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Must-have travel doo-dads

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Travel doo-dads

The last few trips I’ve taken, I’ve been keeping track of things I wish I had with me. You know, the kind of stuff that you don’t even realize you use, until you don’t have it. This last trip I tried to do a bit of planning ahead on that front, and discovered there were a few little travel gadgets that I would have sorely missed if I had left them behind.

I first saw the Venus portable razor on Messy Wands, and I’m super glad I got one of my own. I use one of the full size Venus razors at home, but for some odd reason they don’t have a cover on the blade so I don’t like to put it in with my travel stuff. This tiny version doesn’t take up much room, and it’s nice that it has its own little case. I was a little bit surprised to realize that it’s also more comfortable to hold than the regular one – it might just replace the ‘real’ one when I’m at home.

Another gadget that’s a staple even when I’m at home is the Travalo*, and it’s just as perfect for trips too. My go-to fragrance lately has been Kenzo Amour I<3U, which comes in a gorgeous sculptural bottle that’s completely impractical for traveling. Seriously, it’s tall, weighty and has a long thin neck that I wouldn’t expect to survive the baggage handlers at any airport ever. Hence the purse atomizer – it holds plenty for a week-long vacation, is TSA-compliant for carryon luggage (though mine was in my checked bag) and it’s teensy enough to carry around in my purse all the time. I’ve got a couple different brands of atomizer, but I like this one best because it doesn’t leak and has the most fine and even spray.

Somehow I still haven’t run out of the Tatcha blotting papers that I got in one of my sample boxes ages ago. My skin isn’t as oily as it was pre-accutane, and between that and Hourglass Immaculate foundation (<3) I haven’t really needed to blot mid-day. Even so, we walked or used public transport everywhere in San Francisco and seriously stayed out all day err day, so these came in handy a few times.

Since we were vacationing with the family, we rented an apartment for the week instead of doing the whole hotel thing. In an effort not to hog the bathroom every day (there were four women, including me – that would be an easy recipe for hard feelings) I brought along my Danielle travel mirror. It’s big enough to be usable, but it folds up flat for storage so it fits perfectly in my makeup bag. Luckily we had a huge window in our room, so there was plenty of natural light.

Miniature nail file. I don’t think this requires much explanation – I don’t think anyone has ever not had a case when they wished they had a nail file handy. Mine is the four-inch Diamond Deb file (which, by the way, I think sounds like another type of product entirely). It’s flat and short enough to fit in the back zip pocket of my wallet, and it files pretty cleanly. I had occasion to use it several times, and so did some of my fellow travelers.

Also good for the whole group – my Fashion First Aid kit*. My most-used item from it by far is the Wundercover skin shields, which you can stick right on your skin to prevent blisters – the product page also mentions that you can use it to cover tattoos, but I’d need entire rolls of it for that. It saved my feet from being shredded with all the walking we did, and also guarded me from a chafing underwire seam in a bra that’s well past its prime. The kit has a couple things in it that I don’t see myself using, like the White Collar grime protector – I just double-checked and I don’t even own a collared shirt – but double-sided adhesive and garment protectors will almost certainly come in handy in the future. The package is small and fairly flat, so this is another thing that’s taken up permanent residence in my purse.

The only thing that I had to actually buy during the trip was the Mophie power reserve, which I picked up toward the end of the trip. As it turns out, my iPhone’s battery just isn’t up to the task of planning transit routes, checking restaurant reviews and entertaining me on the train for 12 hour straight. There are other external battery packs that are a bit less expensive, but this one is very small, very light and doesn’t require a separate power cable. Real estate in my purse is at a premium these days, so I’ll take it.

What things are must-haves for you when you travel, or alternately, what did you forget to take and seriously regretted it?

* – product provided free of charge by the company. Opinions, as always, are mine.

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