I originally started Comms Mom back in the winter of 2020 to reach other moms working in communications who loved their careers, their family and travel. Little did I know that just a couple of months later, my dreams of blogging about my business travel tips and our worldwide family adventures would come to a halt.
Well, now that we have been dipping our toes into traveling again, I thought I’d share my top 5 gifts for traveling moms (or you!) at all price points.
If you’ve followed me from the beginning, you know I have an affinity for Waypoint Goods’s products. A small business, I love their candles and the wooden city maps. Now, I’m into their gorgeous travel scarves. Not only are they simply stunning, but you can stash your passport, snacks and other essential carry-on items or things you need during a day out IN THE SCARF! What?!
Yes! The scarves have a hidden zipper pocket on the inside–think an old-fashioned money belt, but in a stylish scarf! The best part is that the scarves are stylish, lightweight and simply stunning!
Okay, I know–these are not cheap. But it’s true: they’re NOT cheaply made. The Solgaard suitcases are waterproof, scratch-resistant and come with a 10-year guarantee.
When my hubby and I adventured to Iceland this summer, I used Chase Sapphire points to get us a sweet hotel room in the center of Reykjavík. Because I also had Hilton status, we received a room upgrade. The problem? The room upgrade was to a corner room with a beautiful view…but it was smaller than the other rooms and we didn’t have any drawers for storage. So, every day when we dug out our hiking gear for adventures and then, in the evening, our going out clothes, the room was a mess…and I hate messes.
I always use cube organizers which, in theory, work great–IF you have someplace to unpack and store your clothes. So, the magical Internet began serving me ads for Solgaard’s Check-In Closet suitcase that claimed it could pack 9-12+ outfits in its interior “closet” and all I had to do was open my suitcase, raise the handle and unclip the closet from the suitcase and then re-clip it around the handle…I became obsessed.
Not to mention that each suitcase removes 229 bottles from the ocean, has 360-degree spinning wheels and is virtually indestructible–sounded pretty good to me. The only issue? The price-point.
So, I waited. And waited. Then, in October, I went on a business trip and, using points, upgraded to first class on American Airlines. As I was hopping on my connector, the gate agent refused to let me bring onboard my previous trusty carry-on that has traveled around the world with me because she said it wouldn’t fit in the overhead bin. I was shocked and annoyed. Isn’t the whole point of cramming your items in a carry-on is so you can get up and go? Turns out, my carry-on was regulation for domestic flights, but, for international/Euro flights, which have a limit of 20″, it was too big.
You know what happened next: they checked my carry-on (not gate checked–we’re talking under-the-plane checked) and I had to wait 20 minutes at my destination’s baggage claim for it to come out. And, you guessed it: my trusty carry-on was gouged, scratched, dented and one wheel was VERY loose.
So, that night, I went online and with a coupon code, ordered the Solgaard Carry-On Closet…and I’m in love. I can fit SO much inside and it looks pretty indestructible (let’s be honest: a 10-year warranty on luggage doesn’t hurt my faith, either). And, because we tend to travel to places not known for beachy weather (I’m looking at you, Iceland, Scotland, England, Ireland, Czech Republic, Denmark), it just made sense to get the Check-In Closet, as well, since we often have to pack heavier clothes and multiple outfits in case of wet weather.
A few other fun facts about my choices: they have charging ports, TSA-approved locks and “pinch” closures–no zippers to struggle with. Check out the selection here (mine are in the Granada Green).
Oh, how I love Flytographer and wish I would have known about you years ago.
Ever dream of having keepsake photos taken on your vacation by a local photographer who can plan out your shoot AND give you the inside details on the city you’re visiting? Enter Flytographer.
I first heard of the service right after I returned from Ireland with my mom and right before I headed to Scotland to speak at a conference. It was my husband’s first time in Europe and it happened to coincide with the anniversary of our first date, so I scheduled a Flytographer session and it did not disappoint (see some of our photos here). We also used a Flytographer this past summer in Iceland (click and scroll for photos) and we are hoping to use them in Denmark if we can FINALLY make it there this spring (read about our trip cancellation here).
These photos are featured all throughout our home and they bring such a smile to my face thinking about the wonderful memories we had on each trip. You can purchase gift cards for your loved one (or you!) here and save $25 when you book your shoot using my referral link or the code AMANDAHOLDSWORT.
If you do use Flytographer for an upcoming trip, please tag me in your photos on Instagram (@commsmom)–I’d love to see them and I’m happy to share to my Stories and followers.
Anyone ever blow a hotel room fuse while traveling in a different country because you didn’t have the correct adapter or converter? After I did, the morning of our Scotland photoshoot and my Beachwaver was fried, I thought back to my when my mom would put rags in my hair overnight to make my hair curly in the morning (I promise, it was super cute).
And then entered Charlie Curls–a modern-day version of what my mom used to put in my hair, but this takes less time and you don’t have to sleep in it. What I love about it is it’s portable, lightweight, takes up almost zero room in my luggage, I’m not damaging my hair with heat AND my 10-year-old can do her own hair with the easy design. Check out her “after” photo using just a spritz of water:
I usually spritz my hair with water, roll my hair up, do my makeup, get dressed, have a coffee, etc. before taking them out. I’ve also slept in them before and as long as my hair wasn’t rolled up too tightly, it wasn’t damaged. Just be sure to follow all of the instructions.
I never experienced motion sickness until I got sick on our honeymoon during a deep sea fishing trip. Now, I can’t sit in the back seat of a car without getting nauseous.
So, when a girlfriend and I experienced a VERY turbulent flight between Detroit and D.C. where we were speaking at a conference, I knew I needed to find a solution for my next speaking gig trip only two weeks later…and that’s when I came across these acupressure motion sickness bracelets.
They might invoke thoughts of an 80s fitness video, but trust me: they work. I even wear them in the back of a taxi, which can be a rough ride. Simply slip them on before take-off and you’re good to go. Bonus is that they are super small–just throw them in the small pocket of your purse and go.
Something For You
Last year, after doing A LOT of research (I’m a researcher, after all!), I decided to apply for an American Express Platinum card. I knew that once it was safe to travel again, I would start looking for deals and I had heard about how great the AMEX Travel rewards were in several of the Facebook travel points groups I’m in. Click here to read about the travel and membership benefits, if this is something you might be interested in (hint: I used my sign-up points to snag a phenomenal flight deal to Iceland this past summer).
I’d love to hear about your favorite travel items, so leave me a comment below and I’ll check them out. Also let me know if you’ve tried any of thse and what you like about them. Safe travels!