Thursday, October 05, 2006

travel bug

Only two more days until I'm officially on vacation -- Cabo, here I come! And as they say, the journey is half the adventure. So since I can't seem to think about anything else but getting the heck out of dodge and plunking myself down on a warm, sandy beach, here are some of my favorite accessories to make the travel experience as fun as possible.

Like most people, I too own a big black suitcase. I always curse my conservative luggage choice when that baggage conveyor belt starts moving and all those black bags tumble down the chute--shocker, every one of them looks the same. (Why, oh, why didn't I tie a colorful ribbon around the handle or paste a duct tape X-marks-the-spot on the front?) That's why I'm a fan of anything that makes a suitcase stand apart in a sea of black, like these eye-catching Tepper Jackson luggage tags from Plum Party. They're so colorful and are made of a textured PVC plastic so they won't tear while in transit. I especially love the "Arrivederci" and "Par Avion" designs. They're $13 each.

Tickets never seem to fit neatly into any of my ordinary wallets, so I keep all my important travel documents in this Mary Jane oilcloth document holder from Flight 001. Not only is it large enough for stashing tickets, but it also has pockets to hold passports, IDs and credit cards. It's $25, and comes in a bunch of fun patterns and colors, including floral, toile and lace.

Blech, do you hate using the airplane-supplied pillows and blankets as much as I do? (Cooties, galore!) But since I'm the always-freezing girl, I need to wrap myself in something warm to get me through a flight. Enter PB's 1st Class Travel Package set, which includes a plush blanket, eyemask and disposable pillowcase. The set comes in four bright colors, and is $18. Small price to pay for germ-free travel, methinks.

Before the new TSA rules went into effect, I was all about cramming as much as possible into my carry-on bag. (I couldn't face a week without my straightening iron if my luggage was lost!) And Murval's cute and roomy straw bag with leather handles and gingham lining is the perfect place to stash your getaway musthaves. It comes in orange, green and pink, and is super affordable! (Seriously.) The small is $25, and large is $39, at Purdy Girl, 212-787-1964.

I admit it, I'm not the most entertaining person to travel with because I'm a sleeper. Yup, from the minute I buckle myself in to almost the moment we land, I'm passed out. (Road trips in the car aren't any better, sadly.) But if I am awake, I need something to keep me occupied before my next wave of slumber hits me. So on my last trip to Italy, I happily spent my precious awake-time buried in Where to Wear travel shopping guides, which are filled with insiders' tips on finding the best stores and beauty spots around the world. They're great for finding retail inspiration (or decadent window shopping!).

A friend of mine swears by this little gadget, but I'm still on the fence. The Plane Clean Air Filter is said to remove 99.5% of all allergens, bacteria and viruses from your cabin's air stream, keeping you from breathing contaminated air particles. You simply mount the unit to your overhead air nozzle and point the purified air stream onto your face. Here's how it's supposed to work:

In this day and age of airline travel, I don't think I'm prepared to be the girl attaching an odd-looking device to the air filter of a plane, but it's a nice idea for $20 and sounds perfect for those uber-germ phobes out there (or those sitting next to a passenger with a bad case of the sniffles.).

Happy travels!


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