I'm off for Tokyo tomorrow morning. I am hoping to blog while there, but have no idea if that will actually happen. Below is the DESIGNwatcher traveler's guide full of useful items for smart traveling. Sayonara!
Folding Ray-Ban Wayfarers ($149) might seem a little dumb, but it's almost impossible to tell the difference and they're less breakable this way; I tend to like the Wallpaper* city guides ($9 each) more than Frommer's, et al; this Banana Republic Striped Peacoat Sweater ($175) is the perfect sweater/coat combination that will serve you well on a long flight as well; this large Matt & Nat "Fifty-Five" handbag ($250) is great as a carry-on, it comes with a detachable shoulder strap and lots of convenient interior pockets.
Bose QuietComfort 3 noise canceling headphones ($349), they're smaller and better than ever; Chuck Taylors ($41) make a great walking shoe and can be dressed up if need be; James Perse's contrast panel 3/4 sleeve shirts ($144) are great, period. If I had to pick one thing on this guide to take it would be a 5ml bottle of Lavender essential oil ($11). Lavender calms, relaxes and soothes, and is said to balance the central nervous system (which is something I certainly need when I travel), it can be used for burns, sunburns, stings, muscular aches, cuts, blemishes, bruises, headaches, insect bites, colds, flu, stress, and menstrual cramps and it promotes deep restful sleep.
I asked my friend, Dr. Mark, what he recommended as an over-the-counter sleeping aid while traveling and he said for someone adverse to meds (like me) Tylenol PM is the way to go because it's very safe. My photog friends have recommended the Canon Powershot G10 ($499) as the highest quality in the smallest size camera; the Patagonia sweater vest ($150) packs down into almost nothing, yet is a substantial layering item.
Evian spray mist travel bottle ($17 for 3), instant refreshment in a bottle and less than 3-ounces for traveling; The Patagonia lightweight travel pack ($100) folds into a tiny ball, perfect for packing in your bag, using while traveling, and then checking as an extra bag for souvenirs on the way home; I wouldn't know the first thing to do with a sewing kit, but Hollywood tape ($6), double sided apparel tape, will fix a hem, a rip, and keep things in place if need be. Fashion correspondent Amy Fox recommended these A.P.C. fur-lined boots ($450) for their equal parts of chicness and functionality.