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A memorable journey starts with gear so great you don't even have to think about it

When you hit the road to connect with the people, places and experiences that inspire you, that old adage is true - the joy is as much in the journey as in the destination. Your journey starts with packing the right gear. Whether you’re a chronic over-packer or never seem to bring the right gear for your destination’s climate, we’ve got you covered with expert tips from active travelers who spend much of their time on-the-go. Because when you’re not worried about what’s in your bag, you can more fully experience the moment.

Kristin Luna, Journalist and Content Creator, Camels & Chocolate

“I'm big on photography while traveling, and I do not like to be wearing the same outfit in all my photos. Since I travel light—I'm one of those carry on-only types, no matter the season—it's not feasible to pack more than one winter coat when traveling to cold climates. So I mix up my look with a variety of beanies and scarves that pack well in a small rolling bag. In the winter months, I never travel without a beanie with a pom—there’s something about a pom that just immediately makes a hat cuter and more feminine.”

 

Winter’s chill calls for lots of layering. But your head is one place you’re likely to be wearing just a single layer of protection from the cold - so make sure it’s a good (and stylish!) one. This ribbed beanie will keep you warm on winter walks with while bringing a pop of personality to your winter wardrobe. 

Astrid Därr, mountaineer, travel journalist and geographer
“I’m just as likely to be setting out for a group trekking tour in the mountains of Nepal or back country skiing at home in the Alps as heading to Morocco on a cultural journey. Wherever I go, I always have a scarf along - especially in airports and airplanes, where there’s no controlling the temperature. I’ll pull it over my head on the plane so I can sleep better - warm, dark, and out of sight of my fellow passengers, it’s like a little cocoon. Scarves are also handy in hot environments, when I’ll drape one over my head for sun protection. They take up so little space in your luggage or purse but can be used for so many purposes.”

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The best travel scarves pack down to next to nothing but are still ample enough to provide plenty of warmth and coverage. Look for a scarf made from luxuriously soft yarn and a wool-blend that offers natural insulation for extra warmth.

This one is generously sized so you can instantly adapt to your environment.

Holly Klamer, dietician and contributor to Calorie Secrets 

“Being comfortable on a long flight is a must for me so I can feel good in any position I wind up in while trying to sleep in an airplane seat.  I always wear comfortable pants when I travel in case I need to hustle to get through an airport, too.  Large pockets are an important feature to look for. They let me put things away quickly and easily access  travel documents, my phone, ear buds and other items, too.”

You don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort thanks to the athleisure trend. Track pants like these joggers are made from a lightweight fabric that stretches with your every move but is wrinkle-resistant at the same time. The easy-access pockets make it a cinch to keep your boarding pass or passport handy, too.

 

Lola Akinmade ÅkerströmTravel Writer and Photographer

“When I’m on the road, I’m always carrying a lot of gear such as cables, cords, battery packs, adapters, chargers, headphones and so much more. Having a sturdy tech pouch to organize everything in a single pack has been invaluable to me. I never travel without one.” 

Our devices are our constant travel companions. This discreet little pouch keeps all your cords and cables conveniently organized together (as opposed to tangling amongst themselves, somewhere loose in your bag). It’s small enough to stash out of sight in your pack and sleek enough to just carry solo, too.

Katie Boren, Dancer with American Ballet Theatre

 “My body burns so much energy. And when I’m traveling on tour, I don’t always have the downtime I need to take care of myself the way I would when I’m back home and in my routine. That’s why I always travel with a backpack full of snacks like almonds, trail mix, fresh fruit and water. Size and compartments are the things I look for in a backpack - I need something that’s easy to organize, but not too big and bulky.”

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The key to the best travel backpacks is size - you want something with enough room to fit the essentials you need to have along with you, but that doesn’t leave you feeling restricted or weighed down. Daily commuters as well as travelers will appreciate the Caraa commuter backpack for its thoughtful external pockets, compartments for water bottles and mesh eyelets for ventilation. The nylon fabric is easy to clean and the design elevates this above the backpacks of your youth.   Packing for the particular journey that inspires you is simple, you see, when you’re armed with practical tips that showcase your personal style. And that just leaves you to get out there, be present in the moment and enjoy the journey. 

Now that you’ve brushed up your packing skills, enter for your chance to win a next-level wellness retreat to Aro Hā resort in the magical Southern Alps of New Zealand.