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Travel Tips: Must-have items for a more peaceful trip

I’ve been traveling quite a bit for work over the past year.  My trips are usually pretty short (about 2-3 days on average) so I’ve been slowly learning how to pack more efficiently, and collecting items that make the whole process a bit more peaceful.  From the scarcity of healthy food on planes to the dilemma of hotel breakfasts, from juggling your carry-ons in the airport to remembering what to pack . . . I’ve compiled my best tips for travel below.

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    Travel Smart Travel Bottle Set I love this set because I can refill it, and it keeps me from trying to remember what toiletries I need when I'm packing. I used a labelmaker to label each bottle and try to refill them when I get home, so that the next time I travel this kit is all ready to go. It comes with a clear bag, so you can just pop it out during the TSA screening. I always keep this in the outer pocket of my suitcase to make the security line a little faster.
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    Authentic Pigment Large Canvas Tote bag, Khaki Green, One Size This is probably my #1 tip for frequent travelers: buy a large canvas bag to use as your second carry-on, that your purse, laptop, and any other items can fit in. You are only allowed one carry-on bag, so if you have a purse and a rolling suitcase, you've hit the limit. But a soft, flexible canvas bag can fit a purse and your lunch, a book, or any other items you want to carry on board. It can also be rolled up and stashed in the suitcase if you don't need it.
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    Case Logic LAPS-116 15 - 15.6-Inch Laptop Sleeve (Black) I don't like traveling with a laptop bag, because I usually prefer a larger bag as my carry-on. So I've purchased a laptop case that can be thrown into a bigger bag.
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    TravelRest - The Ultimate Inflatable Travel Pillow and Neck Pillow, REINVENTED!! I have a hard time sleeping on planes, but a good pillow really helps. I like this alternative to the u-shaped pillow (which I find uncomfortable). This pillow is inflatable and folds down into a small square so it doesn't take up space when you don't need it.
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    Tazo Chai Natural Spiced Black Tea Latte Concentrate 32-ounce Boxes (Pack of 3) I learned this tip from my friend Karen Walrond, a fellow tea-lover.  Hot water is always available on airplanes, and most hotel rooms have coffee makers that dispense hot water. Bringing your own favorite teas is a nice, relaxing way to pamper yourself as you travel.  I keep tea bags stashed in the pocket of my travel bag and always have a cup or two on the plane.
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    Travelon Bag Bungee, Black, One Size This little gadget is an easy fix for pulling your random bags with one hand. It allows you to attach a purse, tote, or laptop bag to your rolling suitcase. This is great for kids, too.
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    Nature's Path Organic Instant Hot Oatmeal, Variety Pack of Four Flavors, 8-Count Boxes (Pack of 6) Breakfast on the road can be a challenge, especially on a business trip with early meetings in the morning. I don't love paying $18 for eggs through room service, so I usually bring a couple packets of instant oatmeal that I can make with the hot water from the coffee maker in the room.
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    GoPicnic Gold Star Premium Ready-To-Eat Meals: Edamame Kale Dip & Plantain Chips, 4.3 Ounce (Pack of 6) I have been stuck so many times without any food on a long flight because the airline runs out or a tight connection made it impossible to grab something in the airport. I usually grab some kind of a shelf-stable meal to have as a backup.
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    Andis 33805 Micro Turbo 1600W Dual Voltage Hair Dryer Most hotels have hair dryers but my hair is a hot mess without one so I bought a small hair dryer to have as a backup.
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    Chi Deep Brilliance Digital Titanium Hair Styling Flat Iron 1" Purple This is a luxury to do, but if you travel a lot and use a flat-iron, I suggest buying a second low-end iron just for travel. I've done this because I have so often forgotten to pack mine since I usually use it the morning before a trip (and pack the night before). This also alleviates the issue of trying to throw a hot flat iron in your bag after you've used it.
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    Davidsbeenhere: Sleep Eye Mask with Ear Plugs For unpredictable noises/curtains, I usually keep a mask and earphones stashed in my bag. They can come in handy for napping on the plane as well.
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    Bonine Motion Sickness Protection, Raspberry Flavored Chewable Tablets - 16 count I always take a Bonine pill before I fly, because I've had a few two many experiences with nausea after some turbulence in the air. It is non-drowsy and lasts for 24 hours, so it's an easy fix if you are prone to travel sickness.
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    Travelon Comfort Grip Luggage Handle, Black, One Size If you travel a lot, this can be helping for reducing the strain of pulling your luggage through large airports. It also allows you to stand up straighter as you pull.
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    Unique Dots Pattern Double Layer Cosmetic Bag Black I travel enough that I've actually bought a second set of makeup, just for trips. I keep this bag stocked with the essentials (powder, concealer, shadow kit, mascara) so I'm not repacking my makeup for trips.
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    KIND PLUS, Pomegranate Blueberry Pistachio + Antioxidants, Gluten Free Bars (Pack of 12) These are another great healthy snack for stashing on a trip - made of nuts and fruit.

Any tips I’m missing that make traveling easier for you?

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