Thinkwell’s Travel Tips & Recommendations

  • Blog Posts

Traveling can be a hassle. From long lines at security to not finding a decent spot to charge your phone while waiting to board, it’s a process that can be far from easy to handle for even the most seasoned travelers. 

With National Shop for Travel Day upon us (yes, it’s a thing!), we polled a few Thinkwellians for advice and recommendations that can help alleviate the stress of traveling. We sat down with Cynthia Sharpe, Craig Hanna, and Cat Meyendorff and asked what their must-have items are when they’re on the road. From suitcases to tech and, yes, even yarn and knitting, read below for their recommendations.

Organization and Luggage

Cynthia’s go-to is her TravelPro Maxlite Carry-On Spinner. She’s so fond of it she purchased one for domestic flights and another for international! With effortless 360° spin and a high-tensile strength expandable zipper that allows for an additional two inches to the bag, it’s also great for any last minute souvenir purchases. 

Meanwhile, Craig’s favorite bag is his Briggs & Riley hard side carry-on. The unique feature here is the bag decompresses the air out of it, maximizing space as much as possible. All you have to do is push it down, and the air is forced out and further compresses to allow for expandable space!

Cat’s go-to packing recommendation isn’t the suitcase, but how she organizes within the suitcase. She uses Shacke Pak Packing Cubes to help organize each cube by either daily outfits or types of clothes – plus they help to avoid a “my suitcase looks like a tornado hit after one day” debacle. 

Passing Time In-Flight

Cat also relies on her trusty Kindle to avoid binging in-flight films, and instead she catches up on new reads to stay awake on international red-eye flights. On a recent flight to Europe, Over The Top by Jonathan Van Ness was on her must-read list, as well as Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah. “Both are non-fiction memoirs that tell emotional, heart-wrenching and sometimes funny stories with very distinctive voices,” Cat tells us. 

Craig’s in-flight go-to’s are his custom-molded earplugs with a changeable dB filter, so his ears can stay level at cabin pressure. He’s able to let in as much noise as he wants, all while staying comfortable and avoiding those pesky in-ear headphones falling out. Custom is the way to go on this one. 

While avoiding the sounds of coughs and crying babies, Craig also takes time to catch up on his magazine reading (notably Entertainment Weekly, Food & Wine, and Wired). “I always pop a few into my bag before I travel. It’s a great way to pass the time on long flights,” he shares. 

Cynthia loves to tackle small knitting projects to pass the time on the plane: “It’s soothing and helps me stay awake when trying to adjust to a new time zone. Plus, it’s small and easily packable. I keep my notions in a semi-clear zippered pouch so if they ping the interest of someone manning the X-ray at security, it’s easy for the security folks to see what’s in the bag without fully taking it apart.” 

The Lihit Lab zippered mesh pouches are mighty and come in very packable small sizes. And, well, her favorite simple project bag? Cynthia says, “It’s the Knitpicks otter drawstring bag. It’s not fancy, but it crushes into a backpack or bag easily, and it has otters on it!” 

As we jump into 2020, we hope these recommendations are helpful for the next time you’re preparing to travel. Consider a quick knit kit, pick up a few magazines, or download those e-books before you go. And above all, invest in some good earplugs. You’ll touch down from your flight and wonder where all that time went.

Stay tuned for more travel stories and advice from the Thinkwell team this year, and reach out with any tips or recommendations of your own!