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25 items Glamour editors always pack when they travel

When it comes to packing, nobody does it better than an editor. “Edit” is literally part of their job title. These are professionals who spend their days not just finessing text for grammar and style but ruthlessly cutting anything that’s not necessary or just won’t fit. Who better to decide what should and shouldn’t go into a suitcase?

Packing for a vacation is challenging enough, and typically, editors’ trips are the opposite of cushy and relaxing—even when they’re headed to beautiful locales. Press trips involve morning outdoor adventures and interminable afternoon tours of company facilities followed by fancy dinners. Fashion-week days stretch well past midnight. Trade shows require clocking 24,000 steps across Las Vegas conference-center floors then networking at a nightclub. Editors have to strategically pack comfortable clothing and footwear that can multitask and shape-shift—yet pretty much all of them are holding onto some lost-luggage trauma, so there’s also pressure to go carry-on-only.

There’s also the fact that editors spend so much time combing through products to ID what’s worth covering. They’re picky, they’re demanding, and they’re also up on all the best expert travel tips. All of this begs one big question: What do editors deem useful enough to occupy precious suitcase space? In the interest of upgrading our own travel game, we decided to poll a whole bunch of them and ask that exact question. Here are 25 items editors say they never travel without.

1. Collapsible water bottle - less wasteful than buying bottled water after you get through security, and way more portable than regular reusable bottles

2. Silk eye mask - helps you grab a power nap when you have the chance, but won’t leave creases on your skin

3. Tweezers - because those hotel magnifying mirrors are killer (avoid the super-pointy kind, which might get flagged by airport security in your carry-on)

4. A swimsuit - “Every trip I haven't packed a swimsuit for, I have wished that I had one,” one editor told us. “You never know when your hotel will have a pool, when your plans will change, when you’ll end up in a hot tub. Even in the height of winter. Even if you’re traveling for a serious reason. Always pack the swimsuit.”

5. Disinfectant wipes - why trust that hotel-room surfaces are clean when you can quickly guarantee it?

6. Collapsible duffle - to haul souvenirs and impulse purchases home

7. Alcohol swabs - make like a health editor and hold one under your nose to nix nausea during cab or plane rides

8. Coffee bags and tea bags - “I pack good stuff so I never have to drink another crap hotel or airline coffee/tea ever again. Everyone has hot water,” a food editor said

9. Hair towel - an ultra-thin one takes up no suitcase space and dries hair more quickly and smoothly than terry hotel towels

10. Good fragrance-free hand cream - one in the carry-on, one in the purse, to offset excessive handwashing during travel

11. No-spill cuticle oil - to prevent shaggy cuticles caused by changes in climate and water quality

12. Photocopies of insurance card and ID - because pickpocketing and your own flakiness are real

13. Immunity-boosting water tablets - extra insurance when you can’t maintain six feet—plus, extra hydration

14. Extra contacts - one thing you really don’t want to be caught without

15. Wine- or bottle-opener keychain - for enjoying a glass in your hotel room after a long day

16. Skincare samples from the Duty Free shop - buy the fanciest kind you can find, then use it to hydrate skin before a flight

17. A "bedside table bag" - “It’s a small bag with my medication, lip balm, sleep mask, hand lotion, and phone charger,” an editor said. “I used to pack those items separately, but getting ready for bed while away from home was so annoying because I had to hunt around to find each of those things. Now they're all in one place and it's great.”

18. Nasal congestion spray - a spritz before takeoff eases sinus/ear pressure and pain. Some editors pack gas pills too, because something about being up in the air seems to cause bloating

19. Balm stick - a travel-friendly stick of balm is the ultimate beauty multitasker; use it on lips, hands, dry face patches, even as an eye-makeup remover

20. Lacrosse ball - a cheap and portable tool for rolling out achy feet and muscles

21. Travel power/USB strip - charge multiple devices even when outlets are hard to find

22. Stain towelettes - another must when you’re out of your laundry routine

23. Mini carabiners - “I always seem to use these, to clip something to my bag, hang some item somewhere, secure something,” one editor said. 

24. Portable power bank - because one knows not to trust one’s built-in phone battery

25. Noise-canceling earbuds - the no. 1 sanity-saver when hotel doors are slamming or you’re seated in the chatty section of the plane

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