My Favorite Travel Accessories and Sunscreen

My Favorite Travel Accessories and Sunscreen - #COOLA #Supergoop #sunscreen #travel #vacation #travelaccessories #whattopack

Today, in the first of many Maui-related posts, I am talking about some of my favorite travel accessories.  This list includes packing tools, makeup and beauty bags and containers, travel bags, hair tools, and a few miscellaneous items.  I'm also going over my favorite face and body "healthier" sunscreens that we took on our trip. 

I tried to take as many photos as I could of my own items, but stock photos are from Amazon, where I purchased most of the products.  I have included affiliate links where I could, which means I get a small commission if you purchase a product using the provided link.

Travel Accessories



Magictodoor Travel Kit
(More colors available; Price is $11.99 to $14.99 depending on color.)
I originally just bought the pink travel kit and have taken it on several trips.  What I had before was a series of various clear Ziploc bags and zippered pouches I would randomly pack items into, so I liked having things more organized and in one location in using the kit.  I am high maintenance, however, so there was only so much I could fit into one bag.  For Hawaii, I bought an additional blue bag.  The pink one is for shower and face stuff.  The blue one is for hair products and lotions, fragrances, and the like.  This system worked out much better for me.
The bag has two mesh zippered compartments inside, as well as eight mesh pockets.  The side zipped areas have pockets and elastic loops for holding things like razors, makeup brushes, or other handled items.  I usually stick razor cartridges, a mini sticky roller, and my comb and brush in the various side pockets.  A LOT will fit in one of these bags, which is always surprising when I pack mine.  This was a ten day trip though, so for me that meant packing each one to the brim.  They are sturdy and well made with thick fabric and a hook for hanging.

My Favorite Travel Accessories and Sunscreen {Magictodoor Travel Kit}- #COOLA #Supergoop #sunscreen #travel #vacation #travelaccessories #whattopack
My Favorite Travel Accessories and Sunscreen {Magictodoor Travel Kit}- #COOLA #Supergoop #sunscreen #travel #vacation #travelaccessories #whattopack

Chameleon Packing Cubes
(More colors available; Prices range from $19.88 to $23.88 depending on color.)
I don't normally use all the bags all the time, but I find the different sizes come in handy for different things.  I use the small one for packing panties.  The second one is great for pajamas.  The big one is great for rolling up tops.  I like that they keep my items organized and compact and easy to get to.  If you need to make more room in your suitcase, Space Bags are the way to go though.  For big trips, I Space Bag everything and take a few of these along just in case. 

My Favorite Travel Accessories and Sunscreen {Chameleon Packing Cubes}- #COOLA #Supergoop #sunscreen #travel #vacation #travelaccessories #whattopack

Makeup and Beauty

Vera Bradley Hanging Organizer - here and here
(Lots of patterns available; Prices start around $45.  The design of this one is called Rio and is $47.98 on Amazon.)
This bag was a Christmas gift from my sister because she knew I had the big Maui trip coming up.  I didn't tell her I needed a bag like this, or any travel bag for that matter.  Somehow she just knew.  I used to have a cheap dollar store bag in this same style, but the zippers all broke and the velcro didn't work.  I had to throw it away.  So again, I was using a variety of bags or ill-shaped-for-packing bags to do the same job of holding all my makeup.  I was thrilled when I opened my present, but I didn't know just how much I needed it until I was packing and on vacation.  It is a larger bag, measuring at 11 inches by 9.5 inches when rolled up.  Unrolled, it is 29 inches long, with a hook for hanging that came in very handy when I was using it!  It is very well-made, sturdy, with plenty of room for whatever you want to pack in it.  I used the top pouch for eyeshadows, eyebrow pencils, eyeliners, mascaras, and all things eye.  The second pouch was for lip products and anything extra I just tossed in.  The third pouch held primers.  I took quite a selection of travel-sized primers with me.  And the big zippered pouch at the bottom held concealers, foundation, powders, finishing powders, contour, highlighter, and bronzer.  I still had plenty of room without things being packed too tight.  I also want to point out that the big zippered pouch at the bottom is lined with clear plastic, so it is easy to clean.  If you are low maintenance, maybe you could get everything you need for a trip in this one bag.  And if you can, don't come bragging about it to me!  hahaha

My Favorite Travel Accessories and Sunscreen {Vera Bradley Hanging Organizer}- #COOLA #Supergoop #sunscreen #travel #vacation #travelaccessories #whattopack
My Favorite Travel Accessories and Sunscreen {Vera Bradley Hanging Organizer}- #COOLA #Supergoop #sunscreen #travel #vacation #travelaccessories #whattopack

Hotrose Makeup Brush Travel Case
(Available in pink and black for $11.99)
I used to pack my makeup brushes in another flat-ish bag/pouch, but that one didn't have dedicated brush handle holes; things would move about and bristles would get wonky.  I needed something that would keep my brushes secure and damage-free and make it so they didn't just fall out willy nilly when I opened the bag.  As we have discussed, I am high maintenance and take as many things with me as I can when traveling.  I like options.  This bag is great!  I can pack my needed makeup brushes with room to spare.  There are different sizes of compartments with elastic that holds the brushes in place.  The zippered mesh pouch is great for holding cotton swabs, as seen here.  It does come with a mesh zippered bag that snaps into the center, but I use that separately for holding tweezers and other tools.

My Favorite Travel Accessories and Sunscreen {Hotrose Makeup Brush Travel Case}- #COOLA #Supergoop #sunscreen #travel #vacation #travelaccessories #whattopack

V-TOP Silicone Cosmetic Containers (20ml size and 10ml size)
(More sizes and colors here; Prices range from $10.68 to $12.98 depending on size and set.)
Our Maui trip was ten days, so I felt like some of the travel containers I had were just not big enough to hold all that I needed for that amount of time, or too big and bulky.  Add that I am an overplanner, an overpacker, and a worry wart and you will understand that I like to make sure I have everything I need, kind of obsessively.  I found these silicone containers on Amazon. They had good reviews, so I bought some in both sizes, not knowing exactly what size I needed for what.
The larger 20ML size was totally enough to hold daily moisturizers and the like.  I was able to cut masking tape circles to label the larger containers because my DYMO labels wouldn't stick to the silicone.  The larger containers have screw on lids that are secure.  I only put thicker creams/lotions in these, so I can't speak to spillage of thinner products.  They are easy to clean and easy to pack and handy dandy little things for any type of items you want to take with you.
The smaller 10ML size was great for serums, eye creams, or things you need even less of.  I ended up just writing on these with a Sharpie. I initially didn't do that so I could reuse them for any product, but it isn't a huge deal.  While the lids don't necessarily screw on, but kind of snap on, they are still pretty secure and don't come off.  However, my Vitamin C serum is very liquidy and these lids don't provide enough of a seal to hold in very liquidy substances.  Most of my serum came out in travel.  Thankfully, I had the small ones in a Ziploc bag, so they just all got coated in serum.  That is why the Sharpie labeling is more faint.  They are easily cleaned off, but I was sad most of my serum was gone.  The other small containers holding more creamy products were just fine. 
And in case you want a dedicated spatula for the process of transferring product, I use this stainless steel one I bought in a set of spatula and palette for $9.66.

My Favorite Travel Accessories and Sunscreen {V-TOP Silicone Cosmetic Conatiners}- #COOLA #Supergoop #sunscreen #travel #vacation #travelaccessories #whattopack

Z Palette, Small
(Available on Amazon in black, leopard, and pink  for $12.60)
Z palettes are handy if you want to combine various products from other palettes into one central location.  You can depot already put together palettes are use it to hold single pan shadows/blushes, etc.  They stay in place in the palette because the bottom is magnetic.  I own quite a few of the large size for various single pan eyeshadow products.  I knew, in traveling, that I wanted a smaller selection to take with me, so I ordered the small Z Palette.  This small size holds 9 eyeshadow pans, or you can include a combo of eye and blush pans or whatever you like.
The Z Palette is a sturdy, easy to clean contraption with magnetic closures.  I have never had an issue with any of the ones I own opening in transit or coming apart.  This size was also great for packing and nine shadows is a pretty good range for vacation.

My Favorite Travel Accessories and Sunscreen {Z palette, small}- #COOLA #Supergoop #sunscreen #travel #vacation #travelaccessories #whattopack



My Favorite Travel Accessories and Sunscreen {Revlon Ionic Travel Dryer, xtava Collapsible Silicone Hair Diffuser, BabyBlissPRO Nano Titanium Mini Straightening Iron}- #COOLA #Supergoop #sunscreen #travel #vacation #travelaccessories #whattopack

Revlon Ionic Travel Dryer
(Available for $16.99)
This was actually a purchase of necessity before a big trip.  I needed a travel hair dryer STAT.  I found it at Ulta.  It was the only dryer with 1875 watts or higher in my preferred price range.  I need all those watts for my thick-ass hair.  It is small and lightweight and folds up nicely.  It does come with the concentrator attachment, but I can't find any other attachments for it.  I have been really happy with the heat and power of this and am glad I bought it.  It also has worldwide dual voltage.  I do wish that I had had more time to research travel dryers to find one with a diffuser, but oh well.  I have made it work.  It is a great dryer for the price, so I highly recommend it.  If you always use a diffuser attachment like I do though, I would keep looking.  Right now, I am debating about this Hot Tools travel dryer and this Conair Curly hair dryer or something like it.

xtava Collapsible Silicone Hair Diffuser
(Currently unavailable. I paid $12.00 for mine.)
I'm including this diffuser in the list because I have taken it on every vacation since I bought it.  It isn't my favorite, but it gets the job done.  The travel hair dryer did not come with a diffuser, nor is there an attachment to purchase separately.  Since I now just do my hair naturally curly, I needed a diffuser and found this silicone one on Amazon one day.  I love that the surface area of the diffuser is large, but that the whole thing is lightweight and collapsible.  It takes up limited space in my suitcase and doesn't have pieces sticking out that can get broken.  However, the part that attaches to the hair dryer is too small to fit on the actual hair dryer, even though I measured it several times.  What I have to do is pull the diffuser on to the concentrator attachment and then put that on the dryer.  If I am not careful, it slips off sometimes.  Like I said, it is annoying, but it gets the job done.  The dryer itself kicks ass, so I don't want to get rid of it.  But I have found some travel diffuser dryers I may look into for my next trip.

BabyBlissPRO Nano Titanium Mini Straightening Iron (1")
(Available in two colors for $29.95.)
I've owned the BabyBliss for a couple years now.  I used to take my CHI with me on trips, but it is much larger and heavier than this little one. Since I typically just wear my hair curly nowadays, I didn't need one that could do my whole head.  This mini iron is perfect for doing my bangs.  It heats up quick and works very well.  I still put it in my travel flat iron bag I originally bought for my CHI, so that provides me with a heat resistant surface if I need it.  Reviews on the Amazon listing have people saying they use it for their whole head, but if you have really thick hair like I do this would take forever.  The width is one inch and the length of the iron part is about three inches.  If you have really short or really thin hair, you could probably get away with using it all over.  I'm really happy I bought this little guy!  Reviews say it also has dual voltage, so you don't need a converter when traveling.  I haven't been out of North America so I can't vouch for that personally, but since I hope to be going to Europe in the next few years, this makes me happy!

Misc. Travel


ECOSUSI 5 Piece Diaper Bag Set
(This set currently unavailable. Different patterns and set available here.; I paid $19.99 for this 5 piece set.)
My sister sent me a great larger black tote a couple years ago as a Christmas gift.  I have used it as an airplane bag a few times.  I love that it is big and holds a lot and looks very chic while doing it.  For this trip, I wanted something lighter and more beachy in color, but also something that had a good crossbody strap and lots of inner pockets.  Since it was a longer trip and I had to bring more things with me, I wanted to make carrying things as easy as possible.  I was searching for a crossbody purse, but couldn't find the size or type I wanted.  Then it dawned on me that a diaper bag has the type of practicality and pockets I need.  There are lots of diaper bags with great colors and patterns, though some can be really expensive.  While the pattern I found isn't exactly "beachy", I thought it was cute, definitely lighter than all black, and would go with my travel outfits.
I lucked out finding this 5-piece set for $20 on Amazon.  It includes a larger bag (15"x12") with tons of inner and outer pocket areas, a zippered entry, and a sturdy crossbody strap; a slightly smaller version of the same bag (11"x11"); an insulated bottle holder and zip pouch that I didn't take on this trip; and a changing pad that I used to set all my makeup on while I was getting ready, instead of using hotel towels or bringing my own towels like I normally do.  (I like to set all my makeup out and put it away as I use it.)  The larger bag was perfect for this big trip.  I took the smaller one to Seattle with me for Comicon, and the changing pad is now a staple of my travel accessories.  I don't know why I didn't think of a diaper bag sooner!

My Favorite Travel Accessories and Sunscreen {ECOSUSI 5 Piece Diaper Bag Set}- #COOLA #Supergoop #sunscreen #travel #vacation #travelaccessories #whattopack
My Favorite Travel Accessories and Sunscreen {ECOSUSI 5 Piece Diaper Bag Set}- #COOLA #Supergoop #sunscreen #travel #vacation #travelaccessories #whattopack

Anna Martina Franco Jewelry Roll
(No longer available; I bought this one for $12 on clearance at Ulta.  It looks like Wal-Mart carries the brand.)
I found this jewelry roll on clearance at Ulta right before our trip.  I had been eyeing some similar ones on Amazon, but that all just had elements of things I wanted and were much more expensive.  When I saw this one, I figured it was the universe providing one for me.  There is a longer pouch running almost the length of the thing in the back where I keep bulky necklaces.  The zippered pouches vary slightly in size and are great for smaller necklaces and earrings.  The straps with the snaps on the end hold bracelets.  Then you just roll it up and tie it to keep it closed.  It isn't super big, but it seems well made and fine for what I need it for. It was really handy to have instead of the various pouches I was using before.  None of my necklaces got tangled.  So I am a happy camper traveler.

My Favorite Travel Accessories and Sunscreen {Anna Martina Franco Jewelry Roll}- #COOLA #Supergoop #sunscreen #travel #vacation #travelaccessories #whattopack

Dupioni Silk Travel Tray
(Custom made to order from Etsy seller plethora with many color options.  Cost is $25.  I chose Fuchsia for the bottom color and Daffodil for the top.)
I spent quite some time, years actually, looking for a travel valet tray.  Most of what I found was black or brown and very manly.  And usually they were leather, so they were extremely expensive.  I could never find anything cute and inexpensive.  I like having the travel valet tray because it provides a central, contained location for my things in a hotel room.  I keep the tray on the side table next to the bed.  It holds my rings while I sleep, my thyroid meds for the following morning, my supplements container for the next day, tissues, lip balm, and a little travel lotion - all my bedtime needs.
I happened upon this one on Etsy.  It is a lightweight dupioni silk tray that can lay flat in transit, but snap together at the corners when you are ready to use it.  They are also custom made and the seller has many colors to choose from.  I ordered mine in my wedding colors, with my monogram.  It ended up being such a welcome addition to my travel stuff, I ordered one for my mother-in-law as well.

My Favorite Travel Accessories and Sunscreen {Dupioni Silk Travel Tray by Etsy seller plethora}- #COOLA #Supergoop #sunscreen #travel #vacation #travelaccessories #whattopack

Turkish Towel
(Lots of colors available; Prices vary but are generally around $18.  I bought three for our Maui vacation and they ranged in price from $13.99 to $23.00.)
I didn't think we'd have access to decent beach towels and I didn't want to pack our bulky beach towels.  Any suitcase space is prime real estate for me.  I bought a summer-themed limited edition Birchbox last summer that had a thin-striped Turkish Towel and loved it.  It is thin enough that it is very lightweight and easy to pack.  It can also be used as a wrap or scarf.  They come in a huge variety of colors and stripes and the like.  I loved my first one so much, I bought Sean one of his own for the trip.  Then I decided I wanted an extra one to take with me.  The hotel actually had "beach towels" that were basically larger, slightly thicker versions of their regular towels (and actually what I think all normal hotel towels should be like, because the "beach towels" actually wrap all the way around me and cover me well whereas the normal towels barely cover my ass.  But I digress.)
I am glad we brought the Turkish towels.  They fit into our waterproof bags when we went snorkeling, so once we were out of the water we could pull out the towels and wrap them around us.  They are nice and long and, while thinner, are absorbent.  Even if you just use them as a beach blanket, which we also did, they are just super handy and great to have around.

My Favorite Travel Accessories and Sunscreen {Turkish Towel}- #COOLA #Supergoop #sunscreen #travel #vacation #travelaccessories #whattopack

Scout Daytripper Tote
(Available in more patterns and colors for $30.99 and up.  This pattern is called Keanu Reefs. I bought it from Zulily for $22.99.)
I saw the line of Scout bags, which include many styles and patterns, and thought they were so cute and cheerful.  I decided I needed a beach bag to take with me that zipped up and was easy to clean.  But I also wanted it to match most of my outfits and fit into the beachy theme of going to an island.  Amazon has the bags, though this one from Zulily was about $8 cheaper.  Sometimes with Zulily shipping factored in, it is best to buy from Amazon.  We have Prime, so shipping isn't usually an issue there.  If you find you buy from Zulily often, I think they still offer the $50 yearly shipping fee.
I used this bag to take travel books and brochures, water, snacks, towels, sunscreen, and extra pairs of shoes with us when we hit the road for our day trips.  It holds a surprising amount of stuff.  The cotton twill fabric of the bag is finished with a light, water resistance coating so it is very easy to wipe clean.  The handles are also large enough that I can carry it on my shoulder if need be.  It was super handy for the trip and easy to pack.  It laid flat in my suitcase and is very lightweight.

My Favorite Travel Accessories and Sunscreen {SCOUT Daytripper Tote}- #COOLA #Supergoop #sunscreen #travel #vacation #travelaccessories #whattopack




The reason I said "healthier" sunscreens earlier is because regular sunscreen has really harmful chemicals in it that can do a ton of toxic damage to your body.  When conventional sunscreen absorbs into your blood, it can release free radicals in sunlight, act like estrogen, disrupt hormones, cause allergic reactions and skin irritation, and lead to a greater risk of cancer and other issues.  And it is bad for sea life if you are swimming in the ocean.  And while the products I bought to be healthier aren't perfect (some still contain octocrylene and avobenzone), they are much better versions compared to conventional sunscreens.  They all worked really well too.  The only part of me that got slightly burnt was my scalp, along where I part my hair, when we were out on the water during our first whale watch.

COOLA is made without parabens, sulfates, phthalates, gluten, and oxybenzone, and contains certified organic ingredients.  It is hypoallergenic, cruelty-free, and contains no nano-sized particles.

Supergoop! is also made without all the above nasties, are cruelty-free, and Broad Spectrum.  After all my sample buying for the ability to try both brands and various products, I found that Supergoop! seems to have a more lightweight formula that doesn't feel as filmy on the skin.  With the exception of the lip balm and mineral face tint, I generally prefer Supergoop! over COOLA.

My Favorite Travel Accessories and Sunscreen {COOLA & Supergoop! Sunscreen Product Reviews}- #COOLA #Supergoop #sunscreen #travel #vacation #travelaccessories #whattopack

COOLA Mineral Face Sunscreen - Matte Tint
($36 for 1.7oz; Available at Sephora and Ulta)
This was actually the first product from either brand I tried, a sample from one of my Birchboxes.  It is a tinted, broad spectrum BB Cream.  It has a slight tint in a smooth, mousse-like texture.  It blends really well and feels good on the skin.  I found that it did lend to keeping my skin matte and did not contribute to more oil.  I liked using this under my makeup on occasion and also like the Daydream Mineral Primer SPF 30. These two products are probably my favorite from COOLA.

COOLA Classic Face Sport SPF 50 - White Tea
($32 for 1.7oz; Also comes in Cucumber and Unscented; Available at Sephora and Ulta)
This face version of their Sport line is a non-greasy formula that helps to even skin tone and reduce redness while moisturizing.  I preferred the matte tint face sunscreen, but Sean liked to use this one.  He also has really oily skin and didn't have an issue with this product contributing more to that.  The White Tea scent is light and smells more floral to me, like orchids or jasmine or plumeria.

Cover FX Clear Cover Invisible Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30
($45 for 1oz)
This clear, serum-like sunscreen is lightweight in texture and feel and goes on smoothly.  It doesn't leave a white cast or residue feel and did not make my skin more greasy.  I chose to take this one along versus my Tarteguard sample because this one was smaller, but I like both formulas because they don't make me more oily.

COOLA Liplux SPF 15 - Vanilla Peppermint (not pictured)
($12 for 0.15oz; Available at Sephora and Ulta)
I was running out of my Jack Black lip gloss, which has SPF, so I decided to start using the COOLA balm to test it out.  I often forget about my lips also needing protection.  This balm has a wonderful scent and glides on very smooth. It does feel hydrating initially, but once it dries down it can make my lips feel a little dry.  It was important for me to reapply this consistently throughout the day, but I would apply a regular hydrating balm at night to restore hydration.

Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF50 (not pictured)
($28 for 3.4oz or $12 for 1oz; Available at Sephora)
As with the setting spray below, I haven't used this as my only setting spray but rather on top of the whole face at the end of my routine. This spray claims to set makeup, help control oil and shine, and refreshes your UV defense.  I can't speak to the makeup setting function per se, but it doesn't mess up my makeup.  It doesn't sting when I put it on and has a great light rosemary scent.  I don't feel that it leaves a residue or filmy feeling on my skin, and it doesn't make me more oily.  I have been using a deluxe sample size, but will be buying a full size come summer time.

COOLA Makeup Setting Spray SPF30 (not pictured)

($36 for 1.7oz; Available at Sephora and Ulta)
At first, I really liked this spray for adding some SPF over the top of my routine.  I never tried it on its own as a makeup setting spray because I really love the setting spray I have and find that it does an incredible job.  This COOLA one does sting a bit when I put it on.  It does make my face feel a bit filmy and tends to add to my oiliness.  In a pinch for SPF, I would use this, but it isn't my favorite.



Supergoop! Forever Young Hand Cream Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 40 (not pictured)
($12 for 1oz and $38 for 10oz; Available at Sephora)
In thinking on lip balm with SPF for lip protection, I also realized that my purse hand cream does not have SPF in it.  I picked up a small purse-friendly container of this hand cream to bring along with me throughout vacation.  It is lightweight, non-greasy, and doesn't leave a filmy feeling.  It felt hydrating and didn't have too much of a scent to it.  I do find a lot of Supergoop!'s products to have a light rosemary scent, which I love.

Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50
($19 for 2.4oz, $32 for 7.5oz, and $48 for 18oz; Available at Sephora)
This is another deluxe sample I got for the purpose of taking it on vacation.  I like that this feels hydrating and is a lightweight moisturizer.  It isn't  greasy at all and doesn't leave that filmy sunscreen feeling.  This was really the kicker for me loving Supergoop! products over COOLA products.  While neither company had products that felt greasy to me, the COOLA products tended to feel filmy on my skin after they dried down.  I just don't have that same issue with Supergoop!.

My Favorite Travel Accessories and Sunscreen {COOLA Sport SPF 50 Classic & COOLA Sport SPF 50 Sunscreen Spray}- #COOLA #Supergoop #sunscreen #travel #vacation #travelaccessories #whattopack

COOLA Sport SPF 50 Sunscreen Spray - Fresh Mango
($36 for 8oz; Available at Sephora and Ulta)
When we knew we were going to be out in the sun all day, we would also spray a light coating of this sunscreen spray.  I would bring the spray along with us on our excursions so we could reapply easily.  The Guava Mango scent is light and fruity.  The product doesn't dry super fast, but it also doesn't take a long time either.  While it does leave a filmy feeling on the skin, it wasn't greasy or sticky.  I read reviews where people stated this bottle ran out fast and barely made it a few days into their trip.  I don't know who these people are.  I used this on Sean and I for nine days straight and there is still some in the can. 

COOLA Sport SPF 50 Classic Sunscreen - Fresh Mango
($32; Carried at Sephora and Ulta)
I used this as an all-over moisturizer for long days in the sun.  The mango scent is light and nice.  While this wasn't greasy or heavy-feeling, it does leave a filmy feeling on the skin.  It seemed to dry quickly and certainly kept me from getting a burn. It is 80 minute water resistant.

That concludes my travel accessories and sunscreen favorites!  Do you have any favorites in these categories to recommend?  I would love to know about your must-have travel items and best SPF products.  Let me know in the comments!

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