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I am still easing into summer over here. I’m grateful for the cool weather so far this year because a blazer with shorts can only happen a few times a year here in Texas. It’s actually one of my favorite combinations, I’m not sure why I don’t rock this more often. (Making note to self: wear more blazers and shorts.) 
The fine ladies at Kate Spade asked me to showcase what was in my bag this summer and I thought how perfect since we are talking about travel this week. Although my carry-on was not as cute as this one, I pretty much dumped my unpacked carry on essentials into this one and it was a perfect fit. After traveling to three countries in two weeks I feel like I have the carry on essentials down. The key word here is less. Less is always more when it comes to travel. It doesn’t look like much below but trust me, it really is all you need.* 

Kate Spade is also giving away a dream vacation to Rio, so you’re probably going to want to check that out. 
______________
Wearing: 
(PS: This bag is exclusive to the kate spade new york store at 17 newton in East Hampton, NY. But you can get it online here.)
Without further ado, here are my carry-on essentials:

5.27.14-1header
 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.

08: Passport.

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:

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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. 

04: Concealer.

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. 

***

So that’s what is in my bag, what are your essentials when you travel?

*unless you have kids and then I have NO idea what you need but it probably won’t fit in this bag.

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134 Responses

  1. I pretty much don’t go anywhere without tissues and some sort of lip moisturizer. Oh and that last part about kids has me rollin’.

    1. Me too! Water is so expensive at the airport but there are always water fountains.

  2. FIrst off that bag! omg! Love it! Would be a little scared to take it on vacation with me considering I dont want a whole bunch of people to see whats in my bag but for a beach day this would be great! Secondly I love kate spade and third I live by my ipad too. Loved that you called it the holy grail becuase it totally is!

    XO
    http://aprettythought.org/

  3. I love this Kate Spade tote… so cute and goes perfectly with this jean short look! Plus that blazer… too good!! White & fancy lining!!!

    Classy Chic & Chardonnay
    http://ceislin.com

  4. I pretty much don't go anywhere without tissues and some sort of lip moisturizer. Oh and that last part about kids has me rollin'.

  5. FIrst off that bag! omg! Love it! Would be a little scared to take it on vacation with me considering I dont want a whole bunch of people to see whats in my bag but for a beach day this would be great! Secondly I love kate spade and third I live by my ipad too. Loved that you called it the holy grail becuase it totally is!

    XO
    http://aprettythought.org/

  6. Love your sense of humor! Great packing tips Kendi, I don’t travel that often so when I do I get completely overwhelmed because I have no idea what to bring. Love the blazer + shorts combo, I really need to invest in a blazer!

  7. Where are your fakies from? I need some for real! Especially since I am sporting an eye infection at the moment.

  8. We will be travelling with my son to Disneyland in December and I’m already starting to think about what to pack. He will definitely have his own back pack filled with stuff to occupy him with. I like having a passport holder, where I keep all of our passports together.

    The key to packing is to plan ahead and make lists and to keep what’s in your carryon to a minimum.

    Love your purse. Great ideas.

    Agi:)

    vodkainfusedlemonade.com

  9. This may sound weird, but when I’m on a long trip I also stash an extra pair of underwear in the bottom of my carry-on (usually wrapped in a small plastic sandwich bag so it doesn’t get bottom-of-the-bag-dirty) in case of luggage mishaps or if I want a quick fresh-up after a long flight. If you do end up using them, the sandwich bag also doubles as a good way to carry the dirty pair around without feeling gross, too. This has come in handy several times for me, especially with international travel! πŸ™‚

  10. Maybe a silly question, but do you just dump your make-up bag into the see-through zip-lock for security? That’s always what I wonder. My little ziplock is typically full (I bring a small contact solution, little toothpaste, travel deodorant, etc.) and so I will typically just leave out the make-up, but often wish I had something. Or do they not really check that stuff? Just curious!

    1. I just put my tinted moisturizer in the ziploc bag, since I usually have other things I put in there like hand sanitizer and lotion,etc. Surprisingly most of my makeup is powder based so I don’t even bother to take things out. Also (and I hope this doesn’t jinx my luck) but I rarely take out my mascara, lip gloss or little tub of concealer and I’ve never had a problem. I just leave them in my makeup bag and of course if they wanted to take it out and toss it I would just have to live with that because I choose not to follow the rules πŸ™‚ But I figure lipgloss and concealer is something they see all the time, so I take my chances πŸ™‚

  11. This outfit is perrrrrfect! You look awesome. I wouldn’t normally think blazer + shorts would be a good combo but you make it look goood.

    Even if you have kids, this list of essentials still works great for Mom’s stuff. I wouldn’t sacrifice any of that stuff to make room for the kids’ stuff. That’s what THEIR bag is for πŸ™‚

    PS – L-o-v-i-n-g the lighting/editing in this post. Your blazer really pops. Ask & you shall receive. Thanks Kendi.

  12. Me too! Water is so expensive at the airport but there are always water fountains.

  13. Love your sense of humor! Great packing tips Kendi, I don't travel that often so when I do I get completely overwhelmed because I have no idea what to bring. Love the blazer + shorts combo, I really need to invest in a blazer!

  14. oh wow. that kate spade tote is beautiful! perfect for summer!!!! I think the most important one for me is: small wallet. it’s funny, but wallets can be soo soo heavy! we don’t want that when traveling :0

    Xo, Belen

    Androbel (New giveaway!!)

  15. Where are your fakies from? I need some for real! Especially since I am sporting an eye infection at the moment.

  16. We will be travelling with my son to Disneyland in December and I'm already starting to think about what to pack. He will definitely have his own back pack filled with stuff to occupy him with. I like having a passport holder, where I keep all of our passports together.

    The key to packing is to plan ahead and make lists and to keep what's in your carryon to a minimum.

    Love your purse. Great ideas.

    Agi:)

    vodkainfusedlemonade.com

  17. I’m going to Europe this summer and was highly considering getting a neck pillow, but you’re making me rethink it… How do you sleep?

        1. I totally understand! My dad worked for British Airways so I’ve been flying my whole life but out of no where the past year I’ve found flying extremely nerve racking – like panic attack kind of nervous! I’ve tried a muscle relaxer to help me sleep but it hasn’t helped. After 2 mini wine bottles though I’m usually laughing my butt off! Enjoy your trip!

          1. I’m going to have my xanax on hand, but wine sounds more fun!

    1. I would definitely bring an inflateable neck pillow. That’s the only way I get to sleep and I have years of travel experience! πŸ™‚ Wine makes you feel dehydrated and awful, a neck pillow makes you sleep and prevents your neck from getting sore. Also bring a large scarf to wrap around your upper body. Much nicer that the static airplane blanket (use that around your legs). An lastly, a water bottle, tissues and a face mist (I love Avene’s). Bon voyage!

      http://Www.tallgirlsfashion.blogspot.com

  18. Just a question, was this a sponsored post? I have see 4 blog posts in the past week on the same travel topic with the same tote (Kate Spade) and makeup bag.

      1. Yes, it was πŸ™‚ They are trying to rally people for their Rio dream vacation giveaway so I think that’s why you’ve seen so many this week!

  19. Love that bag! You styled it perfectly. So breezy and perfect for summer πŸ™‚

    daughterofasonofasailor.com

  20. This may sound weird, but when I'm on a long trip I also stash an extra pair of underwear in the bottom of my carry-on (usually wrapped in a small plastic sandwich bag so it doesn't get bottom-of-the-bag-dirty) in case of luggage mishaps or if I want a quick fresh-up after a long flight. If you do end up using them, the sandwich bag also doubles as a good way to carry the dirty pair around without feeling gross, too. This has come in handy several times for me, especially with international travel! πŸ™‚

  21. Maybe a silly question, but do you just dump your make-up bag into the see-through zip-lock for security? That's always what I wonder. My little ziplock is typically full (I bring a small contact solution, little toothpaste, travel deodorant, etc.) and so I will typically just leave out the make-up, but often wish I had something. Or do they not really check that stuff? Just curious!

  22. This outfit is perrrrrfect! You look awesome. I wouldn't normally think blazer + shorts would be a good combo but you make it look goood.

    Even if you have kids, this list of essentials still works great for Mom's stuff. I wouldn't sacrifice any of that stuff to make room for the kids' stuff. That's what THEIR bag is for πŸ™‚

    PS – L-o-v-i-n-g the lighting/editing in this post. Your blazer really pops. Ask & you shall receive. Thanks Kendi.

  23. oh wow. that kate spade tote is beautiful! perfect for summer!!!! I think the most important one for me is: small wallet. it's funny, but wallets can be soo soo heavy! we don't want that when traveling :0

    Xo, Belen

    Androbel (New giveaway!!)

  24. Just a question, was this a sponsored post? I have see 4 blog posts in the past week on the same travel topic with the same tote (Kate Spade) and makeup bag.

  25. Yes, it was πŸ™‚ They are trying to rally people for their Rio dream vacation giveaway so I think that's why you've seen so many this week!

  26. I just put my tinted moisturizer in the ziploc bag, since I usually have other things I put in there like hand sanitizer and lotion,etc. Surprisingly most of my makeup is powder based so I don't even bother to take things out. Also (and I hope this doesn't jinx my luck) but I rarely take out my mascara, lip gloss or little tub of concealer and I've never had a problem. I just leave them in my makeup bag and of course if they wanted to take it out and toss it I would just have to live with that because I choose not to follow the rules πŸ™‚ But I figure lipgloss and concealer is something they see all the time, so I take my chances πŸ™‚

  27. Love that bag! You styled it perfectly. So breezy and perfect for summer πŸ™‚

    daughterofasonofasailor.com

  28. I totally understand! My dad worked for British Airways so I've been flying my whole life but out of no where the past year I've found flying extremely nerve racking – like panic attack kind of nervous! I've tried a muscle relaxer to help me sleep but it hasn't helped. After 2 mini wine bottles though I'm usually laughing my butt off! Enjoy your trip!

  29. Snacks (granola bar or Gardettos) in case I get hungry and don’t want to spend money at the airport. And gum, definitely gum.

    1. For makeup, I pack lip balm, lipstick, comb, hair ties and clips, compact face powder, moisturizer, sunscreen for face and body.

  30. For makeup, I pack lip balm, lipstick, comb, hair ties and clips, compact face powder, moisturizer, sunscreen for face and body.

  31. I would definitely bring an inflateable neck pillow. That's the only way I get to sleep and I have years of travel experience! πŸ™‚ Wine makes you feel dehydrated and awful, a neck pillow makes you sleep and prevents your neck from getting sore. Also bring a large scarf to wrap around your upper body. Much nicer that the static airplane blanket (use that around your legs). An lastly, a water bottle, tissues and a face mist (I love Avene's). Bon voyage!

    http://Www.tallgirlsfashion.blogspot.com

  32. All purpose wipes. Airline seats are nasty and when you need to spend a lot of time on a flight, it’s nice to give everything a little whip down.

  33. All purpose wipes. Airline seats are nasty and when you need to spend a lot of time on a flight, it's nice to give everything a little whip down.

  34. I’d say yes to all of the things, and add any prescriptions, a spare pair o’ panties and maybe a travel size toothpaste and toothbrush. When I travel to visit family in Norway it’s usually a good 24 hours including layovers, so it all helps! (And even longer if your bag gets delayed!) I find myself traveling with baby wipes a lot more too. They’re useful in so many ways. πŸ™‚

  35. I'd say yes to all of the things, and add any prescriptions, a spare pair o' panties and maybe a travel size toothpaste and toothbrush. When I travel to visit family in Norway it's usually a good 24 hours including layovers, so it all helps! (And even longer if your bag gets delayed!) I find myself traveling with baby wipes a lot more too. They're useful in so many ways. πŸ™‚

  36. Love the combination of the denim short, striped top and white blazer with contrast lining! Very chic and perfect for Spring/Summer! The Ray-Ban’s certainly complete the look!

  37. Love the combination of the denim short, striped top and white blazer with contrast lining! Very chic and perfect for Spring/Summer! The Ray-Ban's certainly complete the look!

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