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Our Top 25 Travel Essentials

Our Top 25 Travel Essentials

When traveling, we have two goals: make it easy and make it fun, even when the travel is business related. Making it fun should be a no-brainer— but making it easy? Another thing entirely. Especially when you’re a woman of color because that automatically adds an arsenal of essentials. All the butters. All the oils. So what are the essential items to pack in your carry on?

Let’s be real: we’re trying to get this #TravelGlowUP.

With today’s travel restrictions and limitations on what you can and cannot bring on a flight, many of us have resorted to compromising on our normal, every day personal care items while headed to explore new vacation destinations.

This is not okay. We will not have it, oh! *in my

Here at The Black Travel Box, we’re basically travel ninjas. Not only do we have you covered with TSA friendly personal care items through our own product line, we’ve crafted the absolute perfect carry-on packing list for women of color. 

We’re giving you our legit anatomy of the perfect carry-on!

You can follow this guide and rest assured knowing you have 25 essential items in your bag that will hold you down, allow you to breeze straight through TSA, and keep you on the #TravelAndSlay feature of The Black Travel Box’s Instagram.

You ready? Let’s dive in.

Stay Ready So You Don’t Have To Get Ready Essentials Group:

This group of products help you get organized and ensure you’re ready for everything.

  1. Solar Charger - you can pop it in a window, or lay it out on the beach, no need for a wall outlet or converters if you’re in another country.
  2. Noise Cancelling Earbuds- so you can drown out the crying baby and take a nap or enjoy music/movies with great sound quality.
  3. Packing Cubes- To keep your items organized, and easy to find.
  4. Travelers Medical Kit- everything from first aid, over-the-counter and prescribed medicines, to your important documents and contacts should be included in your kit.
  5. An eye mask - to get that GOOD shut eye on the plane and at night in hotels or other accomodations that don't have black out curtains.
  6. Styling and Makeup Tools: We’re big fans of Kazmaleje’s Kurls + Detangler Paddle Comb and EcoTools “Refresh in 5” makeup brushes, but truly whatever you need to keep you travel selfie ready works. Just remember to keep it simple and use tools that do double duty to save precious bag space.
  7. Tweezers: We never travel without tweezers! They’re great for touching up brows, applying lashes, taming chin hairs, and you never know when you’ll get a splinter.

Easy Breezy, Summer Fun Essential Group:

This group helps you effortlessly look like a million bucks while keeping it light.

  1. Maxi/Sun Dresses: A cute dress doesn’t take up much space and is easy to throw on and effortlessly slay, while staying comfortable. For our curvy sisters, check out REBDolls. You’re welcome!
  2. Flats: While not as sexy as heels may feel, cute flats with good structure, much like sundresses and maxis, help you stay comfortable while you explore and take up less precious cargo space.
  3. Athletic gear: Even if you don’t plan to work out much, you never know when a good pair of yoga pants will come in handy.
  4. Running Shoes: You may decide you’re going on a walk, hike, or run while exploring new territory. Those flats may not have the support you need to walk through the streets of Rome or Rio.
  5. Sunglasses: We don’t need to explain this one. However, it is important to remember that not all sunglasses are created equal. The $5 pair looks enticing. But, we recommend choosing a “good” pair of sunglasses with quality lenses that block UV rays.
  6. Sun Hat: Of course, you’ll want to keep the sun off your face, but a great sun hat makes a great #TravelSlay, allowing you to switch up your look and keeping hair styling maintenance to a minimum. 😉
  7. Swimwear: Summer is going to get whatever body we give it! Every body is a summer body. Find some of our fave suits made for every body here and here
  8. Accessories: Give us all the cute bracelets, earrings, and hair wraps. Find some inspiration from our Pinterest and remember to pack items you can mix and match to wear on multiple days and in multiple ways.


Here We GLOW Essentials Group:

This group of essentials ensures your skin and hair are POPPIN’!

  1. Lip Balm- because we all need luscious lips while we’re on the go. Lip balm isn’t just essential to the health of our very sensitive skin, but there’s an added bonus of lipstick adhering better, keeping moisture locked in no matter the weather, and- of course- freshening up a look with no lipstick at all.
  2. Signature Scent: Smells are psychological. They can bring on floods of memories, so whatever your signature scent is, always wear it, even when traveling. You never know if you’ll  be cemented into someone’s memory, or revive good memories for them. We recommend taking tiny roller bottles or solids of your favorite scents that pack easily and won't get you caught up at TSA.
  3. Shampoo:  We actually adore using BARS in place of liquid soaps (you know this if you’re a Black Travel Box fan). Not only will you not have to worry about potential spills, you’ll get 4x the usage from a shampoo bar over the traditional travel-size bottle.
  4. Conditioner: The same sentiments ring true with conditioner bars as shampoo. Conditioners also double as a leave in stylers; leaving hair refreshed, textureful, and ready for the next adventure.
  5. Skin Moisturizer: How many times have you just thrown some coconut oil in your bag to work as a be-all for your hair and skin while traveling? Not to toot our own horn, but in different climates, one oil does not fit all. That’s why we created our own natural Body Balm that’s #TravelReady, TSA  friendly, and will give your skin all the nutrients needed while on the go. A little goes a long way, and it's excellent when applied straight out of the shower.
  6. Hair Moisturizer: See #20 but replace with our Hair Balm, whether you’re natural or relaxed. It’s worth mentioning that coconut and grapeseed oils are great alternatives. But, when using an oil you will want to use something that locks in and seals the moisture. This prevents dry out, frizz out, and dull hair. Unlike a styling gel or cream, a moisturizing balm is great for blowouts, wash 'n go’s, and keeping your scalp healthy (and itch free!) while in protective styles.
  7. Natural Bug Repellant: You’re so sweet, you’ll need something to keep the bugs off you. Wipes and mini bottles are great to keep on hand just in case an evening swim or outdoor dinner turn into a mosquito fest 😉
  8. Hand Sanitizer or Wipes: Don’t be caught slipping without either of these. They not only work great on hands but also are wonderful in a pinch to clean off public restroom toilets and sinks before use. Oh, and they work wonders on sticky messes too!
  9. Makeup:  Whether you want a full beat or plan to keep it light, bring your essentials like mascara, a bold lip, bronzer, and concealer. But hey, we’re always here for a fresh face, too! So be sure to rotate in a good nude lipstick to show off your natural beauty.
  10. Sunscreen: We’re way past the point of believing people of color don’t need sun protectant, right? Find a good mineral based sunscreen that doesn’t leave you chalky and mess up your GLOW.

And there you have it! 25 items that make up the quintessential carry-on bag. You’re officially ready to hop on your next flight with incredible ease.

Tell us, do you have any product preferences for anything on our list? Tell us what you use without fail or if there was an item not listed that you feel we all need. We’ll add it to our Pinterest Board!

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