Jet-setting off to Europe? Sailing the Caribbean in a cruise ship? Driving north to a wintry wonderland? Sounds like memories in the making. The question is: What’s in your suitcase? Or rather, what’s NOT in your suitcase? Sure, you’ve got your toothbrush, a hair dryer, and your sensible-yet-stylish shoes. Those are the easy ones. But did you pack your swimsuit? A book? Warm layers? There are always items we may have, ahem, forgotten a time or two and will never leave behind again. Here are our 10 must-have items we put in our suitcase or carry-on, no matter the final destination.
1. Neck Pillow
We’ve traveled too much and too far without a neck pillow to responsibly leave this one off the list. It’s probably happened to you once or twice too. You get in your seat and think, “It’s not that long of a trip, I don’t need to nap,” but before long, the gentle rhythm of the plane lulls you to sleep. Your neck plops to one side. Maybe there’s a little drool on your chin. When you finally come to, your neck feels awful. Do your neck a favor and invest in a comfy pillow (we prefer memory foam) that’ll be with you for years. And never get off of a plane with a crick in your neck ever again.
Even if you’re going to be holed up in a cabin covered in snow, we recommend bringing a bathing suit. Why, you ask? Because you never know when you’ll find a hot tub or sauna you’ll want to bask in. We recommend picking a classic bathing suit you feel sexy, yet comfortable in. After all, a bathing suit that you feel self-conscious wearing is not one you’re going to reach for. Our favorites? We’ve got a whole roster of confidence-boosting swimsuits, but The Tank One Piece and The Bralette are customer favorites.
3. Beach Towel
This one is easy. Bring a big, fluffy beach towel. Or at least a big fluffy towel. If you’re hitting the waves or lying in the sand, those dinky hotel towels are really not going to cut it. And if you’re dipping your toes into an outdoor hot tub in sub-freezing temperatures? Well, you’ll want something you can wrap yourself in on your way back inside.
4. Warm Layers
Promise us you won’t let yourself get stuck in a drafty airport without a comfy sweatshirt and scarf. Please! Seriously, even if you’re headed to the sunniest of locales, smart layers are a must. Adjust what you bring based on the weather, but even a tropical island can get chilly at night. If that happens, you’ll want a little somethin’ somethin’ to keep yourself cozy.
5. Cute and Comfy Bralettes
There are very few moments in life where being uncomfortable for the sake of looking good is worth it. Even, or maybe especially when you’re traveling. Fortunately, this is an area where you need not compromise. Pack your very favorite bralettes and you’ll be comfortable both while traveling and staying at your destination. We’re partial to The Mesh Trim Bralette and The All-Day T Back Bralette. Whichever you choose, you should be so comfortable that you can focus on the moment instead of on a wire digging into your ribs.
6. More Underwear Than You Think You’ll Need
Don’t think that as many pairs of underwear as days you’ll be gone is enough, because we’re here to tell you that’s simply not true. Pack at least a few more days’ worth of comfy underwear than you think you’re going to need. And add one extra to your carry-on bag, just in case you miss a connecting flight or your cycle starts a few days ahead of schedule.
7. A Good Book
We love both physical books and eReaders. When snuggled up by a fire, at night before turning out the lights, or under an umbrella on a sandy beach, a page-turner is a must. If you’re looking for a good summer read, The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory (for the romance lovers) and The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen (for the thriller junkies) are ones you won’t want to put down.
8. Suitcase Organizers
You’ve got a flight home the next day, an open suitcase, and a pile of dirty laundry and souvenirs that need to play nice. This is where suitcase organizers are a lifesaver. Stuff all your bralettes in one bag, your dirty shirts in another. Every item having its own place will give you some peace of mind as you’re wrapping up a vacation. Packing cubes and organizers of all types make packing a breeze.
9. Your Favorite Fragrance
Fruity, floral, musky, whatever the occasion calls for. Even if you don’t wear fragrance in your ordinary, everyday life, a vacation is no ordinary moment. And we think fragrance makes the whole experience just a little more special. Of course, some have their signature scent. The girls of our LIVELY crew love Jasmine. Sea. Sun. The personal scent of jasmine paired with notes of sea salt, pear, and sandalwood means this fragrance is a perfect pair for your vacay.
10. A Stylish Outfit For An Evening Out
You might think you’ll be hitting the slopes or lying on the beach the entire time. What could you possibly need a dressier outfit for? We speak from experience when we say it’s better to bring it along and have it never seen the nightlife than to find yourself at a fancy-schmancy restaurant in shorts and hiking boots. All you need is a dress, your go-to heels, some earrings, and maybe a shawl or cardigan in case the venue is chilly. It doesn’t need to be more complicated than that. But when you’re sipping champagne with your hunny or group of girls, you’ll be saying, “I’m glad I listened to LIVELY and packed the stylish outfit.”
From one friend to another — do yourself a favor! Don’t make the same mistakes we have on vacations past. Take an extra 20 minutes to pack these 10 vacation essentials and you’ll be glad you did.