13 Well-Traveled ‘Vogue’ Editors Share Packing Essentials, Tips, and Tricks
After a year or so of limited-to-no travel, chances are, you might feel a tad rusty when it comes to your routines and packing strategies. Whether it’s remembering how to go through airport security or prepping for a weekend road trip, getting back into the swing of things will be a little less stressful if you take a more thoughtful, systematic, and organized packing approach.
Who better to ask for packing tips than my fashion and accessory-adoring colleagues? If there’s anyone most likely to overpack (we like to think we’re just well-prepared for a trip), it’s probably someone in our line of work. That said, I’ve asked my fellow editors to share their travel essentials, as well as their packing do’s and don’ts.
Whether you like to travel with your entire medicine cabinet or shoe collection, our editors have been there and offer a handful of helpful solutions—from the best packing cubes and travel organizers to how they fold their clothes and their go-to places to pick up travel-size versions of their favorite products. Ahead of a summer that offers the opportunity to travel again, here are those packing tips, tricks, and essentials that Vogue editors swear by. It’s time to dust off those weekenders and carry-ons once and for all.
Daisy Shaw-Ellis, Jewelry Director
“I was converted to packing cubes a couple of years ago. They help minimize the bulk of clothing, maximize space, and keep you organized on the road. I use the Marie Kondo triple-fold method to make sure I get every last centimeter of packing space. For carry-on toiletries, I’ve been relying on my Anya Hindmarch In-Flight case for a solid five years now—it’s the perfect size and sneakily large (it wasn’t designed for cosmetics, but the material and see-through nature make it perfect and airport-security-friendly). I keep it packed with minis of my products so I can just throw it in my bag without much thought.”
Rickie De Sole, Executive Fashion Director
“Unless I’m on a work trip, I don’t travel with handbags. Instead I pack simple envelope bags that can carry my essentials. They are superlight to pack in my luggage, and I can bring a few (versus one heavy handbag) to carry around like clutches. This one from Aerin is my summer go-to, while Gucci’s all black version is sure to go with everything.”
Ciarra Lorren Zatorski, Assistant Market Editor
“I have two rules when it comes to packing. First, make a list—it’s a lifesaver. Second, make sure everything on that list has a place! There’s nothing worse than having a random cord mixed with your shoes or your deodorant thrown in with your delicates. When I need to find something, I like to know exactly where it is, and so, I resort to having different organizers for different categories. Whether they are tech accessories, toiletries, hair tools, etc., having a pouch for it all is an actual game changer when it comes to packing. Perhaps I’m overly organized, but you can never be too organized, right?”
Julie Tong, Senior Commerce Editor
“I never go anywhere without my Paravel Aviator carry-on, weekender bag, and my packing cubes. They make everything 10 times more organized and more compact (to squeeze in that extra dress or swimsuit I may or may not use). When it comes to travel-size beauty, Aesop makes the best travel essentials to make my trips feel serene and spa-like, no matter where I am. Finally, I’m prone to sunburns and mosquito bites during the summertime, so if I’m headed somewhere hot and humid, I always pack my Habit facial sunscreen spray. I also recently picked up a Deet-free bug repellant from Kinfield I’m excited to try.”
Madeline Fass, Market Editor
“Anyone who has traveled with me knows I am never without plenty of accessories. The key to packing light (well, as light as one can with a carry-on) is bringing along fewer clothing items and making room for more jewelry, shoes, scarves, and what have you, to extend the versatility of the pieces I do pack. It’s unusual for me to bring a single pair of sunglasses (even on a weekend trip), so I’ve gotten a lot of use out of the sunglasses cases that fold up to fit a few pairs and keep them from scratching and getting crushed. I also have a few different jewelry cases that I keep on hand as well. When it comes to toiletries, the best thing I’ve done is keeping a bag of travel-size items of my favorite products tucked away in my cosmetic cases, so when it comes time to pack for a trip, that’s one less thing I have to worry about. Caileur has tons of minis you can stock up on at once in one place.”
Steff Yotka, Senior Fashion News Editor
“I’m totally frivolous in every aspect of my life except travel: I need to have order and essentials whether I’m going away for three weeks or three days. The best duffle bag I’ve ever owned is this nylon LeSportsac style, which is indestructible and surprisingly spacious. Inside, I pack my cosmetics, chargers, and assorted bits and bobs in individual smaller LeSportsac pouches and roll my clothes into a stack. If I’m traveling by car, I’ll just knot my shoelaces so my sneakers can dangle from the handle. If by plane, I like to add a silk scarf to tie my hair up and a cute key fob so that an all-black carry-on doesn’t seem too dreary!”
Chioma Nnadi, Editor, Vogue.com
“I’m a sucker for a good pouch; in fact, I’d say my carry-on is always a Russian doll situation: a big bag with lots of tiny bags inside it, so I can organize my various bits and pieces. My favorite carry-on is one by Duro Olowu, made in collaboration with MZ Wallace. The print is super eye-catching so there’s really no danger of losing the matching pouch inside it—otherwise, I’m always that person at TSA who finds themselves on the floor rummaging inside their bag for something, usually a passport.”
Ella Riley-Adams, Senior Beauty and Living Editor
“For longer flights or red-eyes, I travel with Parachute’s merino blanket and eye mask, which comes with a matching pouch. I also make sure to pack a water bottle to avoid buying any plastic. Most U.S. airports have refill stations! This summer, I’ll also be packing my Rachel Comey puff-sleeve dress—its material’s natural texture means it never shows wrinkles—and Marvis travel-size toothpaste.”
Alexandra Michler, Director of Fashion Initiatives
“My incredibly thoughtful and generous friend gave me this Dior pouch a few years ago. It has been such an essential travel companion ever since—it keeps my passport, wallet, headphones, chargers, hand sanitizer, Aquaphor, and any other little essentials contained.”
Chloe Malle, Contributor
“I always get cold when I travel during the summer because I’m dressed for hot, humid New York and whatever plane, train, or automobile I’m in is like the Arctic with the AC blasting, so I always bring a pair of socks to put on if I’m wearing sandals and a big scarf to use as a blanket. I also like packing with these madras packing cubes from Hero Shop.”
Mai Morsch, Associate Market Editor
“I am guilty of traveling with a bit of a medicine cabinet in my bag and love the convenience of LiVon Laboratories vitamins. I always have packets of their vitamin C floating around in my Hervé Chapelier travel tote, which I have had for at least 10 years—and it still holds up perfectly.”
Alexandra Macon, Contributor
“We just launched the Neely & Chloe x Julia Berolzheimer accessories collaboration on Over the Moon. I love the feminine prints, which were inspired by vintage textiles, and my friend Hanna Seabrook helped design, as well as the utilitarian-ness of the pieces. The Small Vanity Case in Posy Creme is my favorite—it fits everything you need for a beach weekend but also works well for traveling abroad, which I’ll get to do again one day.”
Clarissa Schmidt, Commerce Producer
“If there’s anything I’ve learned from vacationing, it’s that I have a horrible habit of packing everything but the kitchen sink. From makeup and skin-care essentials to shower products, my toiletry bags are always disorganized and might even have a leak from a shampoo bottle. I recently found this bag before I embarked on a road trip and it is life-changing. It has a bunch of compartments to keep my toiletries organized and enough space to leave full-size bottles standing upright without fear of spillage.”
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