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Traveling isn’t easy. Seeing family and friends around the world is great, but the hours you spend on trains, planes, and automobiles to get there can be exhausting.
Through years of traveling experience, many of us have come up with our own strategies on how to stay comfortable and calm on business trips and vacations.
With this in mind, I asked my colleagueson theInsider Picks team toshare theirfive packing essentialsthat help make traveling a more pleasant experience for them.
Take a look tosee if there’s anything you want to add to your carry-on before your next trip.
Brandt Ranj, associate commerce editor
Amazon; iTunes; Sam Lee & Diana Yukari/Business Insider
1. If the noise on long flights bothers you, a pair of noise cancelling headphones can make a huge difference. In terms of noise cancelling quality and price, Sony’s H.ear headphones are my choice. They’re Bluetooth, but you can plug an cable into them if you’d like to use them with the in-flight entertainment system.(Sony H.ear on Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphone, $219.99)
2.Dark Sky is my go-to weather app, and I wouldn’t leave my apartment without it, much less the state or country. Using highly localized data, Dark Sky can give you weather information about exactly where you are and will be. My favorite feature is its precipitation chart, which will tell you how long and how intense the rain is going to be so you can plan accordingly.(Dark Sky Weather App, $3.99)
3. My iPad Pro is the only computer I take on trips, it also doubles as a great personal entertainment center. As apps like Netflix let you download content for offline viewing, this becomes an even better travel companion.(Apple 128 GB iPad Pro, $655.74)
**PLEASE NOTE: ONLY AVAILABLE FROM THIRD PARTY SELLERS**
4.Linked to the pick above, the Brydgekeyboard gives me the same typing experience a MacBook would without having to always be attached. It has many iOS specific keys to adjust the volume/brightness of your iPad or take you to its home screen. If you’re serious about getting work done but don’t want to take a laptop, I can’t recommend this keyboard highly enough.(Brydge 12.9 Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad Pro, $149.99)
5.Always take more charging cables than you need to. Always.(Anker Nylon Braided Tangle-Free Micro USB Cable 2-pack, $9.99)
Breton Fischetti, senior director, commerce
Mott & Bow; Amazon; Patagonia; Kiehl’s; Sam Lee & Diana Yukari/Business Insider
1. I don’t subscribe to the idea that people should dress in pajamas for a flight, which is why these Mott &Bow jeans are a real blessing for travelers. Their dynamic stretch fabric has plenty of movement, so you can look put together but still fly comfortably. These are the only pants I will wear on planes now, and if you’d like to hear more about them, I did a full review here. (Mott & Bow Staple Jeans, $128)
2.I used to think that ear buds were perfectly fine for watching movies or listening to music on planes, but I was absolutely wrong. Having a good pair of over ear headphones will make a huge difference in your comfort. They are able to block out morecabin noise (babies) and any other distractions like that never ending hum of planes that affects my ability to fall and stay asleep. This pair of headphones has been my go-to since we featured them a few months ago–they’re well pricedand sit comfortably on my head for hours with no need to adjust.(MUZIK One Connect Smarter Headphone, $249.99)
3.I’ve written about this bag at length, so I’m just going to quote my previous story on the Black hole Duffel here. “This bag can handle anything short of a hurricane without your stuff getting wet, and fits a shocking amount, while still maintaining the size of a slightly-larger-than-average backpack. That means on crowded subways, buses, trains, or streets, your movement isn’t affected by your stuff; instead, the bagkeeps a low profile.I’ve also never been asked to gate check it on a crowded plane because it looks so small.Airline employees are trained to look at roller bags as targets when overhead compartments get full,but this one barelyregisters and fits into every overhead compartment I’ve encountered.”(Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag, $129)
4.Everyone should carry a portable charger when traveling – it’s just a good idea so you don’t get stuck without a phone wherever you are. We’ve written at length about Anker’s great products, and I like this charger because it’s powerful enough to charge my phone once or twice while being small enough to fit in my pocket.(Anker PowerCore Slim 5000 Portable Charger, $29.99)
5.The first thing I want to do after I get off of a flight is wash my face. It makes a huge difference in my mood for the rest of the day, which is especially important if I have something important to do shortly after I land. I am a big enough fan of Kiehl’s energizing face wash that I just leave it in my bag so I never forget it.(Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash, $22)
Ellen Hoffman, commerce editor
Away; iTunes; Amazon; Dagne Dover; Sam Lee & Diana Yukari/Business Insider
1. Who hasn’t scrambled to charge their phone before a long flight? Now there’s help for busy travelers. Away’s carry-on has a built-in battery that can charge your devices, so you’re never left looking for an outlet at the airport. Plus, this one has two USB ports, so you can help out a friend if you’re traveling together. It’s the carry-on I always take with me on trips.(Away Carry-On, $225)
2. I own a handful of Bluetooth speakers, but this one from Anker is the one I use the most. While a speaker might seem like a superfluous thing to bring on a trip, it’s actually one of the most versatile gadgets I pack. I used it to help me sleep (see my next pick for more on that), liven up my showers (because it’s also waterproof), and for some entertainment when I’m relaxing in my Airbnb or hotel room at night. It’s well-constructed and sounds excellent, which are the two most important considerations when picking a speaker.(Anker SoundCore Sport XL Bluetooth Speaker, $69.99)
3. It may sound hyperbolic to say this white noise app has changed my life, but it has. I’ve been using Noisli every night for about two years now, and I wouldn’t go anywhere without it. Thankfully, I never have to since I can access it from my iPhone or iPad. Right before I’m ready to go to bed, I pair Noisli via Bluetooth my portable speaker when I’m away. I primarily use it to help me sleep, but you can also use it to help you to focus while working or relax while reading. It proved particularly helpful during the London leg of my trip – my first-floor Airbnb was located on a busy street and Noisli helped drown out the traffic outside.(Noisli App for iOS or Android, $1.99)
4. This is the one thing I wish I packed for my last trip. Selfie sticks look silly, but they serve a practical purpose on vacations. I get it now. This one from Fugetek can handle smartphones, GoPros, and digital cameras, and extends out over four feet – way further than your arm. Reviews of it are very positive for the most part, with most people praising its durability and the fact that accessories, like a carrying case, are included.(Fugetek Bluetooth Selfie Stick, $19.95)
5. Dagne Dover’s large Landon Carryall is a practical and stylish companion for long weekend trips, or for going from the office to the gym after work. It has a padded laptop sleeve; a water bottle holder; a key leash; two interior mesh pockets that are great for storing a book, charging cables, or portable batteries; and another large interior pocket for whatever other odds and ends you want to pack. There’s even a separate mesh pouch for toiletries and a shoe duster for your footwear you don’t want making contact with your clothes. Dagne Dover also put a pocket on the back of the bag, so you can keep your keys, phone, or passport tucked away and secure, but still readily accessible in a pinch. For further convenience, the bag unsnaps at the sides to create more room for the extra pair of heels you swear you’re going to wear. (Dagne Dover Large Landon Carryall, $185)