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11 International Travel Essentials For Smoother Trips Abroad

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Global travel may have been on hold for many during the pandemic, but people are certainly gearing up for their next big trip now. According to the International Air Transport Association, international travel is up almost 300% from March 2021 to March 2022. The customs line has almost never felt more inviting than it does today.

But what do we need to prepare for an epic journey abroad? Some things are the same but could use a refresh (read: new luggage) while others are completely new, like a vaccine card holder. This list of international travel essentials goes beyond the perfect carry-on and helps smooth some potentially rough moments like sleeping in a new place and communicating with locals.

Versatile Headphones That Feel Good On

With comfy ear cups, a 30-hour battery life and exceptional noise-canceling capabilities, these wireless headphones from Sony are a choice traveling companion. They can pair with a smartphone, computer and other devices and also seamlessly toggle between them.


A Customizable Passport And Vaccine Card Case

Personalized RFID Passport Cover And Vaccination Card Holder


Keeping your passport protected has always been important, but now with vaccine cards and the risk of digital identity theft also in the equation, an RFID passport holder with a transparent vaccine card slot is the most important international travel essential. RFID protects from those who try to scan the contents of a wallet without even touching it. Available in 18 leather colors, this set can also be embossed with your initials in a choice of 12 font colors and eight fonts for text and icons.


The Best Smart Watch For International Travel

According to Forbes Vetted’s tech editor Quentyn Kennemer, “the Apple Watch Series 7 is the best all around smartwatch for traveling if you have an iPhone. It also has automatic workout recognition and tracking, plus offers unmitigated access to Apple Fitness+, giving you access to workouts ranging from five to 45 minutes. It’s important to note that some models also include LTE radios, giving you an alternate way of contacting loved ones or getting directions if you misplace your smartphone. The SOS feature automatically dials local emergency services and sends notifications to your closest loved ones with a single press of a button. You can also download and use many useful travel-oriented apps right on the watch, including Apple Maps, apps to track flights and others that can translate conversations on the fly.”


A Jewelry Case That Makes A Statement

A few choice pieces of jewelry make any trip feel more fabulous, but untangling a mess of necklaces, earrings and bracelets is not cute at all. This leather zippered portfolio is designed to keep all sorts of accessories neat, untangled and organized. The size is just right for tucking into a carry-on, purse or hotel safe, and the anti-tarnish lining keeps everything sparkling like new.


A Fun Way To Get To Know The Locals


A Calming Mask To Soothe Tired Eyes

The dryness from a plane cabin alone can leave eyes feeling tired, but throw in an overnight flight or a destination with a completely different climate and chances are the eyes will show it. This cute mini-suitcase of four eye patches is vegan, and designed to hydrate, firm, soothe and depuff the skin under exhausted eyes. There’s plenty to go around: one pair for arrival and one pair for the return, and a couple to use on the trip or to share with a travel companion.


A Packable Plug Adapter For Staying Charged

Traveling to multiple destinations or various countries in one go means needing an adapter to charge and power electronics without damaging them. Because countries can have different outlets and voltage, this handy little cube converts both and contains a surge protector so that the right flow of electricity is getting through. It has a handy mix of ports including three USB slots and can fast-charge anything up to a laptop. Worth noting: This one does not work in South America (our tech editor’s top pick is the Zendure Passport II Pro—available for preorder through B&H Photo. In the meantime, this one is a close runner-up.


An Extra Large Suitcase For Long Trips

A big trip calls for a big suitcase. From its durable, modern exterior to its included water-resistant laundry bag, the Away suitcase is beloved on social media for good reason. It’s an excellent travel buddy in any of its sizes, but the supersized 27 x 19.5-inch interior of the large version provides enough space for extensive travel gear and plenty of souvenirs.


A Comfy, Oversized Sleep Mask

Block out all unnecessary light with this adjustable and light-as-a-feather hypoallergenic silk mask. The full-coverage style helps guarantee a serious in-flight power nap and a solid night’s rest while adjusting to a new time zone.


Non-Sticky Sunscreen For Head-To-Toe Protection

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen SPF 60


No matter what the destination may be, broad spectrum sun protection is always necessary. This dry-touch SPF 60 goes on easy, doesn’t leave skin sticky or shiny and tucks perfectly in a carry-on or purse. It’s also easy to replenish at most pharmacies in Europe.


A Versatile And Cozy Cashmere Wrap

A pashmina may not be a new idea, but this super soft and extra large scarf—a.k.a. maxi stole—doubles as a blanket on a cold airplane and adds a fabulous touch on cool evenings in faraway locales. The blend of wool and cashmere makes it a little more hardy for traveling. Whether dining at a sidewalk café or attending a special event, this versatile piece comes in handy almost anywhere.