The secret to packing smart will not be found in a YouTube tutorial. (Rolling socks? How innovative!) The real trick, as our perpetually on-the-road editors will tell you, is to find those brilliantly designed lifesavers, like a natural hand sanitizer that won’t offend the entire cabin, headphones that will make coach as silent as a Zen garden, and these other balms, bags, and gear we can’t stop talking about.

(Source: Conde Nast Traveler – October 1, 2018)  This story was originally published in May 2017 and has been updated with new information.  

In-Flight Beauty
Fake a Good Night Sleep: “For those of us too vain to get on an overnight flight sans makeup, these wipes clean, exfoliate, hydrate, and prep skin for that pre-landing swipe of bronzer.” — Rebecca Misner, West Coast Editor

Buy Now: Ursa Major, Essential Face Wipes, $24 for pack of 20,

Three Products In One: “I use this balm as a makeup remover, face cleanser, and moisturizer. Also it smells like vacation: a not-too-sweet blend of coconut, vanilla, and mango.” — Lauren DeCarlo, Deputy Editor

Buy Now: One Love Organics, Skin Savior Multi-Tasking Wonder Balm, $49,

Like Q-Tips, But Better: “Twist the swab and the tip becomes moistened with a cleanser that gently removes eye makeup.” — R.M.

Buy Now: Too Cool for School, Dinoplatz Magic Wand, $12.90,

Stay Superhydrated: “Unlike most face serums that reek of essential oils, this one has a nice nutty smell and dispenses neatly through a tiny pump.” — Alex Postman, Features Director

Buy Now: Malaya Organics, Rejuvenating Face Serum, $75,

Keep It Healthy
If You’re Headed to the Zika Zone: “I love that this organic, essential oil-based bug spray—which actually works—smells like cedar, geranium, and rosemary instead of a high school chem lab.” — R.M.

Buy Now: Zoe Organics, Insect Repellent, $19.95,

For the Germophobe: “I semi-obsessively use this sanitizer on my seat and tray table every time I fly. Nobody minds, though: the light scent of mandarin rind and rosemary leaf are quite welcome in economy.” — Mara Balagtas, Style Editor

Buy Now: Aesop, Resurrection Rinse-Free Hand Wash, $10,

The Accessories
Yep, We Are Pro–Fanny Pack: “Say what you will, but a flush-against-your-hip bag like this is the easiest place to stash your boarding pass and phone.” — Pilar Guzmán, Editor in Chief

Buy Now: Clare V., Fannypack, $259,

The Packable Brim: “Finally a Panama hat sturdy enough to survive getting crammed in an overhead bin.” — M.B.

Buy Now: Janessa Leoné, Adriana, $207, janessaleone.comom

The Classic Shades: “The original folding pair of lenses that pack super small; in tortoiseshell they go with everything.” — P.G.

Buy Now: Persol, PO714, $370,

Featherweight Kicks: “Head-spinningly light, they pack down to almost nothing so I don’t have to give up my morning run.” — Erin Florio, Senior Editor

Buy Now: APL ‘Techloom Pro’ Running Shoe, $139.95, shop.nordstrom.comm

High and Low Tech
Make Movie Magic:
“So long to shaky hands and bad vacation videos: This gimbal keeps your smartphone shots Kubrick smooth.” — Phil Falino, Video Producer

Buy Now: DJI, Osmo Mobile 2, $139,

Dance Party in Room 204: “It’s got tremendous sound and nearly endless battery life, but the real kicker is that this waterproof Bluetooth speaker floats.” — Paul Brady, Articles Editor

Buy Now: Ultimate Ears, Wonderboom, $67.99,

The Best Way to Stay Charged, Period: “You never know where that hotel room outlet is going to turn up, so I carry extra-long twin-head cables that can charge my phone and a speaker.” — Paulie Dibner, Managing Editor

Buy Now: Native Union, Belt Cable Twin Head, $39.99,

What to Wear
The Blazer: “This classic shape, with a little stretch, pulls together a look, particularly if you’re rushing off the plane to a meeting.” — M.B.

Buy Now: J. Crew, Regent Blazer, $198,

No Breaking In Necessary: “These ultra lightweight boots feel like your most comfortable sneakers right out of the box, so there’s no need to spend the week before your trip breaking them in.“ — Andrea Whittle, Contributor

Buy Now: Danner Women’s Mountain 600, $200,

Maybe the Best Airplane Pants Ever: “These pants were made for travel. They’re flexible enough incase you find yourself sprinting to your gate and comfortable enough to withstand an 8-hour flight. I love to throw them on in the morning while I’m running out to the nearest cafe to grab a coffee. — A.W.

Buy Now: Lululemon, On the Fly Pant, $98,

Packing Upgrades
Dead-Simple Organization: “Not only do they make you a far better packer, but packing cubes are ideal for multi-city vacations. Plus, you can snap them up in fun, eye-popping colors.” — Lale Arikoglu, Digital Lifestyle Editor

Buy Now: Paravel, Packing Cube Trio, $55,

A Solution for Swim Trunks: “When you’re roadtripping with kids who can’t resist a hotel pool, these waterproof totes are everything.” — A.P.

Buy Now: Flight 001, Go Clean Wet Suit Bag, $18,

Tame Carry-On Clutter: “I keep receipts, business cards, and other stuff tidy in this textured vinyl pouch—in sunflower yellow—that looks like Comme des Garçons.” — E.F.

Buy Now: Delfonics, Quitterie Pouch, $22.10,

All products featured in this story are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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