As travel editors, we are packing our bags and hitting the road all the time. But whether we’re heading to France or Finland, Morocco or the Maldives, there’s always one piece of clothing that makes its way into our suitcases each and every time. Below are the bare necessities -- the items we carry on every trip, no matter if it’s for work or pleasure.
“The number one rule of avoiding frostbite: bundle up those extremities! I’ve thought of that rule many times while shivering in an aggressively air-conditioned airplane cabin cursing the dinky blanket I’ve been given. Of course, frostbite isn’t really a threat, but those chilly long flights certainly make it feel as real as the beverage cart rumbling by. That’s why I own four pairs of these super-plush fleece tights. They keep your lower body warm and cozy from your waist down to your pinkie toes. I’ll even put them on while flying in the summertime, when the AC can be cranked to turbo levels. As a bonus, they offer full foot coverage when you slip off your shoes to go through security, too.” — Maria Teresa Hart, Executive Editor
“I always make space in my suitcase for a swimsuit, even when traveling to cooler climates. You just never know when there’ll be an opportunity to swim and I’d hate to pass it up because I don’t have a suit! My next trip is going to include the Blue Lagoon in Iceland and I think a red number like this one would contrast beautifully with the blue water. Another swimsuit packing tip? Be sure to bring a plastic bag for transporting a wet suit back home.” — Megan Wood, Editor
“Aside from a scarf that can double as a blanket, the one clothing item I can’t travel without are my Nike running shoes. They are comfortable for walking (or occasional running) through the airport, keep my feet cozy and warm on the airplane, and are great for long days of exploring my final destination. Plus, in the rare event I hit up the hotel gym or run along a beachfront promenade, I’m prepared. Their affordable price also makes it easy to replace them whenever they wear out.” — Lara Grant, Editor
“Even if I am flying somewhere warm, I lug on board my ridiculously heavy, extra-long Prairie Underground hoodie — which I affectionately refer to as my cloak of darkness. It’s quite literally worth its weight: The hoodie is thick enough to counter the Arendelle-like chill of the plane cabin (its extra-long ribbed cuffs can even pull out to cover my hands completely), and its hood is big enough to reach over my eyes when I want to nap (I actually prefer it to eye masks, which give me a headache). So really, it’s a three-in-one blanket/pair of gloves/sleep mask masquerading as a mere hoodie.” — Anne Olivia Bauso, Editor
“I’m a fan of looking fresh when you step off a plane, but the truth is that after a 16-hour flight across the world, it’s impossible to not come out the other side looking worse for wear. This Adidas hat has become my go-to for covering any airplane-pillow rearranged hair situations upon landing. It’s also flexible, durable, and can be easily collapsed into your carry-on bag. Added bonus? You can slap it over your face in case you forget an eye mask for sleeping, or if you want to signal to your chatty neighbor that you’re not in the mood for forced conversation.” — Kyle Valenta, Senior Editor
“A good pair of compression socks are not to be underestimated. In fact, even the sturdiest shoes are nothing without a good pair of socks. They keep your toes warm when the airplane cabin reaches frigid temps, help you stay comfy during long days of sightseeing, prevent you from having to go barefoot in the airport during security, and can even reduce swelling and fight blood clots by maximizing circulation at higher altitudes. This knee-high set from Sockwell checks all the aforementioned boxes, plus regulates moisture and temperature. The cushioned soles and arch support provide coziness in the air and on the ground. But it’s not all function — it’s fashionable, too. I just love the funky, geometric print. Happy feet, happy travels.” — Alisha Prakash, Editor
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