i'm currently in nicaragua.
while i soak up the sun, soak up hannah from maple + shade.
this girl is the reason i started blogging.
i bet big bucks you'll fall in love with her after her amazing travel/style tips.
So, if there's one concrete thing I know about travel, it's the fact that it's become quite a luxury these days. Skyline airline and hotel prices mean you have to be super smart and savvy, especially with your packing--those filled-to-the-brim suitcases now fly anything but free. And, I don't know about you, but I always fight the urge to purchase a new wardrobe before embarking on any big trip. I don't know what it is, but suddenly my closet falls terribly short of any new city / country's standards (yes, even those third world wonders). At the same time, I want to arrive with a wallet that hasn't been dented by my pre-travel splurges. So, that creates a conundrum, which thankfully I've learned to deal with quite thriftily. Everything I bring with me must be easily layered and incredibly versatile...worn day to night...warm to cold...rain or shine...leaving me with room in my suitcase, cash in my wallet, and plenty of outfits for whatever adventures arise. So, through trial and error I've nailed down my must-have travel essentials that are both stylish and sensible:
1. I don't go anywhere without an oversized scarf--extra points if it lends a splash of color. I love them for their versatiliy: need a beach coverup? check. a chic shawl for the plane? check. a bold pop of color for an all-black outfit? check. The scarf's possibilities are entirely endless.
2. Cross-body bags are the ultimate travel companion. They're easily slung over the shoulder and stay very much out of your way (hands free for shopping...duh), but more compact versions (like this tassled Chloe, above) can be touted under the arm as an evening-hours clutch.
3. Aviators. They're an absolute staple on my head or in my handbag, but their slim frames mean they're super delicate. To avoid being heartbroken over shattered Ray Bans, I buy multiple pairs of my favorite $3 Forever21 aviators.
4. These ZARA sandals are simple and refined, and can easily (and quite elegantly) go from daytime strolling to nighttime wining and dining.
5. That passport's rather important, so I prefer to keep it safe (for many years and hopeful travels to come) in a classic but edgey crock skin cover.
6. Practical arm candy at its best: this classic Timex can be touted during daytime excursions, then dressed up at night with some simple gold bangles. And, it's sleek, simple design means you'll have it (and love it) forever.
7. These Korres milk-protein makeup removing wipes do wonders for your face and eliminate leak-prone, weighty bottles of liquid wash.
8. I don't go anywhere without my beloved moleskine. I find myself wanting to document every little detail when I travel, and these are more than perfect for such musings.
9. Black leggings. I could (and maybe sometimes do) live in them on trips. Especially long flights. Dress them up, dress them down. I love them paired with a black leather jacket and simple black wedges...day to night in one fell (easily packed) swoop.
10. Pretty, coral-pink lipgloss is my perfect hue for lending my face some color, day or night. I'm a sucker for cosmetics, but do my best to pair them way down when abroad.
11. Just as I said, I'm a sucker for cosmetics. My absolute favorite bronzer/blush duo is a pricey Nars combo, but my wallet doesn't always allow such a splurge. Good thing E.L.F. makes a 100% comparable THREE DOLLAR version. It was even tested by beauty gurus, and they all said the same thing: don't splurge, but save. And, the side-by-side design is perfect for travel!
12. Super dry planes and climate changes can wreak havoc on your skin. My one-trick-wonder is Kiehl's Intensive Moisturizer--it's the perfect travel companion for face, body, and lips.
13. An uber-chic bikini will keep you classy on any found beach, and, if you're daring enough, you could rock the super cute bow-tie top layered beneath an open silk shirt or cardi, like this girl.
14. Rain-puddled streets, snow-filled cities, and mountainous terrain can all be easily conquered with Bean's boots. Bonus: they're incredibly cute paired with black jeans or leggings.
15. I'm pretty much attached to my iPhone (and of course instagram), and can't even fathom hopping any oceans without them. Instead of spending what's sure to be a lot on over-sea data and talk plans, I simply tote my laptop along and rely on skype for any conversing. And, to avoid astronomical data charges, here's a handy trick: only use your phone's internet when it's connected to wifi! It won't cost you a thing :)
Alright, my pretties. It was so good spending time with you while Meagan's conquering her case of wanderlust. And I hope I lent a little bit of travel and packing insight to those of you who might be considering the same.
Bon voyage! And carpe diem, of course :)