Anyone who knows me knows I travel a lot. I love to explore new cities, try new foods, meet new people, and seek out new adventures. But sometimes traveling can be a pain.

How many times have you found yourself either under prepared, or way over packed?

I remember struggling down a cobble stone road one hot summer day in Italy a few summers back when I went to stay with a childhood friend. I could feel the locals staring and could almost hear them in all their “hospitality” mouthing, “Bless that little american girl’s heart, she will learn one day.” That same summer I spent some time in Germany on a missions trip and the host family my friend and I were staying with had a 3 story house, it was quaint, lovely, simple, and you guessed it, totally European. This meant that the stairs were not only shallow and steep, but they were practically spiral. My suitcase hardly fit. It was that summer I decided that I simply must learn to pack smarter. I down sized my suitcase and began to invest in my travel carry on essentials.

A couple years later I went on a trip to London for a vide shoot. My friend Meredith came along and let me tell you, she totally had me beat, she packed for the entire week in a carry on! I was shocked and demanded she show me her ways and all her tricks!

Ever since then, I’ve hardly used a large checked bag.

This coming Friday afternoon, four of my friends and I will be heading off to Italy for a girls trip. Round two for Kenna, and this time, I won’t be feeling the pity of the locals. I even helped my friends with their packing list.


Here are a few things that I have learned.

*Many things can be washed in the sink. Yoga pants, T-shirts, bras, no need to triple up on them.

*”Beauty Before Pain” get’s thrown out the window when traveling. ALWAYS choose comfort. One pair of sneakers, one pair of Casual Heeled Shoes. I found these ones a while back and got them in both black and tan. I wear one or the other almost every day for work. If you want a pair of sandals too, sometimes those can come in handy as well.

*Toiletries such as bandaids, hairspray, sunscreen, body wash, body lotion, Advil, bobby pins, and even deodorant can be purchased when you arrive. It’s kind of fun to explore the local “CVS” and pick up some items. (Side note: this makes you look way less like a tourist too! I’m all about that!)

*When choosing outfits for your trip, try to find options that are light and less bulky. Jeans are have, sweaters are bulky, both are great but maybe just one of each. (Confession: it’s easier in the summer, I know). Pack clothes that can be mixed and matched and that all match the shoes you choose to bring.

*Less is more with Makeup, Too Faced Bronzer is a great go to because it gives you a natural glow and you can use it to contours, highlight, and even as a powder if you don’t use too much. Pair this with your favorite new lip color (that you picked up at the local drug store), some Mascara, and don’t forget the Brows! These brow kids by Benefit are great because they come with mini tweezers and mini brushes. No need for anything else!

*Only pack ONE, yes ONE, “extra outfit” Let’s be honest, we are going to shop. You need room for that stuff to make it home.

*Don’t EVER change your skin care regiment while traveling. I love my facial girl. She uses Naturopathica and they have convenient travel size options. Your skin is already going to be trying to handle a climate change. Don’t make it freak out even more. This is one thing you should bring with you!

*Dry Shampoo!!!! I bring my favorite one and then samples, enough to wash my hair once or twice. Do some braids, bring a ball cap, or headband, and you’ll be good! Dry shampoo weighs less than shampoo and conditioner anyways and, it’s less work!

*You don’t need to bring your whole wallet. all you need is a cute little clutch that fits your credit card, ID, cash, and lip gloss.

*Be sure to get a Portable Charger and Power AND Voltage Converter. If you don’t get one that converts the voltage as well as simply the plug, your devices will likely blow up. (Probably not literally, but they might, you never know).

*My go to Back Pack and Carry On. I love this carry on because it has a little pouch in the inside that is made of all plastic so there is no need for ziplock bags holding toiletries, this protects your clothes if anything spills, busts, or explodes.

*Books are heavy, but I always bring my current book and my journal. So much happens on trips, you want to be able to capture it. And lets be honest, flights are long and boring! Current book, Uninvited. Check it out!

So that is my little packing input. I hope it helped. Happy Traveling y’all! Stay tuned for some posts, videos, and pictures from our trip! I can’t wait to share it with you all!



Victoria Haidar