What’s in my Bag: Edward’s Travel [sleigh] bells and whistles

I recently had the privilege of speaking with AP Travel Editor Beth Harpaz for an article she was drafting. She was curious to know what my favorite travel accessories were this holiday season—both what I carry in my own bag and some things I might recommend as gifts. My recommendations have been shared alongside other travel fanatics, but, in the spirit of the season, I wanted to share them with you too, along with those that didn’t make the cut.

My personal carry-on musts:

Victorinox suitcase – This is my go-to travel bag. The key with them is that they have very good, durable zippers that don’t tear when the bags are stuffed during long trips.

Nike Free shoes – They’re really lightweight, very comfortable and when they get wet they dry very quickly. My favorite places I’ve worn them include hiking to see the giant land tortoises in the Galapagos, visiting with tobacco farmers in the Viñales Valley in Cuba, and riding camels in Morocco.

Swim trunks – I live in La Jolla and so can usually jump into the ocean after a day at work any time of the year. It’s very cathartic and makes for a great transition from work to leisure time. I try to do the same thing when I am traveling any time I arrive at a location with a pool, lake, sea or ocean.

Travel journal – My wife gave me a great one. It’s leather bound with a silhouette of my dog on the cover. You can sketch a view, write down good book or restaurant recommendations, and keep track of confirmation numbers and people you meet. I know in this age of personal electronic devices it seems like an anachronism, but devices don’t always work, or can be culturally insensitive to produce sometimes.

iPhone – Mine is a 4S loaded with travel apps and a good data plan. It has all of my contacts, a camera, iTunes, compass, flashlight, alarm, currency converter and photo album with copies of my travel docs and passport.  It really is indispensable.

iPad – For all of the reasons above, but bigger – so I can watch movies, comfortably read books, and work.

Headphone splitter – Two people can watch the same thing on a computer, iPad or iPod and only drain the battery on one item.

Gifts for travelers:

Since we are coming up on the holidays, I put myself into shopping mode for my wife, who like me, travels for work with Classic Journeys scouting new regions, and also with our two teenage sons. She once made it through a four week trip to Paris-Provence-Kenya-Tanzania-London with a roller board, a lot of khaki and black in her wardrobe, and a wide variety of scarves. My gifts for her would be received with a discerning eye.

Pashmina – My wife received one as a birthday gift from our country manager in Peru, and she brings it with her everywhere; it’s made of alpaca so it’s incredibly soft, large enough to be a blanket on the airplane, and also looks great with a variety of outfits when she goes out at night.

Wine Skin – When you’re going to a wine producing region like Tuscany or Provence, it’s a shame not to be able to bring back any wine just because of TSA regulations or because you do not want to buy enough bottles to ship back a case. The wine skin lies very flat in your luggage on your way out, and lets you safely carry back a bottle of your favorite Super Tuscan, Bordeaux, or limoncello on the way home.

Custom, highly visible luggage tags – So many bags look identical nowadays that you want yours to stand out. So sites like zazzle.com will let you choose from dozens of tags with great travel themes, from a London telephone booth to a Cinquecento car, vintage airplanes to road signs from around the world. It’s very practical and costs only about $10 per tag.

High Sierra zippable daypack suitcase for kids and teens – My sons, ages 16 and 14, have each had one for over ten years. It’s a carry on that has a detachable daypack, and it’s been all the boys have needed for luggage for trips to 25 and 24 countries, respectively.

Gorillapod stand for iPhone – The iPhone does not have a receptacle for a normal tripod. So a stand like the Gorillapod is fantastic, because it secures your iPhone and also can grab on to or stand on anything, from a tree branch in a Costa Rican jungle to a cliff-side terrace in Amalfi. And if you combine it with a timer app, like Camera Timer or TimerCam (both free on the app store) you can take some great selfies in spectacular settings.


For more information about Classic Journeys, go to classicj.wpengine.com or call 1-800-200-3887 to speak with a Guest Services Coordinator.