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Desert Companion

Gear on the go for summer travel

Camping out? Holing up in a hotel? Our travel gear picks keep you moving in comfort and style

Sock value

BSocksoldly colored or boldly patterned socks are sensual. So it is no surprise that men avoid them, which is a shame. Wearing bold socks is easy to execute, counterintuively so: Just get a pair of loud socks (orange is good, and Barneys’ orange — more of a mandarin yellow — is best, but just about any bold solid color will do, particularly violet or purple or eggplant or even red). Wear them. Then enjoy the minuscule burst of joy you’ll feel when slipping out of your shoes at the McCarran security checkpoint. It will be the most pointless and brief and unregarded streak of exhibitionism you may engage in, but it will nonetheless be more satisfying than you care to admit. ($38, Barneys New York at the Shoppes at Palazzo) — Juan Martinez

Beige plaid cashmere scarf

A scarf will keep you warm, but it can also keep you cool. It can provide a bit of protection. It works beautifully as an improvised pillow or as a way to keep the sun out of your eyes or as a tourniquet. But it’s mostly there to make you look good, and a light one, in light colors, will serve you well in your travels. ($520, Salvatore Ferragamo at the Palazzo) — J.M.

Support comes from

sweaterHoodie goes haute
Michael Kors waffle-knit cotton/cashmere hoodie in light gray

Other than a scarf, no piece of clothing will serve you better when traveling than a hoodie: find one in a light-gauge knit. With lightweight wool, you can layer it under a blazer and even a suit for long cold nights, or you can wear it on its own with jeans, or you can wad it up and use it for a pillow. If you let it rest overnight, and let it hang mildly, you’ll find that it’s mostly unwrinkled and ready to go in the morning. Hopefully, you’ll find yourself in that same state. ($195, Barneys New York at the Shoppes at Palazzo). — J.M

Baggage claim to fame
Bottega Veneta Marco Polo luggage set

No piece of rubberized canvas and stitched leather should cost this much. Who cares if each piece was hand-made by a single Italian artisan? Or that it took three whole days? Or that it shimmers and ripples like an ocean at night? It’s still a piece of luggage, though it comes with its own protective cover. Get it if you can afford it, but leave the protective cover at home. Stuff — even jaw-droppingly expensive stuff — is meant to be used, and looks best with wear. (Trolley, $3,900; carry-on bag, $1,120, Bottega Veneta at the Shoppes at Palazzo) — J.M.

Teas me, please me
Dr. Bronner’s Tea Tree liquid soap, 4 oz.

Though one ounce larger than the maximum allowed by TSA, this travel-sized liquid soap smells terrific: mildly astringent, bitter and leafy. Its ingredients are sourced in ways and places so virtuous you may want to consider compensating by committing a minor felony and sneaking the stuff into your carry-on. If caught, let them know it’s organic! And Fair Trade! (It won’t work.) ($4.25, Sunflower Supermarkets, various locations) — J.M.

Space: the tiny frontier
Tumi Alpha Collection hanging travel kit

Jetsetting doesn’t always mean deluxe suites, or so we’ve heard. This space saver hangs conveniently out of the way in even the smallest bathroom. Handy for: storing travel-sized toiletries, zipping up tiny, easily lost objects and protecting things you don’t want getting squished from getting squished. ($135, Tumi Stores at Fashion Show, Forum Shops, Miracle Mile) — Sara Nunn

I call it … mini-mag
Travel-size magazines

Take a break from stateside tabloids and tuck mini versions of UK edition magazines such as Glamour, Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan into your carry-on. Save space in your bag while enjoying fashion news minus the scourge of Kardashians and other U.S. reality stars. ($8, Borders, Barnes & Noble) — S.N.

CreamYour pale pal
Shiseido Ultimate Sun
Protection Cream For Face
SPF 55 PA+++

Skip the breakouts that can come with cheaper sunscreens and go for the good stuff with this anti-aging, water-resistant magic in a pretty bottle. Great for avoiding unattractive sunburns whether you’re traveling afar to sunny climes or staycationing in this one. ($19.50, Sephora, various locations) — S.N.

When to fold ’em
Longchamp Le Pliage tote

This tote folds neatly up into a little square to fit into your bag, but it’s big and sturdy enough to carry anywhere from beaches to local markets. Great for filling with last-minute souvenirs and knick-knacks, and then passing it off as a purse while boarding your flight. ($155, Longchamp at the Forum Shops) — S.N.

Scent trail
Sephora refillable rollerball

Because that gorgeous 2.4-ounce bottle of your favorite scent seemed like a great investment — until you remembered that you had plans to travel ever again. Refresh your signature scent after a long day touristing or simply suffering the local summer heat. ($10, Sephora, multiple locations) — S.N.

Hotel smell, begone
Green & Spring Relaxing travel candles

Extinguish that hotel room smell and let the scents of rosemary, geranium and lavender accompany your post-travel collapse with these soothing scented candles.
Handy for satisfying the urge to light things on fire after a long day of travel without the usual consequences of arson. ($32, Barneys New York at the Shoppes at Palazzo) — S.N.