I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again: Compared to many, I’m a travel novice. And when I say “many,” I mostly mean Audi. Audi of Fashion for Nerds is my personal idol when it comes to packing advice. Or, really, ANY advice about traveling. Start here:
All that said, I’ve been doing a lot more traveling recently, and have learned that without the following items in my suitcase, I’d be lost:
A few times in recent years, I’ve thought, “Oh, I won’t be doing much walking on this trip. I can pack my fancy shoes.” And then my feet have threatened to divorce me. It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling to Paris to sightsee or driving a few hours to visit your cousin. You WILL walk around more than you do in normal life. (Assuming you aren’t a mail carrier, or someone else who walks for a living.) So pack shoes accordingly. I now know to include shoes that can endure eight or more hours of walking, standing, and exploring. For me, it’s a pair of Tsubo ballet flats that are now discontinued. (Sad. The style is Elath if you want to stalk them on eBay.)
A stocked dopp kit
I realize that virtually all humans travel with products and toiletries. However, I’ve taken to keeping my dopp kit almost fully stocked and packed at all times. It REALLY cuts down on forgotten essentials. I keep at least five days of period supplies, a travel toothbrush and paste, tweezers, a comb, band-aids, travel bottles of my various lotions and potions, a lint roller, and my most-used over-the-counter medications in there. I’m yet to be organized enough to keep doubles of prescription medications, my razor, or my makeup, so those go in morning of … but it helps tremendously to have the majority of my needs socked away in that little case. (Mine is by Travelon and no longer available, the Victorinox version up top is similar.)
I know, sounds about as far from “essential” as humanly possible, right? But here’s the thing: A great multicolored scarf can tie together and refine most outfits. Scarves are lightweight and don’t take up much room, but they can mean the difference between comfort and misery if the weather shifts. Scarves are also fantastic in transit, as they can keep you snug on a cold plane or double as an eye mask if you’re dying for some shut-eye.
A foolproof, backup outfit
I tend to pack in capsules for longer trips, and always try on every single outfit before packing it in my suitcase. But even though I choose my outfits fairly meticulously, I always pack a spare. Something comfy, cute, and versatile that I’ve worn many times before and just works. More often than not, this means a tunic, leggings, and flat boots.
For me, jewelry is the last element to be added to an outfit and I’m pretty fickle about my jewelry choices. So I’ll pack the various earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and watches to complement my various outfits, but I’ll also throw in some versatile basics: CZ studs, silver chain necklaces, bangles, a watch, and other jewelry staples. This helps if I want to switch out something last-minute, or if I happen to buy something fabulous while on the road and need to accessorize on the fly.
What are YOUR stylish travel essentials? Anything surprising? Tell us!
Image courtesy Zappos.
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