With three-day weekends on the horizon, now’s the perfect time to plan a getaway. Of course, preparing for an unforgettable trip goes beyond securing a flight and hotel accommodations. A clever packing routine will maximize your experience. Whether it’s ensuring you have a reliable carry-on that’s deceptively spacious to hold all of your valuables or a versatile shirt that works overtime as a beach coverup and the perfect match-everything top, there are certain items that Vogue editors rarely travel without.
Over the years, we’ve picked up several tips and tricks that make jet-setting a cinch. And we’re sharing all of the details below. Read on for the Vogue editor’s guide to packing for a warm-weather adventure.
Madeline Fass, Market Editor
I like to be realistic when I pack for a beach vacation. The key is to bring items that require little effort but achieve maximum style. After long days in the sun, you’ll likely just want to be comfortable. Plus, if the trip’s goal is relaxation, there’s no time to stress about outfits. A casual but cool slide sandal is a must. I like to opt into trends via accessories, say, a crochet bucket hat or fun sunglasses. I also like to organize everything with packing cubes; that way, your suitcase doesn’t become total chaos upon arrival!
Clarissa Schmidt, Commerce Producer
Until recently, my toiletry bags were always disorganized and might have even had a leak from shampoo. But this bag has proven to be a savior! The variety of compartments keeps my skin-care and makeup essentials organized, and leaves enough space to keep full-size bottles standing upright to prevent spillage. For go-to sandals I can take from dinner to the beach bar, these Pelle Moda chunky heels offer just the right amount of stylish comfort.
Tiana Attride, Associate Manager of Audience Development
Before I worked at Vogue I was a travel editor, so packing feels like second nature to me. Because I was traveling so often, I eventually stopped being concerned about what was in the bag—for better or worse, I became the type to just throw some things together an hour before leaving and hope for the best!—and became more about the bag itself. My golden combo at the moment is the Bigger Carry-On + the Latitude Bag from Away. They interlock nicely, which helps me avoid (literally) fumbling the bag and makes for smooth sailing through TSA, around the airport, and up and down the aisle of the plane.
Also vital: an almost obnoxiously thick moisturizer to keep your face from drying out. I always pack CeraVe Healing Ointment, which is inexpensive and will last you a LONG time. My skin ends up looking like the Death Valley salt flats without it.
Irene Kim, Production and Editorial Coordinator
When I went to Thailand a few years ago, the hottest accessory amongst both tourists and locals was a Fjallraven backpack. It doubles as a carry-on that even fits a 13-inch laptop on the plane and as a sand-proof beach bag for when you land. It might not be the most glamorous accessory, but it comes with me everywhere, from beach trips to hiking trips. Along with my trusty weather-proof backpack, I always like packing a tankini in my suitcase for its versatility of transitioning from a swimsuit to a top. The tankinis from the Frankie’s Bikinis collab with Gigi will be my go-to this summer!
Ella Riley-Adams, Senior Living and Beauty Editor
I keep this cleansing oil in my travel cosmetic case. Not only is it made from ingredients grown on a biodynamic farm in Burgundy, France, but it leaves my skin nourished, which is especially beneficial after a long plane flight or change in climate. Its lavender scent makes washing my face a calming act, and the 1.7 fluid oz bottle is TSA-approved yet lasts a while.
Concetta Ciarlo, Special Events Associate
I always forget the sizable amount of skincare products I used until attempting to pack a toiletry bag. It seems like packing one night’s routine takes up a quarter of my carry-on, and If I can avoid checking luggage, I always will! So rather than make a mad dash to find travel-sized versions of every product, I need something to simplify my life amidst the chaos of packing. Not to mention, I’m notorious for forgetting at least one item anytime I visit anyone or anywhere. Cadence sets are chic, portable, customizable, and hard to lose because each capsule magnetizes to one another.
Eliseé Browchuk, Experiences Production and Marketing Manager
Far or near, I never travel without my top two essential wardrobe items. The first is my slightly oversized Frankie Shop striped oxford shirt. This blouse is easily the most versatile (and most loved) piece in my closet. On vacation, I’ll throw it on over a bikini when heading out for a beach day or wear it open with a white tank and shorts for a casual afternoon stroll. My classic Celine loafers are always next on my packing list. They can somehow slip into any corner of my suitcase or handbag and are more comfortable than most of my sneakers, I swear.
Sam Ravin, Senior Associate Creative Development
I’m a religious Revlon One-Step user (no shame) and until very recently, I would not go anywhere without a blowout (okay, maybe a little bit of shame). What I’m about to say makes me feel like I’ve truly grown as a woman. A few beach weekends this summer have taught me that one of the keys to a relaxing getaway is having some go-to, no heat, easy hairstyles for dinner or going out at night. I’ve been loving the sleek bun trend, so I always make sure to pack a boar bristle brush, hairspray, and a styling cream—my favorite is Olaplex No. 6 because it smoothens while providing long-term repair. If I want to switch it up, I’ll skip the bun and throw in a bright claw clip or grab a few clear mini elastics for a fun bubble ponytail.
Mai Morsch, Associate Fashion Editor
Whenever I travel, especially in the warmer months, I always pack an assortment of classic collared shirts. They are comfortable on the plane, great thrown over a swimsuit at the beach, and even nice over a slip dress for dinner. This one that Comme Si designed with stylist Danielle Goldberg is truly perfect, but I also love the basic linen shirts from Uniqlo.
Lilah Ramzi, Shopping Editor
Whether I’m headed to the tropics or a European capital, I always pack an assortment of cotton canvas drawstring bags. I know some of my colleagues like packing cubes, but I’m partial to the bag. Throw clean lingerie in one, dirty in another. Fold scarves and accessories in one, and your party pumps in another. You can hang them from the door or hook them onto a hanger in your hotel closet and once you get home, simply take your dirty clothes bag right to the laundry room. I like a variety of sizes and the colorless, minimal design is visually soothing during the chaos of travel.
Alexis Bennett, Commerce Writer
Whether I’m swimming with turtles or taking a surfboard yoga class, these waterproof pouches are essential, ensuring that I’m able to capture some photos without the risk of getting my phone wet. Also I finally graduated from tangling my necklaces up in plastic bags to these clever little organizers and I’ll never travel without them.
Ian Malone, Experiences Manager
My best packing tip is decidedly unglamorous: bring a portable steamer and a lint roller in your carry-on. Yes, most hotels have them but travel invites the unexpected. If you have both on hand at all times, you can look presentable no matter the circumstances. Holidays should be carefree—avoid overly pleated, pressed, and prissy garments unless, of course, your plans include formal functions—but not stained and sloppy. Simple outfits can be maintained and worn multiple times with the help of these two essentials.
Ciarra Lorren Zatorski, Associate Fashion 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, Commerce Director
“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.”
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.”
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.”
Celia Ellenberg, Beauty Director
“I am a fanatic about properly cleansing my face at night—one of the simplest, and most important things you can do for your skin. I prefer emulsifying oils and balms to foams, gels, milks et al. as I find them to be most effective at gently washing away a day’s worth of impurities—which makes them excellent for removing makeup and sunscreen, and kind of a nightmare to travel with. Oils often leak and balms typically come in oversized packaging (I hate minis). But these capsules are the perfect compromise: you get all of the benefits of Eve Lom’s signature formula spiked with botanicals such as eucalyptus, clove, and Egyptian chamomile in the convenience of individual-use pods. They’re durable enough to be thrown into a toiletry bag (or available in a travel pack) and 100% biodegradable so you can keep your footprint light while logging miles.”