- Aveda Shampure Dry Shampoo
Look I get it. It’s 2019 (!!) and we ALL know dry shampoo is bae. I’ve been committed to my Batiste Bare dry shampoo for a solid three years and we are still going strong. But there is a reason why Batiste and I are on a break (and seeing other ppl) when I travel; First of all, I’m a Carry-On-Only traveler which means I can’t lug my 6.73 ounce aerosol can in my suitcase with me. Sure, I could sell a few organs on the black market to fund the arsenal of travel sized Batiste’s I would need to last me for my two week trip, but why bother with that when there is something so much simpler? I present to you Aveda’s Shampure. (Full disclosure, this bb carries a hefty price tag as well, BUT I promise you won’t need to buy more than one of these a year if you travel like I do.) This stuff smells great and absorbs excess oil in a really pleasing way while still leaving my hair tousle-able (very much a word). And if you’re feeling like being extra nice to Mother Earth (and in the financial position to do so), you could swap you aerosol dry shampoos for this year round!
- Shampoo bar
Let’s face it. You are probably going to have to wash your hair at least once on your trip. It’s an unfortunate truth, but it’s reality. And I know you’ve got better things to put in our liquids ziploc bag than shampoo. So get thee a shampoo bar! They last for literally ever (a friend of mine uses shampoo bars exclusively and says her last one last 6 months!!!), won’t cut into your precious liquids rations, and they are even good for the environment because they don’t waste any plastic!!! Look at you saving the world and being a savvy packer!
- Sleeping eye mask
Every travel essentials post includes an adorable sleeping eye mask like this one:
But I’m here to tell you that once you’re done taking a cute selfie for your insta story, these lil things will cease being helpful to you in any way. Do they block out light? No. Do they stay put on your face? No. Do they have Breakfast at Tiffany’s vibes? Ok yes, but we must have priorities people! Do yourself a favor and level up your flight rest game by getting you one of these:
100% light blocking! Soft and squishy without being slippery satin that won’t stay put! And the design is such that each “lens” sort of ~cups~ your eye so you can like open your eyes and flutter your lashes around freely while in complete darkness. Now just sit back, relax, and pretend like you have enough leg room to actually sleep. *upside down smiley*
- Stain remover
This is self-explanatory and tbh I think all adults who carry handbags should have this on hand at all times but it’s even more important while traveling! You have a limited supply of clothing, less access to laundry facilities, and you probably won’t be back at your airbnb for another 10 hours so you are going to need to deal with stains when and where they happen.
- Travel steamer
Ok Imma be honest with y’all on this one– I have yet to take a trip with a travel steamer. Steamers in general made my Best Things of 2018 list though and this list can be aspirational for all of us! Now like I said, I travel exclusively carry-on, so space in my suitcase is v precious. But that also means my clothes are rolled and stuffed and squished to be overhead compartment compliant and that usually means Wrinkle City by the time we land. You can always carry a travel sized bottle of Downy Wrinkle Releaser with you but I mean, that can only get you so far. If you’re attending a special event or taking a special garment with you to wear on a trip, it will make all the difference to be able to steam your item when you’re ready to wear it! (Maybe you have a travel buddy with a little extra room who doesn’t mind toting it for you?)
But I’m not done yet! Another reason to get your a travel steamer is because steaming can legit R E P L A C E the need to wash you clothes! Of course it’s not going to do any stain fighting for you or anything, but I know you already have that covered from the previous bullet, right? Steaming clothes kills bacteria and refreshes fabrics in addition to removing wrinkles. I now have items in my closet that I “wash” exclusively via steaming and my life is so much better for it!
Another item that graced my Favorite Things of 2018 list are these little gifts from god. The reason these are great is because they don’t crease your hair and look cuter on your wrist than a regular old hair tie. Travel life means you’re going to be throwing your hair up a bunch of times, on the plane, eating pho, at the top of a windy mountain, whatever! Have a couple of these on hand so you can throw your hair up in an instant without worrying that you are now committed to that messy bun until your next wash (which let’s be real, could be 5 full days from now).
- Sea salt spray
I am basically just here to make hairstyling easier for you when you travel. Sea salt spray is a product that I virtually never use when I’m at home. I have a blow dryer, a straightener, a curling iron, and a curling wand (these all perform vastly different tasks as you’re well aware) to keep me busy on my home turf. But sea salt spray is permanently kept in my grubby little ziploc bag stowed away in my suitcase. For some reason, the tousled, messy, unkempt look only works for me personally when my Out of Office reminder is set to ON. I have hair that isn’t perfectly straight but could never be conceived of as being curly or wavy in any way, so sea salt spray doesn’t give me ~beachy waves~ so much as a sort of effortless piece-y texture (which I guess doesn’t compliment my corporate lewk for my 8 to 5…) During my honeymoon to Costa Rica, I spent 9 days not touching an appliance for my hair and just hopped in and out of the pool applying sea salt spray now and again and I honestly felt like a beachy vacation goddess the whole time!
- Hair dry spray
So you’re maybe not the free spirit who can ditch all hair tools on a vacation. Truth be told this is the Real Me too (I just pretended to be a boho beach princess for my honeymoon!) and I cannot live without this product, home OR away! MY go-to is the Kenra Platinum Blow Dry Mist and I’m not kidding when I say this cuts my blow dry time IN HALF. This is valuable not only because vacation and travel time are best spent exploring and relaxing and not blowing hot air at your head for half an hour, but also because you may have sacrificed the precious hair dryer space in your suitcase and succumbed to the crappy dryer your hotel keeps bolted into the wall. Either way, cutting down the time spent pointing a blow dryer at your face is a good idea.
- Miranda Bennett wrap top
This. Top. Does. It. ALL. One of my very first ethical fashion purchases, the Miranda Bennett wrap top (mine is a creamy color in silk noil) has come with me on every trip since I purchased it. I wear it with jeans, with skirts, with dresses. It’s hella cute to throw on over your yoga getup (I’ve seen a friend do this…) for heading to brunch. It feels casual but can be dressed up for many occasions. It’s reversible and the long ties give you pretty much limitless opportunities for styling it.
- Bike shorts
You know what ruins a trip? Chafing. Chub Rub. Sweaty, sticky, rashy thighs. And you know what you can do about it? Get some dang bike shorts. And when I say bike shorts, I mean a lot of different things. If you have the fortitude to rock high waisted thigh-length spanx all summer, (and I do!) get it girl. But if you’re planning on taking nothing but sun dresses on your Italian getaway and want to keep the breezy vibes coming, just get some thin, breathable bike shorts from Amazon. These aren’t going to offer the same ~control~ that real shapewear does, but it will certainly prevent chafing and that’s got to be the #1 objective at all times, right?
- Megababe Thigh Rescue
Ok so you’ve read the bike shorts recommendation but you’re still lamenting and saying “Cool, Caroline– but I’m headed to CABO and I’m going to live in a swimsuit for a week!” Girl, I got you. Megababe is a product I discovered through one of my favorite Instagram baes, the12ishstyle. It’s basically a stick of deodorant that is formulated specifically to prevent thigh (and boob!) chafing. I’ve been privy to the deodorant-on-the-thighs hack for a while now (and my husband is a loyal subscriber to this method!) but I found that my regular 24 hour Degree needed to be reapplied A LOT. Then Megababe entered my life. This stuff creates a magical barrier between your skin and, well, your other skin so your gorgeous gams can rub together all they want in that bikini without causing you any pain or irritation. It’s 2019 loves, live your best lives!!!
- Flat or foldable purse
I have a very basic leather kate spade crossbody purse that has become my go-to travel purse. It is very flat but doesn’t skimp on size otherwise. I always have my wallet, phone, chapstick, headphones, and all other plane essentials tucket in my purse that I wear in addition to my backpack and wheeled carry-on luggage to the airport. I don’t want to be digging around in my backpack when it’s time to present my ID. But once I get through security, I put my phone and my boarding pass in my pocket and quickly slide my purse into my backpack. Yes, this does require me planning ahead with my packing so that the purse will actually fit in there when, ahem, push comes to shove. But with a purse that is sized and shaped effectively for this, it should be a breeze!
If you’re already an expert and the above tip made you roll your eyes and audibly sigh “amateur” then hopefully you’re already leveled up to just rocking a wristlet for your airport and travel days. I still packed my trusty crossbody for my trip so I could have it with me on all the regular travel days, but for my time at the airport, all I needed was my wristlet. It is big enough to hold my phone, cards, cash, chapstick, and headphones but I don’t *think* it counts as a “bag” or “personal item” when you’re at the gate. (And if you get a grumpy flight attendant who does think it’s a separate item, no problem just shove that tiny little thing in your bag!
- Extra ziploc bags
The word count on this post is already bananas, so I’m not going to outline for you every single way this will be useful, but just trust me. They take up no space and come in handy A LOT.
First aid is important, but we all know that sometimes our shoes betray us once we start walking all day around a foreign city. I carry about 10 different kinds with me on my trips so that I am literally covered in all situations.
I wear glasses every single day, but I always pack my contacts on trips so that I can rock some sunnies in my travel pics. This is on the list because if you’re a glasses gal like me, these are easily overlooked, but I think really essential to making the most of a fun-in-the-sun holiday.
- Dip mani
When it comes to nail salons, I’ve tried it all. But I got my first dip manicure for my wedding last year and that sucker lasted me the two full weeks until I got back from my honeymoon! I’ve found that in addition to being long-lasting, it’s also more chip/break resistant than a gel manicure (and you don’t have to suffer under the UV lights for this!)
- Travel size razor
I know this seems dumb. If I had seen this on a list before I got one, I would have thought it was really stupid. But I purchased this to take on a trip because I use the Billie razor subscription box and I only have the ONE razor at home and I didn’t want to take it with me on a trip and chance losing it or leaving it behind at my airbnb. I also do not trust disposable razors in any way, shape, or form. So I got this lil guy and the case it came in made all the difference! I kept it in my little shower tote (along with my puff and shampoo/conditioner bars) and I never had to worry about slicing into my finger when I reached for it or wiping the gunk off of it once it melted into whatever it was touching. Seriously. I would never have thought a slightly smaller razor would make my travel life easier, but here we are!
- TSA Precheck / Global Entry
Out of everything on this list, I think this is the biggest upgrade you can make to your travel experiences. It was a bit of a hassle to get the global entry portion because there’s no office in OKC and you have to apply in person during regular business hours. But the TSA Precheck portion is more easily attainable in more locations and honestly gets utilized way more often. TSA Precheck lets you get in this cute expedited line at the airport, plus you get to keep your shoes on and don’t have to take out your electronics and liquids at security (usually). Global entry is super nice when you get back into the country from an international trip and have to go through customs. Like I said, maybe you won’t use that as often, but it’s worth having if you can get it.
So that’s my list! I tried to recommend things that I haven’t already come across on dozens of other blogs and Pinterest lists. This list isn’t exhaustive, obviously. Yes, you need to buy packing cubes, and yes you need a portable battery pack, but I’m going to assume you’ve seen those tips a time or two already. The items on this list are all about solving problems I’ve encountered on my trips and hopefully sparing you the same grief. Now go book your flight!