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Best of Etsy: Travel gear

Everything you need to hit the road

From SheKnows Canada
Whether you're travelling for work, vacation or to experience a totally new way of living, you of course want your journey to go as smoothly as possible. Travel in a stylish, comfortable and organized manner with the help of these great handmade Etsy finds.
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Best of Etsy
all set to jet
Whether you're travelling for work, vacation or to experience a totally new way of living, you of course want your journey to go as smoothly as possible. Travel in a stylish, comfortable and organized manner with the help of these great handmade Etsy finds.

Makeup bag

Don't let your makeup brushes get all dirty and damaged by throwing them in a regular cosmetics bag. The next time you head out on the road, keep all your beauty products safe in this makeup bag from Melina Knox at Moody & Sanguine. Melina offers a variety of sizes, colours and patterns, so you can pick the look and style that's just right for you.

Moody and Sanguine makeup bagSheKnows Canada: What is your favourite place you have travelled to?

Melina Knox: I'd have to say Boston, so far. I was going to the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design at the time, and went with some friends. We went to almost every gallery in the city, I think. It made me see that you can be a working artist and not live on the street. Plus, little Italy had the best pizza I'd ever eaten.

SK: When you travel somewhere, what is the one thing you would never leave home without?

MK: When I travel, the one thing I need is wet wipes. If [your] makeup gets smudgy or your hands get messy, you're covered. Travelling can be messy. Also, I stick those clear elastic bands everywhere, as your hair can go limp or blow in your face, and you can fix it in a snap.

SK: What do you think sets your pieces apart from other similar products available on Etsy?

MK: I think my travel makeup/brush cases are different from other ones on the market because of the marriage of the brushes on one side and the roomy pocket on the other. I think they are just big enough for travelling or going to the gym. The case can be hung up by the elastic as well. Really handy in a pinch.

Leather luggage tags

Recognizing your suitcase coming down the conveyor belt amidst a mass of similar bags can be challenging. But with these unique and attractive leather luggage tags created by Victoria at Divina Denuevo, you'll be able to identify and claim your bag with ease.

Divina Denuevo luggage tagsSheKnows Canada: What is your favourite place you have travelled to?

Victoria: I've been fortunate to travel all over the world, but Florence, Italy, is my absolute favourite. It holds some of the most beautiful art in the world, has amazing food, rich culture and has incredible weather. You can walk down the Ponte Vecchio and honestly feel like you've been transported to the Renaissance.

SK: When you travel somewhere, what is the one thing you would never leave home without?

V: My camera. I love being able to capture the moments that I experience so that when I'm back home, I can look at them and remember where I've been and what I've seen.

SK: What do you think sets your pieces apart from other similar products available on Etsy?

V: The beauty of Etsy is that every seller has their own uniqueness, reflected either in their product's aesthetic or even in their company's stories. What we're particularly proud of is that we intentionally embrace and preserve the perfect imperfections found in leather. The brand marks, textures and idiosyncrasies of the material emphasize how unique each and every piece is. No two are ever the same, much like people!

Travel toiletry set

Whether you're staying at a fancy hotel or a basic hostel, there's no guarantee which hygiene products will be at your disposal, but carrying around big bottles of the stuff you use at home simply isn't practical. That's where this beautiful travel toiletry set from Denise Lemere at Mere Soap really comes in handy. The soap, lip balm and lotion are made completely of all-natural ingredients, travel in neat little containers and come in five refreshing scents.

Mere soap travel toiletries setSheKnows Canada: What is your favourite place you have travelled to?

Denise Lemere: I was going to tell you about a great trip across Canada that my husband and I took many years ago, when he reminded me about our canoe trip in Northern Ontario. Not too exotic, I know. It was a two-week trip into fairly remote areas, and I was five months pregnant with our first child. After one week of windy lake paddling, rain and sleeping on rocky ground (pregnant, remember), we ended up taking a side trip down a river that I later dubbed the "River from Heck" — only I didn't call it "heck." For two days we travelled down a winding river in a canoe, where every 20 feet we had to get out and lift it over beaver dams. After mucking through, we eventually escaped the river and returned to the open lakes. We were then further hampered by wind and weather, and I had eaten all the good food (pregnant, remember). We only had a jar of peanut butter and those terrible Sidekicks pasta packets for the last few days. I was never so glad to see a trip end than that one. So why is it my favourite place to have travelled to? Well, it really is beautiful in Northern Ontario, but mainly because it gave us so many stories to look back on and laugh at in the years that followed. It also made me realize how strong of a person I am and, when challenged, continued perseverance will overcome obstacles and bring success — or sometimes just more obstacles, but eventually success, right?

SK: When you travel somewhere, what is the one thing you would never leave home without?

DL: I would never leave home without a camera. Well, that is not actually true, because I am always saying, "I wish I brought my camera." But if I planned well, it would be a camera. Pictures are such a fun way to keep reliving your trip. Don't worry, though. I am not one of those people who sit their friends through hours of photos when they get back from a trip. The best thing is when you look back years later and see how some places change and some stay the same. It's also priceless to look back at old vacation photos and see how great you used to look.

SK: What do you think sets your pieces apart from other similar products available on Etsy?

DL Well, speaking of journeys… My life journey has brought me to the point where the products I make are the result of my life experiences so far. For example, like many people, my children and I are very sensitive to artificial fragrances and harsh detergents. Therefore the ingredients I use are 100 per cent natural. If an ingredient doesn't have a beneficial purpose, it isn't in there. Everything I use has been carefully selected. Seeing friends and relatives fight cancer has led me to focus on what we are putting on our bodies. All of my products are free of nasty stuff, like parabens, phthalates, SLS and dyes. My husband has an environmental science background, and ecological issues are always a top priority for us. The purity of our soaps makes them biodegradable, and they are palm oil free. My soaps and body care products are so special to me that I think they deserve to be wrapped up in a special way. I often get compliments on the presentation, which to me is secondary, but when I put so much into my products, I think they deserve to be wrapped up in a pretty yet responsible way. Our soaps each come in a handcrafted pillow box. People seem to really enjoy them.

Jewellery organizer

Untangling a mess of necklaces or searching for a missing earring is no way to spend your vacation. Fortunately that doesn't have to be an issue thanks to this jewellery organizer from Kerrie McGean at Effie Handmade. It comes in a variety of gorgeous colours and patterns, and you can even contact Kerrie directly to have your ideal jewellery case customized just for you.

Effie Handmade jewelry organizerSheKnows Canada: What is your favourite place you have travelled to?

Kerry McGean: Wow. I love visiting new places, so it's tough to pick just one! I travelled to Europe a few years ago and fell in love with classic European cities like Florence and Paris. The sense of history, the amazing architecture, the food, the markets... I loved it all and can't wait to go back! Closer to home, a drive around the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton on a beautiful sunny day last summer was absolutely breathtaking!

SK: When you travel somewhere, what is the one thing you would never leave home without?

KM: While functional travel pieces like a jewellery organizer are essential (I love a well-packed bag!), I'd have to say I wouldn't want to leave home without a camera. I prefer "busy" trips to relaxing ones — I'd rather see as much of a new place as possible than lounge by a pool. Sometimes all those new places and experiences can rush by in a blur, though, so stopping to capture beautiful scenery and great memories along the way helps me slow down and appreciate them as they happen.

SK: What do you think sets your pieces apart from other similar products available on Etsy?

KM: My items are all designed and handmade by me, so I take time to ensure each piece is well made and looks great before it leaves my studio. I also think it's important that a functional piece like this be very easy to use, so I designed it to include details, like a hidden magnetic closure so it stays closed once it's folded, a place to hook earrings to keep them from tangling and a ring to hang the organizer so everything can be accessed easily while you travel. I gravitate toward modern graphic prints and fun colour combinations, and also offer to customize colours or fabrics, often for brides who want to give their bridesmaids a really unique gift to enjoy long after the wedding.

Personalized notebooks

Travelling is an exciting part of living, and the last thing you want is to forget the details of all the cool things you saw and experienced. Ensure you can relive those great moments whenever you want by keeping track of your journeys in these personalized notebooks by Jennifer Rodriguez at Sprout Luv.

Sprout Love personalized notebooksSheKnows Canada: What is your favourite place you have travelled to?

Jennifer Rodriguez: It would probably have to be Sri Lanka. What can I say? Egg hopper breakfasts. Egg hopper breakfasts, pulled over on the side of a dirt road with a view of the 5 a.m. sunrise creeping above a tropical rainforest treeline. Having to tell myself that it is not OK to approach a pack of wild elephants slowly marching single file across a narrow path leading to a forgotten temple. Staying in a treehouse resort, watching a midnight lightning storm's flash illuminate a jungle valley. Mafioso monkeys tap-tap-tapping on your balcony door for scraps... It was a trip I'll never forget.

SK: When you travel somewhere, what is the one thing you would never leave home without?

JR: Toothbrush. You have to take care of your pearly whites! But bad joke aside, it would have to be my notebook. When I travel, I love to get lost in little neighbourhoods and try to mix with locals whenever I can. A little notebook always comes in handy, because you inevitably get some great tips on amazing, lesser-known spots. Also, I love unwinding at the end of the day with my notebook. Just taking the time to reflect on the day's experiences and really trying to capture what I saw and how I felt when everything is fresh in my mind is just kind of restorative for me. Besides, there's something about putting pen to paper that keeps my travel memories clearer and sharper than a photograph. And it's always great to go through my old entries when I'm jonesing for a vacation! It usually forces me to find a way to travel again or gives me a little fix when I know I simply can't get away!

SK: What do you think sets your pieces apart from other similar products available on Etsy?

JR: Because I'm a very tactile person, how my notebooks and stationery feel in your hands and against your pen is just as important to me as how they look. For example, I only use 80-pound paper in my notebooks and jotters. If you're not a paper geek like me, that's over triple the weight of your typical printer paper! My cards are made from a dense and luxuriously textured art board stock I can't seem to run my fingers over enough! And I actually spent over six months testing three different cover stocks before I went with the kraft version I use for my notebooks and jotters. I ended up choosing the kraft board I use now because I just fell in love with how the covers wore into this soft, almost velvet-like texture after a while but still remained sturdy and retained their heft. Like I said, I'm a sucker for how something feels, and you'll notice that with all of my handcrafted paper goodies!

Passport and documents holder

Digging through your bags, searching for your important documents — or worse, losing them — is never fun. Keep track of your most crucial travel necessities with the help of this colourful passport and documents holder created by Miriam Bauman at Mini Made.

Mini Made document and passport holderSheKnows Canada: What is your favourite place you have travelled to?

Miriam Bauman: My husband and I have travelled extensively, but the Kingdom of Bhutan, nestled in the Himalayas between China and India, will always stand out in my memory. While the landscape ranges from subtropical to subalpine, the people were uniformly warm and inviting. Bhutan is committed to conserving its natural habitat and maintaining its biodiversity. A great part of its economy is derived from the sale of hydroelectric power to India, but the country's wealth is not measured by its gross domestic product, but by the gross national happiness — a measure of the well-being of its people. That, combined with the sheer beauty of the country and the diversity of the bird life (our prime reason for travelling), left a very favourable impression and a wish that the more developed countries of our world could take some valuable lessons from this "Land of Happiness."

SK: When you travel somewhere, what is the one thing you would never leave home without?

MB: I would never leave home without my camera. While [I'm] not necessarily a great photographer, my lens captures all the details of a trip, allowing it to be relived time and again. So often a photo brings back a memory that I fear I would have forgotten had I not taken the time to capture the moment.

SK: What do you think sets your pieces apart from other similar products available on Etsy?

MB: I like to pride myself on the quality of my work, always striving for the perfect balance between perfection and practicality. I also find myself drawn more and more to vintage and previously used fabrics, which I up-cycle into new items. The practice of being eco-friendly and environmentally conscious appeals to me, and I am happy to be able to incorporate that sensibility into my craft.

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