Woman packing suitcase for travel

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If you’re picturing yourself exploring faraway places, you’re not alone. Travel is making a big comeback this summer. Memorial Day weekend brought nearly 5.5 million Americans to the airport, shattering projections.

Whether you’re planning an international vacation or a trip to see family across the country, you’ll likely need to pack a bag or two. We’ll help you brush up on how to pack for a trip with these 10 travel essentials. Our recommendations will keep your electronics charged, your stuff organized and your mind as worry-free as possible. Beach vacations should be relaxing, after all.

Amazon Basics packing cubes 



Tired of your clothes coming out of your luggage a wrinkly mess? Hate digging through tons of packed clothes just to locate something specific? These packing cubes will help you stay organized while you prep your luggage. They’ll also keep your clothes and shoes separated inside your suitcase.

TSA-approved travel bottle set


Polentat via Amazon

You probably don’t need to bring a Costco-sized shampoo bottle on a weekend trip, and the TSA won’t let you bring bottles larger than 3.4 ounces in your carry-on bag. These travel containers will save you loads of luggage space, and keep you under those mandatory liquid limits. The funnel will cut down on spills while you’re filling the bottles with your shower essentials, and the colors will help you remember what’s inside.

Cowin SE7 active noise-canceling headphones


Cowin via Amazon

The highly rated SE7 noise-canceling headphones from Cowin block out the roar of the plane engine so that you can listen to music — or take a quiet nap — on your flight. When you’re not traveling, these wireless Bluetooth headphones can just as easily help you concentrate in a busy office or coffee shop.

American Tourister 24-inch hard-sided suitcase


American Tourister via Amazon

If you plan on checking a bag, having an easily identifiable suitcase will make your baggage claim experience quick and foolproof. Currently $91 on Amazon, this luggage is a good deal — it’s normally priced at $140.

American Tourister also makes a 21-inch carry-on version of this suitcase ($70, marked down from $110), if you’re in the market for hard-sided luggage you can bring with you into the airplane cabin.

Disposable face masks


Hygenix via Amazon

Most mass transit options, including airlines, still require passengers ages 2 and older to wear masks while on board. An inexpensive box of disposable surgical masks will keep you and your fellow travelers compliant and safe.

Portable power bank


BOMT via Amazon

Whether you’re exploring a new city or hiking through the wilderness, you probably won’t be spending much time next to a wall outlet. Carry this portable power bank instead, so your phone will have enough charge to capture that Instagram opportunity of a lifetime, whenever (or

Even thinking about travel insurance can be a daunting task, especially for a first-time traveler. Here to answer your questions is Chief Insurance Analyst of Forbes Advisor, Amy Danise.

TravelPulse (TP): Is travel insurance necessary for every trip and every kind of traveler?


Amy Danise (AD): Travel insurance becomes important when you have a lot to potentially lose in nonrefundable deposits for a trip. This could include non-refundable airline tickets, a hotel that doesn’t have a great cancellation policy and pre-paid excursions like guided tours.

If you’re traveling outside the U.S., travel insurance is also important for its travel medical benefits. U.S. health plans and Medicare generally offer no coverage outside the U.S. So in case you become ill or injured in another country, you definitely want to have travel medical insurance.

If you don’t have big deposits down on a trip and you’re not traveling outside the U.S., you likely don’t need to spend money on travel insurance.

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Travel technology, man with airplane and laptop

TP: What does travel insurance cover, and how do travelers go about finding the plan that works for them?

AD: The two most important benefits in a travel insurance policy are for trip cancellation and medical benefits.

The trip cancellation coverage comes to your rescue if you have to cancel your trip because of a reason listed in the policy. If you have made large trip deposits that aren’t refundable, this is great coverage to have. Also important is the travel medical coverage to help with doctor and hospital bills, especially if you’re going outside the U.S.

From there, you can add a variety of benefits, depending on what your main travel concerns are. For example, there’s coverage for lost or damaged baggage, reimbursement for money spent because of travel delays, missed connection coverage and other options. Speak to a travel insurance agent, who can match coverage to your needs.

TP: Are there different criteria, plans or considerations those with pre-existing conditions need to search for when buying travel insurance?

AD: Travel insurance will cover pre-existing conditions, but only if you buy the travel plan shortly after making your first trip deposit — usually 14 to 21 days. You want what’s called a “pre-existing medical condition exclusion waiver.” So it’s smart to plan your travel insurance purchase along with your trip, so you don’t miss the window for this waiver.

TP: What role does the travel agent play when it comes to travel insurance?

AD: A specialized travel insurance agent is an important resource in your trip planning. The agent can make sure your travel insurance matches the concerns you have for your trip, such as illness or lost luggage. And they can compare plan prices for you.

You might be offered a standard travel insurance plan from one of your travel providers, such as a cruise line. But using a travel insurance agent will allow you to customize a policy and make sure you have ample benefits for the coverage you want, such

Apply Now for the 2021

More Racing. More Action. More Glory.

Pinkbike Academy is back for 2021 and we’re taking it to the next level with more racing, riding challenges, two Secret Pros, and support from Monster Energy for the grand prize winner. The winner of Season 2 of Pinkbike Academy presented by Monster Hydro will launch their riding career as an official Monster Energy ambassador, with a pro contract from Orbea Bikes and a $25,000 prize purse.

It’s not easy to break into the pro ranks based on skill and potential alone, especially these days, but Pinkbike Academy aims to change that. Last year, Season 1 helped ten incredibly talented riders get some well-deserved attention from fans and sponsors.

Once again we are choosing five men and five women from around the world to battle it out against each other in a series of riding-related challenges at Big White. This year we’ll be doubling down on the racing, with our two Secret Pros setting benchmark times so we can see how the contestants stack up against two of the world’s best enduro racers. This 10-part series will see riders fighting it out each week with only the best riders progressing through each round for a chance to claim this career-changing prize.

We’re excited to produce the second season of Pinkbike Academy and introduce the world to a whole new wave of riders.

Want in?

The show will be judged by well-known industry insiders and pros, and the riders we select for the Academy will need a whole lot of speed and fitness to compete with the times that our Secret Pros set. Do you have the skills, personality, and perseverance to make it through?

This could be your opportunity to turn your passion into a career. This isn’t just free product and small travel budget, but a proper chance at a professional contract and the incredible support that comes with it.

Apply Now

We are seeking to cast five men and five women aged 19-39 from around the world who are able to travel to British Columbia at the end of July (exact dates to be confirmed, we are monitoring the Covid-19 pandemic closely and will be following regional health guidelines). If you’re selected for the 2021 Pinkbike Academy, we will handle your travel and accommodation costs.

Please note: it will be a level playing field and all participants will be riding the bikes and kit provided by the sponsors who have made this project possible.

Step 1: Film a 1 minute video explaining why we should choose you. Keep it simple but remember that the videos that show your personality and commitment to riding will help you stand out as a unique candidate for the show.

Step 2: Complete the entry form here.

We can’t wait to hear from you and to get this project rolling.

Applications must be received by Tuesday, May 11th

Huge thanks to the brands who