pack

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: 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.

Travellious Test Labs: Outdoor Research Helium Jacket

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outdoor research helium womens jacket

I should be prepared to deal with the rain. After all, I have lived in Seattle for five years now. The thing is, in Seattle, I just deal. Getting a bit wet happens and if it's monsoon weather, I begrudgingly pull the Gortex out of the back of the closet.

Over the past year, however, I kept finding myself heading to tropical locals like Hawaii or St. Croix, where suggested packing was always a light raincoat or umbrella. I was at a loss on what to pack, as I don't even own an umbrella and a heavy raincoat was not going to take up precious cargo space for a "just in case" scenario. So, I broke down and began the hunt for the tiniest raincoat imaginable.

I discovered this Helium jacket by Outdoor Research that is lightweight, easily packed, and works perfectly in a pinch. It's quickly become one of my travel favorites.

Travellious Test Labs: Baggu Daypack and Zipper Bags

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baggu daypack medium zipper bags

Recently, I was perusing an article where creative types shared their travel essentials on Hypebeast. One stand out entry was a collapsible shopping bag from BAGGU. While I was a bit skeptical about just how necessary a shopping bag was for travel, it was easy to see why their line of brightly colored bags would catch the eye of an artist. A quick glance at their website and I found an entire line of candy-colored bags for travel. I had the chance to play with a set of their zipper packs and a daypack, and discovered that BAGGU offers much more than a shopping bag for the jetsetter. If you're looking for more ways to pack light, stay organized and fashion conscious when you're on the road, these might be the bags for you.

Travellious Test Labs: Sanuk Sandals and Sidewalk Surfers

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sanuk holy moly sidewalk surfers

I'm always on the hunt for the perfect travel shoe. One that's comfy, easily packed and doesn't look like its sole function in life is orthopedic. Recently, Sanuk contacted me to see if we wanted to test out the travel heartiness of a few pairs of their shoes that are "as much about funk as function." I headed straight over to their website to see a wide range of casual and fun shoes that I was surprised were not already living in my closet.

They arrived just in time for both Austin and I to test them out on two separate trips out of town. I was headed to warm and sunny St. Croix, the perfect weather for testing out their flip flops and sidewalk surfers. Austin, however, was heading to the chillier locales of upstate New York and had just the pair of heartier shoes to bring with him. I'll let Austin share you his thoughts on the guys shoes tomorrow and jump right into my warm weather experiences.

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