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The Travel Essentials We’d Buy with $100

We all have those items we just can't travel without, from everyday skincare regimens to airport-friendly footwear, and long-lasting portable chargers to versatile blanket scarfs. Here, the JS team answers the question what travel essentials would you buy with $100? Their picks below.

A Brooklyn-based writer and editor, Chelsea's work has appeared in Matador Network, The Huffington Post, the TripAdvisor blog, and more. When not planning her next trip, you'll usually find her drinking way too much iced coffee (always iced—she’s from New England) or bingeing a Netflix original series.

See recent posts by Chelsea Stuart

Chelsea Stuart, Editor

For me, a dependable and stylish bag is one of the most important travel essentials. This roomy, faux-leather weekender from H&M checks both those boxes with two inner compartments for organization, and an exterior that pleasantly deceives its affordable price point. The other thing I absolutely can’t travel without is a pair of headphones; from the moment I leave my house to the moment I reach my destination, I’m plugged in to my music and podcasts. I prefer on-ear styles, so this mint pair from Urbanears would be my buy.

Gretchen Moosbrugger, Photo Editor

There are a few essentials you will always find in my carry on. First, a good book is a must, as I can only watch so many mediocre movies and old episodes of HGTV. Since planes are notoriously dehydrating, I always make sure to have lip balm and hydrating mist or moisturizer, my go-to brands being Dr. Bronners and Tata harper. I also pack an eye mask for obvious reasons, and lately I’ve been bringing a Turkish towel for when the paper-thin airplane blankets just aren’t cutting it (bonus: it makes a great beach blanket once you reach your destination). Lastly, I love to travel with Minnetonka moccasins—they’re super comfy and security line-friendly.

Clara Sedlak, Executive Editor

I wear Gressa religiously. It makes my skin look great in any weather and is a quick look-good boost after a long flight. It’s both a serum and foundation, and very light and moisturizing, so you don’t get that cakey look. Plus, I love that it’s organic! I also don’t travel anywhere without a good red lipstick. This one from Chanel is my go-to. It’s the perfect shade—not too light, not too dark—so I can wear it during the day when I need an extra kick or for a night out.

David Hattan, Photo Editor Intern

My skin always freaks out when I’m on vacation, and I can’t live without my everyday skin regimen, so taking travel size versions of my favorites is a must. Some of my go-to products include a glycolic acid rich cleanser, a hydrating and mattifying moisturizer, a skin perfecting BB cream, and a ridiculously tasty Jasmin mint toothpaste. Some other essentials I can’t travel without are several fragrance atomizers (I can never decide on one scent) and a portable charger for my always-on-1-percent phone.

Anita Ng, Photo Editor

The first time I saw a facial contour shaper was in something similar to Sky Mall during a long-haul flight. I laughed at first, but after trying one in Japan, I was pleasantly surprised by how relaxing shaping your face can be. The claim is that the roller can boost facial elasticity by stimulating the muscles while promoting blood circulation, and while it probably does, I was already sold by the ease of use and how you can use it anywhere—like, say, when you’re stuck on a 16-hour flight. For my second pick, I love this L’Occitane lotion; it’s creamy and rich but it never feels oily, even when I use a generous amount.

Lindsey Olander, Editor

Whether I’m bound for Africa or Scandinavia, the contents of my carry-on largely remain the same. For me, it’s all about taking care of my skin, being tech savvy, and staying warm. You’ll never catch me without my portable iPhone charger or universal adaptor, for obvious reasons. Those plagued with dry skin know the struggles of staying hydrated while in transit, and my Caudalie Moisturizing Sorbet, while definitely a small splurge, does wonders for the skin around my eyes. The same goes for a bar of a lavender oatmeal soap: a quick rinse before and after I sleep (especially on long-haul flights) helps my face stay relaxed and refreshed. I’m always freezing on airplanes, so a neutral blanket scarf adds an extra layer of warmth—not to mention makes a stylish accessory no matter what outfit you step off the plane in. As for a fashionable passport holder, I can’t recommend one enough: aside from protecting your most valuable travel accessory, it makes a great impression no matter where you roam.

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