Essential Travel Products: Editor's Picks


Hilary’s Picks: Travel Must-Haves


We all have products we never go on vacation without. I’ve tried a lot of products over the years. And I mean a lot. And these are the ones that make it into my travel bag each time.

Hilary’s Picks: Travel Must-Haves

Relaxing by the pool at The Breakers in Palm Beach (swimsuit by Shan)


Hilary’s Picks: Travel Must-HavesI absolutely love Dr. Hauschka’s makeup line. Not only do their products blend super well and look very natural, but the line is completely free of toxins. My essentials are their eye shadows, bronzer and blush.


Hilary’s Picks: Travel Must-HavesI love just about anything ombre, and Dessy pashminas are no exception. They look gorgeous around your neck and are perfect for breezy nights.


I always bring along a bottle of Butter London nail polish for touch-ups. Nobody wants chipped polish while traveling.


My favorite bikini is a Brazilian cut suit by Vix. I also love the cutout one-pieces from ASOS. Both brands suits are well made and ohhh so sexy!


Hilary’s Picks: Travel Must-HavesI never forget my Toms ballet flats. They take up almost no space, are super comfy, and give back to the world.


I had an iPad, but I gave it away in favor of my Chromebook, which does everything a big laptop can do, but is super light. It’s like a hybrid between a tablet and a laptop, and I like having a proper keyboard.


Hilary’s Picks: Travel Must-HavesI never go far without my Beauty by Earth Argan Oil. Argan oil basically works as a Ten-in-One. I use it to nourish and moisturize my face and body, fight wrinkles, remove eye makeup, condition my hair… it’s also great for adding a subtle sheen to arms and legs. Beauty by Earth cold-presses the oil and packages it in dark glass in order to preserve the nutrients and prevent toxins from entering the product, and it’s USDA and Eco-Cert certified organic. Coconut oil is another great oil, which smells amazing, has anti-bacterial properties, and can be used as a makeup remover (it won’t sting your eyes), sexual lube, moisturizer – you name it.


I throw everything in my little weekender bag by Vania & David. I love all the pockets. Gone are the days of fumbling around in the bottom of my bag for my phone or passport.


Hilary’s Picks: Travel Must-Haves

I bring Badger lavender sunscreen with me everywhere I go. It’s a bit thick because it uses zinc oxide (the only safe sunscreen), but it rubs in well and is truly 100% chemical-free. I also love red raspberry seed oil for it’s natural SPF properties and how light and absorbent it is. It gives my face a natural non-oily glow.


I love Marlyn Schiff jewelry because the items give you a great high-end look without being expensive, so if you forget them at the pool, you can just buy another pair.


These shades by Velvet are so glamorous, and my husband loves them on me, so I wear them all the time. They come in a bunch of different colors, and I have them all.

Hilary’s Picks: Travel Must-Haves

Marlyn Schiff earrings

Hilary’s Picks: Travel Must-Haves

Velvet brand cat-eye sunglasses


Hilary’s Picks: Travel Must-HavesI love my silk Manito eye mask. It’s super soft and cushy. I can’t sleep when it’s bright out, so this really helps on airplanes and for jet-lagged naps.


I love my travel ProPur Scout water filter. It’s made of stainless steel and filters out all the chemicals and bacteria from tap water. It also saves me a ton of $ because I don’t have to buy the $8 bottles of water in my hotel room.


Hilary’s Picks: Travel Must-HavesI stick all my skin and body care products, jewelry, and any other little things I need in my PurseN ‘timeless quilted’ travel bags. They’ve got a ton of waterproof pockets and compartments on the inside so it’s easy to stay organized and I know my shampoo won’t leak mid-flight.


Hilary’s Picks: Travel Must-HavesI almost always just take a carry-on, but when I’m forced to gate-check, I feel very safe handing over my Ricardo suitcase. It actually uses nanotechnology to protect against the elements (and the baggage handlers!) and, since it’s hard on the outside, I don’t worry about my stuff getting crushed.


I keep my TrakDot Luggage Tracker in my suitcase in case the airline loses it – which has happened a couple of times! It helped me figure out when it was arriving at the Dominican Republic airport so I could pick it up before it got ‘lost’ – permanently.


Now you know what I can’t travel without, but what can’t you go without?

A writer, artist and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary spends most of her time in France, but still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC and has traveled extensively around the world, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and brands to bring to Urbanette readers.


  1. I just bought about $500 worth of Marlyn Schiff jewelry thanks to you… and a PurseN bag to put it all in! I’m gonna have nowhere to store everything at this rate! LOL

  2. Sara Williams

    I just looked up Dr Hauschka — their makeup is super clean and natural. Going to buy a number of their products. They’re the first truly organic/natural beauty company I’ve seen that sells contouring powder and bronzer. #stoked!

  3. Lela House

    Those are great tips! You thought of everything!
    What’s in my bag? Tissues and Wet Wipes so i can use it for a quick clean.

  4. Hazel Collins

    Love your tips! You absolutely come with wonderful posts. Thank you for revealing your blog.

  5. Cornelia Green

    I absolutely agree with your must haves. I bought a maroon pashmina before and I’ve been using it since then, not just as a scarf but also a blankie. What’s great about them is that i can use them when I need to nap while being on the road. I’ve never heard of ProPur Scout water filter, must buy one. Happy travel everyone!

  6. Louise Stone

    I have to agree with your items! You simply can’t travel without them. I love to bring dry lite towels with me at my trips because they dry so quickly. I’ve learned several good stuff here. It’s so so so great. I’ll stay tuned for more. 🙂

  7. Merry Robinson

    This was the type of information that i was looking for. i have also bookmarked this post . Thank you! 🙂

  8. Heather Strobel

    Zip lock bags in different sizes, They are good for everything! 😀

  9. Esther Earl Harris

    Thanks for sharing with us your travel must-haves. I agree with the comfortable walking shoes. When i’m travelling with my son, I make photo copies of our cards, id’s and passport. I also bring with me band-aids and cold medicine, in case we need them in the middle of the night. I’m also bringing with me a handy and pocket-size dictionary.

  10. Jenny Garett

    I like your list. Love the sunglasses and the earrings. As for me… I never go anywhere (across the street OR around the world) without an extra bag/plastic(foldable). I just got a toms ballet flats(grey) for my birthday and I can’t wait to use it for travel. Good advise for travelers!

  11. Ashley Moore

    Great list, I’m adding these to my travel bag. Thanks! 🙂

  12. I have traveled far and wide for many years. Always, I take olive oil or coconut oil (coconut oil less leaky), for hair, skin and even lips. If you mix a couple of drops of olive oil with some water you have instant eye makeup removed and you can tip it down the sink when leaving to return home and not harm the environment or worry about the cost going to waste. I also always take my knitted poncho (also ombre, turquoise to black). It’s super on the plane instead of a blanket, and handy in cooler climes or in spring if the weather turns, in autumn as a jacket, and in winter over my coat. I invested in noise canceling headphones two journeys back, VERY worth it to tune out crying babies or yappy people on the plane. Also as the ear phones you get on aeroplanes are too big for my little earholes.

    • …and hats! A foldable cotton floppy one, and a knitted one. Can’t do without!

  13. Use Promo Code “urbanette” on for 30% off- created exclusively for your readers and followers 🙂

  14. Here are a few more products to think about taking with you: cashmere blanket (for on the plane and it can double as a shawl), packing cubes (to keep you clothes from going everywhere in your suitcase), and a really good, lasting moisturiser.

  15. Lin Del Rey

    Great travel essentials!! I bought a few of them just now: the eye mask, suitcase, sunscreen oil and a few pieces of Marlyn Schiff jewelry. Debating if I should get those sunglasses as well, just not sure if they’ll fit my face. GREAT list!

  16. Christina Norelli

    You’re a smart traveller! I can tell 🙂

  17. Lena Dzeko

    Excellent list, Hilary! I’d add an inflatable travel pillow with a cashmere pillowcase. 😉

  18. Felicia Stewart

    Wow! I want every single one of theses items! They seem so useful! It’s a shame I’m reading this now, just a day before a 3 weeks holiday. I’ll make sure to check them out for next time!:)

  19. Amelia Beckons

    Wonderful article. For me it has to be my Grid-it to keep all my wires neatly arranged and flat and GoToobs for perfect liquid travel containers.:)

  20. Kim Hartford

    OMG you got some brilliant stuff here! I can’t travel without my chihuahua, Muffy! 😀

  21. Evelyn Sandler

    I use a Nokia Treasure Tag! I would recommend it to everybody who travels often.

  22. Melissa Princeton

    Great list! My must haves changes depending on where I’m travellig to 🙂

  23. Elin Hanks

    You have some good stuff on here, Hilary. Good article! I also travel with an electric heating blanket — especially if I’m going on a ski trip.

  24. Going to South America for 2 months! My travel buddy wants to take carry-on only.. we are going into the Amazon Basin, climbing Machu Picchu then heading to Beunos Aires and Rio to party.. Can it be done? I think probably not, considuring the time we are going for, our budget and the diversity of the environments we will be visiting. Thoughts?

    • Yes! Roll everything and bring items that mix and match. Pick two colors (like navy and white, for example) and one metal color (like gold or silver) and only pack items in those colors. Oh, and wear flats! 🙂

  25. A short piece of rope comes in handy as a clothes line for wet swimsuits, etc. Just tie it over the shower. It takes up no room in the luggage either. 🙂

  26. Lucretia Asher

    I take a small bottle of lavender essential oil. Great for masking musty smells in hotel rooms or just giving a pleasant, calming smell …

  27. Magnets are great for keeping all daily info organized and accessible on a cruise. Cabin walls are metal. The daily schedule, invitations, excursion tickets, coupons/vouchers won’t get lost in the ream of paper stuff you gather. 😉

  28. Great Tips! My must-haves: Purell or sanitizing wipes are handy in bathrooms without soap, and a keychain flashlight can be a lifesaver. I aslo bring a small (less than 3 oz.) bottle of lavender linen spray. The lavender scent helps me to sleep in strange places. Or download nature sounds to your mp3 player and listen to them when falling asleep. 🙂

  29. Dana Rosatti

    Awesomr list! If you have a smartphone you can reduce your packing list even more. You can put your mucis on it and add a flashlight app. Mine is very bright! 🙂 I carry a silk sleeping bag tha is like a large pillow case. I slip inside of it and no hotel linens to worry about touching my skin. Packs very compact. I bought mine in Vietnam but I’m sure youcan find them anywhere in Asia.

  30. I carry an “emergency kit” in a sandwich-sized zip lock bag. Included are: pen or pencil wrapped w/ about 2′ of duct tape; rubber bands; emergency sewing kit including a button or two; eyeglass repair kit; paper clips; sticky notepad; very small LED light. Separate bag: emergency medical kit.

  31. I pack a surge protecter to charge up ipods, ipads, iphones, etc. because there is never enough available plugs on a cruise ship or in a hotel room when there are two of you. 🙂

  32. I would suggest noise-canceling headphones as an addition to this list!

  33. Cassi Braun

    Some of these are my must haves too!

  34. I always make sure to get my eyelash extensions done the day before I leave. This way they last my whole vacation and I look great in all the photos. 🙂

  35. OMG these will definitely make travelling easier!

  36. Camila Hilhorst

    Thank you! Love these!

  37. Oh! I would love to see a picture of you wearing those Velvet shades… Mmmm?!

  38. Courtney Watson

    When I travel, sunscreen is on top of my “what-to-bring” list. It doesn’t really matter where I’m going, but I find sunscreen to be that essential that I must not forget! I’m excited to try your recommended product, Badger lavender sunscreen. Does it smell nice?

    • OMG yes!! It smells really good – like real lavender essential oil (not that awful synthetic lavender smell).

  39. Great list! Thanks for sharing 🙂 On my next trip, I’m definitely checking out Manito eye mask.

  40. Andrea Mitchell

    You have such expensive but brilliant taste. 🙂

  41. Susanna Milton

    Oh my god! I can’t believe we use the same brand of nail polish. 🙂 What are your favourite colours?

    • I only wear nail polish when on vacation somewhere warm, and I like either deep, saturated red, nudes, or light pastel colors. What about you?
      BTW- Check out this article:

      • Susanna Milton

        OMG – just read that article. I had no idea! I like dark blue shades, but I’ll be wearing them sparingly from now on… no more polished toes all winter unless I’m on vacation!

  42. Melissa Princeton

    Thank you! The eye mask will be very useful on long flights. 🙂

  43. Sabrina Wellington

    I clicked on the link for Vania & David — they have some gorgeous bags and jewelry. Just bought one of their necklaces – it’s stunning, big and chunky. Can’t wait to wear it!

  44. Molly Twain

    Genius article! Thank you Hilary. I never travel without my rose water spray. It’s great mid-flight!

  45. Ayla Pennington

    THANK YOU! There are some items that never crossed my mind. 🙂

  46. Evelyn Sandler

    One thing you forgot is travellers pillow! But you probably fly first class so you don’t need it. 🙂

  47. Roberta Bennett

    Very helfpul! Didn’t even think of putting eye mask or nailpolish in my bag.

  48. Amelia Beckons

    Yes!! Even though they’re mostly in different brands, these are exactly my must-haves for every time I travel. 🙂

  49. Kim Hartford

    You look beautiful in that picture Hilary! Thank you for all the useful tips. 🙂

  50. Sasha Rosswell

    I needed an everyday face sunscreen. I just bought the red raspberry seed oil you recommended. Texture and feel are great – definitely lightweight and absorbs well. My only reservation is the nutty smell the reviewers on Amazon say it has. I love fruity smells. But I guess that’s not ‘natural’ so I should get used to more natural scents…

  51. Kaitlyn Barrett

    Cat eye sunglasses are so chic! 🙂 I have a favorite pair by Chloe that I never travel without.

  52. Jennifer McSween

    I had an iPad too but it got stolen. I think I’m going to get a new tablet but I don’t know what brand or model. But since you’re recommending a Chromebook, I think I’ll go with that. I trust your taste!

  53. Great choices all over! Some of these items are not only useful for travel. With my pale skin I usually start using sunscreen by early spring. Badger sunscreen might be the right thing for me! Not to mention it can be used as a primer for foundation. And of course, another favorite essential of mine is Argan oil and this one by Beauty by Earth looks so good!

  54. I adore those sunglasses! I’m going to get them immediately. Thanks for the tips!

  55. Hannah Mayers

    Great article.  I love argan oil as well as this brand is offering a great deal!  Love the TOMs ballet flats too!

  56. Ansley Barrington

    Very useful article! I love facial oils can’t wait to try this one – thanks!

  57. Gabrielle Williams

    I loved your list. Personally I would not travel without my perfume and my anti antiperspirant! As a woman, I feel the need to always smell good 🙂 I’m going to buy the Coola sunscreen and Velvet sunglasses though. Gorgeous! I love the suitcase too — black is so boring!

  58. Joanne Samonte

    I love ballet flats! They provide extreme comfort while traveling that I can’t find in other styles. I’ll check out the TOMS ones – they look super cute! 🙂

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