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Gone is the era of getting dressed up for a flight, jetting off with a dozen Louis Vuitton steamer trunks in tow. These days, traveling well is less about who can show off the most, and more about who can do it effectively with elan and poise. Travel insiders don’t care that you have the most expensive item; they’re impressed when things perform as well as they look.
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As a travel writer by trade—having visited over 70 countries across seven continents, and some years having spent more nights in hotels than in my own home—I can confirm that the curation of the perfect travel kit has been a long-term process that’s more art than science. Yes, it’s entirely possible to ball out with expensive luggage and every knick-knack marketed as “great for travel.” But when it comes to the reality of what it takes to get yourself from point A to point B with comfort and grace, discovering the best travel accessories is a highly personal endeavor. It’s not a one-size-fits-all situation. It’s about the right travel adaptor, one that fits into the right dopp kit, one that slides perfectly into the right carry-on. Don’t think of your travel accessories as a checklist of singular items, but as an ecosystem of things that aesthetically and functionally go together and work best for your unique style and travel needs.
Here, dear reader, you’ll find some of the most tried and true travel accessories that have been a part of my quiver for years. Many come in different sizes and colors to suit your individual tastes, but overall, rest assured, they’ll work for you, too.
Best Carry-On Suitcase for Travel
Unmistakable, iconic, quintessential—there are so many ways to describe Rimowa’s signature aluminum carry-on. But let’s just put it like this: If you want to invest in a single carry-on that comes with a lifetime guarantee, this is the one to get.
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Best Checked Suitcase for Travel
Legend has it that the craftsmanship and durability of England’s most iconic hand-built suitcases are so good, they can withstand the weight of an elephant. They’re made from Vulcanized Fiberboard—a patented technology that’s tougher than leather and lighter than aluminum—and finished with luxe leather corners and a plaque, complete with a unique serial number. James Bond could never.
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Best Weekend Bag for Travel
Leather goods involve a lot of smoke and mirrors—even lifelong experts will say that the mark of good quality leather is that “it just feels expensive.” That being said, Ghurka’s creations are made with luxurious leathers built to last a lifetime. The stitching is immaculate, the surface is buttery and smooth, and the patina will only get more attractive over time.
Best Garment Bag for Travel
If you travel frequently with suits, you’ll benefit immensely from a garment bag. The price point of this one feels right—not too high, not too low—and it comes with handy details such as interior zip pockets for shoes, a zip-out hook to hang in a closet, and an integrated luggage clip so it can be secured to any Away suitcase.
Best Eye Mask for Travel
If you’ve never worn a sleep mask on a plane, you don’t know what you’re missing. This one, in particular, has an elasticized wide strap that fits multiple head sizes and won’t leave an awkward crease in your hair. Lunya makes beautiful pieces from rare machine-washable silk (see also: their bathrobes and pajama sets), which means it can easily cleaned and sanitized between trips.
Best Dopp Kit for Travel
Dopp kits are a great opportunity to carry something with personality, even if they’re hardly seen outside the privacy of your own bathroom. Each one of these Artemis Design Co. designs are handcrafted in a small workshop in Turkey, using a unique piece of vintage kilim rug, so no two are alike. They’re roomy, durable, and bounce back quickly after long-haul journeys smushed up inside your luggage.
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Best Headphones for Travel
The world of headphones is vast and confusing—so make things simple and go with a trusted name like Bose. The noise cancellation is second to none, and it comes with a robust 30-foot Bluetooth-connection radius that can be paired to two devices at once, so you can go from watching a movie on your tablet to taking a work call without skipping a beat.
Best Skincare Routine for Travel
Lathering up with oils and gooey sheet masks on flights? Tired. Portable LED masks that minimize signs of aging and promote your skin’s own natural glow? Wired. This mask is calibrated with some of the deepest-penetrating wavelengths of near-infrared light to suit men’s unique skin needs. Best of all, it won’t take up precious room in your one-quart baggie of liquids when you go through TSA.
Best Neck Pillow for Travel
Neck pillows make a huge difference for your posture and comfort, whether you’re on a lie-flat in first class or you’re slumming it in economy. This best-selling pillow has a 360-degree ergonomic design, an adjustable velcro strap, and a two-year warranty.
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Best Compression Socks for Travel
I have a lot to say about compression socks, but I’ll start here: If you’ve never worn them on a long-haul flight, do yourself a favor and get a pair. This option from Swiftwick, in particular, has great cushioning to keep your feet comfy on long walks through airport terminals, an ergonomic fit, moisture-wicking properties, and firm compression to keep circulation moving and uncomfortable swelling at bay.
Best Passport Holder for Travel
Never lose your passport in the depths of your carry-on bag again. The punchy, timeless colors of Hermès’s Tarmac passport holder can be easily spotted in any bag, are sure to spark joy wherever you go, and make an excellent gift for any traveler in your life.
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Best Sunglasses for Travel
Any artful packer will confirm: Every inch of space matters. When you’re on the road and you can only choose one pair of sunglasses to bring with you, go for something as handsome as it is practical. Persol’s 714 was the first foldable sunglasses and, to this day, are made in Italy, imbuing a timeless quality and an instantly recognizable aesthetic.
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Best Travel Adapter
Cheap travel adapters tend to fall apart after just a few trips, so invest in a quality. This one from Royce comes with its own leather case, so you can securely stow your adapter for the duration of your journey and rest assured it will emerge from your carry-on in one piece when you’ve reached your destination.
Best Electronic Organizer for Travel
Yes, in the same list as an Hermès passport holder, we’re suggesting a $13 electronics organizer on Amazon. But trust: This is one of those things that will keep your wires, external hard drives, and spare batteries neatly folded and easily accessible. No need to go big here, because this guy gets the job done.
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Best Scarf for Travel
Like the Rimowa carry-on, this is a one-and-done situation so unassailably quintessential that it will certainly be in your closet’s rotation for many, many years to come. Thanks to the cashmere and silk blend, it’s unbelievably lightweight and can be worn in nearly any climate. If European billionaire is the look you’re going for, this is how to do it.
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