My Road Trip Essentials

Thanksgiving is usually one of the biggest travel weeks of the years, so before you get on the road, I thought I’d share some of my travel essentials that get me through the stress and boredom of long car rides. If you are traveling home by air, you can check  out my Carry On Essentials HERE.

Tote Bag :: Wildfox “Don’t Wake Me I’m on Vacation” Sweatshirt (similar here) :: Eye Mask :: Seat Pak :: Charger :: Mini Emergency Kit :: First Aid Kit :: Concealer :: Serum :: Eye Cream :: Moisturizer :: Travel Journal :: Sunglasses :: Mace :: Flashlight :: Camera :: Crossbody Bag :: Wet Wipes

I carry everything in my over-sized tote bag – I need something pretty big and durable for all of my bits and bobs. This Rebecca Minkoff tote is like a slightly edgier Longchamp. To keep things organized in a big bag, Flight 001’s Seat Pak is a must have. It’s super sleek with tons of pockets for all your little items.

Inside the tote bag, I keep it versatile and include a small crossbody for throwing on in case we stop to explore. When I drive to visit my family in Chicago, there isn’t much exploring to be done, just gas stations and corn fields. When I moved from LA to St. Louis, however, there was SO much to stop and see in Nevada, California, and Utah. This little bag is perfect for your phone, wallet and keys, so you can nimbly explore and leave your massive bag in the trunk.

For guidance, advice and entertainment, I always load up my phone with awesome apps. I did a round up of my favorite road trip apps on THIS POST.  I also recommend packing paper towels. I have been victim to many a Starbucks spill in my day and have learned my lesson re: having clean up tools on hand. Additionally, you should stash some wet wipes. Three words: gas station bathrooms. I’ll be disinfecting every surface.

Some other boring, but necessary items are bug spray, a water bottle, a portable charger and a first aid kit. Nothing glamorous, but they all serve their purpose.

For safety, I think every female driver should bring a flashlight and mace (pink, of course). Stopping at night can feel sketchy and you never know when you’ll have to pull over in the dark, so these add some extra security. Last, bring a hard copy map. You can’t predict if your phone might die or you’ll be in an area with bad phone service.

Stash some comfortable shoes like these Nikes for aforementioned exploring. I’m a huge flip flop fan, but was thankful I had sneakers on me when we stopped in Zion National Park. Also toss in some snuggly socks or slippers for when you’re back in the car. My feet get so cold in the car, so I always need something warm and cuddly when I sleep. Wildfox makes some super soft, oversized knits to also protect from any cranked up AC.  For an even better night’s rest, I pack an eye mask or large sunglasses (these from Le Specs are so colorful and fun) to block out any light or sunshine. Yes, I’m a diva.

Overnight eye cream, serum and moisturizer are musts to stay hydrated. Cars, like airplanes, are extremely drying with all that air con, heating and recycled air. These travel sizes (they’re from collecting samples at Sephora over the years) are perfect and will keep your skin from freaking out.

Dry shampoo and concealer are great to freshen up at your final destination. Hopefully, if you’re driving through the night you can just crash in bed when you arrive, but you never know if you’ll have to hit the ground running or run into a really hot hotel attendant.

To keep you and your car smelling humane, be sure to grab some deodorant and dryer sheets. A considerate travel companion is a great travel companion.

Since I love writing, I make sure to pack a travel journal to keep track of my adventures. I always think I’m going to remember names of restaurants, people we met, or funny anecdotes, but I always end up forgetting! I’m pledging to write more down for posterity and future nostalgia. I love this travel journal from SS Print Shop. A moleskine is durable, portable and works well too.

A road trip is the perfect opportunity to pack an old-fashion camera, especially an instant one. I love polaroids, and being on the road can provide some awesome, quirky subjects perfect for instant film.

When  I travel by plane I usually rely on Real Housewives reruns or books to keep me entertained. I still love these entertainment mediums during car rides, but they sometimes can make me a bit carsick and are tough on my eyes at night. So, I’m sure to prepare something to listen to and rely on music, podcasts or audiobooks to get me through a long road trip. Some of my favorite podcasts are Serial, Freakonomics, The Economist (nerdy, but so informative), and Stuff You Missed In History Class.

Last, but not least, you should definitely bring a good attitude. This is cheesy, but trips of any sort are what you make of them. Yes, you’re trapped in a small space with the same people for hours at end, but you can also have a great time full of laughs and future memories. Just stay positive, be prepared, and find ways to make your drive time more amusing.

Hope you have a safe Thanksgiving journey!

Love traveling? Grab $35 in Air BnB credit when you create an account through THIS LINK! It’s free to you, and I’ll receive a credit when you sign up. Thanks and happy traveling!

This is not a sponsored post and all products were purchased with my money. Affiliate links are occasionally used when linking products. This gives me a small percentage of a purchase total through these links. This does not affect the price you pay for items through these links. All ShopStyle & AirBnB links are affiliate links.

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Travel Beauty Essentials

While I can sometimes be a glamazon, my travel beauty regimen has become lean and practical. I don’t want to have to check a bag just to bring some fancy lotion, and I need a low maintenance, comfortable look for long days of sightseeing with my face often exposed to the sun or other elements. After much trial and error, I’ve begun to perfect my list of essentials – multipurpose, often inexpensive items that keep me looking halfway decent with little fuss.

BB Cream
While I normally wear foundation day to day, I opt for a dual purpose BB cream on trips that will not only even out my skin tone but also moisturize. My skin can be super sensitive when adjusting to new climates, so this coverage is light and gentle enough to prevent redness or breakouts. I’ve tried Garnier’s BB as well, and this Maybelline version was longer lasting and better consistency.

Under Eye Roller
Garnier does, however, make a sick under eye concealer. It covers up dark circles, and rolls on using this cooling ball that helps to de-puff. Perfect for jet lag.

Dry Shampoo
I’ve tried multiple brands, and Batiste is my favorite, beating even more expensive Klorane or Drybar options. It helps me to refresh my mane after a long flight or a jam-packed day touring Westminster Abbey.

Nars The Multiple
A dewy blush in solid form, so less risk of a compact breaking and a less drying finish than powder. In the cult classic shade, Orgasm. It’s literally flattering on everyone and lasts forever.

Wet Brush
My curly hair gets seriously tangled, and this brush eases through wet hair and sorts out my rat’s nest. Perfect for after a long day at the pool, or ya know after a shower.

Sephora Samples
Whenever I visit Sephora or Ulta, I’m sure to grab samples, often of moisturizer or mascara. They’re the perfect size to throw in your quart size ziploc. On my recent trips, I’ve been trying out this Lancome mascara and Korres night cream. Much easier to stash than full sized versions, and I don’t have to worry about potentially losing expensive designer skincare or makeup.

Smashbox mini palette
Matte and glittery shades to amp up your look when you get invited to a discotheque by a hot Italian. Sadly, this didn’t happen on my trip, but it was much easier to carry around than a full on Naked palette. It’s kind of expensive, but will last a long time.

It’s a 10 Miracle Leave In Spray
This spray is a stylizer, frizz remover and leave in conditioner all in one. It was a lifesaver in Italy, when I quickly learned that hotels are adverse to giving you hair conditioner. Plus, it makes my curls look more put together when I can’t be bothered to blow dry – which was every day on vacation.

Oldie but goodie from Sonia Kashuk’s Target line. Bright and colorful means easy to find in my black suitcase.

Boots Facial Wipes
Way better than the Neutrogena version, because the solid closure prevents them from drying out and you thereby wasting half the wipes. I’m prone to breakouts, so I’ve become religious about taking my makeup off with a wipe, and then proceeding to wash my face. This routine definitely doesn’t falter on vacation – my selfies need to be on point 😉

Visine Eye Drops
As I’ve mentioned, travel (planes, hotel rooms, new climates) can leave you seriously dried out. Eye drops keep your baby blues moistened and looking alert. They’re also a great way to hide a hangover.

What are your must-have travel beauty products? I’m always looking for something to make my routine more efficient or just new holy grail products.

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Travel Tuesday: Carry On Essentials

I am jetting (not literally, I’ll be going commercial as usual) off to Italy next week, so I am in full on planning mode. One essential piece of planning is ensuring that my carry on is packed and ready to keep my flight comfortable, clean and boredom-free. Below I’ve shared some of my essentials for a stress-less and all around zen journey.

1. I am a Longchamp devotee, and nothing beats these durable bags that can fold up once you’re finished with them. They’re ready to be overloaded in flight, then out of my way once I reach my destination.
2. I’ve been using this Flight 001 seat-pak to keep my smaller items organized and easy to find.
3. A girl’s gotta have her passport and wallet on hand in order to get around. Be sure to have some currency from the country your visiting on hand in case airport cabs only take cash, or you have trouble finding a currency exchange once you land.
4. I am a horrible sleeper, but this foam neck pillow and eye mask help me get at least some decent shut eye on long flights. The mask molds over your eyelids, so as not to disturb rapid eye movement. I also carry some ear plugs, to shut out any noisy seatmates.
5. Long flights can be full of germs and leave you feeling all around less than fresh. I always stash some wet wipes to wipe down my arm rests and fold down tray. Emergen-C also helps to prevent you from catching anything from sick passengers. You may look like a germophobe, but at least you won’t land at your destination with a cold!
6. My iPhone is always fully stocked with Spotify playlists, eBooks, and several seasons of Bravo shows for in-flight entertainment. You never know when your airline provided entertainment may malfunction or just suck. Additionally, I bring a good ole-fashioned book in case I get tired of staring at a screen. This travel-inspired read “What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding,” will definitely stoke your wanderlust. Lastly, I’m sure to bring my moleskine notebook, in case inspiration strikes or I want to be sure to remember something once I land.
7. Long plane rides can leave you looking tired and dull, so I’m sure to pack a few skincare and makeup items, so I’m looking my best upon landing. My makeup bag includes some Cetaphil, mascara (this Benefit one is amazing!), concealer, BB cream, a Nars multiple to add a little color, a highlighter (love Benefit’s Watts Up!), eye cream, dry shampoo, and a great night cream sample. Once I land, I also change into some fresh clothes and some sunglasses, to hide any dark circles of course.
So, did I forget anything? Let me know if you have any essentials that I should be sure to pack on my transatlantic flight!
Love traveling? Grab $35 in Air BnB credit when you create an account through THIS LINK! It’s free to you, and I’ll receive a credit when you sign up. Thanks and happy traveling!
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This is not a sponsored post and all products were purchased with my money. Affiliate links are occasionally used when linking products. This gives me a small percentage of a purchase total through these links. This does not affect the price you pay for items through these links. All ShopStyle & AirBnB links are affiliate links.