my favorite travel essentials

Hello!  I know it seems like I fell into a black hole since my last post, but I’ve been on the road since the end of June.  Not complaining, it’s been super fun!  From Santa Rosa Beach to Atlanta to Denver to Hunstville to Boston.  Lots of travel and all in less than three weeks.  I had plans to blog, but our schedule has been so on-the-go that it hasn’t been possible.  The good news is I’ve been making notes along the way on my favorite travel essentials (and new ones I’ve found) that I would love to share with you!  I’ll try to round up some family pics in another post for those of you interested.

These are my current travel faves that make living out of a suitcase stylish, enjoyable, and practical.  Nothing sponsored.

Below are all the links and explanations on everything, plus a few personal notes on what’s going on with us this summer.

1 / green tea to eliminate under eye circles:

Forget expensive eye products, this is a FANTASTIC beauty secret that I learned from my brilliant make-up artist friend, Nikole.  The green tea brand doesn’t matter, use what you like.  Briefly soak two green tea bags in ice water and squeeze out the excess water.  Place the sachets over your eyes like cucumbers for five minutes.  Remove, moisturize, and voilá circles are gone!

2 / comfy sandals:

Travel usually involves a lot of walking.  It’s important to pack sporty shoes, but their style does have limitations.  I bought these sandals on promo last summer and love them.  At first the part in between my toes felt super stiff and I was worried, but after one wear they softened up and felt totally comfortable.  They’re easy to slip on and off and go well with just about everything.  In fact, when we were walking so much in Boston I kept them in my purse for putting on in replacement of heels on the walk back from dinner.  Came in very handy when we walked a mile to get ice-cream!

3 / smaller wallet:

I always size down my wallet to a small wallet-like holder for cash and credit card – I have this one and love it.  It makes my purse lighter and I don’t have to worry about losing all the things I cram into my big wallet.

4 /cashmere wrap by red twist:

I never fly without taking this elegant and super soft cashmere wrap, whether it’s summer, spring, fall, or winter.  I’m always happy I brought it!  I think this wrap is brilliant because it has sleeves and doesn’t fall or get twisted like a regular wrap or scarf.  This is the most chic and versatile piece I’ve owned yet, and no it’s not hot or scratchy in the least.  It looks amazing with everything, is soft as butter, and never, ever pills – I’ve had mine a few years now.  I have it in camel, but my next goal is the cream!

5 / travel blanket & pillow:

I’ll be honest – I sort of laughed in judgement when Peter came home with this travel blanket from Walmart for our Boston trip.  But I’ll also be the first to admit it was soooo comfy and super handy to have this blanket and inflatable pillow set.  It packs down to nothing and is easy to carry.  It was perfect for our sunset picnic in Boston Common and a nice pillow on the plane.  Very soft and lightweight.  Ours is in navy, and I might slap a white monogram on it to sass it up.

6 / striped pajama set:

Suitcase space is always limited, but I love to pack a soft and cute pj set that doesn’t take up much space.  This stripe pajama set is perfect.  If I’m cold, which is inevitable when I’m with my arctic-creature-of-a-husband, I just throw my cashmere wrap over my pj’s!

7 / nars blush set:

I always seem to get pasty and pale when flying – so I make sure to bring this blush set to add a little vavoom and color to the face.  The magic ingredient here is the highlighter, which you apply just above the cheekbone – makes your face glow like you’ve been lounging by the pool.

8 / roam shower gel:

Just discovered Roam shower gel when we stayed at the Inn at St. Botolph in Boston.  It smells SO GOOD I flipped when I tried it!  I’ve deemed this my new shower cleanser.  They do make travel sizes – love this set here – gorgeous!  Would make a great gift for a guy or gal.

9 / travel tote:

Sometimes finding a stylish travel tote that can double as a purse and carry-on without looking frumpy is like searching for the Holy Grail.  I’ve been eyeing the MZ Wallace tote (comes in three sizes) and think this could be a perfect travel bag!  The quilting is very Chanel and the black is chic.  On the wish list!

10 / issey miyake rollerball:

I love to freshen up after a flight or long car ride with my favorite scent.  Been wearing this Issey for many moons and it’s still my all-time fave.  The fragrance is elegant, light, and floral without being too “sweet” or heavy.

11 / comfy & sassy tank:

Okay we have to talk about this top.  I recently bought it in both black and white and LOVE!  I think it’s not sold out by now because the pic on the model doesn’t do it justice.  It looks flared out in the hip area on the model, but trust me it doesn’t look like that on.  I have “hips” (hello, 4 kids) and this top does not stick out like a horn toad.  It actually accentuates your waste, or at least for me makes my waste look slimmer than it actually is.  I wore the top in black with black leggings and my cashmere wrap for my plane outfit to Boston and loved it! One woman actually stopped me to ask where I got my top and shoes, she was very complimentary.  So try the top!

12 / mixed raw nuts:

I buy these in the travel sizes at Target and always carry a few of them in my purse.  They’re so easy and healthy to add to plain yogurt, morning oatmeal on the go, or as a snack on the plane – a great an alternative to the carby options they offer.  If you can minimize empty calories here and there and eat healthy whenever possible while traveling, you can enjoy “calorie splurges” at restaurants without gaining too much weight.

13 / phone charger case:

My phone is pretty much always dying, but not with this bad boy.  Slim and portable, a great travel staple.

14 / portable sound machine:

Can’t sleep without a sound machine, Peter got me hooked on those when we first got married.  I can no longer sleep in a dead silent room.  He just picked up this fab sound machine earlier in the summer and we both love it!  It has lots of sound options, and the quality is rich and soothing.  It’s easy to pack and can go blue tooth if you want to play music from your phone – great for travel.


.         .         .         .

Whew, that was a LOT of material!  I think I did about 17 loads of laundry in between all the writing/sourcing/linking.  Hope these goodies inspire your future travel and packing.

We’re about to take our family on our summer vacation…annnnnnd our oldest turns 18 tomorrow!  That is really blowing my mind.  A whole other post entirely.  It’s been an exciting summer for our family – ballet, hikes in the mountains, camping, summer jobs, rocket ships, roadtrips, plane rides, and more.  At one point we had all four kids in four different parts of the country.  That was a very weird feeling for me as a mom.  Now we’re coming together for some family time at a beach we’ve never visited.  You can see where we end up when I post some pics on my instagram next week : )

Back soon!







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  1. Anita says:

    Great post Seleta, thanks for sharing your faves! Enjoy your vacay

  2. Michelle says:

    Another post full of excellent suggestions. I’m going to order that wrap for my upcoming vacation, and the phone case for my sis-in-law for her birthday next month. And I put the noise machine on my wish list! As always, thanks for sharing such wonderful ideas. Hope you and your family have a lovely vacation.

  3. Jodi says:

    Thank you so much for such a wonderful post~ I just placed an order for the Roam products and cannot wait to try them out!

    I am also intrigued on your beach destination-have a fabulous time with your family.

  4. Seleta says:

    Hi Anita, Michelle, and Jodi : ) Thanks for saying hello and taking the time to comment – Michelle you will LOVE that wrap!!


  5. Wendy says:

    I love that wrap, I’ve had the gray one for years. I first saw it in a magazine and thought how beautiful it looked, then I read the inspiring story behind it. Win, win! Best of all, it doesn’t overpower my barely 5’3″ frame.

  6. Lori H says:

    What a great list! Thanks for sharing :)

  7. Carrie says:

    Nice list, thank you! I’ve been on the hunt for a wrap for a trip to Europe this fall, and going to give yours a shot.

  8. Rose says:

    LOVE this post! I’ve already ordered and received the tank in grey. Am going to put the wrap on my Christmas list.

    Hope you have a wonderful vacation!

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    SeletaI‘m Seleta, a city girl living the beach life with my family. A former TV personality turned designer, I love to share the sparkly side of life. Read more here.
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