The freewheeling days of straw pom-pom totes and summer Fridays are winding down. But getting back to business doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Make fall travel more enjoyable with these five items.
Festive suitcase: All those black bags, rotating slowly around the carousel, are depressingly drab. I know suitcases get dirty and dinged up (I had a bright yellow one for a long time that looked like it had been dragged off-road by an ATV after its first flight). But that’s no excuse for not choosing a bag that suits your personality. ROAM luggage, developed by the founders of Tumi and assembled in California, offers a fully customizable bag, right down to the stitching on your zipper and the color of your wheels. There are actually more than a million color combinations, making building your suitcase almost as fun as traveling with it, and the polycarbonate case is lightweight but tough. After knocking through airports and train stations all summer long, my lavender, blue and orange number still looks fabulous.
Comfy travel clothes: Overnight flights are a drag – unless you’re flying first class with your own private cabin. Get a little more comfortable with JJWinks loungewear, designed to ensure modesty without a bra. Their so-called “light hug,” built into tops keeps even D-cups in check. Pair it with their stylish pants – all are made in the USA— and a long sweater, and no one will be any the wiser.
Memory saver: I fell in love with this idea the moment I heard it – the Atlas Explorer Kit includes a tiny plastic jar to put a bit of rock or soil from everywhere you’ve traveled. Start with some dirt from home, and add grains of sand from Dubai, a bit of a limestone pebble from the Loire and some soil from Central Park – the founders call it carrying the world in your hands. The kit also comes with a fabric map of the world, for tracing your travels, and a vegan leather journal for recording deep thoughts, or packing lists.
Cool kicks: The search for the perfect pair of travel shoes is ongoing for me. I’m seeking something that’s easy to slip off at security, looks good and will slide back onto swollen feet after a nine-hour plane ride. This summer, I was all about Comunitymade shoes, handmade in downtown Los Angeles. The brainchild of Toms and ASCICS alums, the brand donates $10 per pair to a nonprofit in addition to providing skilled jobs in the community. The Westsider is stitched from a single piece of butter-soft Italian leather – so no pokey seams inside – and it’s lightweight and flexible.
Neck pillow: I’ve tried out a lot of neck pillows, and the BCOZZY is the one my whole family fights over when we travel together. It’s soft and flexible, with many different ways to use it, depending on how you want to sleep. You can wrap it around your neck like a scarf, for all-around support (which is good for the middle seat blues), but if you have a window seat, I find it’s nice to fold it into a double crescent. Plus, it’s machine washable.
Five Things To Make Travel More Fun – Forbes