We've all been there...frantically packing last minute with too much stuff and definitely NOT enough space to bring it all along. Packing for a European vacation can be tough. Trust me, I’ve been there. Have you ever noticed that one crazy lady at the airport sifting through her luggage because her bags are over the weight limit? Yeah, not my proudest moment. Being a content creator, blogger, and influencer, traveling to exotic locations is just part of the job, and looking and feeling my best while traveling is a must. When you travel as much as I do, frantic packing and rearranging your belongings at the airport gets old fast. After a whole lot of trial and error, I feel like I have finally found a good balance of what to bring on my travels and what to leave at home, and I’d like to pass my tips on to you. I have compiled a list of my top travel essentials that will make your life much easier the next time you find yourself jet-setting to your next European destination...or anywhere for that matter!
Now, we don't need to get too deep into the basics like the clothes you'll be packing because every vacation requires different types of apparel, so I will leave the outfit mixology up to you. What I have found, however, is that packing all the smaller items like hair and beauty products can get overwhelming, and it’s easy to go overboard fast. It’s important to be as strategic as possible when packing these items to save as much space as you can by packing travel-size items and bringing multi-purpose products wherever possible, so your hair and face look as fresh as possible for those photos!
If you haven’t already, meet your new best friend. First on the list is probably my number one hair product essential while traveling. Dry shampoo is a hair lifesaver, whether I’m traveling or not! Who wants to spend their entire vacation washing their hair and restyling it every night? I know I would rather be out exploring, that’s for sure. Dry shampoo is the cure-all for any hairy situation. Hair looks deflated from your flight or a long day out? Apply this baby to your roots and your hair will be totally revamped in seconds. Not only do I highly suggest packing this on your vacation, but I even recommended keeping it in your purse during your entire trip because you never know when you may need a little hair pick-me-up on the go.
Setting Mist Moisturizer
Just like dry shampoo is total hair lifesaver, a moisturizing setting mist is the perfect product for saving your face on vacation. This one is a recent discovery and has quickly become a staple in my travel bag. Moisturizer mist is perfect to spritz on at any time over your makeup for a quick freshen up. You can even spray it on a fresh face to rehydrate your skin while out and about. A typical makeup setting spray will also do the trick, however, traveling and flying are known to dehydrate your face, so I love having all the moisturizing properties included in a spray.
Hair and Face Oil
As already mentioned, traveling can be super dehydrating on your hair and skin due to high altitudes when flying, so keeping my skin and hair moisturized is super important. I love to simplify my beauty routine when traveling by using an oil to double up as a hair and skin moisturizer. If oils scare you, I encourage you to reconsider. For the longest time, I was afraid to use oils in my beauty regimen because I thought an oil product would result in dreaded oily hair and skin, but it’s actually the opposite! Once you find the right oil for your skin type, I promise you will never look back. I recommend looking for all-natural oils with no artificial fragrances. Your skin will be glow like never before and your hair will be silky and hydrated.
Is it really even a European vacation if you don’t pack a headscarf? I don’t know about you, but I just think headscarves are the perfect accessory to add that European vibe to your looks on vacation. They are lightweight and easy to pack as opposed to a statement necklace that can easily get tangled or can be quite heavy in your suitcase. Plus, headscarves are multifunctional and can be worn in your hair, around your neck, tied on to a belt loop, or even attached to the strap of your bag.
I never travel anywhere without my Luxy Hair extensions, and this has quickly become essential when traveling. I love creating beautiful and fun hairstyles when I travel and my hair extensions are my number one secret to creating those fun looks. Here are just a few photos of hairstyles I wore on my last trip to Spain and Paris.
Hairspray or Texturizing Spray
Plan on styling your hair at all? Bring hairspray! Even if you aren’t a regular hairspray user I highly suggest packing a small travel sized bottle! Hair can deflate so easily when traveling and we don’t always have the luxury of heading back to a hotel midday to touch up. Having hairspray or texturizing spray will ensure your hair is full of life no matter what your plans for the day may be. On my most recent trip to Europe, I actually ran out of the travel sized bottle I had brought with me and had a hard time finding some nearby where I was staying to replace it. Save yourself the hassle of hunting for some hairspray while you're on vacation and just pack some instead.
Nothing is worse than having your phone die on vacation and not being able to charge it until you return back to your hotel in the evening. This gadget is even helpful on planes and road trips! You can get portable chargers for as low as $30 on places like Amazon and I believe it is worth every penny. Most are super small and can fit into your purse. Whenever your battery starts to get low, just simply connect your phone to the charger and you’re saved!
Makeup wipes are a quick and convenient way around bringing a ton of facial cleansers and making removing products. These are easy to pack since they often come in travel sizes and are disposable so they can be used to cleanse your face and remove makeup on the go. Plus, you don't have to worry about staining those plush white hotel towels with your mascara!
This is not for everyone, but if you are feeling daring, pack a bold lip shade or two. I mean, you are going on a getaway to Europe, might as well try something fun while you’re there, right? My favorite shade to pack for Europe is a bright scarlet red. I feel like this shade screams European flair no matter what season you’re traveling in.
Bronzer and Highlighter
If you plan on packing any makeup at all, make sure you pack a good bronzer and highlighter. Nothing is better than having that perfect sun-kissed glow on vacation before you’ve even started tanning. Highlighter and bronzer are quick and easy ways to contour your face and achieve that European glow. Brush some bronzer on, add some highlighter, throw on a pair of sunnies, and you are golden...literally!
Lip Gloss/Lip Balm
Like I said, traveling is dehydrating, and your lips need hydration too. Keeping a good lip balm on hand to use whenever applying my makeup is essential to having soft, supple lips when traveling. Unfortunately for me, this is an item I often forget and find myself regretting later when my lips are in dire need of moisture and have nothing to replenish them. If you find yourself in this situation like I often do, simply use the hair oil you packed and add a tiny drop to your lips.
I know I said I wasn’t going to be talking about clothing, but I felt as though a statement on shoes was worth the honorable mention. Listen to me when I say, shoes take up space! Ladies, it took me a while to figure this out, but you don’t need a different pair for every outfit you packed. Find one to three good staples that will pair well with every outfit and make sure they are comfortable.
The bottom line...
Less is more! Try to pack things that will be multifunctional while traveling...that way you will have more space in your suitcase to bring home all the clothes you’ll be buying on vacation! Packing for a vacation can be stressful, but I hope my tips help. Stick to the essentials and forget all the clutter. Your future self will thank you. Happy traveling babes!
Written By: Josie Sanders