Friday, May 28, 2010

The Vintage Girl’s Guide to Travel

Here I am, in Aruba in October 2007. My husband and I, along with our family and friends, took a seven day cruise to the Caribbean. I remember this was the trip I packed too much! I must have had enough outfits for a month! This was also the trip I forgot many things I needed.

So, when traveling, how does a vintage girl adequately pack her suitcase? In the past, not only did I pack too much, I traveled ‘ignorantly!’ This means I did not check the weather reports and I did not make a list of what I actually needed. In the past, whether I vacationed somewhere warm or cold, I felt I had to pack everything. There have been times where I had to bring two suitcases while my poor husband brought one. As we all more than likely aware, most airlines are now charging for checked baggage. If you are not flying first class, bags can cost $25.00 and second bags are charged $35.00! (You do not want to know how much they charge for oversize items, like skis! Talk about steep!)

Here are some things you must consider:

The destination
The length of stay
The weather
Toiletries and makeup

The Destination:

Where are you going? It is tropical? Are you going somewhere cold? When you are visiting warm destinations, choose clothing that is made of lighter fabrics like cotton or Dacron. Try to stay away from linen because it wrinkles easily. If you know you are going to be swimming, bring two bathing suits. Once wet, bathing suits often take a long time to dry and wearing a damp suit tends to feel uncomfortable. Bring a cover-up and a pair of flip flops (or fabric/ribbon espadrilles) for poolside/beach days. Evening attire in most tropical destinations tends to be more casual. Lighter forms of rayon or heavier cottons are good choices. Think pretty sundresses with boleros. If your hair is like mine, then it will frizz in high humidity! Bring hair scarves and snoods to conceal unruly hair. Also, hair flowers are lovely and totally appropriate! If you plan to do sightseeing, pack comfortable wedges or cute flats. For evening, a pair of peep-toe platform shoes in black is good. Black goes with a lot of things; therefore it cuts down on items.

In colder weather, especially snowy destinations, you will need to be cautious with bulk when it comes to packing. Sweaters take up more room. You may need to rotate clothing. Whenever I travel to Colorado for skiing, I make a clothing list and even an outfit list to help cut down clothing. You can wear things more than once, just mix it up! Bring insulated/waterproof gloves, a wool hat (I usually pin on a vintage brooch to jazz it up), a scarf, sunglasses, and waterproof boots with insulation AND traction. If you are vacationing somewhere with lots of snow, chances are that there will be snow pack and ice in public areas. If you have boots without adequate traction, you will fall. In addition, if you boots are not insulated, your feet will be cold. This is especially true when walking around.

If you ski like me, you will also need to bring base layers and turtlenecks. If you do not have a proper ski jacket, you will need to buy one. Look for a jacket that is insulated, has vents for cooling down, and is waterproof! When trying jackets on, understand that you may need to go up a size because you will more than likely be wearing a sweater and a couple of layers underneath. You need to be able to move, girls! Also, you will need sunglasses or UVB goggles. I know the goggles look silly but trust me, I have tried to wear my vintage cat eye glasses on the slopes but they fog up and I cannot see! This is not good, especially when flying down a mountain on a pair of skis.

On the day you leave for your cold weather trip, bring your ski jacket/winter coat with you on board the plane. Not having your jacket in your suitcase will cut down on bulk and leave more room.

Moreover, regardless of destination, bring sunblock!

Length of Stay:

You need to consider how many days worth of clothing you will need when packing. Pack only for the days you will be gone and bring an extra pair of undergarments in case you get stranded.

The Weather:

Before traveling, check the weather. If they are calling for rain, put a small travel umbrella in your case. Also, if there is going to be a drop in temperature (especially during the evening), pack a cardigan or light jacket.


Try to keep the number of accessories limited. When you create your packing/outfit list, consider which jewelry you wish to match with certain items. You can also rotate pieces as well. The black resin black you wore with the pink sundress will go great with the black and white polka dot halter dress too. Moreover, the rhinestone stud earrings you wore with the black merino wool turtleneck also look fantastic with the cable cardigan and rolled jeans.

Toiletries and Makeup:

The toiletry bag is one of the most important items in a girl’s suitcase! When traveling, keep makeup and personal care items to a minimum. When visiting warm destinations, two must-have items are razors for shaving and sunblock for protecting skin from the sun. Be sure to include your deodorant, toothbrush, paste, and floss! Pack travel-size items of your skincare. If you do not have smaller size bottles, you can buy empty bottle kits for travel at most drug and grocery stores. If you are particular about your hair, you will need to include travel sizes of shampoo, conditioner, and styling products. Most hotels/resorts offer complimentary hair items but I prefer my own. Should you have your menstrual cycle during your trip, you need to supply your personal kit with feminine products. Do not make yourself vulnerable on vacation by needing to find a store! Moreover, if you are going to have your cycle while traveling (ie the plane), be sure to stock your handbag!

If you are like me and wear contacts and/or corrective lenses, you need to keep your glasses, sunglasses, and contacts with you (if you are not wearing them during travel). Here is what I do: before leaving the house, I put my contacts on and I bring my empty lens case and a small travel bottle of lens solution in my purse. Remember, when traveling via air, all liquids in your possession must be under 3 ounces! Most lens solution brands come in travel sizes. Again, keep glasses with you. Do not pack them on the off-hand chance you get stranded due to a cancelled flight or your luggage gets lost.

When it comes to your makeup, again, try to plan looks around your outfits. Do you really need all your shades of red lipstick? Do you need all those shadows? Pack makeup for creating basic looks for day and more dramatic evening look. I find that for me, a pink lipstick, a red one, and a brighter coral shade cover a nice variety of looks. I bring a few neutral shadows for day makeup and maybe a couple of greens and blues for evening styles. Pack mascara, eye primer, brow pencil, face primer, foundation, powder, one neutral blush, concealer, and makeup remover.

Lastly, give yourself ample time to prepare for travel. There is nothing worse than running around at the last minute! Not only are you guaranteed to forget something, you could be late for your flight! Make a packing list and check off items once they have been packed. This will ensure you have all your necessities and it will make your vacation so much more enjoyable.


  1. Just discovered your blog through Ms. Temperamental ;) and I just want to let you know how much I appreciate your vintage pointers. I've always loved vintage style, but have only recently started to try and integrate the look into my everyday wardrobe.
    And YES, they charge a fortune for over-sized bags! Frontier just charged us $95 for a bag 4lbs over the max. We practically bought the thing a ticket - I should have requested they allow it a seat on the plane for that price!

  2. Moxie Tonic,

    Thank you for your comments and compliment! I appreciate it very much! I love your name! Too fabulous!

    As for the airline fees, United charged me and my husband $200.00 for two sets of skis! This of course was on top of the $25.00 for the extra suitcase we had. We were going to be in Colorado for two weeks and trying to pack bulky ski clothes and sweaters onto one bag per person is practically impossible.

    Spirit Airlines now even charges for carry-ons! Not kidding! Talk about crazy!

    Thanks again for the comment! Take care!