travel must-haves

October 2nd, 2010 / by / in: packing / 8 Responses

I’m always interested in finding out what other people wear to travel, so I figured I’d share what I usually wear and bring with me on trips. For me, COMFORT is paramount. You will not find me traipsing through the airport in heels. But I’d also rather kill myself with something blunt than be one of those people who wears Juicy Couture sweatpants or pajamas. (Seriously. Who are these people that leave the house in PAJAMAS? And it’s usually the people on some two hour domestic flight. PUT ON SOME PANTS!)In no particular order:

– Skinny jeans: Okay, these are my usual staple anyway. But! The kind that everyone hates (jean leggings/jeggings) are your friend! They look like jeans but are are stretchy, which makes them perfect for long plane rides. “I don’t want to wear jeans to travel,” you whine, but trust me. Get over your fear of jean leggings, be comfy, and don’t look like a jerk wearing pajamas in public. (The jeans in the photo are a pair that I have — Citizens of Humanity Avedon.)

– Cozy sweater: This will save you if you’re sitting in an exit row. It’s always good to dress in layers for travel, and a cozy sweater is ideal. And I always make sure to wear a sweater with pockets. (The one in the photo is the Vince Blanket Coat. It is warm and fuzzy and perfect for travel.) This cozy sweater thing also works if you’re a dude.

– Cashmere scarf: VERY IMPORTANT. This is probably my most-needed travel item, even though it sounds frivolous. A scarf works as an accessory, keeps you warm on the plane, acts as a blanket (airplane blankets are gross), can be used to cover up weird stains (who knows how those happen)… is there anything a scarf CAN’T do? If there is, I don’t want to know. I own zillions and zillions of scarves, but I always bring a cashmere one when travelling. I have a gigantic black cashmere scarf that I got in France and have had forever, but I think I might get one of these White + Warren travel wraps next.

– Sunglasses: I don’t think they need an explanation, but I usually make sure I bring an extra pair.

– Bag: I like to use a bag that fits all the things I need, and has a separate pocket for my passport and travel papers. I like the Marc by Marc Jacobs Natasha bag because of the “secret” pocket along the back that’s perfect for my passport and friends. I also like it because it’s small enough to squish beside me on a first/biz class seat if I’m sitting in the bulkhead. (I hate having to store my purse in the overhead because I’m paranoid, BUT I like bulkhead seats on domestic/transborder flights. Shhh.) My other usual bags are also Marc by Marc Jacobs (I have a weakness): the Faridah (awesome, but big), and the Hillier (perfect size, but no separate pocket for my passport).

– Cute socks: I’ve addressed this before. NO BARE FEET IN THE SECURITY LINE.

– iPhone and Kindle: Must-haves! Must! Ever since I bought a Kindle, I’ve found that I waste a lot less money on magazines at the airport. I prefer the Kindle because as much as I try to store up a lot of IMPORTANT LITERATURE and Giller Prize winners to read on trips, sometimes when I’m sitting in the airport I just want to read some trashy YA novel or something and the Kindle lets me download one instantly via the free 3G.

– Passport: Well, obviously.

– Comfy flats: Life is too short for uncomfortable shoes. In the winter, I trade the flats for boots.

– Water: I get weird if I’m not carrying around water with me JUST IN CASE, so I immediately veer off to buy a bottle as soon as I get through security. For some reason, I always seem to end up with Fiji water at airports.

– Antibacterial wipes: More useful than you might think. I use them to wipe down my tray table on the plane. And who knows what slimy things you might encounter in your travels? I like wipes better than hand sanitizer, because you can use them on things other than yourself. ALSO — unlike hand sanitizer, they don’t count as a liquid. (I’m forever trying to cut down on my liquids because I’m a carry-on only kind of girl.)

– Hand moisturizer: I always find airport bathroom soap SUCKS THE MOISTURE from my hands like nothing else. My favourite is the travel-sized Bliss lotion.

– Lip balm: Basically my holy grail of beauty products. If I didn’t have lip balm with me… I don’t know what would happen. I might explode. Lip balm doesn’t count as a liquid, so I usually have too many with me. I have a Fresh lip balm in my bag, by my bed, in the bathroom, on my desk at work… yes, I love them that much. (My favourite is the Rose one.)

Not pictured, but important: luggage. Generally, I use a LeSportsac Weekender bag. I know it’s not the fanciest way to cart around my stuff, but it has one big plus going for it… it’s LIGHT. Really light. In the dark ages (before I discovered the magic that is carry-on only travel) I’d usually throw a LeSportsac bag into my checked luggage for extra purchases. They fold up to nothing and weight almost nothing. Which is why I like them.

HOWEVER, if I’m going on a longer trip, or one that involves a lot of walking (London Heathrow, I’m looking at you), I’ll bring a rollerboard carry-on because the wheels make it easier to lug around. I like TravelPro luggage, and George Clooney agrees with me.

I’m always looking for new ways to streamline my travel processes (nerdy, I know), but this is what works for me!


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