Back on Road

My mom is the best gift-giver that I know ("she get it from her mama" certainly applies here because I like to believe that gift-giving is also my jam). Over the years, my mom has gifted me some of my favorite key travel necessities. Things I wouldn't have thought to purchase on my own, but couldn't live without in hindsight.

Whether you travel for business or pleasure, consider adding some of these items to your repertoire:

1) Scent with Love

I've always had a pretty robust perfume collection. While some of my favorites in my collection came in full sets with lotion, travel-sized bottles, and the like to accompany them, others did not. And to be honest, I don't love the idea of putting the (sometimes oddly-shaped) travel sized containers in carry-on bags that I know I'm likely to toss to and fro over the course of a trip.

My Travalo refillable perfume spray bottle is a life saver. It's about the same size as most tubes of lipstick, so it fits well in carry-on luggage and even in toiletry bags. The best part about this refillable spray bottle is its usability. To fill the container, you gently remove the nozzle on a bottle of perfume (the part that you would typically press to spray), place the spill-proof hole on the bottom of the bottle onto the now-exposed spray canister, replace the cap of the actual perfume bottle, and go! In case those instructions were confusing, Travalo has how-to video instructions on their site.

I currently own the Classic HD model in purple (my favorite color). I'm a huge fan of durable products and this little baby certainly fits the bill. I've owned the exact same container for something like 6 years now - if I'm remembering correctly, my mom gifted it to me for Christmas one year while I was still in college and I'm now 3 years past my undergraduate time and still using the exact same container. Never has it caused me problems or malfunctioned and I use it on an almost weekly basis.

2) Weight to Go

Since most of my travel is work travel, it's pretty rare that I check a bag these days. However, on the off chance that I need to check a bag for a longer, international trip, it's always nice to know before I go as it pertains to the weight of my luggage. Maybe it's just me, but I've certainly found myself transferring items from my checked bag to my carry-on at the baggage claim counter on more than one occasion because my bag surpassed the posted weight restrictions.

Luckily, there are devices that allow you to weigh your bag at home (and they're more accurate than the measure you get when you try to toss your suitcase on a human scale - trust me, I've tried that, too). I lost the luggage scale my mom gifted me (sorry, Mommy), so here's the first product that I saw when I conducted a quick Amazon search for luggage scales. These are also relatively easy to use, unless of course you have no upper arm strength, like me. You simply attach the strap at the bottom to the handle of your suitcase and lift it to weigh. If you're flying a non-US airline, make sure you're converting from lbs to the unit of measure used for your airline's baggage allowance (e.g. Qatar Airlines has a baggage allowance of 32 kg = 70 lbs). Never fear overweight luggage again, for luggage scales are here.

3) Tiny Size Me

Travel accessory bottles tend to be more popular than the two items I've listed above. However, I like kits like this one I found on Amazon in particular because they include a small funnel with the travel-sized bottles. Goodness knows that filling these small containers can be quite the hassle without one. I will caveat that with a caution that thicker products are nearly impossible to transfer into bottles like these even with the use of a funnel. I tried to transfer my As I Am Coconut Cowash into a travel-sized bottle using a funnel and let's just say I ended up scraping it from the sink back to the tub-shaped container (that stuff ain't cheap, y'all). I had more success scooping the travel-sized container into the tub, tapping the bottle on the side of the sink to shift the product to the bottom, and repeating that process until the bottle was full than I did using a funnel.

Alternately, you can invest in tub-shaped containers like these. To take it one step further, you can re-purpose contact cases for products that you only need to bring in small quantities (think European Wax Center's Sensual Strut body polish exfoliant). And for those of you that get a free contact case with every Opti-Free Replenish purchase like I do, that might be your best, and most cost-effective, bet.

What are your travel favorites? Packing cubers and travel wallet users unite - talk to me about it on Instagram!


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