The more I travel, the pickier I become with the precious items I choose to bring on the road. There’s only so much space in a suitcase and so many pounds I can handle; despite the fact that I fundamentally am a notorious overpacker, I continuously aim to have fewer, but better and more useful travel things.
And yes, that means that I no longer jump with excitement the minute I walk past a Primark. What’s the point of battling the crowds to buy cheap frocks you’ll only wear once?
Whether it’s due to age, experience, or simply common sense, I found that the way I choose to purchase clothes and travel accessories has changed considerably over the past year or so. If you, too, are increasingly conscious about the ethics, concrete usefulness, and value of what you spend money on, have a look at this travel gift wish list – to either spoil yourself or your loved ones.
Indulgent Travel Things Wish List
I’m a sucker for indulgent hotel toiletries, but I have to admit that this Aesop kit delights both my need for plant-based moisturising and my eye for pleasant aesthetics. Ultra useful for those of you who travel with a partner of the opposite sex, as you both get to enjoy the unisex fragrance!
I had been looking for the perfect leather tote for quite some time but somehow they were all wrong – too wide, too small, too sleazy-looking, or, on the contrary, simply too costly. Cuyana bags ticked all of my boxes. A modern, lightweight, versatile, ethical Italian leather tote handcrafted in the USA? I can get behind that – and, in fact, I have, as I’ve been wearing this bag non-stop in my hometown of Montreal ever since I got my hands on it (and cheekily had my initials engraved on it, because, you know, I could).
If you think the airline’s lousy and flimsy eyemask will be enough to swiftly take you to dreamland, you’re wrong. It wasn’t until I tried on a proper eyemask that I realised it could make the whole plane experience (which I am terrified of, if you remember) that much more relaxing. The micromodal fabric (made from sustainably harvested beech trees) is incredibly soft and is stretchy enough that it doesn’t feel tight or leave marks on my skin.
Because I’m trying to incorporate more and more hiking in my travels (marriage *is* about compromise, right?), I needed a high-quality backpack that I wouldn’t be embarassed to be seen with – cue the Fjallraven Kanken 2. A slightly more polished version of the classic Kanken 1, this daypack features leather handles, durable fabric, and a clean design that is so quintessentially Swedish.
I may be in denial that my thirthies are just around the corner, but my face clearly is NOT. My very fair skin doesn’t allow me for much leeway, particularly when it comes to dark circles; every bit of wisdom that I gain with age comes with an extra layer of puffy undereye bags. This refreshing and brightening eye cream (created by a low-carbon-print company) swoops in and saves the day every time I need it to.
The ultimate travel indulgence! Ever since I learned that airplane blankets are not cleaned after each flight (I know, EW!) I’ve been carrying my own travel sleep kit, which includes a oh-so-soft cashmere wrap that both covers and warms me up in the most stylish, luxurious possible way.
You know the icky sensation you get after a few hours in transit? This impossibly tiny travel towel simply needs a few sprinkles of warm water to expand and wash that oily airplane film away. It works like magic and takes almost no room at all!
These edgy yet classic flat booties, made from AA-grade cowhide leather and with a high-quality soft goat leather lining, designed in Edmonton (yay Canada!), are the perfect travel companion. I’ve worn them in rainy London and sunny Paris and they’ve done wonderfully in both; they also make for practical footwear for both transit and airport security as they can be slipped on and zipped up rather effortlessly. Did I mention they’re handmade by decently paid artisans in a small family-owned factory in Mexico?
Traditional camera bags are the absolute worst. Not only are they an offense to style and taste, they’re basically advertising to everyone around you that you’re carrying thousands of dollars worth of photography equipment. Hello, pickpockets. Which is precisely why I love my Claremont crossbody: it’s got the essential features of a camera bag (interior quilted padding, discreet pockets for SD cards) as well as an enviable design thanks to the full grain leather. Yet another proof that practicality and design are neither rocket science nor mutually exclusive!
* I was offered discounted prices on some of these items above. Rest assured that as always, all opinions are my own. If it’s listed, it’s because I like it.