One of the benefits of being a travel writer is that you often find out about many of the latest travel accessories, gadgets, clothing, books and so forth as soon as they come on the market, each offering their own unique features for those on the go. Here are a few of the latest to come my way.

No Matter What Flatbed Duffel

Deciding which bag to take on which trip, and how much room you will have to store it (e.g., in the car, an overhead airline storage bin, under a train seat) is often tricky. But if you want something in between a large duffel bag and a traditional suitcase on wheels, opt for the No Matter What Flatbed Duffel.

Lightweight and durable, the Flatbed Duffel has a rectangular shape with a structured back, easily accessible interior and exterior pockets, heavy-duty oversized wheels with wheel housing and bumper protection, a sturdy handle system, reflective accents for nighttime visibility and is made of an ultra-durable waterproof fabric that resists cuts and scrapes and works well in any weather environment. And don’t worry, you aren’t subjected to just the customary black color, as it also comes in cobalt blue and firebrick red hues, as well as in four different sizes.


Mag Bag

For the most part, I’m fine with plopping my jewelry into two different and often very unattractive bags when I travel—one for rings and bracelets, another for earrings. But the challenge comes when I need to take necklaces or other baubles that get easily tangled with everything else, making extricating them from each other a nightmare.

Enter Magbag, billed as the first and only magnet-lined case that holds all of your objects in place. The case has a special liner system that flexes around your jewelry pieces while simultaneously creating a vacuum-seal effect so they won’t move. So whether you carry inexpensive costume jewelry, a few regular favorites or the expensive stuff for a special occasion (wedding, graduation, summer event, etc.), your bling will be safe.

However, because Magbag uses magnets, it is not recommended for use with watches because it can interfere with the timing mechanisms. It also comes in three sizes to suit your particular needs: the On-the-Go (small), Overnighter (medium) and Extended Stay (large), in cream, black and white.


Mixed Chicks

Don’t even get me started on my hair! My style and look changes almost as often as the weather, and yes, the weather has a lot to do with how it looks on any given day. Lately I have been going with a wet, pick and clip look to make it easier for travel, especially when swimming and watersports will be involved. So I really need something to keep my hair not only looking great but also well-conditioned to survive, well, any current condition.

I have friends who have used Mixed Chicks and love it, so I decided to give it a try and it works wonders! According to the company, “Whether you’re Black, white, Asian, Latin, Mediterranean, or any glorious combination of the above, you’ll love the way these non-sticky, lightweight curly hair products leave your hair inviting to the touch as they define and lock moisture into every curl.”

Mixed Chicks produces shampoos, conditioners (wash out and leave-in), gels, replenishing oils, detanglers, redefining foams and more for men, women and children, and it also works on weaves. What works great for me is their TSA-friendly “Travel and Trial Pack” with two ounces each of their shampoo, deep conditioner and leave-in conditioner with its own special resealable bag.


Vionic Shoes

As you might imagine, as a travel writer, I am constantly on the go and spend a lot of time on my feet, so it is critical that I wear comfortable, durable footwear that is preferably lightweight and can be worn with a variety of outfits so I don’t have to pack as much.

A couple of years ago, I got a pair of Vionic Shoes (cute ballet flats) because of their special Orthaheel technology, which was conceived by a podiatrist and recommended by the American Podiatric Medical Association for its design, which minimized foot swelling, maximized balance and maintained foot comfort. And they were stylish to boot! This time around, I ordered the Glenda Wedge Backstrap Sandal. In addition to the natural snake design style, I also like (and need with my bunion) that it has three different places to adjust the straps and feels really comfortable because of the flexible midsole material that absorbs shock and reduces the stress on your feet, ankles and knees.


Lysa Allman Baldwin is a freelance writer and the publisher and editor of Amazing Escapades, featuring “adventures for the mind, bod and belly” (