Categories
Packing

22 Travel Essentials That Are on Sale Right Now

The end of winter and Presidents’ Day weekend means one thing: sales galore. We’re scouting out all the incredible deals on top-rated luggage, walking shoes, and must-have travel accessories. This is also the ideal time to upgrade your outerwear and winter boots on the cheap—as in “50 percent off list price” cheap. Just remember that deal-hunters are out in full force, so you’ll want to jump on these sales early or face the dreaded words “Sold Out.”

1. Calpack Ambeur Three-Piece Luggage Set [$100 Off]

Calpak Ambeur 3-Piece Luggage Set.

The word glamorous is rarely used to describe luggage sets, but this trio of sleek spinners is full-blown glam, and getting over $100 off on their price makes them even more enticing.

2. Cole Haan Zerogrand Wingtip Oxford [$50 off]

Cole Haan 2.ZERØGRAND Wingtip Oxford.

Want a shoe that’s astonishingly lightweight, packable, and versatile? This is the one. Cole Haan’s Zerogrand Wingtip Oxford weighs practically nothing, packs almost completely flat, and stays comfy even on those crazy 15,000-step travel days. It’s a no-brainer of a travel shoe—and that’s before its current $50 discount.

 

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3. Prana Paiz Legging [50% off]

Prana Paiz Legging - Women's.

This one pair of leggings can do it all, from flying to sightseeing to workouts in the hotel gym. Four-way stretch fabric and hidden pockets means you can turn a cartwheel and everything stays tucked away, and the price—50 percent off—gives you something to flip over.

4. Apple AirPods With Charging Case [$20 off]


Apple AirPods with Charging Case (Latest Model).

Apple products rarely go on sale outside of a Black Friday situation, so we’re happy to see $20 knocked off the price on these Apple Air Pods, aka the must-have tech accessory of the moment.

 

5. Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum [29% off]

Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum With Vitamins E & B5.

Whether you’re blessed with blue skies or cursed with nonstop rain, sunscreen is a must on any vacation. This formula by Supergoop! delivers a double dose of goodness with broad-spectrum protection and added antioxidants, plus it’s a full 29 percent off.

 

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6. Uniqlo Men’s Seamless Down Parka [$80 off]

Uniqlo MEN SEAMLESS DOWN PARKA.

When we think of stylish, affordable outerwear, one name pops to mind: Uniqlo. Case in point is this cool windproof parka that’s currently more than half off its reasonable original price.

7. Patagonia Black Hole 55L Duffel Bag [32% off]

Patagonia Black Hole 55L Duffel Bag.

True to its name, Patagonia’s Black Hole Duffel can suck up a pile of clothes, outdoor gear, and gym essentials and still have room to spare. And a 32 percent price drop offers solid value, too.

[st_related]6 Hybrid Duffel Backpacks That Will Change the Way You Pack[/st_related]

8. Everlane The Modern Utility Shirtdress [50% off]


Everlane The Modern Utility Shirtdress.

Available in chic black or a cool caramel color, Everlane’s no-nonsense shirtdress is a dream for travel. Pair it with sneakers or sandals for a casual daytime look or booties or heels for post-sightseeing drinks. At half off, you might as well get both colors for good measure.

 

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9. The Original L.L.Bean Boot for Men [$30 off]

Men's L.L.Bean Boots, 8" Thinsulate.

Hundreds of five-star reviews heap praise onto L.L.Bean’s iconic lace-up boots for its weatherproof exterior and warm interior that can handle muddy winter trails and just about anything else. And right now, these trusty boots are a full $30 cheaper than list price.

 

10. Everlane Foldover Crossbody [$75 off]


Everlane The Foldover Crossbody.

We love everything about this cross-body bag: the material (Spanish leather), the color (a Maraschino cherry red), the easy-access pockets, and now the price—a good $75 cheaper than it was.

 

[st_related]9 Great Crossbody Bags for Travel[/st_related]

11. Silken Slumber Eye Mask [55% off]

Silken Slumber Solid Silk Eye Mask.

If you’ve been making due with a plasticky, polyester eye mask, it’s high time for an upgrade. This 100 percent silk sleep mask prevents skin creases and feels like the cool side of the pillow. Even better, the sale price is a full 55 percent off.

 

12. Uniqlo Men’s Cashmere Sweater [$40 off]

MEN CASHMERE CREW NECK LONG-SLEEVE SWEATER.

At $60 a pop, you’d be hard pressed to find a 100 percent cashmere sweater for less. We’re partial to both classic gray and trendy marigold, and at this sale price, we’ll add both to our cart.

 

13. Sony WH-CH700N Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headphones [$70 off]


Sony - WH-CH700N Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-the-Ear Headphones.

As audio snobs, we’re all about noise-cancelling headphones. And as frequent travelers, we’re all about going wireless—so we’re elated to find these wireless, noise-cancelling Sony headphone are now a full $70 off their original price.

 

14. Everlane The Modern Loafer Mule [30% off]

Everlane The Modern Loafer Mule.

Our love for loafers is no secret. Everlane’s backless mule is everything we could ever want in a “one and done” travel shoe—it’s attractive, walkable, easy to slip on and off. And it’s part of Everlane’s epic Choose What You Pay sale, where you can nab it for as much as 30 percent off the original price.

 

[st_related]The 11 Best Women’s Loafers (via WhatToPack.com)[/st_related]

15. Delsey Chatelet Air Spinner Carry On [50% off]

Delsey Chatelet Air Spinner Carry On.

We’ve raved about Delsey’s spinners in the past for pairing a chic, retro look with modern embellishments (compression straps, spinner wheels). Now we’re also raving about their price, which is a full 50 percent off.

 

16. Cole Haan Zerogrand All-Day Trainer [50% off]


Cole Haan ZERØGRAND All-Day Trainer.

With comfy knit uppers, pillowy footbeds, and grippy soles that avoid any slips, these transitional sneakers are perfect for a range of climates and travel scenarios. What’s more, they’re flexible, packable—and 50 percent off.

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17. Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Camera [29% off]


Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Camera.

Toss this item in your carry-on to level-up your selfie game. This playful retro camera adds a fun factor to your trip at a price that’s 29 percent off.

Categories
Packing

Target Just Launched a New Luggage Line—and Everything Is Under $180

Target lovers rejoice: Your favorite place to shop just launched its own luggage and travel accessory line. A premium luggage line, Open Story includes 11 items ranging from checked-size suitcases and carry-on spinners to backpacks, packing cubes, cosmetics cases, garment bags, duffel bags, and totes. Target’s luggage launch is taking all of the elements that travelers love about minimalist-travel lines and making them more affordable (in true Target fashion, of course).

Head to your local Target to see the pieces in person, or you can shop the below products online. Here are some of our favorites:

Hardside Carry On Suitcase, $149.99

target premium collection carry-on suitcase hardside

Spinner wheels, a built-in USB port, telescoping handle, and superior interior organization … need we say any more about the hard-sided carry-on? Oh, it has a 10-year limited warranty, too. Dimensions are 21.5 in x 14 in x 9.75 in (including the wheels). Plus, it comes in nine stylish colors.

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Traveler Backpack, $119.99

Traveler Backpack target

For those that prefer soft-sided luggage, the Traveler Backpack has everything you need, and more. Tons of interior pockets, supportive straps, a pass-through luggage panel, and compression straps make this bag a do-it-all for short trips.

Weekender Bag, $79.99

Weekender Bag, Target

This duffel packs a lot into its small size. With a 45-liter capacity, the bag manages to have a padded laptop sleeve (up to 15-inch laptop), a pass-through luggage sleeve, an interior zip compartment, side slip pockets, dedicated pockets for essentials like sunglasses and keys, coated and water-repellent nylon fabric, top grab-handles, and a padded shoulder strap. It’s lightweight at just over three pounds and comes with a five-year limited warranty.

[st_related]The Ultimate Weekend Packing List[/st_related]

4pc Packing Cube Set, $29.99

4pc Packing Cube Set Target

I personally love traveling with packing cubes (even though some of our editors don’t), and this set of packing organizers is a great value. The sturdy zippers and top handle make these packing cubes high quality, but they won’t break the bank.

[st_related]6 Best Packing Cubes Ever[/st_related]

Hardside Mini Case, $19.99

Hardside Mini Case mini hardside

This multi-use travel case can be used for toiletries, as a travel wallet, to protect any fragile souvenirs … the possibilities are endless.

 

Shop our Favorites from Open Story

For info on these editor-selected items, click to visit the seller’s site. Things you buy may earn us a commission.

More from SmarterTravel:

Ashley Rossi is always ready for her next trip. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram for travel tips, destination ideas, and off the beaten path spots.

Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product.

Categories
Arts & Culture Fashion & Beauty Photography Travel Technology Travel Trends

7 Travel Decor Ideas to Make Your Home Feel Like Your Favorite Place

The hardest part about coming home from vacation is leaving everything that you loved about it behind. Typically, a tacky shot glass or T-shirt quickly becomes your only memory of a life-changing trip. Here are six ways to personalize your home through travel decor so you can hold on to those precious memories a little bit longer. And bring that vacation feeling home.

How to Personalize Your Home to Feel Like Your Favorite Destination

Candles

[st_content_ad]On a recent trip to Morocco, I fell in love with the smells of the busy markets, spices, and food. Luckily, one of the hotels I visited—La Mamounia—created a candle with a scent specifically made for the hotel. I obviously caved and bought it, and it has been a great way to remember both the country and hotel.

Similarly, Homesick Candles makes candles with unique scents for all 50 states. So if you loved the smell of spruce trees on a recent trip to Colorado, you can smell them once you’re back home.

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Photos

 

You don’t have to be a pro photographer to take awesome vacation photos. Photo website Artifact Uprising has an easy uploader that’ll transform even photos taken on your phone into a beautiful album, framed print, or calendar. I personally love the Instagram Friendly Books for your coffee table. Or enlarge some of your photos to hang in a gallery on your wall for some simple travel decor.

Grafomap

 

These thoughtfully designed map posters from Grafomap are another great addition to help personalize your home after a meaningful trip. Simply type in a location or city, and you can customize the colors, layout, and text. The company currently has nine different designs to fit almost any travel decor style.

Cutting Board

These state-shaped bamboo cutting boards are a unique way to show love for your favorite place, whether that’s where you’re from, currently living, or dreaming about. From wall-hanging to cheese-serving, who says home decor can’t serve a second purpose?

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Wall Mural

If you’re really looking to make a splash in your home, create your own wall mural wallpaper with your favorite vacation photo. Note that you will need a high-quality photo to enlarge for this travel decor item, however; Wallsauce.com has some epic photos of major travel landmarks. Or pick from the map wallpaper options for a more global approach.

Pillows

Custom-designed pillows are a comfy and easy way to add travel decor of your favorite destination. Simply upload your favorite photo to Target Photo’s website, and bring your best vacation memory straight to your couch.

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Coasters

Location-specific coasters are a simple and inexpensive way to personalize your home. I love the Idea Design Coaster Set, which features illustrations of six popular cities. These Neighborwoods Coasters are also a great option if you have a favorite memory from a certain destination. Check out Etsy for even more custom coasters and travel decor ideas.

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Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product.

Categories
Food & Drink

Recreate Your Favorite Travel Meal at Home: The Best Kitchen and Dining Gadgets

Still dreaming of that fresh pasta you drooled over in Bologna, the mango lassi that cooled you down in Delhi, or that Turkish coffee that woke you up after a red-eye flight? You can recreate these and other world-famous delicacies at home with these cool kitchen gadgets.

NutriBullet Blender Combo

Smoothies, soups, sauces, and more—the NutriBullet Blender Combo does it all. This small but powerful kitchen gadget can grind up everything from nuts to vegetables in seconds. The combo set lets you blend into either a 64-ounce pitcher, a 24-ounce travel cup with a handle, or a 32-ounce cup. With multiple speeds and 1200 watts of power, there’s no limit to what you can blend up.

Oxo Silicone Egg Poachers

Remember that bed and breakfast that served up the most delicious poached eggs? And then you tried to recreate them at home but ended up with a watery mess? Oxo’s Silicone Egg Poachers make it easy to make poached eggs at home—just place the gadget in boiling water and crack an egg in. The holes allow water to flow around (but not drown) the eggs. When they’re done, just pull them out using the tab. This simple tool even collapses so it won’t take much room in your kitchen.

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Capresso Coffee Team Pro Plus

Coffee is always better when someone else makes it, but in the case of the Capresso Coffee Team Pro Plus, it’s almost like having a personal barista in-house. With the press of a button, this coffee maker will grind fresh beans directly into the filter and then automatically brew up to 12 cups of coffee. You can change the slow burr grind setting for different kinds of beans, and a charcoal water filter helps make your coffee taste even better.

Dual Cheese Raclette Table Grill

If you’ve ever been to Switzerland and feasted on raclette, you know how ingenious this dish is (it’s literally a plate of melted cheese served with a few token vegetables). With the Dual Cheese Raclette Table Grill, you can now have a raclette party at home (a cheese party is the best kind of party, right?). This gadget has eight raclette pans so you can experiment with different cheese and topping combinations.

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Oxo Adjustable Temperature Kettle

If you want to make the perfect cup of tea, don’t make it in the microwave or even on the stovetop. The best tea comes from having the temperature right so that you don’t burn the leaves (for green tea, you want 180 degrees Fahrenheit, for mint you want 194 degrees, and so on). Oxo’s Adjustable Temperature Kettle lets you set the temperature with the twist of a dial so you get the perfect cup every time. The kettle is made from a cordless BPA-free borosilicate glass that’s safe for boiling water.

Lodge Cast Iron Pizza Pan

You don’t have a wood-fired pizza oven, but that’s okay. You can create gourmet pie with this nifty Cast Iron Pizza Pan that can be used in the oven, on the stovetop, on the grill, or even over a campfire. Turn out crispy pizza crusts, roast vegetables, or even bake cookies on this tool—it’s seasoned with oil for a natural non-stick finish.

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Mickey Mouse Waffle Maker

Bring back fond Disney World memories at every breakfast with the Disney Classic Mickey Mouse Electric Waffle Maker. This easy-to-use gadget serves up perfectly shaped Mickey waffles—plus it’s non-stick so you won’t be scrubbing batter out of the ears for hours each morning.

Hurom Cutting Board

Slice and dice without worrying about germs on the Hurom Cutting Board. Made from a naturally antibacterial Japanese cypress wood, the cutting board helps prevent mold and bacteria growth naturally. The wood is also good for knives, and won’t chip them. Bonus: Flip the cutting board over and the smooth side doubles as a cheese board.

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Cuisinart Ice Cream and Gelato Maker

Return to your twice-a-day gelato habit like you’re still on vacation in Italy with Cuisinart’s Ice Cream and Gelato Maker. Two different paddles let you make either ice cream or gelato, and the only limitation on flavors is your imagination.

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Caroline Morse Teel is a Senior Editor at SmarterTravel. Follow her on Instagram @travelwithcaroline.

Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product.

Categories
Security Travel Technology

Unlock Your Door With Your Fingerprint: Lockly Secure Pro Review

The Lockly Secure Pro can unlock your door remotely with a keycode, via Alexa, or with your fingerprint. Never juggle your keys again or have to run home to let house guests in.

Lockly Secure Pro Review

Price and Where to Buy: The Lockly Secure Pro is available on Amazon and Lockly’s website for $299.99.

[st_content_ad]How The Lockly Secure Pro Rates

  • Usefulness: 10/10. You won’t have to search your luggage for your keys at the end of a long trip anymore; you can open the Lockly Secure Pro using your fingerprint, the app, Alexa, Google Assistant, or the keypad. The keypad is a great feature for when you have guests, as you can issue separate codes and remove access when it’s no longer needed.
  • Style: 9/10. You can choose from a deadbolt or latch style, and pick your finish to match your existing door hardware. The keyhole is hidden under a nice, stylish flap and the keypad is blank until you swipe across it, adding to the sleek look.
  • Security: 10/10. The lock comes with a Wi-Fi-enabled hub that allows you to monitor your door from anywhere. Included wireless sensors will tell you if the door is opened or closed. Lockly can be programmed to auto-lock after any amount of time that you like (up to five minutes). The keypad uses a patented Pin Genie technology that shuffles the numbers each time you use it, so anyone who is watching won’t be able to guess your code.
  • Ease of Installation: 9/10. The Lockly Secure Pro takes about 15 minutes to install, an easy process if you follow the included instruction booklet. No special tools (aside from a screwdriver) are required.

Final Verdict: Secure your home better than keys can with the Lockly Secure Pro.

More from SmarterTravel:

Caroline Morse Teel is always on the hunt for the newest and best travel gear. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline.

Editor’s Note: Reviews are based on usefulness, portability, durability, value, and “cool factor.” Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product. If you have any questions or comments concerning our reviews or would like to suggest a product for review, please email us at editor@smartertravel.com.

Categories
Active Travel Adventure Travel Fashion & Beauty Outdoors Packing

What to Pack for Patagonia: 36 Essentials

Soaring craggy peaks, jaw-dropping glaciers, and pristine forests await you in Patagonia. I spent two weeks trekking the classic “W” route in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile, and hiking around Mt. Fitz Roy in El Chalten, Argentina, sleeping in tiny refugios and campsites along the way. Here’s what made it onto my Patagonia packing list … and what I wish did.

What to Pack for Patagonia: The Backpack

I’m a chronic overpacker, so I forced myself to stick to the 50-liter limit of my trusty Osprey Aura AG backpack. The lightweight frame makes it easy to carry for hours, and plenty of pockets, zippers, and compartments keep me organized.

What to Pack for Patagonia: The Day Pack

A day pack gives you flexibility in your itinerary. Drop your backpack at camp, make a quick switcheroo, and move on up to the summit for the day. This water-repellent backpack from Sea to Summit gets the job done.

What to Pack for Patagonia: The Sleeping Bag

Refugios and campsites offer linens and sleeping bags at an additional cost, so you can probably get away with not bringing one. I’m a cold sleeper though, so I don’t regret bringing my lightweight sleeping bag, especially when temperatures dipped below 30 degrees one night at camp.

What to Pack for Patagonia: Flight and Bus Ride Essentials

  • Headphones: There’s not much space for traditional over-the-ear headphones, so I brought my tiny Bose SoundSport Wireless ones and an adapter for the charger.
  • Scarf: The Lululemon Vinyasa Scarf doubles as a blanket or a pillow in a pinch, which is why I never leave home without it.
  • Motion sickness medication: It takes more than 10 hours of travel to get from Torres del Paine to El Chalten on winding mountain roads, so you’ll want your motion sickness remedy of choice.

What to Pack for Patagonia: Shoes

  • Sturdy hiking boots or shoes: Make sure you’ve broken them in before you leave. Even a small blister or slightly ill-fitting shoe can mean misery for multi-day hikes, no matter how beautiful the trails are.
  • Waterproof camp shoes: These can do double duty as shower shoes and for relaxing at night.

What to Pack for Patagonia: The Jacket(s)

Since you can experience bright sunshine, torrential downpours, snowfall, and high winds all in the span of 15 minutes in Patagonia, layers are essential.

  • Insulated vest: The Patagonia Nano-Puff Vest is my go-to for any kind of hiking or running. It keeps me super warm but is so light I barely notice wearing it. (It’s also available for men.)
  • Mid-weight windbreaker: Layer the vest with a midweight windbreaker (like this one for women or this one for men) when you’re hiking or the sun is out.
  • Warm coat: Keep a really warm puffy coat close by for the summits, around camp, and when the weather turns particularly nasty. Bonus: My L.L.Bean one is packable. (See a similar option for men here.)

What to Pack for Patagonia: Rain Gear

It will rain for some or all of your trip, so be prepared. The trails are well maintained, and with the proper gear, you can still have a great day.

  • Raincoat: The Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Jacket fit perfectly over my puffy coat and kept me warm and dry. (Check out a similar option for men here.)
  • Backpack cover: If your pack doesn’t have one, you’ll want to make sure you bring a cover. It’s best to find one that fits perfectly so it stays secure in the wind and rain—this Osprey Ultralight Raincover matches mine.

What to Pack for Patagonia: Clothing

  • Convertible hiking pants: They may be nerdy, but they’re also necessary in a region with so many weather changes.
  • Long-sleeve shirts: You won’t need short-sleeve shirts unless you’re warm in 40-degree weather. Stick with technical long-sleeve shirts—I brought one base layer and two lighter hiking shirts.
  • Tights or leggings: I brought two pairs of tights since that’s what I prefer to hike in—one at mid-calf and one long pair.
  • Cozy lounge wear: I saved one pair of joggers and one fleece pullover for relaxing around camp.
  • Socks: Get yourself several pairs of wool socks for hiking, and at least one for relaxing.

What to Pack for Patagonia: Toiletries

  • Sunscreen: It’s a must since you can burn even when it’s cloudy.
  • Multi-purpose soap: One of the best perks of hiking the “W” is that you can shower at almost every campsite and refugio. I love Bronner’s since it’s multi-purpose—shampoo, body wash, and clothing wash all in one (plus, it’s environmentally friendly).
  • Face wipes: On days without showers, these will get the grime and dirt off your skin.
  • Moisturizer: With so much wind, don’t leave it behind.
  • Over-the-counter medications: No matter where you travel, always bring some over-the-counter medication with you, especially remedies for upset stomach and pain, as well as an antihistamine in case of an allergic reaction.
  • Bandages: Taking care of blisters can make a big difference in your comfort level when you’re walking in hiking boots all day.

What to Pack for Patagonia: Gadgets

  • Headlamp: These are handy to help you get around camp and the refugios once the electricity goes out at night.
  • High-quality camera: Photos won’t do Patagonia justice, but it’s worth a shot (pun intended).
  • Universal adapter: Chile and Argentina use different plug setups and voltages.
  • Portable phone charger: Because you won’t always have electricity.

What to Pack for Patagonia: Accessories

  • Hat: I mostly used my baseball cap, though mornings at camp definitely warranted a warm hat.
  • Multi-purpose buff: I love hiking with one of these because they’re suitable for just about every type of weather.
  • Micro-towel: I follow the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy philosophy and always travel with a towel.
  • Large water bottle: You can drink the water right out of the streams and rivers on the trails in Patagonia. Pack a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated.
  • Sunglasses: Glaciers throw off glare, so when the sun does come out, you’ll want some shades.

What to Pack for Patagonia (That I Didn’t)

  • Collapsible trekking poles: These would have been handy on some hikes. Note that airlines require you to bring them in a checked bag, or you can rent a pair in either Puerto Natales or El Chalten.
  • Rain pants, rain pants, rain pants: They will make your life less miserable than mine was, and significantly drier, too.
  • Poncho: I’m glad I stuffed an extra trash bag into my pack at the last minute, but next time I’d bring a poncho. Did I mention it rains a lot in Patagonia?

What Not to Pack for Patagonia

Unless you’re going off the beaten path, you won’t need traditional backpacking gear like a tent, sleeping pad, pots and pans, mess kit, or a stove on your Patagonia packing list. You can rent these items from almost any refugio or gear store in town if you feel like you need them once you’re there.

Chileans and Argentineans are very casual, so you won’t need anything dressy (even jeans) unless you’re planning on going to one of the major cities before the hiking portion of your trip. Otherwise, save that space for an extra layer or two.

Overall, when packing for Patagonia, keep in mind that less is more when you’re carrying everything on your back. While it may be tempting to bring lots of clothes or accessories, just remember that every ounce counts—and you wouldn’t want anything to distract you from the incredible scenery.

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Always in search of adventure, Kayla Voigt hails from Hopkinton, Massachusetts, the start of the Boston Marathon. You can usually find her at the summit of a mountain or digging into a big bowl of pasta. Say hi on Instagram @klvoigt.

Categories
Money Travel Technology

The Secret Trick That Will Get You a Free Amazon Gift Card

Have an old Kindle, tablet, Fire Stick, Echo, smartphone, video game, or other gadget gathering dust in your house? Turn it in to an Amazon gift card without leaving your couch through Amazon’s easy and free trade-in program.

Most people don’t know that Amazon has a (not very well advertised) trade-in program that lets you mail in your old device in exchange for a gift card, and a discount on a newer version. Amazon will even send you a free prepaid label to mail in your old item.

The trade-in program accepts both Amazon products and other brands including Apple iPads, Samsung Galaxies, Google items, and more. Broken or non-functioning devices are also accepted.

Simply visit Amazon’s trade-in page to instantly get an offer on your item. Honestly answer questions about the condition of your product (if it’s working and if it can hold a charge), and Amazon will let you know how much it’s worth. If after you send your item in, Amazon decides not to accept it, they will mail it back to you for free.

If you’re upgrading a device, you’ll also get a bonus discount on the new item. For example, if you’re trading in a tablet for a new Amazon Fire Tablet, you’ll get a gift card plus a bonus 20 percent off your new purchase. Use your trade-in on a new Echo device, and you’ll save 25 percent.

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Caroline Morse Teel is always on the hunt for the newest and best travel gear. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline to see what she wears around the world.

Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product.

Categories
Fashion & Beauty

6 Things Our Editors Bought and Loved This Month

From luggage to gadgets, these are the six things that our editors bought, loved, and can’t stop talking about this month.

Eagle Creek Expanse

Eagle Creek Expanse

“After my cheapo carry-on died mid-trip, I decided it was time to invest in a higher-quality bag. I opted for the Eagle Creek Expanse, which is a definite upgrade. It’s lightweight but sturdy, with heavy-duty wheels and a handle that telescopes smoothly. I also like that it doesn’t have too many unnecessary bells and whistles—just a few handy compartments, plus grab handles on all sides. I hope it lasts me many years to come.” —Sarah Schlichter, Senior Editor

Hydro Flask 12 oz Travel Coffee Mug

hydro flash coffee mug

“I bought a Hydro Flask coffee mug this month and it’s made my tea consumption go up, which means I’m more hydrated. I see it as a healthy win! The Hydro Flask keeps your coffee or tea hot (or cold if you are an ice coffee person) for up to six hours, ensuring that I’ve always got a cup of hot tea parked at my desk.”—Noemi de la Torre, Photo Operations Lead

[st_related]7 Great Water Bottles for Travel[/st_related]

Black & Decker Stick Vacuum

Black and Decker

“I recently moved to an apartment that’s not compatible with my beloved robot vacuum (too many stairs and high thresholds), so I had to invest in a new vacuum. I got this surprisingly affordable Black & Decker Stick Vacuum that’s made vacuuming almost as easy as a robot doing it for me. At less than three pounds, this lightweight vacuum feels like a toy, but sucks up dirt and hair as well as a bigger vacuum. It can be used as a hand-held vacuum as well, which has made me more inspired to vacuum the small spaces I might otherwise skip.”—Caroline Teel, Senior Editor

Lunya Restore Pocket Legging

Lunya Pocket Leggings

“In hopes of elevating my loungewear, I recently bought Lunya’s Restore Pocket Legging. I was most intrigued by the claim that they’re made with a special fabric that increases your blood flow to ‘help you restore, recharge, and regenerate while you sleep.’ It’s a supima cotton blend fabric and boy, does it work. The leggings are super soft and after wearing them to bed for about two weeks, I do have to say they help me to have a deeper sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. The only con is that it’s harder to get out of bed. But when you do, you can keep them on for hanging around the house or grabbing a cup of coffee (I deem them acceptable to wear in public for errand-running or a long flight). Oh and the pockets! Pockets are always a major plus on any clothing item, and these leggings got ‘em.”—Ashley Rossi, Editor, Content & Social Media

[st_related]The Best Women’s Clothes with Pockets[/st_related]

Portable Hand Crank Radio and Phone Charger

Hand Crank Radio

“Last month I purchased a Portable Hand Crank Radio and Phone Charger–partly to keep in my car for emergencies and partly because it seemed like a neat thing to try out. By cranking the handle, you can receive AM/FM radio frequencies and charge your phone. It’s also equipped with a solar battery and a flashlight feature. It’s like the Swiss Army Knife of emergency equipment. I’ll definitely be taking this on my next camping trip.”—Carol McPherson, Video Editor

Glerups Slippers

Glerups Slippers

“I’m nearly a year into an obsession with Danish slipper brand Glerups. I have two pairs of these wildly comfortable wool slippers: a traditional slip-on with leather sole, and a more rugged, wear-them-at-the-campsite-or-just-in-the-backyard rubber-sole shoe. And in the last two months, I’ve purchased three pairs to give as gifts to friends and family. Each person I’ve gifted a pair to has fallen in love with them as well. Now I’m eyeing the Glerups boot with a darker rubber sole, which can pretty much pass as shoes. Because while I’m not willing to be a person who runs errands in slippers that look like slippers, I’m totally onboard with running errands in slippers that look like shoes.”—Christine Sarkis, Executive Editor

More from SmarterTravel:

 

Caroline Morse Teel is a Senior Editor at SmarterTravel. Follow her on Instagram @travelwithcaroline.

Categories
Fashion & Beauty

The 8 Warmest Winter Gloves and Mittens

Hands are one of the first body parts to feel the cold. Prevent frozen fingers this winter with these ultra-warm gloves and mittens. Using unique technology and space-age materials, all of these picks will keep you dry and toasty even during a raging blizzard.[st_content_ad]

Seirus Xtreme All Weather Gloves

Serius Xtreme All Weather Gloves.

Looking for winter gloves that are easy to pack? Seirus’ Xtreme All-Weather gloves are incredibly thin and lightweight, yet still 100 percent waterproof and warm. Perfect for winter hiking or running, these gloves are fleece-lined and breathable, with a patented DryHand insert to keep your hands dry even during intense physical activity.

Savior Heat

Savior Heated Gloves.

If handwarmers just aren’t cutting it for you, try the Savior Heated Gloves. These waterproof and wind-resistant gloves use rechargeable batteries to keep a constant heat inside. The heating element runs along the back of the hand and up the fingers, so every part of your hand will stay toasty.

Carhartt Waterproof Insulated Glove

Carhartt Waterproof Insulated Glove.

Carhartt’s heavy-duty waterproof insulated gloves use FastDry technology to dry these gloves out quickly, so you never have to put cold, soggy gloves on again. A reinforced digital grip palm helps you keep ahold of your phone or whatever else you need, even when it’s too cold to feel your fingers.

[st_related]11 Warm, Lightweight Jackets and Coats for Travelers[/st_related]

Global Vasion Heated Gloves

The Global Vasion Heated Gloves are another great option if you’re looking for a pair with its own heat source. These touchscreen accessible gloves have a large-capacity battery that will keep your hands toasty warm between 3 different heat settings for hours on end. Even with the battery off, these rechargeable fleece-lined gloves are still plenty warm.

Columbia Bugaboo Interchange Glove

Columbia Bugaboo Interchange Glove.

Columbia’s Bugaboo Interchange Gloves can be worn three different ways: as just a lightweight liner, as a waterproof rain glove, or as an ultra-warm glove that combines the liner and outer layer with Omni-Heat insulation.

[st_related]The Worst Winter Travel Gear (and What to Pack Instead)[/st_related]

Backcountry Gore-Tex Snow Mittens

Backcountry Gore-Tex Snow Mittens.

Designed for skiers, Backcountry’s Gore-Tex Snow Mittens will keep your hands warm in even the fiercest storms. The Gore-Tex outer keeps moisture out, and the synthetic insulation works wonders even while wet. These mittens are even padded at the back to help protect your hands in tough conditions.

Oros Endeavour Mittens

Oros Endeavour Mittens.

Science meets comfort in Oros’ Endeavour Mittens, which use Solarcore (the same material NASA uses to insulate space shuttles). The mittens are fully insulated and even add extra insulation over the fingertips to keep your hands completely warm. They’re wind-resistant yet still breathable, so your hands won’t get too sweaty.

[st_related]10 of the Warmest Winter Hats[/st_related]

Marmot Warmest Gloves

Marmot Warmest Gloves

Marmot’s Warmest Gloves live up to their name. A patented MemBrain insert keeps water out while still being breathable, and a PrimaLoft lining keeps your fingers from freezing no matter what the temperatures are outside. There’s even an internal heater pocket in case you want to stash in a handwarmer.

Don’t Forget the Rest of Your Body

For info on these editor-selected items, click to visit the seller’s site. Things you buy may earn us a commission.

Frigid temps call for more than just a pair of gloves. From scarves and hats to a piping hot cup of joe, these winter essentials will keep you  warm and cozy all season long.

More from SmarterTravel:

Caroline Morse Teel is a Senior Editor at SmarterTravel. Follow her on Instagram @travelwithcaroline.

Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product.

Categories
Packing

The Unorganized Traveler: Why Packing Cubes Aren’t for Me

I’ve often wondered: Are packing cubes worth it? Many fellow travelers love them, and so does my husband. So on a recent trip, I test-drove a set for the first time—and discovered that despite all the raves I’ve read about them, they’ll never make it into my “must-pack” pile. To paraphrase an old break-up cliche, the problem wasn’t the packing cubes. It was me.

Packing cubes are lightweight fabric bags that you can use to separate your suitcase into manageable sections. The ones I tried were an attractive and well-made three-piece set from eBags (also available from Amazon), with cubes ranging in size from 17.5 by 12.75 by 3.25 inches to 11 by 6.75 by 3 inches.

One of the main advantages of using packing cubes is their versatility. You can put pants in the large one, tops in the medium, and socks/undies in the small. The Baby Bear-sized bag could also make a good home for a pair of shoes or some toiletries; meanwhile, Papa Bear can hold a decent-sized pile of dirty duds. For the organized traveler, the possibilities are endless.

[st_related]11 Ways to Stay Organized While Traveling[/st_related]

Trouble is, I’m not a particularly organized traveler. Or, to be more precise, keeping things organized is less important to me than maximizing every inch of suitcase space. I typically roll my clothes into compact bundles that can be wedged neatly into gaps between other items, a strategy that’s allowed me to travel with a carry-on only, even on trips as long as two weeks. With the packing cubes, I found myself trying to work around three bulky rectangular shapes that, yes, kept things compartmentalized—but also left me with lots of wasted space.

And frankly, I didn’t really need a special organizer for my dirty laundry. Instead, I used what I always use: a reclaimed plastic bag from the grocery store. (Cost: free.)

So are packing cubes worth it? Not to me. That said, here are two examples of travelers who might benefit from using packing cubes.

People who share a suitcase: Stow your clothes in blue bags and your hubby’s clothes in red ones so you can easily tell whose stuff is whose. Families with kids could also benefit from packing cubes, by color-coding each sibling’s items.

Travelers who will be moving a lot from one hotel to another: Sort your outfits accordingly and you’ll only pull out what you need in each place, rather than turning your whole suitcase inside out.

More from SmarterTravel:

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2017. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

Categories
Fashion & Beauty Women's Travel

The Best Women’s Clothes with Pockets

It’s a frustrating mystery as to why most clothing designed for women doesn’t include pockets—or, even worse, has a fake pocket (we’re looking at you, women’s jeans). Fortunately, we’ve found 10 great pieces of women’s clothes with pockets that are big enough to be useful.

United by Blue Responsible Flannel Dress

United by Blue’s dress has both pockets and a conscience. It’s made from organic cotton, recycled polyester, and organic dye, and the buttons are made from corozo (a renewable and sustainable nut). The dress has a drawstring at the waist to create a custom fit, plus a chest pocket and two large hip pockets.

Tasc Uptown Ultra High Rise Pocket Legging

Tasc Uptown Ultra High Rise Pocket Leggings

Tasc’s Uptown Ultra High Rise Pocket Leggings have a plethora of pockets. There are two large side pockets and a hidden stash pocket in the waistband that’s large enough to hold a phone. Made from a silky smooth, stretchy fabric, these pants won’t sag or fall down during your workout.

[st_related]The 16 Best Travel Pants for Men and Women[/st_related]

Title Nine Manresa Joggers

Made from an ultra-soft and cozy terry fabric, Title Nine’s Manresa Joggers are the perfect pants to wear on a long flight. They have plenty of pockets, including two front handwarmer pockets (one with a secret internal mesh pocket for valuables) and two in the back.

Orvis Signature Merino Wool Cardigan

Orvis’ Signature Merino Wool Cardigan is the ultimate plane layer. The merino wool will keep you warm but won’t retain odors or sweat, and the cardigan design looks much more pulled-together than a sweatshirt. This versatile layer works over a dress or a shirt and has two side pockets that will hold anything you need as you pass through security.

[st_related]The Ultimate Packing List[/st_related]

SCOTTeVEST Margaux Cargaux Travel Pants

Women’s cargo pants with pockets? That’s easy to find. Women’s cargo pants that are thoughtfully designed? That’s harder to find, but SCOTTeVEST has achieved it with its Margaux Cargaux Travel Pants. These pants have 11 pickpocket-proof pockets in different sizes that can store your phone, camera, wallet, sunglasses, and more. These pants can quickly convert into capris using the attached ankle ties.

Title Nine Mad Dash Reversible Running Tights

Carry everything you need on your run in Title Nine’s Mad Dash Reversible Running Tights, which have two pockets on the side that are large enough to store your phone. A waist stash pocket securely holds your keys or energy gel. These are the perfect leggings with pockets for travel since they reverse from a fun print on one side to a solid side, so it’s like packing two pairs in one.

[st_related]Reversible Clothing and Accessories for Travel: Our Favorite Items to Double Your Wardrobe[/st_related]

Tasc Balance Cardigan

Carry Tasc’s Balance Cardigan with you in case of a chilly airplane cabin or temperature drop at night. This lightweight layer packs down small, but still offers warmth and UPF 50+ sun protection when you need it. Two side pockets give you easy storage or a place to warm up chilly hands.

Columbia Canyon Point Sherpa Pullover

Columbia’s cozy Canyon Point Sherpa Pullover is great to layer under a jacket on freezing days or to wear alone during milder weather. Zippered hand pockets give you a secure place to hold your valuables.

[st_related]The Worst Winter Travel Gear (and What to Pack Instead)[/st_related]

Sarah Liller Clara Dress

It can be tough to find a non-casual dress with pockets, but Sarah Liller’s Clara Dress nails it. Two side pockets give you storage without ruining the lines of the dress, and the stretchy material is comfortable even on long travel days. The dress is machine-washable, too—so no dry cleaners needed.

Icebreaker Real Fleece Lydmar Long Sleeve Zip

Icebreaker

Imagine your favorite cozy sweatshirt lined with a merino wool fleece, and you’ll have Icebreaker’s Lydmar Long Sleeve Zip. This mid-layer will keep you warm without overheating during winter runs but is also comfortable enough that you’ll pick it for a long plane ride or show-watching binge at home. No matter what you’re doing, two zippered hand pockets will hold anything you need.

Pop Fashion Scarf

Add pockets to any outfit with the Pop Fashion Scarf. This soft cotton infinity scarf has a hidden zipper pocket that’s large enough to hold a phone, passport, keys, and more. The scarf is lightweight enough that you can wear it with summer outfits without overheating.

More from SmarterTravel:

Caroline Morse Teel is a Senior Editor at SmarterTravel. Follow her on Instagram @travelwithcaroline.

Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product.

 

Categories
Travel Technology

QuietOn Sleep Earplugs Review: Can These Earbuds Help You Sleep Better?

QuietOn combines earplugs with active noise canceling to create a new gadget that will block snoring, airplane cabin noises, or hotel hallway sounds. Unlike regular earbuds, these are designed for sleep, so they’re comfortable in a lying-down position.

QuietOn Sleep Earplugs Review:

Price and Where to Buy: At the time of writing, the QuietOn Sleep Earplugs were on sale on QuietOn’s website for $199.

[st_content_ad]How the QuietOn Sleep Earplugs Rate:

  • Usefulness: 10/10. Regular earplugs help mute noise somewhat, but not enough for an uninterrupted night’s sleep. QuietOn’s active noise cancellation significantly blocks environmental sounds (including snoring and construction) to help you sleep. The battery lasts for up to 20 hours, so you can sleep for an alarmingly long time uninterrupted if you so choose. The earplugs have a button that allows you to quickly switch between the silent and hearing modes, which is great for travel—if you need to talk to someone or hear an announcement, just click over to hearing mode to listen and then back to silent to go back to sleep.
  • Portability: 9/10. QuietOn Sleep earplugs are small and lightweight, and come with their own tiny carrying case (that’s also the battery charger). The case charges separately, so you can plug it in while you sleep and then wirelessly charge the earplugs in the case while you travel.
  • Comfort: 8/10. If you’re used to sleeping with traditional earplugs, these will feel very similar. They are cushioned and allow you to sleep on your side without causing any pain or discomfort as a regular earbud might.
  • Style: 10/10. These earplugs look like regular wireless headphones, so you won’t seem out of place wearing them on the plane.

Final Verdict: Losing sleep over noises? Block them out and regain your rest with the QuietOn Sleep Earplugs.

More from SmarterTravel:

Caroline Morse Teel is always on the hunt for the newest and best travel gear. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline.

Editor’s Note: Reviews are based on usefulness, portability, durability, value, and “cool factor.” Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product. If you have any questions or comments concerning our reviews or would like to suggest a product for review, please email us at editor@smartertravel.com.

Categories
Fashion & Beauty

Manta Sleep Mask Review: A 100 Percent Blackout Mask for Light Sleepers

The Manta Sleep’s unique design uses a combination of hollow eye covers and a foam eyemask to create the ultimate sleep mask, one that blocks out 100 percent of light and doesn’t restrict eye movement.

Manta Sleep Mask Review:

Price and Where to Buy: The Manta Sleep Mask is available on Amazon and Manta Sleep’s website for $29.99

[st_content_ad]How The Manta Sleep Mask Rates:

  • Usefulness: 10/10. Unlike regular sleep masks that let in light around the nose and sides, the Manta Sleep Mask blocks out 100 percent of the light, giving you total darkness even if you’re trying to sleep in a brightly lit airport or sunny room.
  • Portability: 8/10. The molded, soft foam, hollow eye covers make the mask slightly less portable than a standard mask, but it’s still lightweight and folds down for easy packing in the included carrying case.
  • Comfort: 10/10. This mask doesn’t put any pressure on your nose or eyes, so your eyes can naturally move in REM sleep. The velour-lined strap is lined all the way around, so that the Velcro won’t catch on your hair or cause any pain.
  • Durability: 9/10. The mask is machine-washable, so you can feel good about putting it on your face, even after you wear it on a plane.

Final Verdict: The Manta Sleep Mask is like having your own blackout curtains wherever you go.

More from SmarterTravel:

Caroline Morse Teel is always on the hunt for the newest and best travel gear. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline.

Editor’s Note: Reviews are based on usefulness, portability, durability, value, and “cool factor.” Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product. If you have any questions or comments concerning our reviews or would like to suggest a product for review, please email us at editor@smartertravel.com.

Categories
Fashion & Beauty Packing

Delsey Turenne Carry-On Review: One Of The World’s Lightest Carry-Ons

Prepare to be surprised when you pick up the Delsey Turenne. Weighing just 4.7 lbs., this carry-on is one of the lightest hardside suitcases on the market. This cleverly-designed bag is perfectly sized to fit almost any airline’s carry-on requirement, and packs in plenty of helpful features.

Delsey Turenne Review:

Price and Where to Buy: At the time of writing, the Delsey Turenne was on sale on Amazon for $203 and on Delsey’s website for $219.

[st_content_ad]How The Delsey Turenne Rates:

  • Usefulness: 10/10. Pack more and still stay under the carry-on weight allowance, thanks to the Delsey Turenne’s incredibly light weight. A built-in TSA-approved combination lock keeps your suitcase secure, and the interior is fully lined to further protect your items. Two zippered dividers help keep you organized, as do the included two packing bags. Unlike most carry-ons, Delsey accounts for the wheels in handles in its sizing (21.75″ x 13.75″ x 9.75″), which means you won’t have to gate check your bag on account of it being too big for the overhead bin.
  • Portability: 10/10. The double spinner wheels roll super smoothly, and prevent the bag from tipping over. The handle retracts effortlessly and is nicely padded for extra rolling comfort.
  • Style: 10/10. The Turenne comes in stylish colors and looks much more expensive than it is (especially if you get it on sale).
  • Durability: 10/10. Despite the lightness, the 100 percent virgin polycarbonate is incredibly strong, and will withstand whatever the baggage handlers to do your suitcase. Plus, the suitcase comes with a 10 year warranty, just in case something goes wrong.

Final Verdict: Take the weight out of your hardside suitcase with the Delsey Turenne.

More from SmarterTravel:

Caroline Morse Teel is always on the hunt for the newest and best travel gear. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline.

Editor’s Note: Reviews are based on usefulness, portability, durability, value, and “cool factor.” Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product. If you have any questions or comments concerning our reviews or would like to suggest a product for review, please email us at editor@smartertravel.com.

Categories
Fashion & Beauty Health & Wellness

Dr. Segal’s Compression Socks Review: Fun Footwear for Long Flights

Compression socks are associated with a number of benefits, from the prevention of life-threatening blood clots on long flights to reduced muscle soreness after exercise. Though you can get prescription socks from a doctor—and you probably should if you have a history of blood clots or other medical issues—there are plenty of compression socks commercially available in a fun range of colors and patterns.

I tested Dr. Segal’s Stripe Cotton Teal Energy Socks, which offer 15 – 20 mmHg graduated compression and are available for both men and women. They include an antimicrobial treatment to help reduce odor.

dr segal's striped compression sock.

If you’ve never worn compression socks before, it can be a little tricky to put them on at first. Dr. Segal’s describes a six-step process and even includes a video to help. (I found that it also worked to simply scrunch the sock up enough to get my toes in, then roll up from there.)

Dr. Segal’s Compression Socks Review:

Price and Where to Buy: The socks start at $29.99 on Dr. Segal’s website or at Amazon.

How Dr. Segal’s Compression Socks Rate:

  • Usefulness: 8/10. If you regularly take long flights, these compression socks are a good purchase: They can make your legs more comfortable and possibly even save your life by preventing a dangerous clot. I found the socks to be supportive but not overly tight or uncomfortable, and their blend of cotton, nylon, and Lycra felt well made. Note that the socks are thick and quite warm—which could be good or bad depending on the climate in your destination and whether your body temperature tends to run hot.
  • Value: 8/10. Thirty dollars is a lot for a single pair of socks, but they will last you a long time—especially if you only wear them on a few flights a year.
  • Durability: 8/10. I’ve worn and washed the socks several times, and they’re holding up fine so far. However, they do require a little special care: They’ll last longer if you wash them in cold water on a gentle cycle and let them air dry. Dr. Segal’s cautions against using bleach or fabric softener.
  • Portability: 9/10. They may be taller and thicker than your normal socks, but they’re still pretty easy to pack.
  • Cool Factor: 9/10. Dr. Segal’s compression socks come in tons of colors and patterns, including argyle, stripes, houndstooth, and solids, so it’s easy to find a look that fits your style.

Final Verdict: These colorful, attractive socks are worth a purchase if you regularly fly long-haul.

More from SmarterTravel:

Follow Sarah Schlichter on Twitter @TravelEditor for more travel tips and inspiration.

Editor’s Note: Reviews are based on usefulness, portability, durability, value, and “cool factor.” Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product. If you have any questions or comments concerning our reviews or would like to suggest a product for review, please email us at editor@smartertravel.com.