Make Your Holiday Travel Bearable With These Useful Items

From duffels to Kindles, this list makes travel less stressful.

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They lied when they said travel is about the journey, not the destination. Because as far as I am concerned, the “journey” is the most annoying part of travel. Holiday traffic, air travel delays, and airport pickup mixups don’t make it any easier. There’s a lot between you and a hot cup of cider at your parents’ house. Here are some items that make holiday travel a lot more chill—from the basics, to the in-flight entertainment.

Away F.A.R. Convertible Backpack | $220 | Away
Away F.A.R. Duffel | $150 | Away

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Graphic: Erin O’Brien

When your travel isn’t quite “checked suitcase” but more “carry-on” or “fits in the trunk,” these picks from Away can help. The duffel is suggested for “four night excursions,” and the suitcase for five. Both have large capacity and lightweight exteriors, with multiple ways to carry them. Slip ‘em on a suitcase handle for longer trips.

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Ultra Stretch Active Jogger Pants | $40 | Uniqlo
Sweatpants | $40 | Uniqlo

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Graphic: Erin O’Brien
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There’s a specific type of sweatpant that I call “travel sweats.” They look more polished than the ones you wear around the house—in a streetwear sort of way? Like you won’t be embarrassed when you see someone from home at the airport? Anyway. Uniqlo makes good ones for $40.

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Compression Packing Cubes | $32 | Amazon

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Graphic: Erin O’Brien

Truly compressive packing cubes are a difficult to find. Some cubes just work as travel organizers, but these press you clothes down into pleasant, stackable polyhedrons. These have a double zipper (for compressing) and a rugged exterior that won’t catch on itself.

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Gemice Travel Bottles for Toiletries | $12 | Amazon

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It’s always nice to have your usual toiletries instead of using whatever weird shampoo your mom stocks in the guest bathroom. This set of four bottles are right at the 3.4oz mark—just right for TSA if you’re traveling by air.


Bagsmart Electronic Organizer | $19 | 14% Off | Amazon

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Graphic: Erin O’Brien
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Personally, I am convinced that the key to happy travel is a bunch of little pouches. This pouch nestles all your electronic stuff, from your camera’s SD cards to your laptop’s wireless mouse, all within a water resistant shell.


Beats Studio Buds | $100 | 33% Off | Amazon

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Graphic: Erin O’Brien
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It doesn’t hurt to carve out some personal space at home by wearing noise cancelling buds. Or to put them in transparency mode to chill out at the airport while waiting to board.

Kindle Paperwhite | $140 | Amazon

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Graphic: Erin O’Brien
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Catch up on your reading list on long-haul flights. The Paperwhite has up to 10 weeks of battery life, so you can definitely finish that novel before landing. It’s glare free and has an adjustable light—so easy on the eyes.