The Best Travel Accessories for the Frequent Flyer
Got the travel bug? Us too. But days and weeks spent away from home can take their toll on everything from our quality of sleep to the condition of our skin. Pack the right gear, however, and your trip can prove a little less taxing—and a lot more comfortable. Here are eight of the best new travel accessories that are specifically designed to make your trip easier, whether you’re travelling for work or pleasure, to exotic locales or busy urban centres.
Best Beach Mat
Bring CGear’s Multimat on your next beach excursion and get comfortable—without getting sand in your book, food or bevvies. Unlike a traditional towel or tarp, the Multimat has patented mesh technology that allows sand and dirt to filter through its surface, but won’t allow it to penetrate from below. It’s a genius design that’s particularly handy if you hate tracking sand-covered feet onto your beach blanket after a paddle in the surf. CGear Sand-Free Multimat, $74 for small, Amazon.
Best Portable Steam Iron
If you’re travelling for business or a wedding and need your clothes to look freshly pressed, consider Steamfast’s mini steam iron an essential travel accessory. Although it’s tiny (the non-stick press plate is about the size of your palm), this perfectly portable gadget heats up in just 15 seconds, and effortlessly erases those pesky wrinkles from your tightly-packed garments. The iron comes with its own travel bag and is equipped with dual voltage (120V and 240V) for usage in most countries. Steamfast SF-717 Home-and-Away Mini Steam Iron, $39, Amazon.
Best Phone Camera
Don’t want to travel with a phone and a separate camera to ensure you get frame-worthy photos from your next trip? Opt for the two-in-one with the Asus ZenFone 3 Zoom. The 12-megapixel dual rear lens captures crystal-clear shots, whether you’re working in low light, shooting close-up (with 2.3x optical zoom) or far away (with 12x magnification). Plus, the ZenFone 3 Zoom has a manual setting to give you complete control over shutter speed, white balance, EV, ISO and metering. Asus ZenFone 3 Zoom 32GB Smartphone, $480, Best Buy.
Sharing your travel pics on social media? Check out the 15 Most Instagrammed Destinations in the World!
Best Carry-On Luggage
Want to be the envy of your fellow passengers as you strut down the aisle of your aircraft? Designed by acclaimed Israeli industrial designer Netta Shalgi, G-RO’s 22-inch carry-on suitcases aren’t just stunningly beautiful, they’re uber-functional as well. The patented rough-terrain wheels are light and highly maneuverable over curbs, ice and wet surfaces, and the ergonomic handle is extra long for added comfort while on the move. The case also features two built-in USB outlets and a power pack for charging electronics. Choose between navy (with silver wheels and handle) and black (with choice of black or silver handle and black, silver, red or blue wheels). Carry-On, $449 USD, G-RO.
Best Neck Pillow
Neck pillows are a necessity for any flight lasting more than three hours; unfortunately, they also tend to be heavy and bulky. For full neck support without added weight, try the Trtl pillow: a fleece neck wrap with built-in ribs that’s about half the size of a conventional travel pillow. The compressible design squishes easily into an already-full carry-on bag and weighs a mere 136 grams—barely enough to register on the scales at check-in. Trtl Pillow Neck Support Travel Pillow, $53, Amazon.
Best Face Mask
Ever notice that you have more breakouts when travelling? That’s not just down to stress. Stale cabin air has a drying effect on your complexion, which causes your skin to produce more oil to compensate, resulting in pimples galore. That’s why savvy travellers know to pack a sheet mask for a quick post-flight skin treatment. We recommend Skin Republic’s bubbling charcoal sheet mask, which cleans out pores and gently exfoliates dead skin cells. Skin Republic Bubble Purifying + Charcoal Face Mask Sheet, $9 each, Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Boutique.
Check out these 6 Tips for Avoiding Jet Lag!
Best Luggage Locator
If you’re a frequent flyer, you’ve probably experienced that sinking feeling of finding yourself empty-handed when the baggage carousel grinds to a halt. The worst part of lost luggage, however, is that you’re at the mercy of the airline in the hunt for your wayward belongings—unless you’ve been as proactive in your packing as InterContinental Toronto Centre‘s Club InterContinental lifestyle guru, Liv Judd. The jet-setting Judd always slips a Tile Pro Series Bluetooth device into her checked bags before a flight. “It allows you to track your items through GPS, which can help you locate a lost suitcase, phone or even a wallet,” she says.
Tile EC-14002 Sport and Style Combo, 2 Pack, $70, Amazon.
Best Water Filter
A best-seller on Amazon.ca, LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is the perfect companion for camping, backpacking or any form of travel where you’re unsure about the safety of your water supply. The act of sipping water through the straw instantly filters out contaminants, including 99.9999 per cent of waterborne bacteria such as E. coli and 99.9 per cent of waterborne protozoan parasites like Giardia and Cryptosporidium. As a worthy bonus, for every LifeStraw product sold, one child in a developing country will receive clean water for the duration of a school year. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, $26, Amazon.
Best Toiletry Bag
If you like a toiletry bag with a bit of sass, this roomy hanging “weekender” pouch will have you purring with pleasure. Functional details include a make-up brush organizer and sheer mesh compartments so you can easily find anything you’re looking for, from hair elastics to lip balm. Sephora Collection License to Leopard: The Weekender, $48, Sephora.
Read up on the Top 20 Worst Mistakes to Make at the Airport!
Best Hotel Hack
If you’ve splurged on a hotel that knows how to serve up a really good cup of coffee, why would you pay for it at a cafe? “Take your in-room Nespresso on the go with a great travel mug,” suggests InterContinental Toronto Centre Club InterContinental lifestyle guru, Liv Judd. To max out this hotel hack, she recommends investing in a double-walled vessel designed to keep your morning pick-me-up piping hot for hours.
Starbucks Modern Waves double-walled ceramic tumbler, $23, Starbucks.