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Carry-On Essentials: LUSH Cosmetics Solid Toiletries

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solid toiletries for travel

Enter the airport security line. Sweater off. Shoes, laptop, and boarding pass tucked carefully into a gray bin. Now where's that bag? You know the bag, it's the one bursting at the seams. The one that's holding three ounces of every liquid you hold near and dear, and you're hoping makes it into the bin without destroying the seal. Ever since the liquid ban, that bag has frustrated me. Frustrated that I have to keep half of my toiletries in a separate place, and worried that I might forget to put that tube of toothpaste in its proper, TSA-approved home rather than where I carried it for years in my toiletry bag. It's that bag, alone, that often makes me want to check my bag. So, I decided to simplify and went solid. Fewer liquid products means I can put things where they should go and forget about it. It also means that bag has never been bursting at the seams again. If you can't change the system, you can at least beat it. Carry on reading to discover some products that will make you carry-on ready for your next trip.

Eight Great Toiletry Bags

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A good toiletry bag is an essential part of traveling well. Rather than finding the biggest one available, we prefer well-designed bags that not only hold our stuff but encourage us to lighten the load. We've selected some of our favorites below that we'd be happy to have by our side on our next trip.

Travellious Test Labs: Windows Phone

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This summer, I was fortunate to get the opportunity to try out a Windows Phone, something I'd been itching to do for a while. I was intrigued by the clean, sleek look of the OS, but I couldn't help but wonder if it would actually be useful for travelers. I know that many tech-savvy travelers will inevitably gravitate towards the latest iPhone or a popular Android device, but after some time with a Windows Phone, I can clearly say that they should consider these relative newcomers, as well. With the release of Windows Phone 7.5 and beyond, phones boasting this platform provide a clean, well-designed, and fully capable OS and app marketplace that offer travelers everything they need and more. Keep reading to find out the best features and outstanding apps that prove Windows Phones are ready to go on the road with you on your next trip.

Travellious Test Labs: Mission Workshop Vandal Backpack Review

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Mission Workshop Vandal Backpack

Sometimes it seems like the search for the perfect travel backpack is neverending. Even if you've found a great bag that you love, styles change, gear wears out or gets damaged in transit, and your body changes. So, to aid you in this eternal quest, we recently got the opportunity to try out a new Mission Workshop bag on a few of our recent trips. We tested out a multi-pouch, weatherproof, expandable backpack, named the Vandal. How did the Vandal stack up in our tests? Keep reading to find out.

Travellious Reading Room: Hidden Gardens Of Paris

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hidden gardens of paris

When you think of what makes Paris famous, you'll likely think of the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, or the Champs-Élysées. If you're into gardens, you'll also likely think of the Luxembourg Gardens or the Tuileries Garden, some of the most well-known gardens in the city. However, you might not think of the countless other, lesser known gardens that are strewn throughout Paris. But, with Susan Cahill's new book, Hidden Gardens of Paris, you can delve into forty of these lesser known, but no less amazing, garden spaces. From L'École Normale Supérieure in the Latin Quarter, to Parc des Buttes-Chaumont in northeastern Paris, you can find a quiet, beautiful spot to stop and relax in no matter what part of the city you are visiting. Keep reading to find out why it's worth your time to pour through this book before your next trip to the City of Light.

Travellious Test Labs: Sony Reader WiFi

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Sony Reader Wifi
the tiny, thin Sony Reader WiFi

E-readers are old news, I know. Until now, I had managed to avoid the phenomenon entirely, as the thought of having one more device scared me away from even considering one. Sadly, I also haven't been reading as much, despite having made the effort to download books to my iPad. I was ready to embrace the digital reading experience, but found that I could never get lost in a book there, with e-mail, twitter, or a game just a button's press away. Recently, I had the opportunity to check out Sony's line consumer electronics (full disclaimer, they sent me one to test out), including the Sony Reader WiFi. It didn't take long for me to realize that this tiny device deserved a home in my day bag AND travel bag. Easy to pack, distraction free and just the right size. I just may be an e-reader fan, after all.

Travel in Style: Ballet Flats

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Ballet flats are a favorite shoe of mine at home and on the road. This spring they are also on trend appearing all over the place. Bill Cunningham caught New Yorkers wearing them a few weeks ago on the New York Times. In the shops, JCrew, alone, has an entire ballet boutique and the traveler-friendly shoe company, Toms has just launched a ballet flat line.

Why are these shoes so great for travel? They are always comfortable, versatile, cute and easily packable. All great things for when you're on your feet most of the day and still want to look in style.

I've pulled a few contenders to get you started on finding the perfect flat to add to your travel wardrobe. Happy Shoe Shopping!

Travellious Test Labs: Netrobe App for iPhone

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Netrobe is a fashion app for cataloging, styling and expanding your wardrobe. It's also an awesome travel application, making packing a visual experience.

I think the biggest problem with packing, particularly among us ladies, is not making enough tough decisions ahead of time. Will you actually wear the heels? Does that shirt match anything else in your suitcase? Decisions not made at home lead to overpacking and Netrobe helps you solve this problem by giving you the tools to plan out your wardrobe ahead of time and create a visual packing list to help you make sure not to forget a single thing. It's not without hard work, however, but once you've cataloged your wardrobe, I envision this as an indispensable travel aid. Curious how it would work for the traveler? I'll walk you through the process.

Travellious Test Labs: Hoboroll by Gobi Gear

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hobo roll from gobi gear

I love packing aids and am always on the hunt for something new that will keep me organized and save space in my bag. I've always loved the idea of compression sacks, the ones suited for sleeping bags or camping gear, but they quickly become a packing black hole and are not always so useful for packing for travel. The Hoboroll takes the compression sack and makes it organizer-friendly. It is the perfect solution for those who like to stay organized and want to pack light, even when they might not be so good at it.

CES 2012 Travel Tech Roundup

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CES, the yearly technology extravaganza in Las Vegas, offers the gadget and gear lover an almost endless array of new toys to drool over. This year seemed focused on thin laptops, sleek tablets and smart TVs. But what about tech for the traveler, especially ones who already have all the laptops and tablets that they could want? I went searching through the products released at CES and found a few that could help keep your devices powered and connected while you're on the road, even better than ones I've seen in the past. Keep reading to see what I found.

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