This is a collection of what you’ll typically find in my suitcase (sorry guys). Many are essentials that have become tried and true with a few newcomers thrown in because I’m always on the lookout for great travel items.
My “go-to” staple
If there is one staple I absolutely love is a cashmere wrap. I usually don't travel with anything that needs to be dry cleaned, but here's why I make an exception for this wrap. It doubles as a blanket on the plane, and there is nothing that feels better on a long flight than snuggling up with soft cashmere. Additionally, I can't tell you how many times this has come in handy on a night out. A bit pricy, but you'll use it again and again.
The purse situation
I treat the purse situation like layering clothes, I have three that all can fit within each other. This allows you your carry-on option, with your suitcase, while giving you multiple options for different situations on the road.
• first, the wristlet, when you just need an ID, credit card, lipstick and your phone
• which can fit inside a cross-body bag, used for most day-time excursions
• which can fit inside a zipped tote, for travel items like a kindle, earphones, cords, adaptors, etc
I like a cross-body bag that’s square or wider in nature because they are easier to see into and find things without digging.
For a zipped tote, there is nothing better than Longchamp. I’ve used this for everything; I've even put ice and a bottle of wine and took it to the beach. It's easily washed and has held up on too many trips to count.
If you do carry a camera, then I have another go-to option because who wants to carry an ugly camera bag. I love this camera purse because I don't always like to have my camera just hanging around my neck while walking across a city. This is big enough I can fit my camera, an extra lens and some essentials; iPhone, lipstick, etc. It has a nice quilted interior for extra padding and a couple of little pockets for extra memory cards.
I have tried so many different makeup bags over the years, but since I found this, I haven’t turned back. It can work in any bathroom situation, its easily washed, and can be packed to fit in almost any space. I use the smaller one for toiletries I take into the shower; you can hang it and it will dry on its own.
When it comes to clothes I start with a basic color scheme; white, black, tan and navy. I can always add a “pop” of color with scarfs or a shirt or two. This helps not only to mix and match but also with the shoe situation. I look for material that doesn’t wrinkle, because I typically roll everything, and doesn’t require dry cleaning.
Find one you love and buy it in multiple colors. They are so easy to layer and dress up with a scarf. My go to is a Los Angeles based company, Marine Layer. I like the longer length and material thickness.
Pants or Leggings:
In my search for a comfortable pant, but wanting something more than a workout legging, these Sanctuary pants have become my go to. They are washable and even though they stretch, they still hold their fit.
Another staple that you can dress up or down; the little black dress. Now finding one that will travel well can be a challenge, but here are a couple of good options.
Casual The gathering on one side of this dress helps to hide all those great meals you’ll have on vacation :)
Dressy I found this dress for business travel, but it works for fun too. They have multiple style options that are hand washable (a score in my book).
I often travel in shoulder seasons, which usually necessitates a light jacket or a heavy sweater. This is always a tricky one for packing. Here is one I recently found that I think is going to move into the staple category.
This is a tough category; I tend to lean toward comfort, but I'd like a little style. I know I'm usually going to be walking several miles a day, and generally, on cobblestone streets, so high heels are not an option for most day time situations.
Sneaker This is a shoe I found that is really comfortable but is a bit more stylish than your typical tennis shoe options
Essential travel flats You can't go wrong with the Tory Burch flat that folds up. I was lucky to find them in a pewter color that goes with everything.
Flat and mule combo This flat can also be worn as a mule and the leather is super soft providing some give if your feet swell from walking or heat.
Leopard print These provide a little pop and they have an extra cushion for the ball of your foot. Really great packing shoe too.
Hope these ideas help you in finding your travel essentials. Please drop me a note, I’d love to hear if you find any of them useful.