27 Things the World's Best Travel Agents Bring With Them on Every Trip
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.
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.
Longchamp Le Pliage Nylon Travel Bag
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
Winco Champagne Bottle Stopper
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
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
Amazon Echo Dot
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
White + Warren Cashmere Travel Wrap
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
EO Lavender Hand Sanitizer Spray
PurSteam Fabric Steamer
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)
Flight 001 Go Clean Packing Bags
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
Recreo San Miguel Poncho
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
Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask
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
Tide To-go Stain Remover Pen
As an expert in planning family trips, Owen also knows Tide’s pens are “a life saver always!”
To buy: target.com, $6
A Colorful Scarf
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.”
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
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
Portable Power Bank
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
AmorePacific Time Response Skin Renewal Crème
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
Garmin Forerunner 935
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
Lululemon ABC Pants
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
Ermenegildo Zegna Stretch-modal Jersey Pyjama Set
For overnight flights, Ezon always changes into PJs, calling this set “a complete game-changer.”
To buy: mrporter.com, $300
Victorinox Roller Bag
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)
Eagle Creek Compression Cubes
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
Bose QuietComfort 20 Noise-canceling Earbuds
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)
A Pair of Hotel Slippers
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.”
Tep Wireless Global Hotspot
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
Soundwhiz Wireless Bluetooth Running Headphones
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)
Rinogear Water-resistant Armband
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
A Tumi Backpack
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