Wheelie leather travel bag, $695
  3. 3. Halogen zip around leather travel wallet, $98
  4. 4. Duck backpack in cobalt blue, $38
  5. 5. Rail and Wharf dopp kit, $48
  6. 6. DODOcase for J. Crew for iPad, $80
  7. 7. Grid-It Macbook Air 11″ pocket and tech organizer, $54
  8. 8. Kate Spade Air Mail iPhone case, $40
  9. 9. Flight001 USB charger in orange, $20
  10. 10. 28″ Lipault Plume Trolley suitcase in orange, $259
  11. 11. Apple World Travel adapter kit, $39
  12. 12. Globe-Trotter Centenary 30″ extra deep suitcase, $1675

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  1. 1. Baggu backpack in navy stripe, $37
  2. 2. Salt Water Cure iPhone case by Tina Crespo for Society6, $35
  3. 3. Farmer’s Market tote, $45
  4. 4. J. Crew printed iPhone case, $25
  5. 5. The Expedition wooden tripod, $290
  6. 6. Brompton straw mini hobo, $188
  7. 7. iHome rechargeable mini speakers in teal, $50
  8. 8. Anya Hindmarch Beach canvas tote, $295
  9. 9. Krusell universal waterproof case for cell phones, $40
  10. 10. Kate Spade Play Hooky iPad sleeve, $50
  11. 11. Graceann sunglasses, $128

What do you like to take with you when you’re traveling? Do you have a favorite travel accessory or piece of luggage?

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Kate Pruitt is a senior editor for Design*Sponge. After working as a retail
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Kate Pruitt / Design Sponge
Kate Pruitt
As a Contributing Editor at Design Sponge, artist Kate Pruitt shares DIY projects each Wednesday. Kate lives in Oakland, California and has a background in art/art history and recently left her job creating window displays to pursue her own work full time. Growing up in New Hampshire, Kate spent a lot of time building machines out of paper and scotch tape, and thus discovered her first DIY impulses.
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  • http://profile.typepad.com/saragoldstein Saragoldstein

    I’m four months into a round-the-world trip, and can tell you from experience that some of these suggestions are great; some not-so-great.

    First, what I agree with: a camera strap that doesn’t scream ‘expensive Canon here to be stolen’; great-looking eco bags that fold down to nothing; gadget organizers; power adapters with different plugs that clip in for them to work in different countries; good-quality covers for expensive phones, laptops etc. All worth packing.

    Now the things I don’t agree with:

    1. It’s a lot easier to pack multiple handbags if they all fold down completely flat. I currently carry one turquoise Longchamp le pliage, one coated-canvas Cath Kidston in a great bird print, one plain navy foldable travel backpack (which I rarely use) and a couple of folding eco-bags. I’m still looking for the perfect roomy clutch-with-detachable-strap I can use at night and for dressier daytime occasions to add to my collection.

    2. Any suitcase that’s checked in should be chosen for toughness over looks. My navy Samsonite trolley won’t win any beauty contests, but it’s survived Heathrow’s baggage handlers multiple times, and that’s the main thing. I make it marginally prettier with a bright leather baggage tag, which also makes it easier to find on the baggage carousel. Even bags destined for overhead lockers on the plane should be reasonably tough, since they’re often squashed in roughly. The leather bag is gorgeous, but either of the above scenarios are likely to leave it pretty scratched up.

    3. I really hope the wooden camera tripod is a joke. I carry an ultra-light Manfrotto monopod and even that gets almost no use — and I have a particular interest in long exposure nighttime photography! (I’m seriously thinking of posting it back to Australia so I don’t have to carry it any more.)

    The things I’d add to the list are:
    - packing bags with mesh fronts, so you can roll all your clothes to save space; these also keep everything neat & easy to find
    - universal power plug converter (to plug any device into any socket anywhere in the world, although you still have to check voltages)
    - proper travel tubes for toiletries, which collapse down as they empty to save space and have small tops that seal perfectly
    - sample sachets of beauty products you only use occasionally, like a face mask (worth a trip to Sephora just for these!)
    - a perfume atomizer filled with your favorite for longer trips; sample vials work great for shorter trips
    - a makeup bag with room to keep brushes separate
    - Havaianas flip-flops for beach, grotty showers and anywhere else you don’t want to be barefoot but can’t wear shoes (I don’t have any atm and wish I did)

    Everyone had different needs & preferences when they’re traveling, though, so that’s just my 2c! ;)

  • http://profile.typepad.com/d99927296758683405 A Facebook User

    Sara has some excellent points. I’m a frequent traveler, and after some work, here’s where I am:

    pack lighter. you don’t need as much as you think you do. most world travelers I know can pack everything in one bag and a carryon. It seems drastic, but you’ll get there:)

    pack smarter: you will infact wear items more than once between washing. except for underwear, so go heavy on those. You do not need 8 bras. Pack a nude and a black and get on the road.

    Handbags: Agreed w Sara, these take up a TON of space and unless they fold completely flat, forget it. I take three with me: a big satchel that doubles as a carry on, can hold my laptop- handles and a crossbody strap (http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=baekgaard+satchel&_sacat=0). An over the shoulder purse that can hold my kindle and a good amt of stuff (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vera-Bradley-Baekgaard-Colorful-Genuine-Leather-Tote-Bag-Purse-/360403880077?pt=US_CSA_WH_Handbags&var=&hash=item53e9bec88d). A wristlet that doubles as a wallet. it can be tossed into either of the other bags (http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l2736&_nkw=baekgaard+wristlet). (for the record, all three are Baekgaard pieces- you can still pick them up on ebay, and they’re so colorful they go with EVERYTHING) and are great quality.)

    Technology Rules:
    -I have an extra phone battery I keep charged (my phone is always dead when i get off a plane, drives me crazy.)
    -everything is charged off micro usb, but I only bring 2 cords in case one fails.
    -a good VPN connection. I pay 5$ a month for one… it’ll allow you to watch US tv online while abroad. Now if it would work to download items to my Kindle Fire while overseas.
    -Speaking of my Kindle… no books. It kills me, but they’re a space suck.
    -I have an extra laptop battery already packed in a box at home, waiting for a friend to fedex to me in case mine goes down. It happens. Trust me.
    -Paypal Debit Card. The beauty of it is that it pulls money from your paypal account… so if you work abroad, have clients pay you via Paypal and you can access funds from anywhere.
    -GPS… I started leaving my Garmin home and using my cell instead. Load the map into navigation, and then kill your data connection. It’ll still give you turn by turn, but won’t send data back and forth, which is a big deal. If you get off the path, turn data back on.

    Clothes
    -1 pair of pj bottoms, don’t need a shirt because you can wear whatever shirt you last had on.
    -slipper socks. the fit in your bag and keep your feet warm.
    -1 coat. One. Yes, Really.
    -1 pair of boots. One. Yes, really, and they better be waterproof.
    -No ridiculous shoes. 1 pair of sandals- ideally perfect for both walking and going out (I like Clarks).. 1 pair of sneaks for walking and or working out.
    -Wear your bulkiest item on the plane. And cargo pants are the ultimate plane gear: pockets! comfy!

    Shopping
    don’t do it. We feel the need to buy while abroad, but so MANY things aren’t worth it.
    -remember, the world IS kinda flat now. only buy things that you really, really really can’t get anywhere else. Then have them shipped home directly from the store.

    Personal Grooming
    -everything fits into one bag. It has handles so it can hang, it slides in between two stacks of clothes inside my baggage. its waterproof, so if anything leaks, it stays in the bag.
    -there is NO WHERE you will go that doesn’t have a hairdryer. don’t pack yours.
    -basics! mascara, lip gloss, an eye shadow compact (I love Bobbi Brown), moisturizer and a tinted base. Done!
    -I don’t take shampoo w me because shampoo is shampoo, but I do bring my conditioner with me.Not a whole bottle, buy a small traveling bottle. Cause face it, hotel conditioner sucks. B&B’s don’t even have those.
    -Tweezers, hair ties, bobby pins, q tips, a stain stick and stain wipes finish the bag.

    For the plane:
    stop with the huge carry on.
    -laptop. laptop cord. pack the mouse in your baggage.
    -kindle or ipad, fully loaded.
    -those business/1st class onflight bags are AWESOME. so make your own: a tiny cosmetic bag w a pair of socks, an eyemask, hand lotion, toothbrush, toothpaste, mints, and facesoap. a tampon, a tiny deodorant and you’re set!

    Baggage:
    I have 2 pieces- I only ever take one:
    -a tote bag with an extendable handle and wheels. Great because it CAN go in overhead when not fully packed, and it survives being checked really well. I take this most places.
    -a 26″ expandable 4 wheel drive rolling suitcase. I almost never take it, but when I really need the extra room (Hello Italy and the bottles of wine I’ll bring back) its great.
    SPEND THE MONEY on good luggage- it seems ridiculous until you have a wheel fall off while going down subway stairs in NYC.
    Do something to your suitcase to make it stand out on the carousel. Stickers work well.

    Hope that helps. Works for me.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/amandawarner Amanda Warner

    Just wanted to chime in that I recently bought a tote bag from fabric & handle (like #2) listed above, directly from F&H and it was $49 plus shipping, rather than $88. It is lovely!!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/lauragreen1 Laura Green

    Just wondering if anyone knows of a similar suitcase to the the Lipault Plume Trolley suitcase in orange that is available in Australia?
    Not too excited by the prospect of spending $92 on shipping..