|mine is pink, obviously|
To any of my military readers- if you ever fly Space A, bring a Snuggie with you. Unless you're flying on a rotator, the plane is guaranteed to be incredibly hot at one seat, and freezing cold two rows down. And you don't get your own blanket. Layers and planning ahead are crucial here.
2) Bath & Body Works PocketBac
My MIL sends me these periodically and I love them. I have one in every single purse. Perfect for travel because they are tiny and don't take up much in your plastic bag.
3) CamelBak Groove Water Bottle
I saw this on base and decided to get one to try it out. This is pretty ingenious because it comes with a built-in filter so instead of just having to constantly buy bottles on the road, you can carry the one and fill it up whereever. It is great for going through airport security because you can empty it out before you go through and then fill it up in the bathroom. We each have one (mine is pink again, the husband's- not so much) and they have saved us so much money when we fly. Because it has a bite valve, you can drink from it laying down, and this was a huge help for me when I was post-op and could not move for 25 hours. Drinking from that was a lot easier than drinking through a cup!
4) Colgate Wisps
Amazing. I first received some in a goodie bag from a Shecky's Girls' Night Out, and I instantly fell in love. These little things are single use mini brushes on one end and a toothpick on the other. The toothbrush end has a little bead of toothpaste on it. Again, these don't have to go in your ziploc bag, and are great for red-eye flights so you don't have to get off the plane with morning breath.
5) solid perfume
A product I am a huge fan of for several reasons. 1) It's compact, 2) it doesn't need to be put in your ziploc bag in your carryon (notice a theme here?) which makes it great for those trips when you want to avoid paying checked bag fees by just bringing your carryon. The other reason why I'm such a fan of solid perfume is because it's usually a lot cheaper than its liquid counterpart, thereby making it not a big investment in your beauty arsenal.
Mine is Green Tea from L'Occitane. A lovely, light, clean scent. I can't get enough of it.
Love mine. It can do almost anything except display any sites that require Flash. (Darn licensing agreements.) Before we travel anywhere, we like to fill ours up (geeky family- we each have one) with games, and tv shows/movies for the road. The facetime and iMessage features are a huge plus when you live in a different country than the rest of your family. I have the 16GB white iPad2 with this cover from Missoni for Target fiasco:
The one thing I don't like doing on my iPad is reading. It's too heavy to hold up with one hand and the screen was just not designed for heavy readers.
To be perfectly honest, I used to be incredibly anti e-reader. To me, there is a certain thrill of opening a new book, sniffing it, and yes, ::gasp:: sometimes dog-earing the pages. But if you are a fast reader, like I am, and can read more than a book on a single flight, carrying several paperbacks in your carry-on is not exactly practical. Or easy to do. Right before I went into the hospital for surgery, I made a list on Amazon of the books I wanted to bring with me to read. My husband saw the list, realized he'd have to carry all of them there, and then back home, and promptly went out and bought me a Kindle. I have not regretted it for a day since.
I will leave y'all with a funny story. When I checked in to the hospital, I brought a lot of stuff with me to entertain myself while I would be in there. My iPad for games and videos, my kindle for reading, my iPhone for you know, phone stuff, my portable DVD player to watch Royal Pains on, and my netbook for blogging and just in case any of the other should fail me. And then my husband had his own iPad and his own iPhone. (Have I mentioned we're a geeky family?) All of these things cost significantly more money in Germany than they do in the United States and the nurses could not get over how many electronics we managed to bring with us for a 5 day stay. They thought we were loaded or something.
Anyhoo- those are my travel essentials. What are some of yours?