I like to think I’m a seasoned traveler. And after spending three years of my life traveling non-stop 4-5 days a week for work, I feel like I’ve earned that title. Every time I post about a trip, I immediately get tons of questions about the truly important stuff: what I travel with.
Having quality travel items has been key to setting myself up for travel success over the years. I used to get so much anxiety about what to pack or what bag to take. And moving towards a more polished, capsule-based closet, packing for trips is incredibly easy.
A Great Bag
The main way to set yourself up for packing success is to start with a great bag. My favorite bag of all time has got to be the Away Bigger Carry-on. I got one a couple of years ago and love it. The size is perfect and has plenty of room. I’ve tried hard-sided carry-ons before but have never found one that gave me the same room as a soft-sided. Speaking of that, I prefer a hard-sided luggage. The great part about living in St. Louis, is that I’ve been on my fair share of commuter jets that gate-check luggage. And I truly do not trust airlines to not tear up my luggage. My Away bag has held up so well. And the battery is ejectable if you have to check it. You can also get the option without a battery.
The other carry-on that’s important is a good tote bag. When I was traveling for work full-time I lived out of my tote bag. So having one that can fit all the little things and still look nice enough to take to a client is important. I am obsessed with all things Cuyana, but the structured tote has been my favorite piece of their entire site for years. It is the perfect work tote and great for vacation.
A weekender bag is another bag that I couldn’t live without. I found myself needing a larger bag for weekend road trips or longer trips with checked luggage. I got this Cuyana Weekender bag for the holidays last year and have loved it so much already. I took it with me to Europe in January and I was able to use it and a checked bag to fit everything I needed. It was perfect for unexpected purchases because it has plenty of room. Another option is to get the smaller overnight version to use as a tote bag as well.
The one travel piece that I think you absolutely must order is this makeup bag set from Cuyana. I got it a couple of years ago and use it every single day. The bigger size is perfect as a daily makeup bag because it can fit so much stuff. I use the smaller one in my tote bag every day with little beauty items like chapstick, mascara, and band-aids.
I’m not a great plane sleeper at all. I think I sleep maybe an hour on red-eye flights. I would genuinely rather spend an entire day flying somewhere than take a red-eye. But to make things a little easier on myself, I started using this silk sleep mask on long flights and was surprised at how much it helped me. I didn’t realize how much seeing other people’s phones, screens, etc. was bothering me, but I was able to sleep at least 3 hours on my last red-eye. I’ve been using it at home too, especially before my trip to ease into using a sleep mask, and it’s been great.
Not using plastic water bottles is something that’s important to me, so I always travel with a reusable water bottle. I love this one from SOMA because the design is just perfect. I also use their water pitcher at home because I love the look of it.
I love to travel with a hat because it makes me feel like I only travel to warm-weather places where life is fantastic. I love a good panama hat like this one that will hold up forever and goes with everything. The thing I DON’T love about traveling with a hat is carrying it around with me everywhere or wearing it with my travel outfit and looking a little bit nuts. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to keep your hat looking perfect, but not have to carry it? Well that’s where Toptote shows up. They make clips for your hats so your luggage can carry them around for you! They are the most genius thing ever and I will forever be grateful to them for creating this.
What are some of your travel must-haves? Anything you can’t live without? Or any little hacks like the Toptote that we all need to know about?