Editor’s Note – The article was written in collaboration with Jay Deratany. Jay Deratany is a seasoned traveler who turned his passion into practice when he opened The Kirby, a luxury boutique hotel and wine bar in Douglas, Michigan. That’s not all though – Jay is also a screenwriter and a practicing attorney. He’s a frequent guest blogger on several travel and lifestyle sites. To learn more, visit www.thekirbyHotel.com.
All that a traveler really needs is a change of clothes and a sense of adventure, right? Wrong.
That might have been true when you were 20, sleeping in hostels and living off $20 a day, but your standards are a little higher now. And you’ve learned that preparation is everything and that some little luxuries are worth their weight in gold.
So before you set off on your next adventure, make sure to put these 10 items on your to-pack list and prepare to experience travel in a whole new way.
I know what you’re thinking: “Why do I need a passport holder if I’m not going abroad?” Well, if you’ve ever misplaced your boarding pass or driver’s license in your bottomless pit of a carry-on bag, you’ll know why. Find an attractive (preferably brightly colored) passport holder, slide your ID and ticket in and you will never again have a mini heart attack as you dig around for your precious travel documents.
One of the quickest ways to feel at home in a hotel room or to take your beach day to the next level is to bring your own tunes. There are so many reasonably-priced portable Bluetooth speakers out there, you should have no trouble finding a tiny one that can easily be tucked into your suitcase or tote bag. Make a special playlist for your trip and you’ve got an instant party, wherever you go.
4-Wheel Spinner Suitcase
You no doubt already have a rolling suitcase, but most likely it’s the standard issue 2-wheel variety. And while it’s convenient, it’s not flawless by any means – it tilts and topples on curbs or when you make a sharp turn and your arm feels like it’s going to fall off after speeding through a couple airport terminals. Not so with the 4-wheeler; it stays upright as you gently pull it alongside you and swivels in any direction (like an office chair), no matter how heavy it is.
I know, in the days of electronic everything, we rarely think of bringing pen and paper anywhere. But when it comes to traveling, it’s a good idea. If you always have a slim, easy to stash notebook with you (Moleskine makes excellent ones), you’ll never again rack your brain trying to remember the name of that perfect little bistro you dined in on a hidden alley in Paris or the name of that amazing wine you tried in Napa Valley. And flipping through your thoughts and experiences later on is a great way to relive the highlights of your trip.
This one’s for the ladies who can’t leave home without a sizeable portion of their jewelry collection. If that’s you, you’ve probably dealt with arriving at your destination only to find your necklaces and earrings hopelessly tangled or even broken in the makeshift case you put them in. It’s time to invest in a special bag designed specially to keep your jewelry safe and organized.
I know, I know, you like the smell and feel of a real book. I get it, I do. But if you love traveling as much as you love reading, your life will be a whole lot easier if you pick up an e-reader. First off, they’re much lighter than a book, which matters now that every ounce counts when flying. Plus, you’ll never have to wonder if you should bring a back-up book in case you finish the one you’re reading while you’re away. It might feel weird at first, but you’ll turn convert pretty quickly.
This genius invention is an inflatable protector for any breakable. It packs flat but can easily be inflated so that you can travel safely with the wine you picked up at the fabulous vineyard, the whiskey you got duty free or the fancy perfume you bought yourself on your trip.
Wireless Phone Charger
It may be a “first world problem,” but seeing your phone’s battery level in the red zone induces panic in us all. This feeling is even further compounded when you’re on the go and won’t be heading back to your home base for a recharge any time soon. Enter the wireless phone charger – plug it in before you head out, stash it in your pocket or bag (some even have keychain attachments) and then plug it in when you’re out of juice. Crisis averted.
This handy little light clips to your bag to help guide you in your search for your headphones (or sleeping pills) on a dark airplane.
If you’ve ever had a trip ruined because you lost something valuable, you’ll want to pick up some of these handy little Tiles. They can be attached to things like your keys, wallet and even your suitcase and then located via a mobile app. If the misplaced item is within 100 feet, you’ll find it in no time. If you left your camera in the place you ate lunch and it’s still there (fingers crossed), the app will be able to tell you where it was when it was last in range of your phone. A pack of 4 is only $70.