The New Travel Essentials
Explore, Reconnect and Recharge in Safety and Style
The holiday travel season is here, and the mood in airports everywhere is urgent, joyful, and more than a little stressed. Travelers are boarding planes, trains and automobiles to see family, work remotely from exotic locales, and embark on bucket-list adventures. After last year’s socially-distanced holidays, Thanksgiving travelers set a one-day pandemic record, with 2.5 million people flying the Sunday after Thanksgiving (down only 15% from 2019). From Monday through Sunday of Thanksgiving week, a total of 14.4 million U.S. travelers passed through TSA checkpoints, more than double last year’s numbers. While it’s not known how Omicron will impact international travel during the remainder of the holiday season, surveys show that 122 million U.S. adults plan to travel for Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanza, with 64% traveling less than 500 miles, a distance unlikely to be impacted by Omicron.
As people venture beyond their neighborhoods and borders, they’ll need to stock up on travel accessories that address the realities of the pandemic age. These new travel essentials can be divided into four key categories: health and safety-focused products that meet the enhanced hygiene needs of the COVID-conscious traveler, accessories that add comfort to long-haul bucket-list trips, and items that are purely for pleasure — small luxuries that make travel more elegant and memorable. And for the remote workers who are dabbling in a digital nomad lifestyle, new electronics accessories turn any airport lounge or Airbnb into an office and home away from home.
Health and Safety
AARP holiday travel guidelines predict a massive travel rebound and advise members to be ready for TSA and airline staff shortages, cancellations and other infrastructure issues. Products that address health and safety will help calm the nerves of travelers shocked by unaccustomed airport chaos and crowds. In addition, not all health and safety concerns are covered by a COVID vaccination, including breakthrough infections and traditional traveler worries like theft, bedbugs or the flu.
The Safe Travels Kit antimicrobial plane seat cover and pillowcase are washable, waterproof, and adjust to fit both economy and business class seats (as well as train and coach seats). Their antimicrobial treatment lasts for up to 40 washings, while hypoallergenic fabric provides effective protection against allergies, skin sensitivities and bed bugs. The kit includes seat cover, pillowcase, 10 antibacterial (75% alcohol) wipes, plus surgical face masks.
As savvy international travelers venture back out into the world, the world is requiring more documentation. Stay organized with the Jack Georges Voyager Passport Cover with Vaccine Card Holder. The slim, hand-stained buffalo leather passport cover includes a clear vaccine card holder and fits U.S. and Canadian passports.
Prior to COVID, travel security concerns centered around theft deterrence. Pursesuitz Pocketwear® tackles two perpetual problems: purse snatchers and the lack of functional pockets in women’s clothing. Perfect for travel, Pursesuitz Pocketwear tank tops provide a base layer that can be worn under casual or dressy clothes, in warm or cooler weather, all while concealing essential items like wallet, keys, phone, and passport.
International travel now requires more identification, but no less style. Jack Georges Voyager Passport Cover with Vaccine Card Holder is handmade in black or brown buffalo leather, fits U.S. and Canadian size passports. MSRP: $44
Contact info: Tom Lambrinides, firstname.lastname@example.org, 973-777-6999
Sinox Portable Safe Box safely stores credit cards, cash, passports, keys, phones, medication, and other personal items. Enjoy the convenience of a keyless combination lock, plus a detachable cable loop for added security. MSRP: $29.99
Contact info: Anna Chen, email@example.com, +886-28227-6730
Sawyer Permethrin Fabric Treatment is a semi-permanent insect repellent spray for clothing, gear, and tents. Effective against mosquitos, ticks and other biting insects, Permethrin Fabric Treatment can be used on fabrics as delicate as silk. MSRP: $14.99
Contact info: Megan Bigelow, firstname.lastname@example.org, 810-347-3287
“Revenge travel” bucket-list trips will be a lasting legacy of the pandemic, with bookings surging whenever lockdowns lift. According to the online travel platform GetYourGuide, top international destinations for Americans are Paris, France (10.3%), Rome, Italy (8.05%) and Reykjavik, Iceland (7.3%). Within the U.S., Americans are traveling to Hawaii (23.8%), New York City (16.9%) and Las Vegas (9.1%). That’s a lot of long-haul flights and strange accommodations for those of us who didn’t leave our home in 2020. Luckily there are a host of smart new products that add crucial comfort and ease to longer trips.
The SeatDreamzzz Wall Pillow provides convenient adjustable support for your next in-flight nap. Constructed of softly sueded fabric with a quick-inflate and deflate valve, the SeatDreamzzz pillow packs down to the size of a soda can.
Is it a health and safety, pleasure or comfort item? The Pang Wangle Bug Out! Bandana with Insect Shield® Repellent Technology checks (almost) every box. Keep ticks, mosquitoes (and the diseases they carry) away from your head and neck. Pang Wangle’s soft and stretchy insect shield bandana has a boho vibe, in naturally breathable and durable recycled cotton and Tencel (derived from renewable eucalyptus trees). Odorless Insect Shield® lasts 70+ washes and is EPA approved for everyone, including pregnant or nursing women, infants, and pets.
Attention workationers (those working remotely from an exotic locale) and Airbnb inhabitants. Are you schlepping groceries and souvenirs for miles over cobblestone streets? The stylish Hulken Bag is the secret to saving your back while looking chic, in even the most trend-setting cities. The Hulken folds completely flat in your luggage or trunk, carries nearly everything, and rolls smoothly over uneven pavement.
Love a window seat? The SeatDreamzzz Wall Pillow inflates in two to three puffs of air (depending on preferred firmness) and the two sides of the clever L shape are slightly different lengths to accommodate different shoulder widths. MSRP: $39.99
Contact info: Laurel Alyn-Forest, email@example.com, 541-638-0444
The perfect gift for the bug magnet in your life, the Pang Wangle Bug Out! Bandana with Insect Shield® Repellent Technology provides targeted protection against ticks, mosquitoes or biting flies. Odorless Insect Shield® lasts 70+ washes and is EPA approved safe for everyone. MSRP: $14
Contact info: Jennifer John, firstname.lastname@example.org, 504-452-0788
Stylishly tote up to 66 lbs. of souvenirs, groceries, even flats of water with the rolling Hulken Bag. Packs completely flat in your suitcase, and comes in four glossy, trend-setting colors (patent leather-look black plus three metallics: silver, gold and rose). MSRP: $59.99/$69.99/$79.99/$89.99
Contact info: Jonathan Sheleg, email@example.com, 646-509-1039
The massive increase in remote employees has created a new cadre of digital nomads and fueled a surge in workations: a hybrid of work and vacation. If you’re part of the new workation workforce, first check out this guide to the best cities for remote work from Preply. And then read on to find smart products to support your crucial electronics.
Stay connected and in control with the Atlantis Chargella® Smart Passport Travel Case. Store and organize your passport, phone and cards in an RFID-lined zippered wallet with 8000mAh capacity wireless charger. The Chargella case is handcrafted in classic, durable black or brown cowhide.
With airline in-flight entertainment systems going BYOD (bring your own device) you need the Perilogics Universal Travel Phone Mount. Clamp the compact and lightweight mount to any item up to 1.5” wide, including your seat back, luggage handle, or gym equipment. The Universal Travel Phone Mount is compatible with multiple phone sizes from an iPhone Mini to an iPhone 12 Pro Max or Samsung Note 20 Plus.
Squeeze productivity into your layover, create me-time at your destination. Attach goDesk® to your carry-on (or any bag with a telescoping luggage handle) to create a stable surface and improved air-flow for your laptop, tablet, or smart phone.
It’s always story time with Lunii My Fabulous Storyteller. A great alternative to screens and tablets, My Fabulous Storyteller allows kids to create their own audio stories by choosing a hero, an object, a location and more, with 300+ combinations to enjoy. Multiple languages are available, and My Fabulous Storyteller provides eight hours of continuous listening between charges.
Consolidate your travel essentials in the zippered Atlantis Chargella® Smart Passport Travel Case. The classic handcrafted cowhide case contains an RFID lined wallet plus 8000mAh capacity wireless charger with LCD capacity indicator. MSRP: $129
Contact info: Vartan Shaljian, firstname.lastname@example.org, 818-712-0572
Clamp the Perilogics Universal Travel Phone Mount to any item up to 1.5” in width and comfortably enjoy your media. Phone mounts vertically or horizontally, while 360° rotation gives you the flexibility to find your best viewing angle. MSRP: $12.97
Contact info: Albert Wang, email@example.com, 646-543-5660
The secret indulgence of savvy travelers — luxurious accessories that add pleasure to a trip — create memorable moments or help business travelers squeeze a little vacation into their work destination.
Elevate your next dinner party or picnic with the Parker Clay Valley Wine Tote. The versatile full-grain leather carry-bag features a removable padded divider, so you have a tote bag by day, or a two-bottle carrier at night.
Adaptability is also the calling card of the Cambiami The Beach Date Set Customizable Sandals. Based on the stylish yet compact gladiator thong-style sandal, the set includes three interchangeable straps to perfectly match a variety of looks — while taking up the absolute minimum amount of space in your luggage.
As you collect new stories on your travels, commemorate them with Storyteller FlagMate. FlagMate is a vegan leather keyring that holds hand-painted flags representing the countries you’ve visited. The award-winning FlagMate funds educational programs around the world, and The Storyteller was named UK Social Entrepreneur of the Year.
Luxe interchangeable Cambiami The Beach Date Set Customizable Sandals are an incredibly compact way to add fashion footwear choices to your travel wardrobe. The set includes Nappa leather soles plus rose gold, cork and hot pink interchangeable sandal straps. MSRP: $133
Contact info: Diane Licht, firstname.lastname@example.org, 818-917-1100
Featured in our photos are Seatdreamzzz Wall Pillow, Pursesuitz Pocketwear® Tank, Atlantis Chargella® Smart Passport Travel Case, and Safe Travels Kit.