Ashley’s travel essentials

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I leave for Prague and Budapest next weekend and I am very excited. This will be my fourth trip to Europe and I can’t wait to get out of the country for a little bit and explore two (and maybe more?) countries we’ve always wanted to visit.

After my previous adventures, I’ve learned a few things about how I like to travel. I don’t like to sacrifice style for comfort. I don’t know about you, but I always feel totally grimey after an international flight. Must be all of those lovely germs circulating in a small airplane cabin. Gross. Why can’t we all look like Emma Watson while traveling? #lifegoals

Regardless of my lack of chic-ness, I do have my own travel strategies so that I arrive in a new place refreshed and ready to go. Here are my essentials:

travel

+ Large carry-on tote // Some people prefer backpacks, but I’ve found that while going through airport security, it’s much easier and faster to have a big bag that you can toss your essentials in without needing lots of zippers. It helps if it has a pocket or two to stash your passport and smartphone for safety.

+ Tablet // If you’re an avid traveler, invest in a tablet or e-reader. My Samsung tablet was just $199 so it’s not the fanciest, but it’s awesome to have a ton of books and magazines to read at any time, and it prevents me from draining my smartphone battery (which I usually need for more important things) or laptop battery.

+ Stowaway Makeup Kit // Not only in this makeup beautifully-designed, but it’s the perfect compact size intended for traveling. But it doesn’t only need to be used for that – their goal is to cut down on waste by making products in sizes that people can actually use to completion.

+ Toiletries for carry-on in pouch // This is related to the point above, but I always pack my carry-on with essential items that are easily accessible. I rarely check my main suitcase, but it’s still hard to grab a toothbrush from the overhead compartment, so I keep my makeup, toothbrush, and medications within the bag that I keep at my seat.

+ Hairties // Gotta be able to throw my hair into a braid or topknot – easy hairstyles in case I don’t have access to a blowdryer.

+ International Outlet Converter Set // I’ve used this same outlet set for 10 years now on all of my trips. A European set tends to have all the right outlets

+ Earbuds // Some airlines give out cheap airbuds – or charge you for them – but you can’t beat a good, noise-canceling pair to tune out the crying baby or the guy who won’t stop coughing. I use Skull Candy earbuds, personally, but there are plenty of brands to choose from.

+ Scarf // This is a must even if you’re traveling in summer. Planes, buses, trains, etc. always have varying temperatures so you can use it as a shawl if it gets chilly, or tie it over your hair as a hood if you’re trying to sleep in transit. I prefer a nice, wide pashmina scarf.

While some of these items are mostly lady-specific, there are some great travel-sized items for men, too. Check out these travel dopp kit suggestions from Birchbox. Also, I’m a firm believer that all men should invest in a nice scarf. We recommend Frank & Oak scarves, which come in a variety of colors and patterns (and the texture is very luxurious).

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