Some of us find inner peace through guided meditation. Others go for a run or snuggle with their felines. Eva Mendes, on the other hand, finds her joy at the kitchen sink.

“Even when I have to do work, when I have to get something done — I cannot do it with my kitchen being a mess. And specifically my sink being messed up,” she says.

Like so many of us, the Covid-19 pandemic turned Mendes into something of a germaphobe. The mom of Esmeralda Amada, 7, and Amada Lee, 6, with her longtime partner Ryan Gosling, “went into super-clean mode,” she says. “I was going through sponges like crazy. And I was realizing God, these sponges suck.”

So she’s partnered with Skura Style, which makes antimicrobial sponges. Now she’s an active partner in the business. So active, in fact, that she waxes poetic about sponges the way a designer expounds on patterns and fabrics.

“It rinses dry really, really quickly. It harbors way less bacteria and it fades when it’s time to change it out,” she says. “Your sponge will tell you when it’s time.”

And that’s a good thing because Mendes says her domain is the kitchen. “My man cooks. I do the dishes, happily. I find it meditative. It makes me happy. I can practice my mindful meditation because maybe pre-kids, I used to do TM — transcendental meditation — and stuff. Now it’s like, are you kidding me? I don’t have five minutes to sit. But right now I’ll take it where I can get it. And, usually, it’s when I’m in the kitchen and that’s when it happens for me.”

But when she’s on the road, she likes to have comforts by her side as well. Mendes knows what she likes, and how she likes it. Here’s what she always carries with her when she’s traveling.

$498 at Cuyana

Mendes totes everything in this chic yet practical backpack, which has a built-in laptop sleeve and is made from pebbled leather. Plus, there’s a shoulder strap that lets you tote it around or wear it on your shoulders. “For me, I’ve wanted to simplify what I have to carry. I have a backpack. It’s not fancy — it’s just a backpack,” she says. “I got used to it with the kids and now I’m hands-free. And again, simplifying,” she says.

$110 at Amazon and True Botanicals

Ideal for combination or dry skin, this oil is infused with jasmine, neroli and rose. “I love face oils — I just respond to it. It’s my must-have,” she says. “I use it as my main moisturizer. I use it on my eyes. I use it everywhere. I use it on my hands as well. Because I don’t like a ton of products. I don’t like a ton of things,” she says.

$34 at Houzz

Not only are these candles beautifully packaged, but they’re made from ultra-pure beeswax. “I try to travel with a candle — scent is really big for me,” she says. “I like these candles that are very expensive — they’re called Qualitas. They’re bougie, but they’re non-toxic and they have this long-lasting scent. I get the florals. Freesia is my favorite.”

$7.99 at Target

Waste not, want not with these wipes, which are reusable and washable. “I swear, I’m not trying to just plug my product, but I like microfiber wipes. We have them — I use it to clean my phone,” Mendes says. “I like to wipe things down, not excessively. But, I like to wipe down when I get on the plane or when I get to the hotel room.”

These microfiber wipes are a great way to cut down on single-use paper towels. Each of the Wipe Envy cloths can be used up to 20 times — wet or dry. Plus, they’re machine washable so you can just pop them in for a wash before their next use.

$29.99 at Amazon or $30 at Coop Home Goods

If she has to leave home, Mendes takes the scent of her nearest and dearest with her. “I do have a travel pillow, but it’s just a kid pillow that I travel with — it’s not one of those fancy [ones],” she says. “I always take a used pillowcase that we’ve been using because it has the smell of home or our family, so it’s just a super small pillow.” The Coop Home Goods pillow is machine washable, making it easy to take on the road and then for a wash when you get home.

$29 at Violet Grey

This internet-famous mask tightens your skin, and when you wash it off, you emerge looking shockingly refreshed. Mendes is a fan. “Maybe a few years ago I would’ve had an eye mask, but not anymore. I don’t do anything like that on the plane. But I do love the Hanacure mask,” she says. “That’s not for the plane at all, but that’s definitely for the next day for the meeting. It’s a facial in a little bottle. It’s pretty intense.”

$17.99 at Amazon

Whatever city she’s in, Mendes picks up something where she can jot down her thoughts. “My other must-have for travel is my journal. I always journal. I pick up a journal wherever I’m at in my travels — then, I make it my next journal,” she says. “Right now, my journal is brown leather with small letters that say Praha so I’m gathering I got it in Prague last year. I’ve just picked one up in London that’s based on a William Morris design, so that will be my next one.”

$35 at The Wrap Life

Mendes is known for her love of head wraps, and of course, she always has a great one on hand. “I always fly with one. There is this Instagram feed, this page I follow — it’s called The Wrap Life. I get a lot of my wraps from her, and I just love giving her love because she’s just incredible,” she says.

Find out which credit cards CNN Underscored chose as its best travel credit cards of 2022.