Reader Q&A Vol. 7 | How To Pack

packing tips, travel and packing tips, what to bring when you travel, list of essentials for traveling,

I’ve done an insane amount of traveling in the last 2 months that I feel like I’ve finally mastered how to not find yourself in the middle of a random city and find yourself saying “awe shit I wish I had (insert all those things you always forget)”. Recently with work, Europe and more work, I like to think I’ve finally figured this out. Each trip I started making lists of things I found myself needing, or things that never got used and just took up space.  Here are my go to lists from clothing, accessories and musts for when you arrive. These can all be easily adjusted based on weather too, just try to use your brain, k? K.


I like to stick to one specific color scheme when traveling. Either gold or silver for jewelry and brown or black for apparel. This way you can reduce the amount of accessories and shoes you’ll need. It’ll make your life so much easier.
  1. For bottoms, I like to opt for my favorite go to skinnies in fun colors.
  2. Tops are always neutral since they can go with anything and I don’t feel obligated wearing one a certain day with a particular jean. White goes with everything, so pack lots of white tops. A mix of basics and dressy tops will keep you covered for any situation.
  3. Pack one essential jacket or cozy knit cardigan. Keep this neutral as well and make sure it can go with all your looks. Usually a great leather moto jacket works fine here too.
  4. Shoes are always at least two pairs. I always pack my Oka B’s. They’re like a ballet Croc, but better. They’re actually cute. They make traveling comfy and chic at the same time. No need for sneakers here (unless maybe you’re doing the touristy thing, then I’d recommend a good fashion sneaker like these).  Plus, one pair of a great basic black pump. My Urban Outfitters ones are dressy enough for work meetings, but also perfectly fine for day to day wear.
  5. Jewelry should be kept simple. I usually wear any expensive pieces while traveling to make sure they don’t get lost and pack the costume jewelry separate. A good gold or silver statement necklace is great for sprucing up jeans and a tee while traveling. Plus, sunglasses that are inexpensive so you won’t be pissed if you lose them.
  6. Not pictured, the obvious sleepwear, lingerie and any work out clothing you may want to bring. 


I like to split up my toiletries into two bags (Stephanie Johnson ones of course because they’re neon and amazing). One for makeup which I use on the daily already at home since it has all my daily basics in there. And the 2nd, a larger one for all your other necessities. Below are a few unexpected things I have learned to always include in my bag. You’ll thank me later when you get a cut, find a stray hair on your chin or get the shits. Hey it happens people.
  1. Tweezers – you never know when you’re going to need a quick pluck or even a splinter.
  2. First Aid items – Pepto or Immodium, Neosporin (they have cute tiny packets now, Alka Seltzer (to cure hangovers) and Advil. Bring any of your normal day to day vitamins, allergy meds and so on. Staying in your routine is important while traveling so you don’t throw your immune system off and get sick.
  3. Sunscreen – I wish I had this when I was on Mt. Hood at 16 and getting burnt to a crisp. Yes on a mountain, in a snowsuit, while snowboarding. You can get burnt anywhere.
  4. Kleenex – Because picking your nose on the plane and not having a tissue just sucks.
  5. Nail File and small nail clippers – You know you wish you thought of this one.
Outside of these always bring your usual suspects; shampoo/conditioner, body wash, face wash, makeup remover, lotion and hair products. Q-tips, cotton balls and whatever else you use every day.  I like to go through my morning routine when I’m packing and make sure everything I’m using is getting thrown in this bag to cross check myself.


A few other tips and essentials for when you’re traveling.
  1. A lightweight crossbody purse is ideal.  Ditch your big Mary Poppins bag, your back will thank you. 
  2. Trade in your bulky heavy wallet for a little one of these (I mean who doesn’t love studded leather) to hold your essentials. You don’t need your coupons, coins, West Elm store card or any of those other things on your trip. 
  3. A great book/kindle and headphones
  4. Chargers, cameras, etc.
  5. Snacks – I like to refrain from eating shit at the airport. It’s easy to get off track the second your trip starts by devouring a donut last minute before you board. But pack some granola bars, Larabars and whatever else you think may be delicious to have on hand. This has saved me from having a “Snickers” moment while on the road with friends or co-workers and definitely some calories.
  6. A backback for your purse, snacks and anything that didn’t fit into your suitcase. It just makes traveling so much easier to rock a backpack. Handsfree and so convenient.
  7. As soon as I get to my destination, I like to scope out the neighborhood and find the closest drug store or grocery store. Buying a big bottle of water helps me stay hydrated and keeps me from dying of thirst and grabbing the $5 Fiji water at the hotel mini bar. I also may buy a few pieces of fruit to have on hand in the room as well. 
All of these tips should help ensure you have a smooth trip and help make getting dressed and ready in the morning easier. 

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4 Comments | October 22, 2013

4 thoughts on “Reader Q&A Vol. 7 | How To Pack

  1. Jenna M

    Love these tips! Perfect for my trip to New York City in December – I have to figure out how to fit bulky winter items in a carry-on suitcase. I’ve also started brining my own snacks for the plane, so much better then that airport junk!

    Jenna l Clothed in Confetti


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