The Editor's
Travel Kit

Cory Ohlendorf, Valet.'s editor, travel kit Cory Ohlendorf, Valet.'s editor, travel kit


The tried-and-true tools,
gear and grooming essentials
for your next flight

Like most people, I love traveling. But unlike most people, I don't hate flying. I still get a kick from the thrill of the acceleration and views from my requisite window seat. But I get it, modern-day travel can be filled with unpleasantness—dry air, salty food and cramped seats filled with even saltier fellow passengers. After years of fine-tuning my travel kit, here are the tried-and-true items that I never leave home without. It's not a lot. I pride myself on traveling light and have only voluntarily checked a bag once over the dozens of flights I've taken this year. This list is an assortment of specialized gear and simple fixes engineered to keep you healthy, hydrated and happy so you can arrive looking and feeling your best.


The Editor's
Essential Travel Kit

Hand Sanitizing Spray

Even if you don't go full-on Naomi Campbell when you settle into your seat, you should, at least, sanitize your hands. I've used this spray for years—it's all natural, isn't drying and can also be used to spray your armrests or tray table too.

$2.51 by CleanWell

Face Wipes

Look, I'm all for a sheet mask—just not in public. I know people like to wear them on flights, but that's not my style. On longer flights, if I feel a bit dry or that my skin could use some freshening up, I love these wipes. I'll swipe one over my face just after take off and another right before we land. Infused with Ursa Major's Essential Face Tonic, they cleanse and hydrate, without getting caught on your facial hair.

Essential Face Wipes,
$24 (for a 20-pack) by Ursa Major

Ray-Ban Wayfarer 50 mm Square Sunglasses

Wayfarer 50 mm square sunglasses,
$173 by Ray-Ban

Wireless Headphones

I couldn't imagine traveling without headphones. I love catching up on podcasts and watching movies while in the air. Not to mention, a pair of headphones can be an effective "Do Not Disturb" sign to silence any fellow travelers who might be annoying you.

2-in-1 wireless headphones,
$399 by Master & Dynamic

AirFly Bluetooth Transmitter

Don't want to wear the airline's crappy headphones but still want to watch the free entertainment? This little gadget plugs into the jack and transmits clear sounds to your AirPods or other wireless headphones. And bonus, it also works with the treadmills and bikes at the gym.

$44.99 by Twelve South

Toiletry Bag

I take my grooming too seriously to try to fit everything I need into a sad little Ziplock baggie. This is somehow still accepted by TSA as quart-sized but it packs everything I need (and then some). Plus, the sturdy square form keeps things from spilling or breaking and the handle makes it easy to retrieve from the bottom of my bag.

$8.99 (for two) by Lermende


Takeya Insulated Stainless Water Bottle

Insulated stainless water bottle,
$22.92 by Takeya

Protein Bar

You can't rely on plane food being edible or that the flight attendants will be generous with the Biscoff cookies. So I always pack a quality protein bar or two. These were recommended by a personal trainer we've worked with in the past and are low in sugar yet full of creamy organic peanut butter and fair-trade dark chocolate chips.

$24 (for a 12-pack) by GoMacro


I pack mints, not gum. It seems simple, but these are as much for me as for my seat-mates. When I encounter someone with bad breath, I pull out my tin, pop one myself and offer a mint to the offending passenger. They almost always take one—everyone wins.

Arctic peppermints,
(for an 8-pack) by Altoids

Tide to Go Stain Remover

Tide to Go stain remover,
$2.99 by Tide

Tech Bag

I keep all of my chargers, cords, power packs and adapters (along with a spare battery or two) in a durable zippered bag—it's where I store them all when I'm home too. That way, I always know where they are and they never get lost.

Medium accessory bag,
$19 by Topo Designs

Apple iPad and Fisher Bullet Space Pen

iPad, $329 by Apple and Bullet Space pen, $25 by Fisher Space Pen

Travel Candle

One of the most underrated travel essentials, in my opinion. When I'm in a hotel room, I love lighting a candle just to give the space a vibe, you know? Even when I go to visit family, a candle in a scent that I love just makes me feel less out of my element.

$12 by Manready Mercantile

Can't Find a Travel-Sized Product?

Some of my favorite conditioners or facial cleansers don't come in travel size packaging. Does that stop me from packing them? Hell no. I transfer them to these compact, spill-proof bottles.

$12.99 by Matador

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Traveling Well