Friday Five: 5 Travel Essentials

what to pack on vacation for mexico

See the full outfit here

With summer in full swing, my social media feeds are filled with lots of weekend trips. As someone who is on the move regularly, I’m sharing my 5 travel essentials. Here are the five things I swear by to make living out of a suitcase a little more manageable!

Let me just admit something first. Packing is the worst. Unpacking might be even worse though. And the in between is awesome with a side of slightly uncomfortable since you’re living out of a bag, essentially. But whether you’re traveling to Europe or Mexico, here are my tips for staying organized and stylish!

The Perfect Luggage

Having a luggage set that you love is the first element of travel. Sure, that duffle bag you’ve been using for years does the job, but if you have a passion like traveling, it’s okay to invest a little in something that protects your stuff (without tearing up your shoulder). And when I say “set”, I mean you just need 2 pieces. A carry on (around 21”) and checked bag. Note that I recommend not getting the biggest checked bag there is. You’ll be tempted to fill it, pushing the boundaries of that 50 lb. weight limit. No one wants those awkward airport moments where you’re trying to shuffle your undergarments into your handbag!

The second requirement for me is having a spinner. I held out for so long thinking they were nerdy or not cool but let me tell you, they make life a heck of a lot easier. When you’re as klutzy as I am, you need something with maximum potential to roll in every direction. You’ll thank me later when you trek across a cobblestone street or are running through the airport to catch your flight.

Also, get a color other than black. I had to borrow Matt’s luggage on my trip to Mexico and had a terrible time trying to find it at baggage claim. I’ll take purple, pink, or some obnoxious pattern please! Who wants to look at every luggage tag, creeping on someone else’s goods? Sure, you can add a cute luggage tag, but I’m all about low risk travel. I want to spot my suitcase from 100 yards away.

Crossbody Bag

Whether I’m stateside or exploring a foreign country, I feel safer when my valuables are safely strapped to my body in a crossbody bag. I’ve linked to a few of my favorites here.

I try to look for bags that are zipped or have clasped closures. Sometimes, I’ll even swap out a crossbody for a deep tote – especially for the airplane ride. Matt always tries to put his stuff in my bag plus with all the things I carry, I like to have more space! I took this canvas crossbody with me to Cuba and loved the casual vibe of it! It’s not as secure as a zippered crossbody but it was perfect for the occasion nonetheless!

Make Up Bags

Having a quality makeup bag is amazing. I used to use this one from Beautycounter (which I love because of the washable interior) but recently did a little refresh with these two from Cuyana. I love that the leather is quality and the interior is easily wiped down. They also monogram! It was so hard for me to pick a color too – all of them are gorgeous! I opted for the Ecru but Pearl Grey and Olive also looked gorgeous. You can have one for makeup and one for all your liquids. Note that the smaller one can’t fit makeup brushes in it so I ended up putting them in my bag with toothpaste and my skincare. There’s also an open pouch on the inside of one of the sides as a little extra compartment.

Jewelry Carrier

I’ll always remember when I pulled out this jewelry carrier on a girls’ weekend in Santa Barbara a few years ago. Everyone needed it. Tired of carrying my jewelry in little pouches I’d collected from various purchases, I knew there had to be a better solution. I also had zero patience for spending an hour untangling my necklaces once I arrived at my destination. Only to give up and go necklace free for the night. Not worth it.

That’s when I found this Reed & Barton case online and it’s only $26 (also comes in turquoise)! It has a place for your rings, studded earrings, multiple places for necklaces (you can hook 2 necklaces per clasp at least), and multiple zipped organizers. This carrier has lasted me almost 8 years. It’s been through quite a bit and I still don’t feel the need to replace it. I wouldn’t be surprised if it lasted me another 8 years! Since my love of Cuyana is continuing to grow (the quality continues to impress me), I’ve also had my eye on this lavendar jewelry case.

A Steamer

If this sounds superfluous, it isn’t. Having a travel steamer has changed my life. Wrinkles in clothing are my pet peeve. I don’t know why more brands haven’t utilized wrinkle-free fabrics. Seems like a miss on their part. In the meantime, I’ll take my $30 steamer with me. This steamer has been around the world with me. While I’d be lying if I said it’s survived every voltage and international socket, it’s survived enough to make me keep buying it (I’m on my 3rd). Plus, I think most of the instances where it’s stopped working have been user error…

You can fill this travel steamer with water from the faucet. No need for distilled water like with my favorite in-home steamer (Matt uses ours every day to steam his business shirts). It comes in a handy little pouch. And you just can’t beat this price to put your look together.

Do you have any travel tips you swear by? What are they?

11 thoughts on “Friday Five: 5 Travel Essentials

  1. I am loving all of your travel essentials! I am heading to Europe in August so this is perfect timing for me!

  2. Couldn’t agree with you more, love all your suggestions.. I have that exact steamer, I take it with me every time
    I travel, because I won’t be caught dead waking around in wrinkled clothes.

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