When preparing for my upcoming trip to France, I found a couple of key items that have really delighted me. Basic but beautiful, here are my Top 5 travel must-haves:
1. A Great Camera: Canon Powershot S95
I can’t compliment this little guy enough. The S95 takes incredible photos at DSLR quality but also fits in the palm of my hand. Sure, I can’t zoom like I can with my Rebel, nor is the flash as powerful, but overall it’s just as good. I love that I can manually adjust my settings for shutter speed, f-stop, etc, shoot in raw, and focus manually. The HD video the S95 shoots looks brilliantly clear. But my favorite thing about this camera is the built in effects like tilt-shift, color accent, HDR, fish-eye, etc. The S95 specializes in wide shots and keeping up quality in low lighting, making it perfect for travel.
2. Carry-all: Longchamp Le Pliage Large Tote
It’s big. It’s black. It’s waterproof. I’m going to Paris, and no bag could be more perfect for lugging around all my goodies. Longchamp, a French handbag company, makes the Le Pliage series in different sizes, but for me the largest tote works perfectly. The bag’s ability to resist rain sets it apart from other totes alongside it’s overall classy look.
3. Compression Bags: Embark by Target
Nothing made me happier than squeezing my favorite jacket smaller than Vogue’s September issue. At first, I didn’t think the bags would work, but they remarkably cut the volume of clothes in half.
4. To Stay Connected: Apple iPad
It’s a tough call, but the iPad is my favorite Apple product. Instead of lugging around my ancient, heavy MacBook, all I’m bringing to France is my iPad. The iPad holds all my books and movies (entertainment). Normally, on a three week vacation I fly through four or five books, which means I pack four or five books. Now, with everything on my iPad I don’t worry about the seams busting on my carry-on. Not to mention, the iPad also allows me to check my email, blog, empty SD cards, catch up on the news, etc. I wouldn’t leave home without it.
5. Take Note: Moleskine Collection
The iPad hasn’t quite replaced paper products and until it does I love Moleskine brand everything. Their handy city notebooks bunch tourist musts into a compact, discrete pocketbooks. When it comes to keeping a personal journal, I’m still a pen-and-paper girl and, of course, no one makes a journal like Moleskine. Whatever your interest, Moleskine has artfully crafted a notebook for you.