Original Article written by Ava Roxanne Stritt and printed in Destinations Travel Magazine February 2011.

Antique Trunk in Waterford, IrelandIn the late 1800’s large steamer trunks were widely popular.  This type was a must for those wealthy enough to spend their holidays traveling to Saratoga Springs, New York to a spa or racetrack. Each was adorned with fancy trims decorating the leather or metal case.  Their large round tops screamed first class and was the best method of insuring your trunk was packed on the top of the baggage cars. This enabled them to avoid dreaded damage.  This also coined them the names of Humpbacks or Camelbacks.  Even flat tops trunks designed for steam ship travel were not to be outdone by their fancy counterparts.  These steamers were wardrobe trunks containing hangers and drawers.  Each was designed by size and interior to carry a certain type of personal item such as toiletries or shoes.  Others were more specifically designed for the individual use of a musician, a salesmen or a circus performer.

Gone are the days of traveling reminiscent of when Eloise of The Plaza journeyed to Paris on an airplane with 37 pieces of luggage including trunks of various shapes and sizes.   We can only imagine what it must have been like to have a single piece to only house our hats or fedoras.  Times have moved forward and one cannot “take the kitchen sink” as they say!  So what is a guy or gal to do?

The vision of what to bring along when traveling has migrated far from the steamer trunk days. Whether you are aiming for a single carry-on or just lightening your load, the key is results oriented travel sets and multitasking products. Also today most hotels have items on hand behind the front desk when requested even if this service is not posted.  The most common item on hand is a disposable razor though I have found many others available, so be sure to inquire before investing time and effort away from your trip.

Today finding travel sized items is easier than ever.  Most companies are producing wonderful kits so customers can not only travel with their products, but try before they buy.  If you have a favorite toiletry item check the company’s website or contact them directly.  Today the possibility that your item comes in a travel size is greater than ever.  If you enjoy natural products, Beecology has a set that allows you to direct charitable contributions made with each purchase.   Many like Vitale’s Wheatgrass Travel Kit arrive packaged in their own TSA approved zippered bag to speed you through security.

Limiting the number of items you take when traveling is easier than you can imagine.  Many products can double up and work as more than one in your beauty routine.  How to take your fragrance and lotion on the road has always a top dilemma.  Instead of your bottle from “Plume et Palette” try a little aroma therapy to calm your journey.  Organic Essence has a Lavender Lotion to Go.  This solid stick moisturizer acts as a lovely light lavender perfume; also enabling you to take a lot of weight out of your luggage.  Another aromatic stick I adore is AromaGo’s inhalers, which always allow me to focus and move forward from any hectic travel situation.  My family is constantly trying to pry these little treasures out of my hands for themselves including the kids!

Another item of mine that has everyone doing a double take is a new concept for the carry-on.  Ful has designed the Double Take Carry-on with an attachable laptop backpack. You can zip them together to whisk around the airport.  When you are ready to place it in the overhead, just detach the backpack for easy access to your laptop or other items you might need handy during the flight. I like to think of it as my own little steamer trunk with wheels!

Today we do not have our steamer trunks with us during our journeys, but we can still have everything we need to insure an unforgettable experience without fretting about our toiletries.  Options are out there and new ones are always on the horizon, so start packing!

If you have a question for the Beauty Concierge visit Ava Roxanne Stritt at www.AvaRoxanneStritt.com for additional information.

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