I hope you’ve been enjoying our Travel Series so far! If you read my last post, you’ll remember that I only covered half of the topic on packing. Last time I discussed how to pack for common tough packing situations, and in this post I’ll be answering our top “what to pack” questions that I’ve received from readers. I’ve broken down essentials I bring with me on long trips, the items I always have ready to throw in a bag and go, the luggage I travel with and how much I bring, my favorite travel shoes and more!
What are the things you always pack?
My carry-on is pretty much always ready to go at a moment’s notice. Since we travel so often, there are definitely items that I always have on my packing list regardless of season, destination or length of trip. Those items are: the obvious underwear and socks, a white tee, a light layer (cashmere cardigan or striped pullover), a scarf, sneakers (great for those traveling days, hours of walking and just in case I want to workout) and a pair of jeans. I always want to have at least one comfy outfit to wear home (so this is where the jeans and a tee always come in handy).
I’m headed on a long trip, what should I pack?
One of our favorite tricks for a long trip is to book an Airbnb that has a washer and dryer right around the halfway point. Unless you don’t mind an adventure to the laundromat. I’m notorious for overpacking for long trips, but it’s much different for us since we’re shooting content and campaigns for the blog when we travel. If we don’t travel for work, I’m much more aware of packing items that can be reworn many ways. Mixing and matching pieces is key to getting the best use out of your limited space. It always helps me to go through what the activities are that we plan on doing so that I can be prepped and ready and not have to go out and buy last minute stuff when we’re at our destination.
How do you decide on what handbags to bring?
The destination and what we’ll be doing at said destination really determine what I’m going to need. For example, if we’re going to be outdoors exploring the whole time, bringing a handbag and clutch is completely unnecessary. For our trip to Alaska, I brought one backpack and used that the whole time. For other trips, when I want to be dressed up and we’re going to nice dinners and events, I bring a few neutral bags that can be worn with all of the clothes that I’m packing. I usually bring one bag for activities, one tote bag for daytime and one evening bag.
How much luggage do you travel with?
An honest answer is, a lot more than normal travelers. For long trips that I have lots of time to prep for, I try to plan as many of my outfits ahead of time as possible, that way I don’t bring items I’m not going to wear. As I mentioned above, I pack way more than the average traveler because when we travel, it’s an opportunity to create content for Gal Meets Glam. If this trip is longer than 10 days, I usually have my Hartmann set along with a duffle packed away for items picked up during the trip.
What tools do you always travel with?
Our travel steamer and my curling iron are two items that make every single trip. Camera gear is always a must for us. Electrical items like a large portable backup charger and car phone charger are always on our packing list too. If we are going to another country we will bring outlet adapters. We used to travel with a GPS for driving but we’ve found them to be unreliable, it’s worked best if we use Google Maps and use the “Save for offline” feature.
I’m going to another country, what should I do about electrical appliances?
Get a few quality electrical outlet adapters. We’ve had nothing but bad luck with power converters and decided they’re not worth using. A few weeks before your trip, check your appliances to see if they are dual voltage. Computers and phone chargers are typically dual voltage already, but you’ll want to triple check your steamers, straighteners, curling irons and blow dryers. If you are someone that has to have your straightener, curling iron or steamer it might be worth it to go buy one as soon as you arrive or see if you can order a new dual voltage one ahead of time. My curling iron is dual voltage.
What should I pack for a tropical vacation?
I have a mental checklist that I repeatedly use every time we go somewhere tropical. It’s fool-proof and never lets me down. I used to always pack way more than I needed to for tropical trips. At the end of the day, I spend much more time in a swimsuit and coverup than I do in a full-on outfit, so light pieces to throw on and go are key. I try to make items that I wear to the beach work for afternoon or night activities, too. For example, I always bring a white button down with me. I throw it on open over a swimsuit (like here) to the beach, but then I’ll tie it to wear with denim shorts for lunch and then wear it buttoned up with a skirt and wedges to dinner. It’s effortless and simple – the kind of ease I want on vacation.
I’m going on a trip where I’ll be walking a lot, what shoes do you recommend?
My absolute favorite travel shoes are my Nike Air Max sneakers. This is the exact pair that I have. I bought them in grey a few years ago, then bought a pink pair and most recently this blue pair. You could say I’m obsessed. They’re my favorite for actual travel days, but then I’ll wear them throughout our trip, whether we’re go on a walk in the morning, grabbing coffee in something comfy, working out or on our feet all day. I always bring a pair of flats with me, too. My Chloe flats are my favorite because they’re buttery soft and are so comfortable to spend the entire day in. They are pricey, so if you’re looking for a similar, more affordable option, this pair is almost identical.