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Holiday 2021 Travel Must-Haves: As Told by Consultants

In the advent of a return to travel, we’re taking a departure from our typical content and providing a guide of travel essentials courtesy of the McMillanDoolittle team. As the nature of our work sends us on frequent travel, we’ve developed an arsenal of “can’t live without” products. With projects that have taken us all over the world, these items enable us to travel light, while still prioritizing comfort and optimal working conditions. See our team’s must-haves across categories below:

 Note: These are purely our recommendations, we are not collecting any commissions off the links provided below.

To Work:

myCharge HUB Turbo 6700 mAh Portable Charger

Photo Credit: Best Buy

Use this portable charger on the plane, in an uber and never have to worry about travelling with low phone battery on your phone or laptop. myCharge also offers a more compact version for long days on the go.

Clip-on Laptop Ring Light

Photo Credit: Amazon

With zoom meetings ever-present, this clip-on ring light ensures impeccable lighting no matter where you’re fielding calls. This model features adjustable brightness and lighting temperature, catering to all types of lighting environments.

United Club One-Time Pass

Photo Credit: The Points Guy

Treat a loved one (or yourself) to a $59 one-time pass to the United Club for the opportunity to relax and access a quiet workspace, great before long stretches of travel.

Lenovo ThinkVision M14 Portable Monitor

Photo Credit: Amazon

Portable monitors give users the ability to have a second screen on the go, typically with fewer cords and with a smaller footprint than their traditional counterparts. The Lenovo has standout picture quality, important for what will likely be a smaller display than a traditional monitor and coming in at 1.3 lbs. it won’t weigh you down in transit.

To Wear:

Warm layers

Photo Credit: UNIQLO

While the definition of “warm” depends on the destination, having something to put on for cold flights, restaurants, etc. is essential, without it taking up too much space in your suitcase. A few of our favorites include the Naadam $75 Essential Cashmere Sweater, the Alex Mill Merino Wool Crewneck Sweater, and the Ultra-Light Down Relaxed Jacket from UNIQLO.

Crossbody bag

Photo Credit: Spartina449

A crossbody ensures you can keep your hands free and prioritize security while traveling. Be sure the bag you choose has enough room for a passport, phone, credit cards and other small essentials. A team favorite is the Spartina 449 multi-phone crossbody. 


Photo Credit: Birdies

Slippers are an easy way to add an element of luxury to your travels and great for long plane rides. Birdies offers a suite of comfortable, stylish, options and disposable slippers are a great addition that will leave your suitcase a little lighter at the end of your trip.

On Running Cloud Model Sneakers

For those that want to get a workout in while at the hotel, these On Clouds provide a lightweight (and stylish) option to exercise on the go.

Photo Credit: On Running

To Pack:

Monos Carry-On Size Luggage

Monos offers a high quality, hard top clamshell suitcase in a variety of bright colors easy to spot on the carousel. These suitcases are intentionally designed throughout, featuring a side pocket for your laptop or portable monitor, a lock on the side of the suitcase – unlike many of its competitors that feature the lock on the top—and an additional side handle. A bonus, Monos bags are easy to clean with a Magic Eraser.

Photo Credit: Monos

Travel Shoe Bags

These bags from MISSLO have a carry handle, great for mid-day shoe changes. Overall, these shoe bags offer a convenient, sustainable solution to shoe storage for travel.

Photo Credit: Amazon

TUMI Garment Cover

Photo Credit: Nordstrom

This garment bag from TUMI will keep one suit or dress tidy while packing. It features a carry handle for comfort, and a leather loop for easily storing on a hanger.

Longchamp Le Pliage Expandable Travel Bag

This staple from Longchamp is the perfect personal item. Zip it up for your departure trip and unzip on the return with plenty of room to accommodate souvenirs from any shopping done on the road.

Photo Credit: Longchamp

 To Enjoy:

Bala Bands: Exercise Resistance Bands

Photo Credit: Bala

For those wanting to exercise away from home, resistance bands offer a packable form of workout equipment that will still afford a good workout without adding any extra bulk to your suitcase.

Dryer sheets

While the enjoyment levels associated with standalone dryer sheets is certainly debatable, what you will enjoy is having fresh smelling clothing. Leave dryer sheets in garments overnight to absorb odors – great for shorter trips where laundry isn’t an option.

Face mask

Photo Credit: Sephora

A face or sheet mask are great tools to combat the dehydration caused by long flights. Some favorites include the Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask and the Tatcha Luminous Dewey Skin Sheet Mask – both are great for hydration. 

ManiMe Stick-on Nail Kits

Photo Credit: ManiMe

Avoid manicure disaster with these press-on nail kits. These sets from ManiMe last up to two weeks and come with a replacement set. Pro tip: match your existing polish to your set for a failsafe backup plan.

We hope this list provides you with some inspiration whether it be for gift-giving this holiday season, or to refresh your personal travel essentials. To learn more about the variety of services we offer, ranging from strategic planning to digital transformation, consumer insights and more, contact us. If you’re interested in staying up to date on our latest retail insights, follow us on LinkedIn.

Reagan Jacobs

Reagan provides research, planning and analysis support for McMillanDoolittle retail consulting projects. She supports company and client projects through consumer research planning, merchandise and operations analysis, financial modeling and graphic design work.

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