9 things i can’t travel without

SWEATER   leith ribbed shawl cardigan (#NSALE, size down one size, I’m wearing an XXS)   |   TOP   v-neck tee (#NSALE, wearing size XS)   |   JEANS   calson sierra skinny jeans (#NSALE, wearing size 24)   |   EARRINGS   dean davidson hoop earrings (#NSALE)   |   NECKLACE   gold pave circle necklace (#NSALE)   |   LUGGAGE   pink chevron luggage set (#NSALE)   |   BAG   barrington st. anne tote   |   SHOES   pink tassel slides (#NSALE, true to size)

Happy Monday, y’all! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I loved getting some downtime in Dallas, and am feeling ready for the week ahead!

I’m heading off on a family trip at the end of this week (hint hint… we go every year) and in honor of that, I thought it would be fun to share my packing necessities. These are items I used for my recent trip to Italy, and I’m excited to share these little life-savers with you today!

Let me know if you have questions on any of the things I’ve listed below. I hope they help you with your excursions!

And don’t forget… The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale opens to EVERYONE this Thursday! Mark your calendars! Now… let’s get started!

1. Rolling Luggage Set (currently part of the #NSale)

If there’s one aspect concerning luggage sets that I recommend above all others, it’s that the set is able to roll upright! As in, you don’t have to drag it behind you but can push it along with you. This is seriously a game changer. Not only does this make luggage so much easier to lug around, but it also allows you to set your purse/jacket/anything else you may be bringing along right on top. (See the second and third photo in this post to see what I mean.)

For as much traveling as I do, I held off on purchasing a more expensive set of luggage until just last week. There are so many brands out there, and all so expensive, so I kept rebuying rolling bags from Target while I researched and waited to make a decision. When this pink chevron set went live as part of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, I pulled the trigger immediately! It had everything I wanted… the ability to roll upright, the darling pink color, a hard shell and a built-in lock on both the checked and carry-on bag.

I can’t wait to keep y’all updated on how this set wears! It’s currently sold out, but will most likely be restocked in the coming week or two. I’ll notify y’all once it does!

2. Packing Cubes

I’ll be the first to admit that this is one packing accessory I thought was a total gimmick. That is until I went on a pre-Italy Container Store craze and came home with this set. Let me tell you… I will never travel without them again!

Why the change of heart? These cubes simultaneously organize and condense all of your clothing into compact, tidy compartments that make keeping up with (and finding) everything in your suitcase a breeze. I use the large envelope for dresses and blouses (and can fit over 10, folded!), the middle-sized bag for jeans and t-shirts and the smallest for socks and undergarments. Worth every penny!

3. Ostrich Pillow

Ahh, yes. The famous ostrich pillow! I decided to hop on this crazy train in preparation for my flight to Rome, and y’all I loved it. But not for the reasons I expected! Let me explain.

Yes, this pillow is soft, but my favorite thing about it was the light-blocking aspect! Unlike a small eyemask, I found that this pillow blocked out all light, muffled sound and made resting against the wall of the plane or my tray table so much more comfortable. Plus, you can wear it around your neck as you walk through the airport for easy transporting.

Now be warned… you will make friends with the flight attendants if you bring this on a flight. They find it hilarious! I don’t take this on shorter flights, but anytime I want to get some sleep in, this thing comes with me!

4. Bose Headphones

A few years ago, I received a pair of Beats headphones for Christmas. I was so excited about them… until I quickly realized they made my ears sore after about 30 minutes of wear!

Ever since, I’ve been saving and researching for a pair of headphones as a replacement. What were my criteria? Noise canceling. Wireless. Not heinous looking. Most importantly… comfortable.

After a lot of research, I finally landed on this pair of SoundLink II Around-Ear Bluetooth Headphones. Friends, I give them five out of five stars conservatively!

Let me start with the most important thing in my opinion, comfort. These headphones are so comfortable that I actually wore them the entire flight from Dallas to Rome even when I wasn’t listening to music! They canceled out all the noise (apparently there was a crying baby the whole time that my family had to listen to… not me! :) and didn’t hurt my ears at all. I was genuinely shocked at how long I wore them and how comfortable they were!

Next up, the battery lasts incredibly long, and the Bluetooth connection is super easy to set up. And aren’t they so cute? The white/tan color combination is always one I can get on board with.

If you can’t tell, I’m a huge fan of these babies. Totally changed my flying experience!

5. Makeup Organizer

I’ve tried many over the years, but have found that my favorite makeup organizer for traveling is the classic fold-up, hang-up version you can find almost anywhere! I found this one at Bed, Bath & Beyond a couple of years ago, and it has come with me on every trip since. I put my bigger makeup products (palettes, brushes, bronzers, etc) in the bottom pocket and smaller products (concealer, sponges, eyeliner and mascara, etc) in the middle pouch. The top zippered area is reserved for Q-tips and my razor!

6. Liquids Bag (sold out, similar linked)

Let me start off by saying this. I don’t ever pack liquids in my carry on. I just can’t handle the stress of it… making sure everything is the right size, remembering to pull them out before screening, no thank you. Instead, I just pack my normal-sized liquid and aerosol items in this nifty bag. (Sold out from Container Store, but found a similar here.) It’s remarkable how much I can fit in (my full hairspray, shampoo, dry shampoo and conditioner and more!) and it’s easy to rinse if anything spills. (I had a nasty experience with a sunless tanner bottle once… oops!)

To me, this really is the best way to keep anything that can leak or “explode” in-air isolated and organized. There are more expensive versions of this see-through container out there, but this one has served me so well!

7. Hair Tools

“What hair tools do you take abroad?” has probably been my most-asked question this summer! There are all sorts of converters/adapters out there, but if you want to be safe I recommend only bringing dual-voltage tools. American tools require a different amount of voltage than European outlets offer, so simply using a plug adapter to plug your American tool into a European adapter doesn’t mean it’s working. (I learned this the hard way by ruining a straightener a few years back!)

If you don’t have dual-voltage hair tools, I really recommend purchasing a less expensive dual-voltage appliance just to be safe. (Here’s a dual-voltage hairdryer, straightener and the curling wand I’ve used since college that I still love!)

Once you purchase a dual-voltage American device, make sure you have a plug adapter so you can actually fit it into a non-US plug! (And make sure the adapter you buy is for whichever country you’re going to!)

8. Barrington St. Anne Tote

I don’t think I could count how many times I’ve posted about my all-time favorite tote, the St. Anne from Barrington. It is hands-down the best (in my opinion) and the only tote I bring as my “purse” on plane trips. (Or any kind of trip, really.)

It fits my large laptop, my large agenda, a book, wallet, sunglasses, snacks and so much more. Plus, it is so durable and wears in beautifully with time.

Have I mentioned it’s customizable? Warning – you may spend the rest of your day designing your dream bag here.

9. Sweater

No matter what time of year or destination I’m flying to, I always bring along a sweater for the plane ride. First off, you never know how cold it will get and secondly, I find it makes me feel less germ-y. Haha! This one from the Nordstrom sale is so soft, a fabulous neutral color and on sale for $45! Heads up, I’m wearing an XXS. I’d recommend sizing down one!

Now I’m dying to know… what are some packing tips and tricks you can’t live without?!

Love from Texas,

Kate

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40 Comments

  1. Courtney said:

    Thank you for sharing this. I love seeing what other people travel with and carry in their bags. It gives a bit of inspiration to those of us who don’t get to travel often. I’m a fairly new follower so I am unsure where you are going but I hope you have loads of fun! And I can’t wait to hear all about it! xx Courtney poshdarlingblog.com

    Published 7.16.18 · Reply
  2. Sloane said:

    Loved this post! I always travel with a large scarf no matter the time of year to keep me warm and use as a pillow. After seeing that ostrich pillow, I might have to invest in that!!

    Published 7.17.18 · Reply
  3. Katie said:

    Deff agree with the travel pouches!! I used a bunch for my trip to Hawaii and they came in so handy. I kept all my items in them during my month trip there and it made it so easy to pull out my headphones from a specific pouch and then also grab makeup from another pouch. Thanks for this post girl!

    Katie | http://www.sunshinestyleblog.com

    Published 7.17.18 · Reply
  4. Kristen said:

    I ordered that cardigan for me in gray for fall! Thanks, Kate!

    Published 7.19.18 · Reply
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