When I’m packing for a road trip, either in the US or abroad, I plan pretty carefully. Why? Experience. Too many times I’ve realized what I needed or wanted only after I was halfway to my destination. And I used to end up with way too much stuff to lug around.
Now, since I travel so often, I keep a couple of cosmetic bags ready to go, already filled with travel-sized items of my favorite skincare products (Dr. Perricone), a travel toothbrush and toothpaste, mini soap and lotion, etc. When an opportunity arises, all I have to do is grab and go. I also keep a mini Smashbox makeup set that includes everything, all in one flat little box, and a set of travel makeup brushes that roll up into a tube. So that part is now a no-brainer. But what to wear?
I like soft, stretchy jeans for driving or riding in the car, with flats and a loose, comfy tee shirt or sweater. My favorite jeans are by Helmut Lang, because they fit me well, are so comfy and don’t lose their shape.
I like to have one pair of nice black jeans or pants with me, too, that I can dress up with a little jacket, just in case I suddenly find that a great restaurant happens to have seating available exactly as we’re passing through town. If a special performance or event is happening while we’re in town, its nice to have options, too. In that case, I’d wear the jacket and change my shoes. I always pack one pair of neutral, mid-heel pumps even on casual road trips – because you never know what opportunity might come your way. And the shoes change everything.
I always have a mix of comfy t-shirts, sweaters for layering and one or two tops that can be dressed up a bit if I want to, with the jacket or a scarf. Sometimes I also take a t-shirt type dress.
The main thing is that everything should be able to layer together, if the weather changes as you travel. I like to stick to a somewhat complimentary color scheme so that basically, everything goes together.
On longer trips, pack a couple of mini-packages of Tide or other detergent, in case you stay in a place with a laundry along the way.
If style is your thing, here are some other things to think about:
- If you’re going for a longer trip, make sure you get all your normal grooming appointments in before you leave. Don’t postpone a haircut or color touch up. Nothing’s worse that looking at your roots every day in the car mirror!
- If you prefer color on your nails, get a gel manicure before you go. You don’t want to be picking at chipped polish halfway through the trip. That’s gross.
- If you prefer your nails natural, as I do, bring clippers, an emery board and a nail brush. Its amazing how dingy your nails can get on a simple road trip.
MOST IMPORTANTLY – bring your camera, your map apps, your chargers and get ready for a fun adventure.