Don’t Leave Home Without These 5 Unexpected Travel Essentials

Sure, you know to bring sunscreen and comfortable shoes on your next vacation, but it's time to take your packing to the next level. These small, surprising trip enhancers will rectify travel disasters, create mini oases in even the most un-oasis-like hotel rooms, and help you fully unwind.


A sad, unfortunate truth when traveling—you never know what you’re going to find once you’ve checked in to your hotel. A scented candle is a two-in-one power player, instantly freshening up musty rooms and adding a spa-like vibe to too-small bathrooms. We’re fans of Illume’s Color Block Tins because of the suitcase-ready metal packaging and five relaxing scents—we’re especially partial to the mango-infused Coconut Milk.

Face Mask

Now is the time to catch up on those extra beauty rituals that slip through the cracks during a busy workweek (or, er, workyear). Refresh and pamper your face and neck with a cleansing, hydrating mask, like Origins Clear Improvement Face Mask. The luxe formula uses white China clay and charcoal to detox skin and flush out impurities.

Bath Salts

While we’d love to add a bath to our weekly routines, carving out time for a long soak can be extra tough. Make the most of a roomy tub and lazy days on your next trip by bringing along BORGHESE Bagno di Vita Body Soak—adding the blend of minerals, salts and botanical oils to warm bath water helps melt away pent-up stress while softening skin.

Stain Bar

One home staple that's awfully hard to find while traveling? A washing machine. Instead, pack a stain bar in your toiletry bag—it’s a Godsend when your foundation smudges along the collar of your shirt or the local chili sauce finds its way onto your lap. Try The Laundress Wash and Stain Bar, which is both gentle enough to use on delicate lingerie and strong enough for sweaters. Added bonus? The bright scent freshens up your luggage.

Moleskin Padding Strips

Adventurous trips usually mean long days spent hoofing it between breathtaking exotic sites—and a major, oft-forgotten downside is the ensuing blisters on your feet. Avoid running to the drugstore for bandages that will only slip off after five minutes and bring along a pack of Moleskin Strips. The adhesive cloth protects feet (or already hard-won blisters) from painful shoe friction.

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