Staff Picks: All the Things Our Editors Can’t Travel Without
Our carry-ons are packed and over the weight limit.
Welcome to InsideHook’s Staff Picks, a compendium of all the things our editors have been digging on recently. This week we’re sharing the one item we can’t travel without.
The Cost of These Dreams by Wright Thompson
I don’t travel without a book. The selection process, though, is a bit more involved than tossing a novel into a backpack. I aim for a book that’s engaging enough to burn away hours on a flight or enjoy atop a towel on the beach without overpowering the vacation. Think: pages ripe with prompts worth sharing at dinner, not pages you’d rather be reading while at dinner. The best options, in my opinion, include short story or essay collections and creative non-fiction, with bonus points for work directly related to your destination. A great candidate (which I’m currently reading, and unfortunately wasting on subway commutes) is The Cost of These Dreams by Wright Thompson. Thompson is an unparalleled sportswriting surgeon, and you might recognize him as the author of that tortured Ichiro piece ESPN Magazine ran last year, in addition to dozens of other profiles over the last 15 years. The Cost of These Dreams is his greatest hits album. Find a Jordan profile that probes Air Jordan’s obsessions and insecurities, a deep-dive into the Ole Miss integration riots, and so much more. — Tanner Garrity, Associate Editor
Naadam Talus Hoodie
Naadam’s ridiculously soft, lightweight 100% Mongolian cashmere hoodie fits beautifully (even with my stocky frame) and doubles as my airline pillow. As well, it’s either my primary layer or secondary layer during my travels if the temps stay below 80. Bonus: the hoodie is also 50% off right now, though only available in limited sizes. If not that, I’d recommend anything Naadam makes (sweaters, cardigans, sweatpants, etc.) because it’s hard to find clothing this comfy, breathable and wrinkle free when you’re logging serious miles. — Kirk Miller, Nation Editor/Managing Editor
Outlier Ramienorth Pivot
This is always the first item of clothing I put in my duffel bag while preparing for a trip. As an over-packer in recovery, I find versatile pieces to be an absolute necessity. This button-up from Outlier ticks all the boxes: it’s lightweight and comfy, has buttons on it, is super durable and works well in just about all climates. In fact, Outlier uses a fiber called Ramie to construct their shirts, which is perfectly suited to handle warm weather and wick sweat, however, I’ve also found that thanks to its slightly thicker makeup (think a combo of oxford and a very thick linen) it also handles chillier temperatures like a pro as well. — Eli London, Director of Partnerships and User Acquisition
The first thing I put in my bag if there’s even a slight chance of inclement weather has long been a super packable down jacket. Takes up no space or weight, keeps you warm, doubles as a great airplane pillow. I used to use Uniqlo’s version, which at $60 is very good value if you’re buying on a budget. But if you can afford it, upgrade to this Outerknown number, which outclasses the specs of cheaper iterations: 700-fill down, super solid water-repellency and the same ripstop fabric that’s used for tents and parachutes. That last one’s the real kicker — down jackets are typically prone to tearing, but this one’s built to last for a long, long time. — Walker Loetscher, Editor in Chief
Argo Pet Avion Airline Approved Carrier
Either I’m a really good dog dad, I’m totally neurotic or both. Whatever the case, my dog, Max, has gone on vacation with my wife and I on an average of three times a year for the last seven years. He is, for lack of a better word, spoiled. So how do you get a jet setting Pug, Poodle and Terrier mix from one airport to another without him making much of a fuss? The answer — and I swear this thing has changed my life, my wife’s life and especially my dog’s life — is the Argo Pet Avion Airline Approved Carrier. It’s lightweight, fits right under my seat and is ventilated so my adorable brat of a dog can just go to sleep while I spend a couple of hours disappointed about the selection of in-flight movies available. — Jason Diamond, Features Editor
Whenever I travel, be it for work or pleasure, I like to run — it’s my favorite way to get out and see a new place, and of course a great workout besides. And when I run, I like to listen to music (never trust a person who runs without music, this is unnatural and surely the sign of some innate psychosis). I do not, however like carrying my phone — one because it’s rather unwieldy, but second because I’d prefer to avoid the temptation for distraction (“should I stop to answer that text? I should probably stop”). Thus, Mighty is my go-to travel companion — a tiny clip-on player that syncs neatly to both my wireless earbuds and Spotify account, allowing me to stream my “Run Faster, Sissy” playlist and heed that bit of inspirational advice unencumbered. Just try not to misplace it — wandering around one’s home shouting “where the hell is my Mighty Vibe??” can lead to … confusion. — Danny Agnew, Creative Director
Peter Thomas Roth Max Mineral Naked Broad Spectrum SPF 45
Sunscreen should be a staple of any beauty routine. Gurus are stressing the importance of protecting your face from the sun’s harsh rays, because it will prevent skin cancer, but more importantly it’ll keep your face moisturized and looking healthy. Which is funny to me because I’ve had to wear sunscreen, begrudgingly, forever, because I’m pale as f*ck and do not tan, I only burn. I don’t even burn and then tan, like some white people. And unfortunately for me I love being tan, but do not love ruining my vacations with red hot, itchy skin. So I layer my self-tanner (another travel item necessity) with spray-on sunscreen and apply this Peter Thomas Roth SPF sunscreen to my face. Packed with Vitamins A&C, this sunscreen helps alleviate skin damage, brightens dark spots to even your skin tone, and nourishes your skin all while protecting it from that evil sun demon. — Logan Mahan, Editorial Intern
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