My Travel Essentials
Ah, tis the season for holiday travel. I am amazed at how quickly this year has just flown by. One minute it’s July and I’m figuring out my new onset seizures – the next Thanksgiving week is over, it’s the beginning of December and we’re approaching an entirely new decade.
Whether you’re on the road or flying across the country, there are a few essentials to consider packing along. I am a notorious pack rat who inevitably freezes on the plane. I also get incredibly motion sick, so preparing for nausea is an absolute must. Dramamine and ginger chews are ALWAYS in my bag!
Also remember the various personalities you’ll encounter whilst traveling – particularly during the holidays and elevated stress levels. These personalities seem to be on steroids this time of year. You can also catch up on my 10 tips for long haul travel, ways to combat holiday craze, and how to beat jet lag.
Let’s Break it Down
Beauty Musts: The airplane is incredibly drying. I don’t care who you are – your skin is absolutely parched after landing. Not only is staying hydrated with lots of water essential – but packing quenching products for your skin and lips is key! I really really love Laneige – I use both lip and face products from their line regularly. I tend to use their lip mask balm every night before bed, but I love their water mask as the last layer of my skincare regimen. It really locks in any product you’ve put on and seals it so you’re getting maximum effect. I also highly recommend the Colleen Rothschild classic combo of face oil No. 9 + the Intense Hydrating Mask – it’s AMAZING for really delivering hydration to your skin and giving you a radiant look in the morning. I also pack a serum to keep my skin vibrant and agreeable. I’ve been using this Bliss glow day & night duo for the past month or so – I’m loving the results! It’s lightweight, affordable and nicely balanced. Bliss also makes an excellent glow set that has all the products you need in one kit. One other bit of advice – I don’t like traveling with a heavy face of makeup simply because your skin is already being choked on the airplane but I also don’t like going bare faced with dark circles. I LOVE this tinted moisturizer by NARS. Most days when I’m out in public I’m wearing this and not a heavy foundation – it still gives great coverage without completely caking on your skin. The older I get – the less I like lots of foundation. Letting my skin be as healthy as possible is the bigger goal.
Staying Healthy & Avoiding Sickness: Airplanes are gross, gross, GROSS. Think of how many people have sat in your same seat within a few days and then think of the germs. No one is wiping down the tray tables or sanitizing hand rests and seats. Absolutely take hand sanitizer and wipes in your purse or carry-on. The holidays are prime sickness season, including the flu, strep, and various viral illnesses. Wash your hands as often as you can, wipe down your seats/tray tables/arm rests, avoid touching your face as much as possible, and stay hydrated. Consider extra vitamin C and immune support as you get ready to travel (but remember, vitamins aren’t candy and should still be discussed with your provider). Also – if you’re immune suppressed OR you happen to be traveling with some infectious disease like strep or the flu (but don’t be that person) WEAR A MASK. Many immunocompromised individuals already protect themselves and wear masks in public places, but don’t be a jerk and infect other people if you’re sick. If you must – go buy a box of masks at the pharmacy and wear it. Who cares if people are staring – you’re being responsible and courteous by not spreading your germs to others.
Accessories: I actually created a standard packing list on my phone that covers a variety of necessities so I can check them off as I go and don’t forget anything. This list includes anything I’ve ever needed for a variety of trips, and obviously it’s not all necessary for every trip – but it’s helpful and maybe it’ll help you make one too.
Things like chargers are easily forgotten. If I’m not sleeping on the plane or in the car – I’m on my phone or my computer. I take along an external battery just in case my phone is about to die. I also came across these simple yet adorable charger tacos while browsing the internet for Christmas ideas. They bind up your cords and keep them from tangling up in your bag. Genius right?
I always use packing cubes and travel bags to keep my stuff in order – my OCD shines through while also looking stylish. Cosmetic cases can widely vary in price but I’ve included a few that are simple and some that are decadent. I’ve also included some travel containers and bottles that make packing toiletries that don’t come in travel size so much easier – AND if your luggage is lost, you didn’t lose the entire product. Lastly – this makeup travel case is seriously the shiz. I bought mine last year and LOVE it! The compartments are adjustable and also has a zip up pocket to fit all of your brushes. Trust me, you won’t be sorry.
Gadgets: I HIGHLY suggest a hand held steamer. I never travel without mine. Hotel irons have ruined my clothes more than once – and steamers do an amazing job of calmly letting out wrinkles. I also travel with my own hair dryer – is it just me or do hotel ones smell like burnt hair? They’re the worst. I love T3 and their line of haircare tools. I have their travel dryer that folds in half, and also have their travel sized straightener that has a cap to keep it closed when not in use. Don’t forget a universal charger if you’re traveling abroad!
When Sh*t gets Real: No really, let’s talk about poop. Everyone does it, it’s a natural process and doesn’t just stop simply because you’re on vacation/traveling and sharing a single bathroom. I never ever ever travel without Poo-pourri. It’s just nicer to not have that worry about smelling up a bathroom and avoiding the unpleasantness. I also used to stock the bathroom down from my office (when I still worked my transplant job) because holy smokes – people landed bombs in that bathroom with zero shame. This spray is 5$ and worth every penny.
What did I miss? What are your travel essentials?
December 2, 2019 @ 3:40 pm
Thanks for sharing these amazing tips and products! I have some international travel planned in 2020 so I’ll def be adding a few of these things to my shopping list!
December 2, 2019 @ 6:06 pm
I’ll be honest and say that I’m relatively low maintenance when I travel, which shocks a lot of people. I don’t have a routine for the plane – and usually just wear normal clothes and work, and I tend to pack very practically (unless I know I have an outfit I want to shoot while I’m on a trip). However, you did a great job of combining practicality with some fun self-care items here and I love that! Great essentials!
December 2, 2019 @ 9:13 pm
I have to bring 89 more things with a toddler but I always remember your list of 5. What a great assortment of travel things.
December 2, 2019 @ 10:07 pm
Love all of these bc I am headed on a trip in feb! Saving this to reference then too!
Chloé Arnold (@ChloeBArnold)
December 3, 2019 @ 10:27 am
YES YES YES So many good suggestions!
December 4, 2019 @ 9:00 am
You and I are basically travel twins! I make the same list! I do everything except step 5 because for some reason hand sanitizer grosses me out a bit. I prefer water and soap all the time but other than that I all about a warm hoodie, cardi, and my Carmex!
December 4, 2019 @ 10:26 am
This post is so helpful! I have a trip to Hawaii coming up and this list is perfect for me!
December 4, 2019 @ 10:50 am
I travel all the time, and this is a GREAT list. I was in Lisbon last year, and it was supposed to be 70 – it was in the lower 50s! I have since purchased a puffer that packs super small to take EVERYWHERE!
December 4, 2019 @ 11:12 pm
lip balm is a must for me too! my lips are so dry especially now in the winter. great travel must haves!
December 8, 2019 @ 6:54 pm
Definitely great tips and a great reminder as well! I am the type that takes a lot with me on the plane like moisturizer because my skin gets dry being on the plane long periods of time. Thanks for sharing! xo
April 1, 2021 @ 7:33 am
Amazing! I know nothing about traveling all over the country, what a wonderful looking place to explore.