Longchamps carry on bag in a dark but ‘cool’ color. If you buy in a duty free shop, you pay a bit less $145 vs $120?. Choose the  style that has handles long enough to put over your shoulder. That style in its smallest incarnation cannot be locked ( a good idea if you sleep on the plane and don’t know your seat mate). Best prices are going to be when currencies are low compared to the US: Mexico City for our Mexico trips, any Euro denominated country like France or Italy for our trips there.

In the photo here,  you see my bag with a leather tab and metal zipper pull. Have an awl? Make a small hole in the tab, then lock the bag using the metal tag’s empty spaces for the lock.  

A really big treat is the new style which I did not buy but gave to a close friend for a really special birthday. This one is from Bloomingdales $250ish. It folds over, locks and is perfect for carry on clothes we recommend if your luggage is delayed.

A comfy travel pillow to use on the plane and in a hotel where you do not like the pillows. (First ask the Front Desk for other pillows). Begin at a travel store, but compare with what you find in a camping store. Camping pillows are sometimes more packable and more like a real pillow. Don’t buy on line until you give each a squish. They should be washable and in bright colors so you don’t leave them on the airplane seat.

Really comfortable leggings, probably from a pricey line like Eileen Fisher.  These should be snug at the ankles so when you go to an airplane toilet, bottoms do NOT touch the bathroom floor. Negatives are leggings usually don’t have pockets. The only time we don’t recommend leggings is in very conservative countries like Iran where we go in November.

Now here is the big one: An iPad or similar. There are a million reasons to treat yourself. I like the mini to watch movies downloaded from Netflix (airlines will eventually downgrade movies), save screen shots of travel documents, download free walking tours you can study in your room, use the free mirror or flashlight apps, read books and guidebooks, add your favorite magazines to Apple news for articles for free. $150-400 depending on storage. Lock it up in the room safe when you go out.

Lastly a Swiss Card; this photo is from an Amazon ad. The simplest one works for all kinds of emergencies. Excellent tweezer, scissors, nail file, measuring tool, awl etc. It is about the size of a thick credit card. (It is unclear if you can carry it on so pack it). $16-40 depending on where you buy it and how many tools you want.

Treat Yourself Ladies, and Happy New Year from The Women’s Travel Group. Information on Upcoming trips:click here. To contact us: Phyllisnycity@gmail.com or Phyllis@thewomenstravelgroup.com