Traveling is one of the great joys of life: Your horizons are expanded, you see and taste exotic things, and your social media is peak worldly-but-chill. Packing, on the other hand, is no such soul-elevating experience. Because checking a bag is costly and timely, the art of carry-on curating is an essential skill for every true travelista to master. Here, a round-up of the trip-changing travel essentials to bring with you and tips to alleviate the zit-inducing burden that is packing.
An Away suitcase (that's fully worth the hype)
The Bigger Carry-On from Away is actually as life-changing as Instagram says it is. Lifetime guaranteed, it has room for at least 6 to 8 outfits and comes with a laundry bag, three different compartments, a removable battery (so you can charge your computer and phone at the gate), and a lock.
A carry-all duffle bag
If you're an over-packer, a business person, or just a savvy world traveller, Away's Everywhere Bag is another genius way to simplify packing. Just over 16 inches wide and 10.2 inches high (yes, that's small enough to slide under the seat in front of you), the bag securely attaches to any Away carry-on. There's also a hidden, waterproof compartment for storing an umbrella because you never know what the weather will be at your destination.
Ever gotten off a plane feeling like you suddenly have a cold? Us, too, which is why the Safe Travels Kit is a must for any train, plane, or bus trip. The kit, which fits in a handy carrying pouch you can hang conveniently from your luggage, comes with a face mask, pillow case, adjustable seat cover, and 10 sanitizing wipes. All of their fabrics are washable, antimicrobial, anti-allergen, and bed bug proof, so you can stress less and sleep more on your long voyage. Plus, you can have your kit monogrammed when you order online. Who said safety can't be chic?
Safe Travels Kit, $44
A chic and silky teddy
Pro tip: Save space by packing a onesie. Especially if you're headed on a rendezvous, a teddy is a savvy choice. But beyond being popular with your bedroom companion, it's nice to feel like a goddess and not sleep in a baggy t-shirt from college every now and then.
Gummy Bear Rosé
How to live your best life on a plane: Peep image to the left. The limited edition Rosé Gummy Bears Cocktail Kit comes with all of the ingredients necessary to prepare two rosé cocktails, along with Sugarfina gummy bears.
W and P, $25
A soothing pillow spray
Finally, a chic and non-sketchy way to comfortably fall asleep on a plane. This pillow spray from the gods at REN has a calming blend of essential oils, which helps to restore natural sleep balance and aids natural sleep so you can get your necessary seven hours of shut-eye.
REN Clean Skincare, $25
A travel-friendly wallet
Featuring spots for three currencies and 13 credit cards, plus a roomy interior pocket, this American-made leather wallet fully eliminates rummaging without compromising style.
Shades that'll look sharp with everything
Pro tip: never travel anywhere without sunglasses in case the paps find you. Here, a failsafe pair from Westward Leaning with posh, mirrored lenses in a pepper tortoise frame that'll work year-round.
Westward Leaning, $185
An easy breezy midi dress
When in outfit doubt, look no further than a midi dress. Aside from delivering maximum style with minimum effort, midi dresses also offer the seriously underrated travel perk of being able to sit on a train or a plane without feeling the seat on your skin. To the left, a vibrant number that features a zipper and an adjustable waist, so it can do cultural outings during the day and drinks at night.
Boutique Topshop, $185
Comfy, easy city sneakers
No. 1 travel rule: Only bring comfortable shoes. These Anine Bing city sneakers are particularly traveller-savvy because they take up little space when packed, are white leather (so they'll make any outfit look chic and chill), and are as comfy as it gets.
Anine Bing, $279
A travel-sized detangling hairbrush
TTYL, knots. Despite its compact size, this sunshiny brush is heroic in its ability to both detangle and style hair. Editorial note: My hair type is long, unruly curls and this brush has become my go-to for traveling, at yoga before work, or whenever I misplace my full-size version at home (happens often, but I digress).
Simple and flattering swimwear
If there's any chance you'll be by a lake, beach, hot tub, or in the general vicinity of a body of water, a flattering one-piece is a must. This gingham suit's flattering cut out packs a punch without running the risk of a wardrobe malfunction.
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Healthy digestion vitamins
A miracle-working vitamin for when you feel bloated while traveling (you know what I'm referring to). Use sparingly and as advised.
HUM Nutrition, $25
A silk eye mask
If you're flying economy or staying anywhere that doesn't have blackout curtains, don't deny yourself proper, uninterrupted sleep. Luxurious and proven by dermatologists to be better for the skin than typical pillow fabrics, Slip for Beauty Sleep's silk eye mask has become a travel staple of celebrities like Cindy Crawford and Kim Kardashian West.
Slip for beauty sleep, $50
A denim jacket
Serious question: What would we do without denim jackets? Fashionable since the 1960's, they're a godsend for temperature swings, toning down a loud outfit, and matching virtually everything under the sun.
A wear-with-anything top
Minimal with a subtle lingerie feel, this is the rare top that can be paired with literally anything: denim, leather, a cozy cardigan, dress pants, a wild printed skirt...even a pair of straight-leg sweatpants. Bonus: This wunderkind takes up virtually no space when packed.
A scalp treatment to restore hair
This pre-shampoo scalp treatment is a game-changer for remedying excessive dryness, excessive oil, and other weather-induced changes in hair (which often occur when you change climates or go to the beach). Just apply it to wet hair before showering and let it sit for 20 minutes, and your scalp will feel anew.
Phyto Phytopolléine, $40
A thin, leather belt
There's a reason why the skinny belt has withstood the test of time and fads. By breaking up monochromatic outfits and spicing up denim, this small, subtle accessory goes an incredibly long way when it comes to pulling a look together. This particular belt is also a smart way to dip into this season's leopard print craze.
Anine Bing, $199
No brainer: Bring a comfortable pair of jeans that you'll want to live in f0r the entire trip. Need help narrowing down the search? Here's a pair of mid-rise straight-leg jeans with a raw hem. Fittingly, they're named 'Cult.'
M.i.h Jeans, $225
A trio of dreamily scented travel-sized perfumes
The beloved French brand's travel-sized trio of best-sellers will help you smell as nice as you look. Be warned that picking a favorite from these three distinct yet brilliantly paired perfumes is a toughie, as they're all beautifully crafted with hints of rose and musk.
Effortlessly chic and non-flashy bling
A delicate 14-K gold necklace that won't break the bank is a must-have in general, but especially when traveling (read: be smart with what jewelry you bring). Made in a subtle alloy, this piece works perfectly on its own and can also be layered with chains and chokers.
This choker is loud enough to distract from shameless vacation outfit repeating (we all do it!) and chic enough to pull a look together, day or night.
Roxanne Assoulin, $120
Pack 👏 comfortably 👏 when 👏 traveling. 👏 This TNA sherpa fleece number lends itself to effortless street style and feels snug as a bug.
A patterned blanket scarf for layering
Forget pumpkin spice lattes, cozy scarves are the real MVP of fall and winter. They're forever fashionable, practical, and necessary if you're headed anywhere with fluctuating temperatures. Aritzia has a number of reversible scarves that can be styled a number of ways if you're looking to get bang for your buck (and multiple outfits from one accessory).
A miniature facial
Because travel can be physically draining on your skin, this DIY facial is a must. It not only eliminates wasting time and money on a fancy spa treatment, but it works miracles for almost all skin types. To my fellow people with really sensitive skin, this stuff did wonders for me.
Drunk Elephant, $80
Super light with crystal-clear sound, these are a savvy choice for everyday and travel. Pro tip: In-flight entertainment options render wireless options useless, so never forget your corded headphones.
The be-all, end-all under eye concealer
Bags are to be lugged around when traveling, not sagging on your face. This nourishing concealer highlights, smooths, and perfects your complexion (so, while you might feel like a jet-lagged zombie, you won't look like one). Six Touche Éclats are sold every minute somewhere in the world, and for good reason: The product is a miracle-worker for the woman-on-the-go.
Yves Saint Laurent, $38
A do-anything, go-anywhere bag
Ta-da! A sleek, non-boring black bag that works for any and every excursion. Minimal with playful geometric touches and ample storage, it's the only purse you'll need to pack.
Danse Lente, $400
Ask yourself: What would Carrie Bradshaw pack? If there was ever a time to be trendy and dip into the lifestyle blogger within, it's on vacation. With a comfortable 2" kitten heel, these bad boys in crisp white still look sharp with virtually all denim and patterned dresses.
One more pro tip: Always wear your bulkiest pair of shoes on the plane to save space in your carry-on.
Sam Edelman, $140
A versatile eyeshadow palette
Small in size, this subtle or sultry palette includes four shades in warm, golden hues that can be mixed to create a multitude of different day-to-night looks. Whether you're headed for brunch or a night out, the brightening effect won't even need a filter.
Charlotte Tilbury, $39
A travel set of toiletries
Planning on staying in a random AirBnB and using their shampoo? ...Nah, we're good. This kit from Susanne Kaufman comes with shampoo, body lotion, game-changing body oil, body scrub, and an intensive repair mask.
Susanne Kaufman, $75
A blazer for transitional weather and immediate chicness
To instantly elevate any weekend afternoon look (be it a hoodie with high-wasted jeans or a miniskirt), look no further than a double-breasted wool blazer. This one from Ganni has a boxy fit and satin lining so you don't have to compromise comfort for a sophisticated get-up.
Hydrating and illuminating face masks
For that post-flight glow up. This set comes with 7 individual pouches, so you can share with your friends or enjoy all to yourself. It's also 2018, so if you want to do a face mask on a plane, do you.
Doesn't matter if you're headed for the beach or the slopes, sunscreen is the greatest defense against aging and is vital for any day spent outside. Supergoop has long been celebrated in the industry for being an SPF that doesn't make people break out, so ya only have yourself to blame if you're not lathering on a thin layer under your makeup every morning.
A foolproof, water-resistant mascara
Glossier's lengthening lash stick is a particularly smart choice for travel because it's water-resistant rather than waterproof. So, you can emerge from taking a dip in the ocean or having a cry at a powerful museum exhibition/wedding reception/gelato stand without looking like a raccoon. And yet, you don't have to pack heavy-duty makeup remover either.
Jaimie Potters is the Commerce Content Manager at Hearst Magazines Digital Media, where she covers fashion, beauty, tech and more.
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