A world traveler’s 11 travel gear essentials — all on sale for Memorial Day!

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Pack wisely with these travel gear picks I swear by. (Photo: Amazon/Getty)

If anyone knows how to pack a suitcase, it’s me…because I live out of one! As a remote worker, I spend much of my time abroad. Trust me: understand how and what to bring can make or break a trip.

As a rule of thumb, it helps enormously to have things that conjure comfort, safety and a sense of familiarity (no, it’s not all about cute outfits!). Some of my essential pieces of travel gear are totally unexpected — like an HDMI adapter and sunscreen for my hair — and 11 of them are also on sale for Memorial Day….

Travelpro Platinum Elite Softside Expandable Upright suitcase

Travelpro luggage

Travelpro is the brand flight attendants and pilots use. (Photo: Amazon)

…and that includes the suitcase itself. In this connected world, it just makes sense to travel with a piece of luggage that also charges your phone; it’s so helpful when you’re stuck at an airport gate or on a long bus ride. Flight attendants and pilots swear by Travelpro luggage — and this Travelpro Platinum Elite Softside Expandable Upright suitcase is the perfect pick. It’s a softside (I find these wear better than hardsides), and has an external USB port and a dedicated power bank pocket (the power bank itself is separate). Plus, it’s $55 off, or just $275 — the lowest price I’ve ever seen on Amazon.

$275 $330 at Amazon

As for what to put inside? I consider the following pieces of travel gear indispensable.

Anker PowerCore 10000 Portable Charger

  Anker power bank

An Anker power bank is indispensable. (Photo: Amazon)

Remember that portable power bank I mentioned? It’s going to save the day, so don’t skip it. Now that we mainly use our smartphones to take pictures, get directions and even pay for things, it’s important that yours is always juiced up when you’re out sightseeing. The best-selling Anker PowerCore 10000 Portable Charger is compact enough to fit in your purse and charges your iPhone or Android phone up to three and a half times at high speed. Get it for 15% off right now.

$17 $20 at Amazon

Funky Monkey Women’s Comfort Slides

Funky Monkey slides #1 best-selling flip flops on Amazon

I live in these. So will you. (Photo: Amazon)

I like to spend as much time as possible in beach towns, and I practically live in these Funky Monkey EVA beach slides. They’re basically Birkenstock dupes for a fraction of the price, but just as comfortable (they’re heaven, in fact), and they’ve never given me blisters. It speaks volumes that they’re Amazon’s #1 bestselling flip-flops and have more than 31,000 five-star reviews. Right now they’re on sale in some colors, including my favorite: white! They go with everything.

$20 $23 at Amazon

Realgrandbazaar Lucky Turkish Towels Beach Towels

Turkish towel

Forget bulky hotel towels: this one’s cuter, more absorbent, and it doubles as a blanket! (Photo: Amazon)

I thank myself all the time for buying a Turkish towel three years ago. It’s durable, highly absorbent, ultra-thin and takes up about the same luggage space as a pair of pants. I got mine in Croatia, and it’s been my constant companion all over the world, holding up impeccably through countless beach days, road trips and machine washes. This 100% cotton Turkish towel by Realgrandbazaar — 30% percent off for Memorial Day — is identical to mine. It’s super cute and doubles as an on-the-go blanket.

$18 $23 at Amazon

Coola Organic Scalp Spray & Hair Sunscreen Mist with SPF 30

Coola scalp &  hair mask

Your hair is susceptible to sun damage just like your skin. (Photo: Amazon)

You know you need a good sunscreen for your skin every day (I prefer mineral sunscreen, like this Kate Somerville pick, which sits on top of your skin to deflect rays), but don’t discount the damage UV rays do to your hair and scalp, too. My delicate, color-treated strands get fried and bleached by the tropical sun if I don’t use a great product like Coola Organic Scalp and Hair Sunscreen, which is marked down $5 right now. The lightweight, coral reef–friendly mist has SPF 30 to protect against harsh rays and provides 80 hours of protection against another culprit: salt water.

$21 with on-page coupon $26 at Amazon

QRxLabs Pure Plant-Based Squalane HA+ Moisturizing Cream with Hyaluronic Acid

QRxLabs squalane and hyaluronic acid moisturizing cream

Squalane is a magically moisturizing ingredient — it smells kinda funny, but it works! (Photo: Amazon)

The low humidity on planes is notorious for drying out skin, and then there’s the elements, jet lag and actual to hydrate on your trip. It all takes a toll. I constantly have a small stash of skin care with me while I travel, and a lightweight yet deeply hydrating moisturizer is absolutely essential. I’m loyal to ingredients, not brands, and this top-rated QRxLabs moisturizer contains two of my favorites: plant-based squalane and hydration superstar hyaluronic acid. Grab it for 53% off (!) and store it in your purse — it’s a carry-on-friendly two ounces.

$19 $40 at Amazon

Takeya Ocean Originals Vacuum-Insulated Stainless-Steel Water Bottle

Takeya water bottle

Keep your water cold on the go. (Photo: Amazon)

Here’s another great way to keep your skin — and your whole body — hydrated while you travel: keep drinking water! Novel ideas, huh? It’s even more important if you’re walking more than usual, touring ancient ruins, or doing anything that puts you in the blazing sun all day. This top-rated, vacuum-insulated, reusable Takeya Ocean Originals water bottle makes it easy: it has a loop handle that lets you hook it onto a bag or a belt and carry it hands-free. It keeps water cold for a full 24 hours, and it’s 32% off.

$17 $25 at Amazon

QGeeM USB C to HDMI Adapter

QGeeM HDMI adapter

This HDMI adapter is my secret weapon. (Photo: Amazon)

Not everyone considers an HDMI adapter essential, but I do, and here’s why. A lot of hotels and vacation accommodations offer smart TVs, but that means you have to log in to your own Netflix, Hulu and other accounts. And then you forget to log out, which is a security risk. This QGeeM HDMI adapter connects your smartphone or laptop to any flatscreen TV with its HDMI cord attached, and mirrors whatever’s on your screen. I don’t travel anywhere without mine. This one is on sale for 45% off with on-page coupon.

$12 with coupon $20 at Amazon

Bose QuietComfort Noise Canceling Earbuds

Bose QuietComfort ear buds

Bose is the gold standard in noise-canceling technology. (Photo: Amazon)

My Bose QuietComfort Bluetooth earbuds are my constant companions. They have superior noise-canceling and audio abilities, are sweat- and waterproof and have seen me through long trips on planes, trains and automobiles — and boats! My favorite part is how fast they charge — about 15 minutes for up to 12 hours of play time. They’re compatible with both Android and iPhone, and they’re 29% off in three colors. Bose is rare on sale, so grab these for Memorial Day!

$199 $279 at Amazon

Flents Foam Ear Plugs

Ear plugs

These tiny ears make a huge difference. (Photo: Amazon)

Once of the least predictable things about travel is sleep quality. Will you get noisy neighbors? Construction? Will you be stuck next to a heavy snorer on your flight? While staying in Bali, I had a rude awakening — I was literally waken by the sound of roosters every morning at dawn. Lesson learned: Now I never travel without foam ear plugs. They’re absolute game changers, and this box of 10 pairs of Flents ear plugs is more than 50% — just $3. You’ll thank me later.

$3 $7 at Amazon

Lug RFID Crossbody with Multi-Strap and Charm

Lug RFID purse

This is the perfect purse for travel: a super cute crossbody with RFID technology. (Photo: QVC)

I never advocate fear-based travel advice. But pickpocketing and card skimming are real, so I advocate the best safety precautions so you can enjoy your trip with a clear head. This Lug Crossbody bag is a perfect example of a smart purse. A crossbody bag keeps your stuff close to your body and in front where you can see it, and RFID technology protects all the cards in your wallet. It’s got lots of handy compartments too, so you don’t have to dig through a bottomless pit to find your keys, wallet, phone and all your little accessories.

$55 $61 at QVC

Bcozzy Flexible Travel Pillow

Flexible travel pillow

This travel pillow is completely adjustable for different sleep positions. (Photo: QVC)

Neck pillows are a dime a dozen and yes, they make travel so much more comfortable. But I also get back pain from traveling, and sometimes I need pillows in other places. This Bcozzy travel pillow is one of my best Amazon finds, and it comes with its own travel case. It’s flexible so you can conform it to your shape and for different sleeping and sitting positions. That’s probably why it’s Amazon’s #1 bestselling travel pillow. And good news! It’s 30 percent off right now.

$35 $50 at Amazon

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