Effective January 1, 2024, Departures® will no longer be available.

Card Members will no longer have access to Departures.com content or receive any print Departures magazines.

Every item we feature is objectively selected by our editorial team. If you purchase an item through our links, we may earn commission. Departures and American Express do not provide, endorse, or guarantee any of the items, and the sale of such items is governed by the third-party seller’s policies, terms, and conditions.
Editors’ Picks

Our Favorite Travel Essentials of the Year

Everything you need for your 2023 travel: our editors’ picks for on-the-road accessories that marry form and function.

A photograph of Beoplay H95 Shop at Bang & Olufsen

A VERY CHIC traveler once told me that while in transit, one must move like a spy. A successful journey, to them, relied on streamlined, understated, and multifunctional accessories to rival those you might find in James Bond’s carry-on. We’ve all crossed paths with that slick, model traveler — that person who seemingly floats through customs, presenting this or that document with the flick of a wrist, seamlessly pulled from some hidden pocket, dressed ready for a Michelin-star meal upon hitting the tarmac (everyone else wilted in sweatpants, crumpled documents falling out of their crushed bags). Gearing up for the rest of the year’s adventures, our editors thus present a careful selection of travel accessories in hopes that this winter we may all move like spies.

Shop at Troubadour

Troubadour Embark Duffle

Personally vetted by a new dad on our team, the Embark is a versatile piece of spillover luggage — sleek enough for the aesthetic traveler yet hardy enough to have, at times, served as his family’s diaper bag. It shape-shifts, allowing enough room for all the baby gear while still compactly slipping on top of a suitcase handle. SHOP NOW

Shop at Blundstone

Blundstone Dress Boots

I have undoubtedly trod multiple marathons’ worth of distance in these lighter-than-air yet decidedly substantial shoes. With a shock-absorbing sole, they’re essentially hiking boots made for the most uneven of roads and trails. But a slick profile and chisel toe make them formal enough for a dressy occasion. The ultimate dual-purpose boot. SHOP NOW

Shop at Bang & Olufsen

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H95 Headphones

Adjustable and noise-canceling, this rich level of immersive sound is made for blocking out the chaos of crowds or the incessant roar of the in-flight experience. Sound-wise, “more lush lows, punchier mids, and crisper highs” is what one can expect. For the same robust sound at home, check out what our editor had to say about the brand’s speaker, Beoplay A9. SHOP NOW

Shop at Smythson

Smythson Multi-Zip Case

A personal favorite of our editor in chief, this luxe, made-in-Spain classic features four compartments for all your tickets, passes, international currencies, receipts, or secret love letters — crafted from a supple cross-grain calf leather. I’m loving the Scarlet Red hue, imagining how easy it would be to find in my sea of black clothes. SHOP NOW

Shop Brunello Cucinelli

Brunello Cucinelli Leather Beauty Case

Created in the Italian hamlet of Solomeo, this textured suede and buffalo leather pick is a minimalist’s choice from a heritage brand. The interiors are also water-resistant, ideal for any potential product spillage. SHOP NOW

Shop at Hermès

Hermès Tarmac Passport Holder

Hermès, the epitome of quality leather and French luxury, has (no surprise) the coolest solution to a beat-up passport: a passport cover, available in a variety of neutral and jewel tones with a dainty little snap closure. SHOP NOW

Shop at Breitling

Breitling Endurance Pro

This watch was vetted by our super cyclist contributor, an athlete whose accessories must at all times marry form with function. To him, the Endurance Pro was made for athletes without looking like a sport watch. Crafted in a proprietary Breitling material, the stuff is 3.3 times lighter than titanium and 5.8 times lighter than stainless steel. He actually forgot he was wearing it. SHOP NOW

Shop at Kroma

Kroma Wellness 5-Day Reset

Equally as important as travel? Post-travel. Out of our list of post-travel products to help you bounce back, we’re still talking about this Kroma Wellness Reset, a 5-day supplement program that gets your gut back on track after days of opulent dining. SHOP NOW

Shop at Dr. Barbara Sturm

Dr. Barbara Sturm Serum Discovery Set

This icon of skin care has a discovery set with all manner of magic serums to soothe angry post-plane skin. It contains a calming serum (to help reduce redness), a hyaluronic serum (for intensive hydration), a brightening serum (to reduce uneven pigmentation and smooth texture), and an anti-aging serum (packed with antioxidants). After applying before bed, I wake up with a decidedly better face. SHOP NOW

Shop at FPM Milano

FPM MILANO Bank Spinner 55M

Truly embodying the “move like a spy” mantra, this suitcase line is a perfect marriage of strength and style. The aluminum shell is hyperdurable, while anodized aluminum hinges provide unbudgeable security. So my sweaters, slip dresses, and holey pajama T-shirts can be protected like the precious cargo they are. SHOP NOW


Shop Small®

When you Shop Small, you’re not just supporting neighborhood favorites — you’re investing in the community. Whether you’re a local or visiting, explore the Shop Small Map to find small businesses near you. Learn more here.

Our Contributors

Sophie Mancini Writer

Sophie Mancini is a New York based writer. Under the New York Times’ creative agency, she helped lead the relaunch of Departures Magazine, where she then went on to become the food editor. Her background spans editorial, brand, and books.

Ahonen & Lamberg Illustrator

Ahonen & Lamberg is a multidisciplinary design studio based in Paris. Founded in 2006 by Finnish designers Anna Ahonen and Katariina Lamberg, the studio concentrates on art direction, creative consultancy, and graphic design.

Departures and American Express do not provide, endorse, or guarantee any of the items, and the sale of such items is governed by the third-party seller’s policies, terms, and conditions.

Let’s Keep in Touch

Subscribe to our newsletter

You’re no longer on our newsletter list, but you can resubscribe anytime.