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The Carry On is our monthly round-up of our favourite travel items we’d happily haul from Stansted to Seville, Heathrow to Hydra. Be it a functional fedora or the latest in skincare science, we’ve probably got it in our carry on. Riffing on the adage “if you can think it, you can be it”, we’re saying: “If you can jam it in your carry on… you can bring it.” Catchy.
Note: weight restrictions and other practicalities do not apply.
From customisable tech to eco-friendly clothing, these are the items we’re packing in our suitcase.
You won’t find us frantically searching through our inbox for important details such as what time our flight gets in or the confirmation number for our car service. Not since we downloaded TripIt, at least. The free to use app keeps all your travel confirmations, flight bookings and hotel reservations in one spot for easy access and viewing – whether synced up to WiFi or offline. As soon as you book an element of your trip, forward your confirmation email (or set up automatic forwarding if you’re particularly time efficient) to [email protected] and it’ll be instantly added to your master itinerary. All reservations are organised in chronological order, so you know exactly what comes next during your holiday, and can be shared with fellow travellers or friends and family. It’s a real game changer.
2. Top Case, Horizn Studios, £50
Packing isn’t readily considered as an activity that “sparks joy”, but before Marie Kondo has you offloading your suitcases and burning your backpacks, we encourage you to first focus your attention towards this jolly product from Horizn Studios (yes Marie, we’re encouraging a commercial purchase, what of it?). Perfectly designed to fit on top of your Horizn Studios H5 Cabin Luggage (or any other similar-sized carry on), this top case makes departing for your next adventure a little easier. We like to stash our valuables – iPad, jewellery, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – in the confines of the Top Case’s main compartment, safe in the knowledge that they’re well protected; it’s crafted from waterproof ballistic nylon (that’s the same material used in bulletproof vests). Another element we love – the internal zipped mesh pocket is great for stowing toiletries, which really speeds things up at airport security.
It’s probable that you have lost a charger or two to train station plug sockets and hotel lobby front desks over the years. Some casualties were, admittedly, due to your own carelessness, but more than 40 per cent (we’re approximating here) were cases of mistaken identity – i.e. your charger was unknowingly pinched by a fellow passenger or passer-by due to the fact that, well, it looked identical to their own. Chaos’s leather iPhone charger sticker and cable holder offer a chic solution to your wire woes. Made from hard-wearing deerskin leather and available in a selection of colours, the iPhone charger stickers can be personalised with one or two letters and symbols (monogramming is vital, we say). The leather stickers attach directly to the surface of your plug, while the cable holder slips onto the wire using a small elastic loop, then wraps around and secures it with a gold pin.
Splitting costs when travelling with a group can be headache inducing, which is why we’ve recently got into the habit of using Tricount while abroad. The best approach: create a Tricount account ahead of your trips so early expenses such as car rental and various ticket purchases can be logged on the spot – make sure to note the exact cost and who paid for it. Use the app among your group throughout the trip to keep things equal and even tempered for the duration of the holiday. While that one friend who secretly loved toting up costs is likely mourning the loss of their leading role, the rest of us are relieved to retire from mental arithmetic and focus on more salient matters – like scouting out a late-night bar in the Italian off-season.
As our obsession with outdoor gear soars, we’ve pledged to be more conscious of the products we buy ahead of, or specifically for, our nature-led trips. For a March-time getaway in the Scottish Highlands, we require a long-sleeved number to keep is warm and tie a couple of our outfits together. Made with 100 per cent recycled fabrics (118g of scrap fabric and 4.8 discarded bottles to be precise), Patagonia’s P-6 Logo Responsibili-Tee® seems a fitting choice. Think of it as a hinterland homage. Not only is Patagonia an outdoor apparel stalwart, but it’s also an incredibly eco-conscious brand. This t-shirt, for example, saves 63 gallons of water compared to conventional cotton tees. Aesthetically, its raglan sleeves, rib-knit cuffs and screen-print logo serve to heighten the appeal.
Dr Barbara Sturm’s clients include Kim Kardashian West, Hailey Bieber and Gwyneth Paltrow, who all swear by her treatments. A favourite product among that LA lot is this highly concentrated hyaluronic serum, which is infused with hyaluronic molecules that penetrate deep into the skin and provide intense hydration. Squeeze one full pipette into the palm of your hand, apply evenly to your face and then wait until you’re a goop-style goddess. Promoting firm skin while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, this hero product also works to combat the damaging effects of daily environmental aggressors – what’s more, it’s suitable for all skin types.
When your sunglasses aren’t sliding down the bridge of your nose à la Garbo they should be stowed away in an elegant case. While most eyewear holders tend to be a bit boring, this one is anything but. The double-duty case from Tanner Krolle is the perfect sartorial sandwich for your favourite opticals. Whether you’re a fan of light wire frames or chunky acetates, you can place one pair each side of the caddy – which is encased in fine Alcantara (a suede-like microfibre) to protect your lenses – and secure with the press-stud fastening. The case goes with any bag – although it’s certainly pretty enough to leave out on display.
The weather can wreak havoc on an outfit, so it’s comforting to know that Liquiproof has compiled an eco-friendly, non-toxic kit with everything you need to protect and clean the accoutrements of your ensembles – shoes, jackets, bags, etc. Suitable for use on all non-treated fabrics, the kit includes the Liquiproof LABS Premium Protector – a long-lasting spray that guards against rain, stains and spills – alongside the Footwear & Fashion Eco-Cleaner which conditions and cleans, removing any soiling. Your travel-friendly (all products are 50ml or under) kit also features a vegetable-fibre brush and microfibre cloth. Since we purchased this nifty kit, our dry cleaners (in London, Rome and Miami) have taken the lack of contact somewhat to heart.
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