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My Favorites Things: Travel Gear + Planning Essentials

My favorite things

Travel Essentials

Gear and services that I use when traveling and to help plan travel

Favorite Travel Clothes and Luggage

I feel better when I travel with and am wearing clothes that feel good and look good. After being let down by brand-name suitcases, I finally splurged on luggage that is both practical and gorgeous.

Anatomie Travel Clothing

Get my discount for 15% off!

Use code LAJOLLAMOM for 15% off of your purchase. Say goodbye to wrinkled clothes in your suitcase. The brand has become so popular, it’s now being sold at Neiman Marcus. I love the pants and tops. It’s designed to survive hand-washing in your hotel, too.


I love, love, love my luggage.

We own multiple pieces. While I love the high-end look of the silver Original Line, my favorite piece is the less-expensive Essential Trunk Plus because it has a zipper and more flexible “skin.” Rimowa is an investment and does ding/scratch like other hard-shell luggage but we’re happy (and love the stickers/customization options).


It’s all about the pants.

Yes, these are designer travel clothes but Paskho pants are perfect for working at home and daily life. They are so darn comfortable. I have a couple of tunics, too, but you can buy and try without risk to see they work for you. Get $20 off any Paskho purchase here.

Travel Planning

There are my go-to travel planning resources when I need hotels, sightseeing passes, car service, lounge access, and sightseeing tips.

Virtuoso Hotels

Book five-star hotels with perks.

Through me, you have access to VIP amenities at thousands of hotels worldwide including daily breakfast for two, room upgrades, resort credits, and more. I book my own hotels this way. Participating brands include Four Seasons, The Ritz-Carlton, Aman, Park Hyatt, and many others (these brands may have their own VIP programs, too). You must be on the desktop version to see rates and book.

Go City

Save with sightseeing passes.

I use Go City sightseeing passes in major cities like New York City, Shanghai, San Francisco, and others where a la carte ticket purchases might add up. You can use the app as a ticket. A variety of options from All-Inclusive to Build-Your-Own suite various travel styles. I highly recommend this pass for people visiting San Diego (if that’s you, access my 10% off all-inclusive pass link here).


For scheduled airport transfers.

This is the black car service that we use worldwide (Shanghai, London, Paris, Istanbul, San Diego, etc.) for airport transfers. Use promo code 1WVK908F on your first Blacklane ride and we’ll both save 20%. I use the app or book online. They’ve been great.

Context Travel

Private and small group tours that I highly recommend.

Sightseeing becomes more meaningful when you have someone with you to share details you wouldn’t otherwise have. We’ve done scavenger hunts (their kids’ programming is excellent) in Venice, food tours in Hong Kong, and more. For what you get, pricing is reasonable and you can move at your own pace.

American Express Platinum

I don’t leave home without it.

I have the business card and it gets me a $10 food and beverage credit in the San Diego Airport Airspace lounge, access to Centurion lounges, and a host of other travel benefits that outweigh its annual fee. Learn more about the cards I like in partnership with Johnny Jet.

Luxe City Guides

Power check your itinerary in major cities.

I’ve been buying these pithy pocket-sized guides for years but you can download the app and buy city guides through it. Contrary to the name, they are not all expensive recs. They are curated by people in-the-know with locals-only spots, chic shops, restaurants, and things to do.

Must-Have Packed

Everyone travels with their own gear that makes life easier but these are a few of my favorite things.

eBags Pack-It-Flat

A real space-saver.

This little toiletry bag has revolutionized my carry-on only travel. It packs completely flat and saves space compared to larger toiletry bags. Mine is black but it comes in other colors. You can hang it, too, which is helpful in cramped hotel bathrooms. I only learned about it a few years ago so I am sharing it with everyone I know!

Muji Makeup Bag

Go to a Muji store and you’ll see what I mean.

When I’m taking long trips and have a lot of sunscreen, full-sized bottles, and more to pack in a toiletry kit, I put it in this inexpensive compartmentalized bag from Muji. You can buy mix and match organizers to fit inside of it. If you can go to a Muji store (my latest was bought in Singapore), check it out. I have been through two over the years.

Bose QuietComfort

For peaceful flying.

I’ve owned several generations of in-ear and over-ear Bose QuietComfort headphones over the years and highly recommend them. While AirPods or similar are easy and fine for day-to-day use, when you really want great sound quality for your airplane movie, music, or sleep, these are the best.

Some small things

Travel Insurance

Please, please make sure that you are covered.

In most cases, your home medical insurance and credit card protection aren’t enough especially if you’re traveling overseas. Read all terms and conditions to make sure you understand coverage. I’ve listed coverage I use personally and popular coverage options for clients of our travel agency.


Annual medical policy for overseas travel.

We have an annual GeoBlue policy that we, thankfully, haven’t had to use. I chose it because it is compatible with our California health insurance policy. It’s up to you to find the gaps in what you have and makes sure that whatever you buy covers them. Learn more about GeoBlue.

Travelex Insurance Services

A highly-rated preferred Virtuoso partner.

Travelex offers leisure travelers insurance coverage in a variety of price points with optional upgrades. They’ve been in business for over 55 years and offer 24/7 assistance and concierge services. Learn more about Travelex.


Medical evacuation coverage.

We also have an annual MedJet membership which is less-restrictive medical evacuation. It covers overseas travel (now with some pandemic restrictions) but also within 150 miles of your home, making it something to consider for parents of college students or kids who travel for sports. Learn more about MedJet.

Allianz Global Assistance

Another big name for single trip and annual coverage.

Allianz Global Assistance is also a Virtuoso member and widely respected in the travel community. Learn more about Allianz.