Best Travel

12 Travel Essentials From Black-owned Businesses

Though anytime of year is a great time to support Black-owned businesses, this February we’re taking a moment to celebrate the brands that understand and feed our love for travel with the products that make jet setting that much easier. 


From last-all-day loafers from Rebecca Allen to the uber-popular Black Girl Sunscreen to fashion-forward carry-on luggage by Tote & Carry, we’ve rounded up the best of the best products out there that all travelers can use — and support some great businesses while doing it. Best of all, there’s something for every budget, too, with prices starting at just $16. We even found a pair of Daily Paper joggers for 55 percent off right now at Nordstrom. 


So what are you waiting for? Get ready for a year of adventures by stocking up on these travel essentials this February and forever after. 



The Loafer by Rebecca Allen

Nordstrom



Rebecca Allen is known for her line of nude heels offered in a variety of shades for all skin tones, but for a long travel day, the brand’s comfortable loafers are the way to go. These shoes have a slightly pointed toe, a cushioned footbed, and a leather upper, making them both stylish and supportive. Whether you want to simply dress up your travel look or need to hop from the plane to the boardroom, these Rebecca Allen loafers fit the bill and come in three colors to perfectly match your outfit. Fans of Rebecca Allen at Nordstrom describe the products as “beautiful and elegant” and say their shoes “elevate most outfits.”

To buy: nordstrom.com, $175 



E Marie Travel Wrap

Nordstrom



It’s a scarf! It’s a pillow! It’s a blanket! Actually, it’s all of those things, and that’s why we love the totally versatile E Marie Travel Wrap from luxurious, cozy clothing brand E Marie. (Even Oprah included the wrap on her Favorite Things list in 2019 and 2020). No more putting up with cold trains, planes, and buses. This ultra-soft travel wrap converts into whatever kind of cover-up you need. It’s also easy to fold, store, and carry in its compact pouch, making it the perfect travel accessory. Once your trip is over, the E Marie Travel Wrap can even go into the washing machine and dryer with all your other laundry. 


One happy customer at Amazon said the travel blanket is “super soft and lightweight,” and that it’s “perfect for traveling or keeping in the car.” Another wrote, “This is going to live in my car for road trips, so I wanted something that folded down small but was big enough to cover me when I’m sleeping in the passenger seat. This is perfect.”


To buy: nordstrom.com and amazon.com, $88



Daily Paper Joggers

Nordstrom



If you’re in need of an airport outfit that’s fashionable, effortlessly put together, and most importantly, comfortable, look no further than this gender-inclusive pair of joggers by Black-owned business Daily Paper. Made from cotton French terry flipped inside out, these stretchy pants will feel unbelievable against your skin, while giving you the flexibility to sit, stand, or squat in any comfortable position as you wait to catch your next flight. Oh, and they just happen to be marked down 55 percent.


To buy: nordstrom.com, $68 (originally $150)



Tote & Carry Two-piece Travel Set

Travel & Carry



Founded by duo Tony Rey and Tony Dennis, Tote & Carry is known for making luggage that’s not only stylish but also functional. This two-piece travel set with a matching backpack and duffle bag acts as a perfectly sized personal item and carry-on. Both items offer plenty of room inside for clothes, shoes, and more, while the exterior is made of water-resistant, scratch-proof vegan leather. Grab the two-piece set in black for a classic look or make a statement with the neon pink. For an additional fee, you can even add a personalized luggage tag with your name on it. 


One Tote & Carry customer who was floored by how much they could fit in the luggage set raved, “Taking a road trip for NYE and literally packed five jeans, five shirts, eight tanks, eight undergarments, 10 socks, and a pair of sweatpants.” They continued, “I didn’t expect so much room and combined with the look; [it’s] amazing. The backpack has an innovative design and will definitely turn heads.” 


To buy: totencarry.com, $280



Black Girl Sunscreen

Ulta



Tired of sunscreens that left a white cast on her skin, Shontay Lundy founded Black Girl Sunscreen (BGS) in 2016. Formulated with melanated women in mind, BGS offers a variety of SPF products to protect against sun damage, premature aging, fine lines, hyperpigmentation and dark spots — all without leaving a white residue. 


Of course, anyone can use this SPF 30 sunscreen in a handy three-ounce tube, and not only does it protect the skin, but it also hydrates with natural ingredients like avocado and jojoba oil. It’s perfect for those summer days by the pool. “It feels amazing. It’s moisturizing, and it doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin,” said one Target shopper. “This blends in so easily and is not oily. It’s so moisturizing, it doesn’t even feel like sunscreen,” wrote another happy customer. 


To buy: ulta.com and target.com, $16 for three ounces



Jade Swim Apex One-Shoulder One-Piece Swimsuit

Nordstrom



Finding the perfect swimsuit for a beach getaway can feel impossible at times, but that’s where Jade Swim comes in to save the day. The brand, founded by former fashion editor and stylist Brittany Kozerski, offers both one- and two-piece swimwear in a variety of monochrome colors from timeless black to trendy hot pink. With durable yet soft and flattering material plus classic designs that will never go out of style, you’ll be able to use your Jade Swim swimsuit for years to come. 


To buy: nordstrom.com, $198



Ruby Love Period Leggings

Ruby



Anyone who menstruates knows that it can be a pain to pack all the period products they might need to go on a trip. With Ruby Love’s line of period-proof underwear, swimwear, and activewear, there’s no need to worry or pack any period protection. These leak-proof leggings are particularly popular among customers. Made with several layers of absorbent materials, including dri-tech mesh lining, these lightweight leggings can be worn with a pad, tampon, menstrual cup or alone depending on your flow. Heck, even if you’re not menstruating, these cotton-spandex wonders are just as comfortable as your average yoga pants for long flights.


To buy: rubylove.com, $50



Re Ona Signature Long-sleeve Top

Revolve



Those in the market for everyday essentials will especially appreciate this simple but effective long-sleeve top from Black-owned brand Re Ona. The all-season layer is warm enough to serve as a base layer under a winter sweater during ski season, but it still uses a thin material ideal for a breezy spring afternoon or throwing under a chic blazer in the fall, too. The incredibly cozy, double-layered fabric is the cherry on top of this travel wardrobe staple.


To buy: revolve.com, $80



Ashya Bolo Crossbody Bag 

Nordstrom



We want pretty much all of the luxe, minimalist travel accessories from Ashley Cimone and Moya Annece’s designer brand Ashya. But especially for the jetsetter who wants to travel light, Ashya’s Bolo Crossbody Bag is the ideal size for just the essentials: phone, wallet, and passport. Made from vegetable-tanned leather, lined with organic cotton canvas, and finished off with 14-karat gold-plated hardware, every detail on this designer purse screams luxury. Meanwhile, the bolo strap allows for multiple ways to wear this crossbody bag, so it’s both fashionable and functional. It’s perfect for concerts or stadium events that won’t allow big bags, too.

To buy: nordstrom.com, $375



PiperWai Activated Charcoal Deodorant

Amazon



All travelers need everyday toiletry items they can rely on, and a good deodorant is essential. And if you’re looking to upgrade by incorporating more all-natural and eco-conscious products in your life, you must try PiperWai Activated Charcoal Deodorant. The brand (which you may recognize from a 2015 Shark Tank episode!) describes it as “natural, effective, and soothing.” The vegan, aluminum-free deodorant uses a blend of 11 therapeutic-grade essential oils for a fresh citrus scent, while the activated charcoal absorbs odor and moisture. The founders went through more than 100 test batches before ultimately testing PiperWai’s strength on a trip to Central and South America. With their seal of approval, it’s safe to say that this stuff actually works better than most other natural deodorant options on the market.


One five-star reviewer at Amazon who dubbed it “literally the best deodorant I have ever used” had this to say: “When I tell you I have tried just about every kind of all natural deodorant, I have literally tried them all, and none of them keeps me from smelling… This deodorant is the only one I have found that keeps me dry and fresh all day long.”


To buy: amazon.com, $29 for two-pack



Head Lightz Beanie

Amazon



For the adventurous traveler getting ready for a camping trip, nighttime hiking, an outdoorsy adventure, or even just walking the dog, this beanie is a must-have thanks to its built-in LED flashlight. The genius idea comes from Raquel Graham, who pitched her business Roq Innovation on Shark Tank. The headlamp on this knit hat uses a long-lasting and rechargeable battery, so you don’t have to worry about running out of power like you would with a traditional flashlight. The LED light is also easy to remove, so you can toss the hat in the washing machine, where the durable yet lightweight material won’t fade or lose its color.


“I bought this hat as a Christmas gift in 2021,” wrote one Amazon reviewer. “They loved it so much I reordered [in] Christmas 2022 for me and my husband. Love.”


To buy: amazon.com, $25 



Ree Projects Mini Helene Leather Bag

Nordstrom



For the traveler who loves to invest in timeless, luxurious classics that go with everything, there’s the Helene Leather Bag from Amsterdam-based Ree Projects (where designer Desiree Kleinen is at the helm). Made with fine Italian leather in a rich caramel, this mini tote bag is structured, giving it a sturdy, long-lasting construction and a higher level of organization than the average flimsy tote bag. It also comes in a larger version, as well as black and white styles. The interior pocket is perfect for storing your cell phone nearby, while the adjustable strap adds flexibility with this show-stopping bag can be worn. This is one designer splurge that can take any minimalist travel wardrobe to the next level for years to come.


To buy: nordstrom.com, $630


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