01: Luggage tag & (not shown) lock. Call me paranoid but there is something about handing off my suitcase full of things I love to a complete stranger. Seriously, call me paranoid because that’s what that is. This of course would go on your suitcase, but it’s so cute I had to include it.
02: Headphones and chargers. Even the best laid travel plans will include a layover somewhere so be sure to pack either a charger (and adapter if you will be traveling abroad) or a battery pack like Mophie. I also pack this in my carry-on due to paranoia of my luggage not getting to me on time. Nothing like everything you need being in your misplaced suitcase.
03: Small bag of tricks. This one holds all of them things I always need in a pinch: tylenol, bobby pins, band aids, etc. I’ve learned to pack these things because someone will need them eventually. When traveling abroad, be sure to bring anything like pain reliever or band aids because sometimes they are hard to come by and/or they are expensive.
04: Eye mask. Three weeks ago this bag would have been a lot more full including a neck pillow and a travel blanket. But they are not worth it when you are traveling across multiple cities or countries. I thought that they would be a comfort to me on a plane or a train but honestly they became a headache. The one thing I constantly reached for though? My eye mask — not only for the airplane but for those pesky hotel curtains that like to let morning light in a 6 am.
05: Small wallet. I usually carry a wallet that could double as a clutch (no lie) because I like to be able to store every receipt ever in it. But when traveling abroad or really in general, it’s best to stick to smaller things that you can transport easily from purse to carry-on. I like this one because it’s textured and easy to grab out of my drawstring backpack that I carried in Europe. I also liked that it could zip and I could keep everything, even change inside.
06: Notepad & pen. I’m not sure why I started doing this but I like to keep a notepad with me when I travel, may it be to write down necessities or maybe just thoughts. Sounds cheesy but it’s fun to look back on what you were thinking that day you were stuck in the airport terminal. It’s also helpful if you actually do need to write something down.
07: Sunnies & fakies. I tend to keep my sunglasses with me at all times because again that pesky paranoid thought that everyone is a thief even though the risk of me smashing them is higher than someone stealing them. Sunnies are nice to have especially after a long flight. You can pop big sunnies on and still look semi-human. Fakies are there for the same reason. Our flight out was early and I didn’t feel like putting makeup on to sit in an airplane for 12 hours. So I wore my fake readers to cover up my tired eyes.
09: His & Her lip balm. I always joke that I have to carry such a big purse because I’m carrying my husband’s things, too. All he has to carry is his wallet while I’ve got my husband’s sunglasses go into my purse, his passport, his boarding pass, etc. I also learned to carry his lip balm because mine is usually laced with pink lipstick and for some reason he isn’t into that. Also, after a few hours on a flight you will want all the lip balm you can find.
10: Watch / jewelry. I typically start out at the airport pretty bare as far as accessories go because you just have to take them off when going through security. I do go ahead and back them in my carry on for either the plane ride or right when we land. That way you don’t have to rack your brain to remember if you picked up your watch at security or not because you know it’s already packed.
11: Makeup bag: I like to call this my emergency makeup kit. It’s not everything I use but it could at least make a difference if I’m in a pinch. (More details below.)
12: the holy grail of travel, my iPad. Everything is on this thing, man. I’ve got books, magazines, movies, tv shows, games. You would think that I was trying to entertain a toddler with all of the things I have downloaded on my iPad. But it’s nice to know that I have 4 days worth of solid entertainment for my 9 hour flight.
not pictured: current J.Crew catalog, phone, hand sanitizer and a large bottle of water purchased after airport security. Also a sweet reader reminded me of tissues. ALWAYS CARRY TISSUES.
As I said before I like to have a small makeup bag for a just-in-case my real luggage doesn’t make it situation. It’s also comforting to have little fix-me-ups with me at all times. Yes, I just admitted to my own vanity. I’m okay with this. I like to keep just the essentials with me plus that sneaky 3-oz rule keeps me from overthinking it when I pack. Here is what my emergency makeup kit includes:
01: Lotions. If I’m feeling fancy I’ll pack a small face lotion as well as a general lotion. If I’m not feeling fancy, Jergen’s will do just fine. I’m not usually a lotion-holic but no one can deny just how dry your skin gets when you travel due to obsessive hand washing and dry air. (Just a little tip: if your concealer is looking clumpy or dry after a long flight, rub a light layer of face lotion over the concealer to revive it instead of just piling on more concealer.)
02: Blush / powder.
03: Eye-lash curler and mascara. The best way to look awake after a long flight is to curl those lashes and layer on the mascara. I swear we stepped off the plane after being awake for almost 24 hours and I didn’t look as tired as I felt. The lesson here? Curl those lashes.
05: Lipbalm & lip stain. I also double the lip-stain sometimes as a cream blush. You just have to really blend it, but it works perfectly when you are in a pinch. I also go for a bright color, especially when I don’t have much other makeup on. Bright red lips distract from the tired.
06: Makeup bag.
*unless you have kids and then I have NO idea what you need but it probably won’t fit in this bag.