Last updateTue, 17 Oct 2017 5pm


Travel Tidbits: From BB creams to snack-food dreams


Travel pages often review gear like flashlights and suitcases. For example, the Chronicle’s John Flinn wrote last week about Rick Steves’ convertible rolling suitcase (www.ricksteves.com). Flinn praises the $159.99 piece of luggage because it turns into a backpack for third-floor walk-ups in Paris’ Latin Quarter.

It happens that I’m planning a trip to Paris this month, so I paid attention to that tidbit. Although Flinn and I are approximately the same age, my days of staying in hotels without lifts are numbered. Ditto backpacking through cobblestone streets.

My partner booked a lovely place in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, near Café Les Deux Magots, where Sartre and de Beauvoir held court. Plans are to catch a cab from the airport to Hotel L’Abbaye to avoid ugly suitcase scenes.

So the kind of gear I need involves packing, makeup, clothing and snacks. I ran across Los Altos color consultant Pat Yuckenberg Gray’s blog (www.patgrayincolor.com), and she suggested an item that struck me as much more relevant to my needs.


Beauty balms

Have you seen these BB crèmes that are popping up everywhere? I received a free sample of Dior’s SPF 30 Hydra Life line from Sephora when I ordered some other makeup.

Gray discovered the Diorsnow SPF 50 product ($50) when she got a makeover at the Dior counter at the Stanford Nordstrom. Then she was hooked! After asking some questions, she went online to find out what “BB” meant.

Apparently, German doctors originally used BB – Blemish or Beauty Balm – on their laser or chemical peel patients, Gray writes on her blog. The cream protected the skin and evened out redness after treatments.

It’s a real boon for travelers, though, because it’s several products in one: moisturizer, sunscreen, anti-aging serum and foundation primer.

Gray was on her way to Maui when she dropped by Nordstrom to replenish her supply of the Dior cream – the store was out. Here’s what Gray wrote on her blog:

“Do I like it? YES! In fact, I drove 45 minutes from Los Altos to San Francisco to buy another tube, because my local Nordstrom was out of it and I wanted it for my vacation in Maui. It has an SPF of 50, which is great for my fair skin. It’s quite water-resistant and stays on all day. And it does a good job of calming the redness of my rosacea. I wear it alone when walking the dog, on the beach, or a quiet day at home. And I use it as a primer for my foundation when I’m doing the whole makeup routine. Since I’m getting older and my skin is getting dryer, I do use an additional moisturizer under the BB cream.”

It’s made with Icelandic glacial water, which Dior claims adds a brightening effect.


Travel snacks

In addition to my phone charger and adapters, I travel with snacks, because it’s sometimes hard to find restaurants. And if you’re waiting in airports or walking around monuments or museums, the time just might not be right to stop and eat.

Opensky.com offers gourmet foods and snacks you can bring on your trip. If not, you can always stop by Whole Foods to stock up on nourishing items that will hold you over to the next meal and keep you away from fast food.

Oatmeal cookies are good. Travel blogger Beverly Burmeier recommends Magic Cookies, sold for $36 for a pack of 14 (www.biosanes.com). The Dallas company is run by a mother-daughter team. The 170-calorie organic cookies are filling and meet nutritional requirements for meal replacement, according to Burmeier, who travels frequently for national publications.

Email your packing, gear, snack or other travel tips to Eren Göknar at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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