Our Travel Producers test-ride a wide range of travel gear to bring you honest recommendations. Let’s see what’s in Angie Takanami’s bag for beachside destinations this summer:
Victorinox Spectra 83cm Hardcase
The makers of world famous Swiss Army knives also know a thing or two about building travel luggage. The Spectra collection of suitcases is super slick and, of course, boasts Swiss-inspired engineering and design.
My 83cm ‘red rocket’ moved effortlessly through airport terminals even when filled so tight I had to sit on it to close the zipper. The shell is shockingly thin and I was convinced it would crack on my recent long-haul trip; it didn’t, but did scuff easily leaving the once sleek red exterior with some soft battle scars.
Specs: Lifetime warranty; 100% pure Bayer Polycarbonate shell; lightweight (4.4kg empty); 360 degree maneuverability and zero weight-in-hand when rolling upright; Swiss Tracker bag tracking program (find your bag for free!); Access Lock Combination Recovery Program.
Cost: RRP $629.00 (although we’ve found a few websites knocking this price down by about $100).
Secrid Miniwallet with Cardprotector
This one is perhaps more for the gents; a Dutch designed and made pocket-sized card holder turn Miniwallet installed with the Secrid Cardprotector system that prevents your credit cards being electronically pick pocketed.
I prefer to keep my cards and cash all in one chunky wallet, but my husband adores the Miniwallet and the slim size fits snug in his jean pockets. The leather wallet is stylish and would suit businessmen or savvy travelers.
Specs: Leather; holds six credit cards, some cash, a few business cards and receipts; very slim and lightweight, installed with the Secrid Cardprotector system (prevents you becoming a victim of RFID – Radio-Frequency Identification); available in 11 colours.
Cost: From RRP $44.50
Rip Curl Striped Mirage Bikini
As a nomad surfer, I’ve spent the best part of two decades searching for that perfect bikini that won’t fall off in the surf but can also function as a sexy pool-side statement as well give me support when I’m chasing after the kids. This number from Rip Curl is up there with one of the best cossies I’ve tried; reversible – two looks one bikini – quick dry technology, and it was actually great for surfing (no shocking boob flashes!), cutting laps in the pool, and running after the kids on the beach.
Specs: Made from Xtra Life Lycra to provide long lasting fit – Rip Curl says this “counters ‘shape loss’ and the effects of chlorine and the sun, while the ultra lightweight fabric moulds to the contours of your body ensuring maximum comfort”; quick dry technology; stitchless seams; sexy cut and colours.
Cost: RRP $49.95
Aila Blue Jelita Dress
Passionate traveller and designer Mai Miyama says her Aila Blue brand is a bohemian luxe collection for the beach chic jet setter. Mai’s dresses incorporate luxurious silk fabrics hand dyed and printed in Bali and this one, the Jelita Dress, is a gorgeous silk one piece featuring a Victorian lace collar – great for looking fabulous around the resort pool or restaurant.
Specs: 100% silk; hand dyed and printed in Bali; Victorian lace collar.
Cost: RRP $330
Bahgsu Jewels Ocean Jasper & Pink Tourmaline Necklace
I just adore these jewels honestly sourced from around the world, designed by the very talented and Maggie Orli who quit her ‘real job’ to travel the world. Maggie’s jewels are a mix of raw crystals, healing stones, sterling silver and gold, most of which are handcrafted as one-off pieces.
This stunning pink ocean jasper necklace is one of my favourites from Maggie’s current collection; elegant and fit for any summer angel whether floating around the pool, hitting the shops or dressed in cocktail threads for a night out.
Specs: Ocean jasper and pink tourmaline; stone is bezel set in hammered 22kt gold vermeil; chain is 33 inchese of faceted pink tourmaline handwrapped with gold vermeil; designed for pendant to rest on wearer’s sacral chakra for enhanced healing properties; mined only in low tide by Malagasy natives in Madagascar.
Cost: RRP $178
Inspiring and beautifully produced, New York-based journalist Julia Chaplin’s latest volume, Gypset Travel, is a stunning collection of travel photography and personal narrative exploring gypsy jet-setters’ lifestyles and travel enclaves around the world. I couldn't put my copy down; Gypset Travel is a wondrous journey from start to finish from the Aeolian Islands in Italy to Lamu, Kenya; North Goa, India; José Ignacio, Uruguay; and even right here in Byron Bay.
About the Author: Julia Chaplin is a New York–based journalist and editor who covers contemporary art, style, and travel. She is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, Elle, W, and Condé Nast Traveler. The author of Gypset Style (Assouline, 2009), she also founded the clothing line Gypset, and the Web site gypset.com.
Cost: From RRP $65