Throw a Travel Steamer In Your Suitcase
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Throw a Travel Steamer In Your Suitcase

We know there’s questions around travel amid the coronavirus (COVID-19). Read our note to readers here.

No matter how carefully you pack, wrinkled clothes are an unfortunate inevitability when you travel. Sure, most hotel rooms have an iron and an ironing board that you can use, but you may not be so lucky if you're staying with a friend, or at an Airbnb. And even if you do have access to an iron...who wants to iron? It takes forever, and it's not usually necessary to press your t-shirts and jeans to make them look brand new.

But a steamer? That makes sense.

Travel steamers like this one are roughly the size of a small water bottle, and can usually fit into a suitcase, as long as it's not too full. All you have to do is add some water to the tank, plug it in for a few minutes, and then slowly brush it over a hanging shirt or pair of pants, while gently pulling taught or brushing away wrinkles with your hands.

Is it going to make your clothes as crisp and wrinkle free as actually ironing them? No. But it'll get you most of the way there with a fraction of the effort, and for the vast majority of outfits, that'll be good enough.

In particular, I really like Conair's Travel Smart steamer, for a few different reasons:

1) It's tiny. The Conair Travel Smart steamer is smaller than a shoe, and unlike most inexpensive travel steamers, doesn't have a protruding neck or handle. The former isn't actually all that necessary for steaming, and the latter is able to collapse into the body of the steamer when not in use to save space.

2) It's dual voltage. Most steamers will require a voltage converter to use overseas, but the Conair Travel Smart supports both 120 and 240V, meaning all you'll need is a plug coverter.

3) It's fast. You can go from plugging it in to steaming clothes in under two minutes, and possibly less if you fill the reservoir with hot water from the sink.

4) It's from Conair, which has been making bathroom products with electric heating elements for over 60 years. That's always nice to know when you're mixing electricity and water.

When you get home from your trip, take the steamer out of your bag and use it at home! Just because you're not traveling doesn't mean you'll magically want to start ironing. Steaming your clothes, especially the ones you leave sitting in the dryer a little too long, can go a long way in a very short time.

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