New docs reveal the extent of Pelosi’s CODEL travel abuses, how much taxpayer money she spent

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s use of military aircraft came under scrutiny last week after President Donald Trump cancelled her congressional delegation trip to Belgium, Egypt, and Afghanistan.

Pelosi’s use of government aircraft is not new. In fact, documents obtained and released by government watchdog Judicial Watch last week reveal the extent to which Pelosi has used military aircraft in the past, costing taxpayers millions.

What are the details?

One trip in particular — to Milan, Rome, Naples, and Kiev — has received considerable scrutiny. The 2015 trip, from July 30 to Aug. 6, cost the Air Force $184,587.81, documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act show. Pelosi, along with several other Democratic members of Congress, made the trip with members of their families.

The exact purpose of the trip remains unclear. A Politico news story at the time alleged Pelosi’s congressional delegation “intended to underscore the U.S. commitment to security in that region.”

However, FOIA documents suggest the lawmakers treated the trip more like a vacation, even petitioning the Air Force for a specific flight clew for the duration of the trip, a laughable and arguably selfish request.

The Italy trip included Milan, Rome and Naples with visits to the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, Duomo and viewing Da Vinci’s “Last Supper.”

The documents also show the Air Force’s negative response to a Pelosi staff request for a specific crew for Pelosi’s flight. An official notes that it: “would be a disastrous precedent to set even if it were possible.” The Air Force further points out: “Our ARC crews have plenty to balance already with military duties and their civilian employers.”

Anything else?

Indeed, Pelosi has a lengthy history of abusing special travel privileges afforded to lawmakers. In 2011, Judicial Watch exposed Pelosi’s rampant use of luxury Air Force jets to travel between Washington, D.C., and her congressional district in California, a 5-hour, 3,000 mile journey each direction.

In just a two-year period, Pelosi accumulated $2,100,744.59 worth of travel expenses, which included $101,429.14 for in-flight conveniences, such as food and alcohol.

Supreme Court upholds Trump travel ban on some Muslim-majority nations


Supreme Court to rule on travel ban, forced union dues

Court to hand down key rulings before summer recess.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld President Trump’s controversial travel ban affecting several mostly Muslim countries, offering a limited endorsement of the president’s executive authority in one of the hardest-fought battles of this term. 

The 5-4 ruling marks the first major high court decision on a Trump administration policy. It upholds the selective travel restrictions, which critics called a discriminatory “Muslim ban” but the administration argued was needed for security reasons.

At issue was whether the third and latest version of the administration’s policies affecting visitors from five majority Muslim nations – known as travel ban 3.0 — discriminates on the basis of nationality and religion, in the government’s issuance of immigrant visas.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that the order was “squarely within the scope of Presidential authority” under federal law.

The ruling comes after the Trump administration seemed to enjoy a favorable reception during arguments in April.

Justice Samuel Alito, during those April arguments, noted that of the 50 or so mostly Muslim majority countries, only five were on the current banned list, or about 8 percent of the population, he said.

The ruling was being closely watched for its implications for the limits of executive power, especially within the immigration context.

The justices had allowed the current restrictions to be enforced at the Justice Department’s request, at least until the case was fully litigated.

Sixteen state leaders led by Texas were among a number of coalitions backing the Trump administration. But Hawaii officials, who filed the appeal contesting all of the president’s orders, say the president’s policies to violate the Constitution’s guarantee of religious freedom: 

“Any reasonable observer who heard the President’s campaign promises, read his thinly justified orders banning overwhelmingly Muslim populations, and observed his Administration’s persistent statements linking the two, would view the order and each of its precursors as the fulfillment of the President’s promise to prohibit Muslim immigration to the United States.”

A number of civil rights, immigrant and Muslim advocates filed separate briefs opposing the government’s policies. These challengers to the 3.0 order argue Trump has taken his enumerated powers to extremes by banning entire populations from multiple countries, an estimated 150 million people.

Federal appeals courts in Virginia and California in recent months had ruled against the administration. The San Francisco-based 9th Circuit court last December concluded Trump’s proclamation, like the two previous executive orders, overstepped his powers to regulate the entry of aliens.

A coalition of groups in opposition call the order blatant religious discrimination, since the five current countries involved have mostly Muslim populations: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Chad was recently removed from the list after the administration said that country had beefed up its information-sharing.

The White House, on the other hand, has framed the issue as a temporary move involving national security.

The Travel Advice Your Zodiac Sign Needs to Hear

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Capricorn (Dec. 22–Jan. 19): Socialize with the locals

Capricorns take their vacation time very seriously. This hard-working sign values their time spent in a new place, using a getaway as a way to de-stress from their busy everyday lives. But oftentimes, they lose sight of the fact that the people who can heighten their vacation experience are seemingly everywhere they turn. Being the social butterflies they typically are, Capricorns should use their people skills to chat with the locals — it’s a seemingly simple piece of advice that often goes under-utilized. Perhaps taking this advice and traveling to some of America’s friendliest cities should be on a Capricorn’s bucket list of destinations.

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Aquarius (Jan. 20–Feb. 18): Share your vacation itinerary with someone back home

Aquarians are independent to a fault, and taking precautionary measures is typically not one of this sign’s strong points. But it’s imperative to understand that traveling comes with its set of pitfalls, and an Aquarian is not immune to the possibility of something risky happening during their vacation time. Sharing your itinerary for an upcoming trip with a friend or family member back home is important and can be useful in any worst-case scenarios. Before an Aquarius packs their bag, they should understand which countries around the world are safest to travel, and, once they’ve chosen a destination, fill someone in on their whereabouts.

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Pisces (Feb. 19–March 20): Go off the beaten path

A Pisces wants nothing more than a hammock, room service, and a luxury spa package when it comes to their vacations. It’s not in their nature to take a spontaneous hike or go on a last-minute adventurous excursion. But if only they’d simply go against their laidback-approach to vacationing and do something out of the ordinary, they’d realize that there is adventure in the unknown. Going off the beaten path — whether that means choosing a destination that’s not as popular as their counterparts, or simply choosing to ditch your itinerary and get lost in a beautiful city — will bring joy to this play-by-the-rules sign.

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Aries (March 21–April 19): Enjoy your layover

Aries is a playful sign that, although they are highly motivated and fun to be around, can lack patience. So when obstacles get in the way of an Aries’ vacation — like a delayed flight or a missing suitcase — it can be hard for them to exude understanding. Similarly, an Aries is not happy when it comes to stopping before their destination — they are the child that used to exclaim, “Are we there yet?” from the backseat of the car. An Aries should instead channel their excitement into every part of their journey — including their layover. Rather than running to make a connection, book a flight that offers a long layover in a fun city, and use that time to go exploring. You can, of course, hang out in some of the coolest airports for a long layover, but an adventurous Aries should utilize these hours in a new place to their advantage and see what the world looks like outside the revolving doors.

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Taurus (April 20–May 20): Find free fun

A Taurus appreciates the finer things in life, and prefers to indulge during vacation — that means once-in-a-lifetime excursions, world-class cuisine, and shopping for the most luxurious souvenir. Instead of emptying out your wallet, try leaving it in your hotel’s safe and doing something that’s absolutely free. There are a ton of things to do in America that are completely gratis — from widely known museums to touring famous breweries — and the best part of it is that your bank account won’t budge one bit.

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Gemini (May 21–June 20): Stop booking last-minute flights

A Gemini’s dual personality can sometimes cause for indecision, impulsiveness and spontaneity, which, during a trip, can lead to some exhilarating and unexpected adventures. But it can also lead to last-minute decisions, like booking a last-minute flight, which can be detrimental to a schedule — and a budget. Airlines increase their ticket prices as the date of departure draws near, so plan a trip for the future rather than this Friday, and leave the spontaneous ideas for once you reach your destination. Read up on last-minute travel hacks so that if you do have to travel on short notice, you’ll be prepared to save time and money.

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Cancer (June 21–July 22): Remember to bring your creature comforts

Cancers absolutely love to vacation. Whether it’s lounging on one of the world’s best beaches or exploring a bright and colorful city, Cancers use this time to enjoy themselves and appreciate new experiences. But because Cancers are nurturing and emotional, they can feel quite homesick if their travels go on for longer than a week or two. Packing things that will transport you to your safe place — such as your favorite essential oils or a journal to write your thoughts in — will allow a Cancer to continue on a care-free journey to somewhere new.

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Leo (July 23–Aug. 22): Put down your camera

A larger-than-life Leo needs to show the world their accomplishments, because feeling admired and adored is something that a Leo truly indulges in. Showing off your most recent road trip or the views from your stay at an incredible hotel is not unlikely for a Leo, but perhaps this sign should focus less on impressing their friends and family back home, and more on the journey itself. It can be liberating to take in a sunrise over the mountains or a breathtaking sunset without feeling the need to document it. Take things one step further by going completely social media-free on vacation, and appreciate the moments on vacation all by yourself.

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Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22): Stop planning every second of your trip

If a Virgo takes a vacation, that means there’s not usually one day in the trip that’s left to play by ear. Analytical and logical to a fault, a Virgo has the desire to plan nearly every aspect of their trip, right down to the restaurant each night for dinner, as they prefer nothing be left to chance. Instead of planning each moment of your trip, instead try to keep pockets of the day open for exploring. Sure, you can download an app to help aid you with vacation plans, but why not leave some things up in the air? You might just stumble into a town’s coziest cafe or a city’s best-kept secret speakeasy bar, proving their can definitely beauty in the unknown.

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Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 22): Organize your suitcase

Libras are arguable the most laidback of the astrological signs; they are indifferent to change and don’t make too much noise if things aren’t to their liking, but can sometimes lead a life that’s not as organized as it should be. This can sometime leak into all aspects of their life — especially when it comes to packing for a trip. Not one to make a checklist of things to bring on a trip, you’ll find the items in a Libra’s suitcase are usually packed without rhyme or reason. Following packing tips, such as rolling your clothes or using packing cubes, will not only help to organize your suitcase, but will give the peace of mind that you’re well-prepared for your upcoming vacation.

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Scorpio (Oct. 23–Nov. 21): Learn how to avoid the crowds

Scorpios are very self-reliant and in control during their day-to-day life, so when they take time to vacation, they are looking for a way to de-stress and revive. But traveling somewhere popular and well-known can mean crowds of people, stress and chaos — the exact opposite of what a Scorpio craves. Learning how to avoid the crowds of people, whether that’s traveling during off-peak months or visiting touristy places during unusual hours will help a Scorpio get their much-needed downtime while still enjoying an often crowded, well-known destination.

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Sagittarius (Nov. 22–Dec. 21): Don’t be afraid to splurge

Sagittarius’ are up for nearly anything when it comes to their vacations — and we mean anything. Traveling to witness the Northern Lights or watching wildlife from a safari bus are activities that some may find too action-packed, but not for a Sagittarius. In fact, the more thrilling, the better — which is why they shouldn’t be afraid to splurge on their next adventure. For a Sagittarius, they are at their happiest when they’re trying something new, so spending their money on an activity rather than an object is what will bring them the most pleasure in life.

For many, traveling is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Whether you’re exploring a bustling city or lounging on a secluded beach, vacations are a highlight in nearly everyone’s calendar. But as many advantages that there are when it comes to traveling, there are an equal amount of pitfalls that travelers can forget about.

Wouldn’t it be nice if travelers could hear the necessary advice that will maximize their trip before they hop on a flight? Fortunately, now you can.

Your horoscope can reveal a lot about you. Your likes and dislikes, personality traits you exhibit, and what you’re most passionate about all find their way back to your astrological sign. Your sign can say a lot about you, and, believe it or not, your horoscope could actually prove to be very useful when you’re traveling.

Read the travel advice you need to hear based on your Zodiac sign below — you might be surprised at how helpful it will be when planning your next much-needed getaway.

Cruise Ship Footage Shows Mayday Chaos, Evacuation Continues in Norway |

12:25 PM PT— A passenger just shared video from inside the cruise ship … and it’s terrifying. Furniture and large plants on deck of the tilting vessel are being thrashed around by the rough seas.

We’re waiting for evacuation by helicopter #VikingSky #Mayday

— Alexus Sheppard 🏳️‍🌈 (@alexus309)

Other reports are coming in from passengers who have made it back to the mainland, calling the experience the worst and scariest of their lives. One woman said there’s water and broken glass everywhere due to items being thrown around and smashing windows, and people are getting cut up. It’s easy to see how.

Still waiting for evacuation. #VikingSky #Mayday

— Alexus Sheppard 🏳️‍🌈 (@alexus309)

There are still reportedly more than 800 people on board, as the helicopters can only rescue 10-15 at a time, and the rescue boats have been having difficulty in the rough waters.

Passengers on a cruise off of Norway’s coast are taking the ride of their lives … but not in the fun way they expected at all.

Police say the cruise ship Viking Sky issued a mayday call Saturday off of Norway’s western coast due to engine problems amid high waves and strong winds.

The ship’s 1,300 passengers and crew are being evacuated by several helicopters and ships after Norway’s sea rescue agency received the distress signal.

דיווח ראשוני על ספינת תיירים נורבגית ועליה 1300 איש אשר החלה לשדר אותו מצוקה. מסוקים הוזנקו #VikingSky

— First reports@avi (@avigil77)

There haven’t been any serious injuries, fortunately, but 5 people have reportedly been taken to the hospital. According to reports, the cruise ship was beginning to drift toward shore but managed to restart an engine and regain its course as the evacuation continues.

It’s expected to take several hours.

The Viking Sky belongs to Viking Ocean Cruises and made its maiden voyage in 2017.

Originally Published — 10:33 AM PT

Carry-on Travel Essentials

Courtesy of Nordstrom, Amazon

Water Bottle

Staying hydrated on the plane is imperative and, according to senior audience engagement editor Abby Williams, S’well’s water bottles actually live up to the hype. “Grab an ice water post-security, pour it into your S’well bottle, and you’ll have ice-cold water for the duration of your flight,” she said. We also like Nomader’s collapsible bottle if you’re looking to save space in your bag. 

Courtesy of Amazon

Travel Pillow

Conventional, U-shaped travel pillows work for some people, but if you can’t see the appeal, assistant digital editor Richelle Szypulski recommends trying out the Trtl pillow — essentially a fleece scarf with a support system built in — or the Infinity pillow, which applies the infinity scarf concept to your comforter for grade-A cozy results.

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Customs forms, in-flight-mag sudoku puzzles, doodling on your cocktail napkin: a pen (or two) will always come in handy on a flight. These retractable, black-ink pens by Hay are anything but basic.

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Deputy digital editor Jessica Plautz is a Moleskine devotee for the brand’s “excellent quality and the different colors, themes, and paper styles that make it easy to build a collection over time.”

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Eye Mask

Food & travel editor Lila Battis swears by the frill-free, light-blocking Bucky 40 Blinks eye mask while associate editor Siobhan Reid is “obsessed with” Slip’s ultra-luxurious silk sleep mask. “After I discovered the beautifying powers of its iconic silk pillowcase, I tried the sleep mask on a recent flight from New York City to L.A. and I can say with confidence that it’s every bit as covetable,” she said.

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Scarf or Travel Wrap

Airplane cabins, unfortunately, do not come with a temperature forecast, so it’s best to be prepared for anything by tossing a wrap or scarf into your bag. Senior digital editor Nina Ruggiero says this J.Crew pick is “large enough to work as a wrap on a cold plane, light enough to wear upon arrival in a warm destination if I don’t have space to stow it in my bag, and vibrant enough to be a statement accessory during my trip.” 

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For any scenario where you don’t necessarily want to be wearing your headphones — say, sleeping — but would still like to drown out the ambient annoyance around you, a set of earplugs is key. Assistant digital editor Richelle Szypulski was impressed with Pluggerz Travel earplugs on a recent flight — they’re designed to soften noise and regulate the changing air pressure. And the staff agrees you can never go wrong with Mack’s. 

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In-flight Entertainment

Long flights can be grueling without something to pass the time. For assistant editor John Scarpinato, it’s his iPad Mini. “The night before a big trip, I download a number of TV episodes and a movie or two for the flight. It’s been a major game changer,” he said. “The Mini is compact (it fits perfectly in the front pocket of my backpack) and holds a charge quite well, so I’m never left worrying about being cut off halfway through an important scene.” And we think Amazon’s newest Kindle Oasis is the most travel-friendly model yet. 

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Portable Charger and All Charging Cords

Only a few airlines provide USB slots for charging your devices in-flight, so if you want to watch a feature-length film on your flight without having to spend the first 30 minutes in Arrivals getting your battery back into double digits, make sure to pack a portable battery.

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In-seat Pouch

T+L’s editor in chief Nathan Lump always fills a small pouch with everything he’ll need to easily access mid-flight and tucks it into the seatback pocket when he boards so he doesn’t have to keep retrieving his bag from the overhead storage bin. Madewell makes a conveniently clear pouch and Pamela Barksy’s quirky designs are a favorite of senior digital editor Nina Ruggiero’s. “Her travel pouches come with a punch of personality,” she said. “It’s ideal for saying what you need to say to the passenger sitting next to you without actually having to speak at all.” 

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Disinfecting Wipes

Catching some sort of sickness on the flight is the fast track to ruining a would-have-been-restorative vacation. Don’t take the risk. Wipe down your seat, tray table, and anything else you’re touching on the airplane with one of these bad boys, which will kill 99.9 percent of viruses and bacteria. And maybe offer them up to your seatmates, too.

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Just-in-case Kit

Instead of having to remember the tiniest troubleshooters like safety pins, stain removers, and moist towelettes, get one of these palm-sized pouches which packs in 18 mini versions of the things you need most on a long flight.

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In-flight Face Essentials

Cleansing and moisturizing are the two smartest steps you can take for your skin after you board. Senior digital editor Nina Ruggiero loves Burt’s Bees Sensitive Facial Cleansing Towelettes because they “gently but efficiently remove makeup on the go and the cucumber/sage combination is both soothing and refreshing, so even if you’re not wearing makeup, they’re a good post-flight pick-me-up.” Once your face is makeup-free, Clinique’s Moisture Surge will hydrate even the driest complexion and you can spritz some Osea Sea Minerals Mist — a favorite of assistant editor Hannah Walhout, which “smells so good, hydrates like a dream, and feels cool and refreshing. Plus, it has all sorts of soothing/anti-inflammatory properties that calm the inevitable zits and general skin congestion I get on airplanes.”

Courtesy of Amazon, Nordstrom

Courtesy of Amazon

Lip Balm

Lanisoh HPA Lanolin is a must-pack for food & travel editor Lila Battis. “I’ve tried every lip balm on the market, and this is the one I swear by,” she said. ”Ignore the package description that says it’s for nursing moms — it’s a magical lifesaver if you’ve got dry, chapped lips. It’s super creamy, stays where you put it, and actually hydrates, unlike petroleum-based products which just lock in moisture that’s already there. And you only need a tiny dot, so a tube will last forever.”

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Hand Cream

While Weleda’s Skin Food is a bit of a cult-favorite in the T+L office, digital producer Karen Chen always has Curel’s Ultra Healing Lotion on hand. “Unlike a lot of hand creams out there, this one doesn’t have a greasy, thick, or heavy texture. It goes on easily, absorbs quickly, and moisturizes better than any other lotion I’ve ever tried. With just a couple uses, you’ll actually notice your skin feeling softer and smoother. While this works great for dry, chapped hands, it’s also the perfect lotion for all over. Think: for soothing your skin after a long day of sitting out in the sun,” she said.

Courtesy of Dermstore

Emergency Breakout Fix

Traveling for a special event? Make sure to pack iS Clinical Active Serum if you’re prone to travel breakouts. Senior digital editor Nina Ruggiero calls this serum her miracle cure: “It has pretty much cleared my problem spots overnight every time I’ve used it.”

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A Day or Two of Toiletries

The lost luggage struggle is real — and the last thing you’ll want to do in response is spend $40 on all the tiny toiletries you’d need to have generally OK hygiene until you’re reunited with your belongings. Alongside the usual toothpaste, toothbrush, and floss, digital producer Karen Chen uses Go Toob toiletry bottles to bring along her hair and skincare favorites in TSA-friendly silicone tubes. 

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First Aid

When it comes to travel first aid, think of anything you might have trouble hunting down in a foreign pharmacy and bring at least one. Digital editorial assistant Elizabeth Preske recommends including Sudafed for the flight if the pressure causes problems for you. “I get horrible ear pain when I fly, so I like to take Sudafed an hour before my flight to help clear my sinuses. It makes my flight so much more relaxing and stress-free,” she said. Here’s the rest of our list: eye drops, motion sickness relief, allergy medicine, antidiarrheal medicine, immune support supplements, band-aids, Tums, a sleep aid, pain reliever, probiotics, and a stain remover — because clothing first aid is important, too, when you’re working with a limited wardrobe.

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Traveling or not, it’s always smart to have a snack in your bag. Associate editor Siobhan Reid and her “major sweet tooth” are thankful to have discovered Juice Press’s almond cacao energy bars. “They taste like chocolate bars, but are also somewhat healthier given that they’re made out of dates, almond, coconut, and hemp protein,” she said. “If you’re one to get hangry when you travel, I can’t recommend these enough.”

Courtesy of Amazon

Travel Adapter

It may be tempting to pack your travel adapter in your checked bag, but it’s another essential you wouldn’t want to be caught without in a lost luggage snafu. This Conair adapter works in more than 150 countries and gives you three outlets and a USB slot to plug into so you can keep all of your tech charged and ready to go. Just be sure to use it with dual-voltage devices only, as it doesn’t convert electrical voltage. 

Courtesy of Amazon, Nordstrom

Travel Wallet

Because you’ll likely be bringing along more than your everyday wallet can hold — multiple kinds of currencies, tickets, hotel key cards, et cetera — it’s extra important to stay organized. If nothing else, you’ll at least want a passport cover to keep your most important travel document safe from harm. 

Courtesy of Herschel Supply Co.

Packable Duffel

If your go-to personal item is a smaller handbag, you’ll definitely want to have a lightweight, foldable duffel on hand to tote home any extra souvenirs you’re planning on picking up during your travels. We’re into the patterns and prints Herschel Supply Co. offers on its packable bags.  

Courtesy of Eddie Bauer, Amazon

Courtesy of Amazon

A Copy of Your Passport and an Extra Photo

Your passport is, of course, the most important item to remember for an international trip. But you should also bring along at least one passport photo and a color photocopy of the pages with your information on the off-chance you lose it abroad. The U.S. State Department’s website has more information about what to do when your passport is lost or stolen.