Okay y’all, I’m not a travel blogger, and I’m not going to pretend to be one. However, since I do offer tips and info related to entertaining in other cities outside of Nashville, I figured I would include a small piece on the essentials I always pack for my quick trips. These are all boujee items that make my life easier when traveling, so it does “fit the mold” of what we talk about over here on MSS. I clearly love to purchase pretty travel pieces, but I also realize how dirty things can get and the importance of durability and value in items that will last more than one flight or car ride. Almost everything I’ve included here comes in a variety of colors and patterns, so you can get what fits your personal style. I just happen to like the particular item or brand, and as always, I’ve PERSONALLY used each of these things, so I can tell you from experience what I like and what’s worked for me. Also, I’m sure most of these items are also great for long-distance travel (aka international flights, customs, foreign airports, etc.), but I’ve focused on what I know works for traveling in the United States. It’s been a while since I’ve traveled overseas, since my children are still so young, but once I get the gumption to leave them for longer periods of time, I’ll be sure to test all these items out on longer trips and let you know what I think. Boujee Bon Voyage friends!
So I’ve been wanting a matching set of hard-case luggage for a while, but I could never manage to pull the trigger on anything. There are so many options now for stylish luggage, and as soon as I thought I decided on something, a new product would come to market and I’d change my mind. However, I finally decided to move forward with Calpak pieces, and I’ve been thrilled with my choice ever since. I’ve linked a few of the set here, but you can also purchase them as individual pieces if you only want/need one or two for now. Here were my requirements for large luggage pieces and why I decided to choose Calpak:
- I wanted travel pieces that were hard-shell (not fabric) and were durable so they would last a long time.
- I wanted options for sizes from carry on pieces to very large pieces that could hold a lot, as I often combine my own items with my kids when I don’t want to manage too many separate pieces of luggage.
- I wanted the pieces to be light-weight, so that they were easy for me to manage when empty and didn’t’ add much to my weight limit, since I’m always packing near the cutoff limit with my checked bags- ha!
- They had to have wheels that turned 360 degrees with long handles that made toting them around easy.
- Of course, they had to be attractive and match each other so they’re easy for me to identify, and so I don’t look like a bag-lady at the airport.
- I wanted to use a company that offered many pieces per line. For example, I love that Calpak offers hat boxes, travel wallets and other travel accessories such as neck-rests, pillows, etc. that all come in colors that match what I’ve already purchased. This way I can build a matching and cohesive luggage collection!
- Price! I didn’t want to spend a fortune on each piece, but I was also tired of buying cheap bags that I would have to replace every two years. Calpak is a great price-point in my opinion, and they do offer sales on occasion if you prefer to wait and buy during a sale/promotion.
I’ve personally owned Barrington products for years, and I love them all! They’re stylish, durable, and offer the perfect supplemental travel pieces. I recently purchased a new tote (The St. Anne Zippered Tote linked above), makeup case and luggage tags that coordinate with my new Calpak luggage. Their products are durable, easy-to-clean and you can design your own piece, which is so much fun. I use my tote for work (it can hold a full laptop, binder, etc.), as well as for travel. There are multiple styles and sizes offered, and you can build a collection of travel products over time, or pull the trigger all at once like I did. And let’s not forget that you can monogram everything, which of course is a huge perk for this monogram-loving southern gal. I can’t say enough good things about this Texas-based company!
When it comes to storing your toiletries for packing, there’s no better stylish (and sanitary) way than with Truffle pouches. You can of course get knock-off versions of these bags on Amazon, but sometimes you really do get what you pay for, and I believe this to be true for these bags. They are durable, spill-proof (which is what you want when you travel with eye make-up remover next to silk tops), and of course chic. They come in a variety of sizes and colors, so you can buy smaller ones for your carry-on bag and larger ones to hold items in your checked bags, such as shampoo, hairspray, etc. I also like using them for technology equipment so that everything is in one place where I can quickly see it. Did I bring my laptop charger? Oh, look, it’s right here in this darling plastic bag. How organized of me! Ha!
Speaking of organized bags, if you recently read my post on laundry, you now know that I use the KonMari Method when folding my clothes (and everyone else’s in the family). This of course saves space not only in my dresser drawers, but in my suitcases when traveling. However, I still LOVE using packing cubes as it keeps things organized and easy-to pack and unpack, especially with my clothes folded so well (thanks again for the life-changer Marie Kondo). You can purchase them from a number of stores, but if you’re buying Calpack luggage or luggage from another large brand company, it’s nice to get your packing cubes from the same place, so that they coordinate with everything else. I mean, why not? This isn’t one of those times where I’ve found one brand to be superior to another. For the most part, all the packing cubes I’ve seen are vinyl or a similar fabric and come in various sizes to accommodate various clothing and toiletry items. You just need to be sure that the sizes and quantities that you need are what you’re purchasing, as most come sold in sets. If you need all small cubes or large cubes because you pack a certain way, then you may wish to purchase them through Amazon so you are only spending money on what you will use.
I don’t know about y’all, but when I travel, I like to swap over my wallets so that I’m just taking exactly what I need and not all the random gift cards and spare change I keep in my everyday wallet. I LOVE this Calpak Travel Wallet, that I actually often use as a small handbag when I’m going out. This wallet comes in so many colors, and a few of them even have the detachable faux fur strap, which I have and love using. The length of the wallet is great, as it’s the perfect size for boarding passes and travel documents, It comes with plenty of places to store cash and cards, though there isn’t a very large pouch for change. It can be worn as a shoulder bag or crossbody, and I’ve loved throwing this wallet into my Barrington Tote and hitting the road.
The next two items I discovered through another blogger who does quite a bit of stylish international travel, and they looked so interesting and helpful that I decided to order them and try them out myself. Not only have we (my husband and I) worn them on planes, but I’ve worn them both in the car when we went on longer car trips. The first is basically a headrest that gives you amazing support and allows you to sleep without slumping over or getting a horrible crick in your neck. It’s a bit bulkier to travel with than the second item, so I’m not sure I’d bring it with me again on a domestic flight, but it’s for sure worth taking on a long international flight (or a car trip). The second item makes a great sleeping mask/noise barrier for flights, car rides, and I’ll even admit that I’ve used it in my bed when Paul wanted to stay up and watch something on his laptop, and I wanted to go to sleep. It’s soft and very squishy, so it can be stored easily when flying. It doesn’t give you any neck support, but it does create a soft headrest on a seat. Both of these are musts when flying internationally or when you want to get some shut-eye on a car trip (especially when trying to block out screaming kids in the back seat)!
Two additional items I love using when I get to my destination are the Beauty Sleep Silk Pillow and Mask. Now, if you get the Ostrich Pillow Light, you may not need the silk sleep mask (since it acts as its own eye cover), but the pillow is a must if you wish to keep your blow-out intact for more than one day. I use silk pillows at home as well as when on vacation, so that I don’t have to re-do my curls (when I curl my hair) every day. I swear the pillowcase also helps keep my complexion clear, and sometimes a hotel pillow just feels gross. I need a sleep mask wherever I go, as I’m one of those weird people who needs pure darkness to sleep, and very few plane rides or hotel rooms offer that. A sleep mask, and one like this that feels especially wonderful on your eyes, is such a treat.
Y’all, a client gave this travel wrap to me in orange a few years ago, and now I don’t know how I ever flew on a place without it. Is it a stylish wrap? Is it a blanket? It’s both! The beauty of this line of wraps is that they fold-up in to a sleek little bag that keeps them wrinkle-free and they can even be used as a pillow. It’s large enough to cover you up when cold, but not too heavy so that you get hot while wearing it (in or out of the airport). The company offers many colors and options, but this is a favorite garment/travel piece of mine for sure!
Don’t forget the sound machine! This cute little sound machine is portable and comes with all the sounds you need to drown out noise in a hotel room or keep a baby sleeping in a car. You never know when you need to block out sound for good sleep y’all, so always be prepared!
My mom gave me my first “travel candle,” years ago, and I love having one with me when traveling whether it’s for work or play. Something about a great-smelling candle, creates such a soothing and comforting atmosphere, which is so nice to have when you’re away from home. I adore the scent of this candle, but there are other scents in the line, and of course when shopping for a candle to take with you on the road, but sure to buy a “travel” version so that it comes with a fitted top. You don’t want the heal of a shoe in your bag digging into wax!