27 Things the World's Best Travel Agents Bring With Them on Every Trip

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A-List Tour Guide Travel Packing Essentials
Photo: Dorling KindersleyGetty Images/Dorling Kindersley; Courtesy of retailers

If there's one thing years of travel have taught us, it's that packing gets easier with practice.

However, picking up a few new tricks never hurts, and that's what we're here to help you with. We've polled the editors at T+L on their favorite travel products, but there's also another category of experts we turn to when we're looking for the latest trends and tricks: travel agents.

Related: 19 Packing Hacks from Travel + Leisure Editors

We asked some of the world's top agents from our travel advisory board, a select group of owners and operators of the country's most important agencies, for their absolute must-pack items. The 27 items listed here are a sneak peek inside the luggage of some of the best travel agents in the business.

01 of 27

Longchamp Le Pliage Nylon Travel Bag

Travel Packing Essentials Longchamp luggage bag
Courtesy of Bloomingdales

A self-proclaimed Longchamp addict, Mary Ann Ramsey has a "supply" of the brands' bags and luggage in various sizes and colors. The one that always comes with her, no matter where, is the Le Pliage Travel Bag XL. "It is packed flat in my carry-on and I pull it out to use for daytrips to carry purchases, an extra layer, or even on safari to hold my binoculars, camera, bug spray, and more," she told Travel + Leisure. "As my luggage is always expanding when I travel due to my love of shopping, I also use it on the way home to pack my laundry and shoes inside and check it."

To buy: bloomingdales.com, $135

02 of 27

Winco Champagne Bottle Stopper

Travel Packing Essentials Winco wine stopper
Courtesy of Amazon

Another travel essential Ramsey always has at the ready is a champagne stopper. "I like a 'dresser' as I get ready for dinner, and my beverage of choice is champagne," she said. "This stopper keeps champagne fresh and bubbly when you don't finish the entire bottle. You can have a glass (or two) each evening and the rest stays bubbly for the next night!"

To buy: amazon.com, $5

03 of 27

Large Clothespins

Metal painter clips Travel Packing Essentials
Courtesy of Amazon

Knowing the value of sleeping well while traveling, Western Europe expert Jim Strong always brings a clothespin or some type of big clip to fully close the curtains in the room to avoid the early morning light.

To buy: amazon.com, $7

04 of 27

Amazon Echo Dot

Amazon Dot Travel Packing Essentials
Courtesy of Amazon

Strong also packs his Amazon Echo Dot to connect to Wi-Fi for weather and traffic reports and other destination issues. "Also, if I forgot something like a belt or socks," he said, "I can order it from Amazon and have it shipped to the hotel."

To buy: amazon.com, $50

05 of 27

White + Warren Cashmere Travel Wrap

Travel Packing Essentials White and Warren cashmere scarf
Courtesy of Ahalife

According to Julia P. Douglas, founder of Jet Set World Travel, a travel wrap is a must for anyone who needs that extra layer of warmth to fall asleep or get comfortable on highly air-conditioned flights. She says of White + Warren's wraps: "The quality is unsurpassed for the price and it's a timeless and stylish travel accessory that lasts for years."

To buy: ahalife.com, $298

06 of 27

EO Lavender Hand Sanitizer Spray

Travel Packing Essentials EO Hand Sanitizer
Courtesy of Amazon

A family travel expert, Douglas knows the importance of staying healthy and clean away from home. This spray is organic, effective, and pleasantly fragrant. "The smell alone encourages frequent use," she said.

To buy: amazon.com, $24 for a pack of 6

07 of 27

PurSteam Fabric Steamer

Travel Packing Essentials PurSteam Portable Steamer
Courtesy of Amazon

Douglas also believes this travel steamer is a "critical addition to the road warrior's arsenal, as it's lightweight and packs a mighty punch for quickly removing wrinkles on the go."

To buy: amazon.com, $25 (originally $70)

08 of 27

Flight 001 Go Clean Packing Bags

Travel Packing Essentials Flight 001 pouches
Courtesy of eBags

If you, like Douglas, bring your exercise routine on the road, you'll find these packing bags useful for transporting a sweaty gym kit or wet bathing suits in your luggage when you don't have easy access to laundry.

To buy: ebags.com, $52

09 of 27

Recreo San Miguel Poncho

Travel Packing Essentials Recreo San Miguel Cashmere wrap
Courtesy of Recreo San Miguel

President and CEO of Huffman Travel Shawna Huffman Owen can't travel without her Recreo poncho. "It's so chic and makes any outfit," she said "It also doubles as a blanket or scarf."

To buy: recreosanmiguel.com, $675

10 of 27

Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask

Travel Packing Essentials Tata Harper Skincare face mask beauty
Courtesy of Nordstrom

Owen also finds this small and compact mask to be "just the 'pick-me-up' my skin needs after long, dry flights." The ingredients are 100% natural and it works like a traditional peel to revitalize dull skin and minimize the appearance of pores.

To buy: nordstrom.com, $58

11 of 27

Tide To-go Stain Remover Pen

Travel Packing Essentials Tide To Go Detergent Pen
Courtesy of Target

As an expert in planning family trips, Owen also knows Tide's pens are "a life saver always!"

To buy: target.com, $6

12 of 27

A Colorful Scarf

Travel Packing Essentials Hermes silk scarf
Courtesy of Hermes

In McCabe World Travel President Anne Morgan Scully's luggage, you'll always find a few colorful scarves tucked in. In particular, she loves Hermes' silk and cashmere scarves. "They come at a price but are easy to add to a simple top, jacket, or coat to give a pop of color and totally change the look," she said. "They last for years and are treasures to me as I buy them from all over the world."

To buy: hermes.com, $395; (similar style) jcrew.com, $50

13 of 27

Compression Socks

Travel Packing Essentials Vim Vigr dress socks
Courtesy of Amazon

Especially for long flights, compression socks help your legs and feet maintain proper circulation to prevent pain and swelling. Kimberly Wilson Wetty, copresident of Valerie Wilson Travel, loves Vim & Vigr's socks, as they're fashionable, too.

To buy: amazon.com, from $28

14 of 27

Travel Pouch

Travel Packing Essentials Leatherology Pouch
Courtesy of Leatherology

Wetty uses this leather pouch as her catchall bag for flights, putting what she'll need in there for easy access. That way, her handbag or carry can be tucked away into the overhead compartment, and she won't have to worry about them again until arrival.

To buy: amazon.com, $75

15 of 27

Portable Power Bank

Travel Packing Essentials mophie portable battery phone charger
Courtesy of Amazon
  • Wetty also loves her Mophie Powerstation dual USB charger. "It's slim and fits everywhere (like inside my travel pouch)," she said.
  • To buy: amazon.com, from $25
16 of 27

AmorePacific Time Response Skin Renewal Crème

Amore Pacific Skincare skin renewal creme cream Travel Packing Essentials
Courtesy of Nordstrom

Moisturizer is a must for Wetty, as well. Her favorite is AmorePacific Time Response Skin Renewal Crème. Thanks to green tea and other soothing botanical ingredients, it helps to cover up the effects of jetlag and time spent in circulated air.

To buy: nordstrom.com, $450

17 of 27

Garmin Forerunner 935

Travel Packing Essentials Garmin watch
Courtesy of Amazon

When traveling, Ovation Vacations President Jack Ezon likes to start his day with a brisk run, which he records on the Garmin app. "It's cool to look back at all the runs you do around the world (and see how you perform at different altitudes and temperatures)." he said. "Not only is running a great way to see a destination before your workday starts, but it's also a great way to recover from jet lag right after you land."

To buy: amazon.com, $491

18 of 27

Lululemon ABC Pants

Travel Packing Essentials Lululemon athletic gear apparel
Courtesy of Lululemon

When it comes to travel pants, you'll want them to be both versatile and comfortable, and Ezon said this pair by Lululemon hits both marks, adding, "you can chill in them or go to a meeting with them on!"

To buy: lululemon.com, $128

19 of 27

Ermenegildo Zegna Stretch-modal Jersey Pyjama Set

Travel Packing Essentials Ermenegildo Zegna silk pajamas
Courtesy of Mr Porter

For overnight flights, Ezon always changes into PJs, calling this set "a complete game-changer."

To buy: mrporter.com, $300

20 of 27

Victorinox Roller Bag

Travel Packing Essentials Victorinox Travel Luggage
Courtesy of eBags

Two A-list agents recommended Victorinox's carry-on suitcases, both Central Travel President Jani Miller and Renshaw Travel President David Lowy. Lowy specifically recommended the Spectra 2.0 Dual Access Global Carry On, noting that it's "lightweight, durable, and a smooth roll through airports."

To buy: ebags.com, $350 (originally $585)

21 of 27

Eagle Creek Compression Cubes

Travel Packing Essentials Eagle Creek Case Pouches
Courtesy of Eagle Creek

To fit everything into her Victorinox suitcase, Miller uses packing cubes and Eagle Creek's compression bags. The two-way zipper allows for extra compression once you've got them packed full.

To buy: eaglecreek.com, $37

22 of 27

Bose QuietComfort 20 Noise-canceling Earbuds

Bose Headphone Kit Travel Packing Essentials
Courtesy of eBags

Luxury travel expert Lowy always used to travel with over-the-ear headphones, but they were bulky, making it hard to fall asleep with them on. The earbuds are amazing and I can keep the case in my pocket and I can even just put them on in the airport while waiting, very calming and relaxing.

To buy: ebags.com, $249 (originally $299)

23 of 27

A Pair of Hotel Slippers

Travel Packing Essentials Hotel Slippers
Getty Images/iStockphoto

I keep a pair of with me to wear in-flight, Lowy said. "They're very comfortable and I don't have to put shoes on and off if I want to get up."

24 of 27

Tep Wireless Global Hotspot

Travel Packing Essentials Tep Wireless
Courtesy of Tep Wireless

This hotspot was actually recommended by two A-list agents, Steve Orens, owner of Plaza Travel and Marc Kazlauskas, president of Frosch's leisure division and U.S. branch operations. Kazlauskas said that for $8 per day, he can connect multiple devices and make wifi calls using AT&T's service. "This allows me to have unlimited Internet access, texts, and calls virtually anywhere in the world," he said. Orens pointed out two more merits of using a personal hotspot: "Many times it's faster (and definitely more secure) than hotel and airport wifi."

To buy or rent: tepwireless.com

25 of 27

Soundwhiz Wireless Bluetooth Running Headphones

Travel Packing Essentials Soundwhiz Headphones
Courtesy of Amazon

As one could imagine, Hawaii expert Edward C. Phillips travels quite a lot, and when recommending these headphones, he said "the one thing that keeps me sane is my daily run or ride."

To buy: amazon.com, $34 (originally $130)

26 of 27

Rinogear Water-resistant Armband

Travel Packing Essentials Rinogear phone case
Courtesy of Rinogear

Phillips also recommended this armband for running or working out on the go. His trick to staying motivated when routines are shaken up by travel? "I place these (and my headphones) on whatever hotel room vanity that I might be staying in and, each morning, when I head in to brush my teeth, they remind me of the great start I need to make my day."

To buy: rinogear.com, $11

27 of 27

A Tumi Backpack

Travel Packing Essentials Tumi bag luggage
Courtesy of Tumi

Wido L. Schaefer, the founder of California's largest independent travel agency, TravelStore, would not leave home without his Tumi backpack. "It makes me hands-free, which is essential in getting through many diverse situations," he said.

To buy: tumi.com, $365

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