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Heading out of town for the holidays? According to AAA, an estimated 113 million people are expected to travel to their holiday destination and 102 million of them will be hitting the road.
Meanwhile in the friendly skies, the TSA expects 2022 holiday travel numbers to hit “pre-pandemic levels.”
With gas prices still high and seasonal stress levels rising, the holidays can be overwhelming, but there are things that can help relieve some of your anxiety, like making sure that you have everything needed for your upcoming trip. To make the travel process a little easier, we’ve put together a list of travel necessities to take on your flight or road trip.
Hard Shell Suitcase
Zimtown 3-Piece Nested Spinner Suitcase
First on the list: luggage! When it comes to the best suitcase for travel, pricier doesn’t always equal better quality. Although top brands such as Samsonite, CalPak and Rimowa suitcases are well worth the investment, you can find moderately-priced, hard shell suitcases and duffle bags at just about every major retailer, including Walmart where this 3-piece set is on sale for $114.99 (regular $299.99). Hard shell suitcases are great for flying but a soft-shell suitcase might be more suitable for other trips. Traveling by car? Be sure to keep snacks, travel toiletries and other necessities within arm’s reach, so that they’re easily accessible.
Airline passengers are allowed to bring one carry-on and a small personal item, including a purse or tote bag or travel backpack such as the Troubadour Momentum Backpack ($275). See more travel backpack options here.
Not sure what you can and can’t bring on the plane? Be sure to review the TSA travel guidelines.
Cariuma Knit Sneakers
Sneakers, UGGs or slides? No matter your style preference, comfortable shoes are a must for travel. If you’re looking for an eco-friendly option, try Cariuma knit sneakers. Comfortable, affordable and low maintenance, the sustainable shoe is made from recycled plastics, bamboo knit, a sugarcane outsole and cork insole. Cariuma knit sneakers are available in low-top and high-top designs in over a dozen different colors. Click here to see our list of best shoes for travel.
Tablet Streaming Device
Amazon Fire 7 tablet, 7-Inch Display, 16 GB
Whether you’re traveling by car, bus, plane, or train, you’ll probably need a streaming device. You can stream mostly anything from a smart phone nowadays, but it doesn’t hurt to get an Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Microsoft Surface Pro or Amazon Fire 7, which is only $59.99 at Amazon. If you’re traveling by plane, most streaming platforms allow subscribers to download content that you can catch while the device is in airplane mode.
Delta and other airlines provide in-flight entertainment on domestic flights, while American Airlines passengers have to stream from their own devices. If you plan on flying AA, be sure to have a smart phone, notebook or tablet device handy, a charging cable and a travel adapter, if you’re traveling internationally.
Headphones or Earbuds
Beats Studio Buds – True Wireless Noise Cancelling Earbuds
You’ll need headphones to binge all your favorite content, jam away to music playlists, listen to podcasts and more, without disturbing those around you. If you prefer earbuds, you can’t really go wrong with Beats Studio Buds, AirPods, Google Pixel Buds or Sony LinkBuds. Click here for the best over-ear headphones.
A Good Book
Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story
A long flight might be the only time you get to relax and read a good book! Kindle, Nook Glow and other gadgets have made it easy to read digitally, but for those of you who still enjoy reading physical books, the New York Times Best-Sellers List is a great guide. The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times by Michelle Obama tops the most recent listm followed by Jennette McCurdy’s I’m Glad My Mom Died. Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story by Bono landed at No. 4 on the list.
Travel Blanket & Pillow
EverSnug Travel Blanket and Pillow – Premium Soft 2 in 1 Airplane Blanket with Soft Bag Pillowcase
Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, Bleach Free Cleaning Wipes
The pandemic has made us all more aware of spreading germs. Airplanes and hotels get professional cleaning, but it’s good to have your own disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer or anti-bacterial spray. Face masks are no longer required for travel, but the CDC recommends wearing them due to rising cases of the flu, COVID-19 and RSV.