When it comes to travel, there are some things that are just a necessity – whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure. Everyone needs a pair of headphones to drown out your seat-mate’s snoring; a soft and stylish cardigan as cute as it is comfortable; a sturdy, last-a-lifetime bag that can hold everything you need for a weekend, and still look smart at arrivals.

Although some of these items are definitely a splurge, they're also timeless classics that never go out of fashion. And with the right essentials on hand, you can stay comfortable, organized, and feeling fresh through red eyes, train delays, and rough weather. These chic travel essentials make it easier to survive those uncertain moments that make travel just oh-so-unpredictable without losing your look of effortless cool. 

This article was first published February 2020 and updated October 2020

Cotrunkage vintage style luggage set

Mixing the look and feel of vintage suitcases from the 1920’s and 30’s (or the spendier SteamLine repros), Cotrunkage's beautifully crafted, steamer-style carry-ons and rollers will certainly have you standing out at arrivals. The pieces come in sensible, classic pearl white, cocoa brown, and black, with sturdy faux-leather straps in a warm, neutral brown. But we’re particularly smitten with Stamps pattern, a eye-catching, comic-bookish homage to the travel stickers and patches of yore. A two-piece set will run you $179-199, while the genuine leather version costs $219 for a single 20" full-size suitcase.

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Bose Quiet Comfort headphones

There’s nothing worse than sitting down on your flight only to realize you’re seated next to a crying baby or — worse — a loud-talker. With Bose’s QuietComfort 35 headphones, you’ll never deal with the pain of an unhappy baby wailing or a snoring neighbor again. Not only do these cancel noise for a relaxing experience, they also come with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa built right in. Our favorite parts? The battery lasts up to 20 hours and they come in an array of sleek colors, including rose gold. From $199.

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Belroy Tech Folio

Similar to the Executive Folio Tech Case by Stow favored by celebrities like Megan Markel, Belroy's handsome Tech Folio clocks in at under half the price, without losing all the durability and looks of real leather. The Belroy Tech Folio can fit a 13” laptop or iPad Pro, a mobile phone, credit cards and passport in one place. There's also pockets for a stylus, a pen, an A4 notebook sleeve, and a zippered compartment for your cables, as well as a spot for your phone and a rechargeable battery pack, if you carry one. Plus you can feel good about Belroy's behind-the-scenes pedigree – they're a certified B-corp and source their leather from gold-rated tanneries. $339.

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Drunk Elephant The Littles 4.0 Kit

Beauty editors love Drunk Elephant for their streamlined formulas that ditch essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical sunscreens, fragrances, dyes and SLS for simple, nourishing ingredients that play nicely together. You can mix most of the products in this handy travel kit – including Drunk Elephant's Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser, B-Hydra Hydration Serum, C-Firma Day Serum, T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, Virgin Marula Facial Oil, Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30, C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream, and Protini Polypeptide Cream – in the palm of your hand before applying to your face, so it's easy to freshen your skin on the go day or night. $90.

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Frye Melissa Traveler Tote

Frye's Melissa bag has plenty of details for travelers

This attractive bag from beloved boot-maker Frye features that are handy for a trip to Trader Joe's or further afield. There are four interior pockets to help you stay organized and a top zipper to the main compartment for security. Best of all for travelers, the rugged leather exterior includes a magnetic-snap pocket converts to luggage-handle sleeve so you can rest the Melissa on your roller bag without worrying about it sliding off. $527.95

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White + Warren Essential Trapeze Sweater

This simple, chic 100% cashmere cardi is perfect for light layering on layovers, dressing up or down and feeling cozy wherever you go. It's exactly the kind of match-everything piece that will give you an effortless sense of style from the office to the hotel lobby check in – but it's streamlined enough that you won't be bringing too much bulk along for the ride. From $266.20.

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LeMouton Classic Men's Wool Shoe

LeMouton means "the sheep" in French, and that's quite to the point. These merino wool sneakers are lightweight, breathable, fast-drying, soft enough you can wear them without socks and are naturally odor-resistant – a must for people constantly on the go. They come in laced versions and slip ons that are security line-ready, and in a variety of cute colors for men and women. The soles have excellent traction, too, for a casual sneaker, meaning you can look fly and still be ready for whatever your travels throw at you. $95.

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Prana Transform High Waist Legging

A good legging is hard to find – but Prana's stand up to years of use, weight fluctuations, sweaty trail days, and cuddling up in bed for a day of Netflix and chill. The flattering cut and wide waistband put the wearer to her best advantage without being too restrictive, and the generous length will tuck easily into boots. The synthetic fabric wicks moisture without feeling too much like workout wear when you want to wind down – or not look like you're fresh from the gym – and the thick weaves keeps your backside covered even if you're bending over to pick up a dropped boarding pass. $74.95.

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Barbour Leather Washbag

This simple, sophisticated dopp kit will last a lifetime, with a premium leather construction and classic tartan lining. Barbour's design doesn't complicate things with a lot of bells and whistles, but it does give you a place to keep your tooth brush, razor, skin care products, and an aspirin or two in one main compartment and a smaller front-facing zippered pocket. At just 9.5 x 5.5 x 6 in, you'll have plenty of room for essentials without losing too much space in your suitcase. $120.

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Ursa Major All-Star Travel Kits

Refresh yourself no matter where you roam with this unisex travel kit that includes the absolute basics for busy travelers. Ursa Major's All-Stars include a face wash to rinse off the plane, train, or automobile, Hoppin Fresh deodorant in case you're feeling a little musty, face wipes to clear the decks of sweat or oil, and Golden Hour Recovery Cream for parched skin. The formulas are free of petrochemicals, SLS, SLES, parabens, synthetic fragrance or color, glycols, silicones, or PEGs. Instead, they're packed with garden-fresh ingredients like aloe vera, radish root, rosemary water, seabuckthorn extract, sandalwood oil, geranium oil, and birchwood sap. $25.

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