Choosing your carrying case sets the tone for the trip. The first time I went to Austin I took my carry-on hard side luggage but when you are looking for a relaxing, non-work related vaca try taking your weekend duffle instead. You’ll immediately feel less buttoned up.
Let's get started...
- Wide Cashmere scarf: I take a neutral shade so I can throw it over any outfit if my shoulders get cold or so you can add the extra layer for sleeping to avoid asking your host to alter the A/C.
- Soft Eye Mask: You never know if the room you’ll be sleeping in gets bright early sun.
- Laundry Bag: On the way up it holds my shoes and on the way back does its intended job.
- Laura Mercier Mini Portfolio: This holds the perfect about of makeup for short trips!
- Lightweight Slippers: I never walk barefoot but the Uggs are too heavy & must stay home.
- Large Cross-body Carry-All: Plenty of pockets keep me organized and there’s room for shopping.
- Henry Bendel Travel Bags: This set of 3 bags go on every trip, short and long!
- LeSportSac Weekend Tote: I bought this lightweight find in 2006 and it has been all over the globe yet still looks brand new! It’s perfect for a weekend trip or to bring as your ‘in case carry-on’ for longer trips when you may have shopped a little too much & need to get all your new treasures home.
Take only the cosmetics that fit in your travel case. Keeping it simple and stress free means taking a less is more approach to makeup. I carry the following in my handy dandy Laura Mercier Mini Portfolio:
Sheer coverage concealer
Trial size mascara (Who doesn’t have a few of these lying around?)
Blush/bronzer/highlighter combo like Naked Palette which saves space
Brow Powder or pencil (a must even if I’m camping)
Bronze or Black eye pencil (In case you want to gussy up for evening)
Lip Balm, pink & peach lip glosses
Pressed Setting Powder (You can carry it with you for touch ups)
Paired down brushes & dual size sharpener
As far as outfits, choose things that don’t require much fuss like ironing. I’m not big on shorts so I pack lightweight jean capris or boyfriend jeans that can be rolled up for a more casual effect. I also pack a patterned maxi dress so whether you end up on a boat (you can get a little sun on your shoulders) or through on an easy blazer and belt for brunch you look relaxed yet put together. I’ll bring three tops, usually a cute cotton T, a flouncy patterned top and a long-sleeve option I can throw on at night if it gets chilly. Now let’s get to the important part – SHOES! Here’s where I tend to over pack. I’ll wear some comfy kicks like Supergas on the drive up, pack a walkable pair of gladiator sandals and sometimes a cute pair of embellished flats. I know I know, no heels L but when I wanna have a ‘chill’ weekend my feet are gonna ‘chill’ as well. On the PJ front I pack only one pair of super cute sleepers that can double as loungewear and a super soft pair of socks cuz my tootsies get cold easily. Oh and I am a huge fan of these ‘no show socklettes’! These are from Nordstrom but you can find varieties at Target. They are a great alternative to socks and keep your freshly pedicured feet nice and soft on long hikes.
A few necessities that I must make room for are a travel size Downy Wrinkle Release, my Sonicare toothbrush, my Sultra Wand, my LM Face Polish (who wants to pack a Clarsonic). I’ll skip a blowdryer and excess hair products and just take my travel size MoroccanOil and small Bumble & Bumble Does it All Spray and the much needed dry shampoo. The morning I leave I’ll give myself an amazing blowout & style so my hair really lasts. Avoiding washing it while I’m away is key so a hair donut and bobby pins are essential for day 3 hair or if you’re forced to wash it but want to avoid excess styling you can throw it in a chic bun and call it a day! When I go to Austin I rarely stay in a hotel but if I do I bring my small B&B shampoo & conditioner too.
Accessories are where you can afford to bring more than you might wear. I’ll wear the same bracelets in different combinations or leave my wrists bare with a statement necklace. I have trouble wearing fashion earrings so I’ll either give my ears a rest for the weekend or wear my studs. I always bring a sizable cross-body that I can use for shopping on Congress which keeps my hands free for fabulous finds in kitschy stores and I’ll bring a small spunky clutch for night time rendezvous.
When you have a travel buddy you must pack for them as well. In addition to his Argo bag, Maverick has a set of travel bowls and two reusable bags for food/snacks that I found at The Container Store. We share a bottle of water on the way up and there’s enough for him to have all weekend.
If this seems like a lot to you I’d love to hear what you pack for a long weekend. I’ve been perfecting the pair down for years and this is as simple as I can get. Maybe on my first camping trip I will feel like I’ve over packed but since I adopt the philosophy to go-with-the-flow when I head north I want to always be prepared for anything since you never know where the day may take you.