clock menu more-arrow no yes
Driely S. for Racked

Filed under:

Packing Tips From Fashion’s Travel Pros

Tropical temperatures, all-inclusive ski resorts, a gratuitous trip back home to see your beloved (but sometimes dysfunctional) family: Holiday season is within arm's reach, which means the woes of traveling are already starting to set in. Before your sun-deprived toes touch the warm sands of some exotic beach, you’ll have to avoid common travel misfortunes, like delays, airplane-induced dryness, and the looming fear of lost luggage. This year, we’ve got you covered with tips from designers who know a thing or two about holiday jetsetting, from the best packing methods to grooming must-haves.


Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Byron and Dexter Peart of WANT Les Essentiels

Photo: Courtesy of Byron and Dexter Peart of WANT Les Essentiels

Byron and Dexter Peart are the Montreal twins taking over the high-end travel goods market. Their brand WANT Les Essentiels offers functional bags, wallets, and totes in luxurious leathers that have been featured everywhere from The New York Times to Vogue, and they opened their first New York store this October. Byron let us in on a few of their packing musts.

Go-to packing tip for a holiday vacation: "We pack the essentials and are always thinking about comfort, style and ease of wear. No matter where we are traveling, we like to pack pieces that are lightweight and versatile, items that can be easily layered and worn to different occasions."

Three travel essentials you never go withoutByron always brings the Sangster beach tote ($210) while Dexter goes with the Kastrup backpack ($495). "We always pack our iPads since we use them to take pictures, stay connected or read. If we are going somewhere warm, you can also find the Mateos and Dumont sandals from our new collection in our suitcases."

Favorite holiday vacation spot: "We vacation as a family at Round Hill in Jamaica. It is the one place where we feel most at peace: the ocean, the lush scenery, the jerk chicken — we think it's absolutely perfect. It's all very nostalgic for us since we are of Jamaican heritage. Our favorite feeling is waking up in the morning and hearing nothing but the rolling waves and the tropical birds. We've been going to Round Hill for so long that the staff is like family. It is unbelievably remote and private, and yet it is only a four hour flight from Montreal. Each time we leave, we immediately plan our next visit."

Jen Rubio and Steph Korey of Away Luggage

Photo: Courtesy of Jen Rubio and Steph Korey of Away Luggage

A photo posted by Jen Rubio (@jennifer) on

Rubio and Korey once held executive positions at Warby Parker. Now they're the founders of the luggage company Away. Launched as a travel brand for the millennial, their signature carry-on, which will be available for purchase in February 2016, can charge electronics and has an affordable price tag.

Go-to packing tip for a holiday vacation:

Rubio: "Ship your presents and travel light."

Korey: "The holidays are the most common time for checked bags getting lost. If you need to check a bag (I travel with a lot of gifts, so I always do) make sure to download the airline's app and pack what you need for the first 24 hours in a carry-on. All of the major airlines have massively improved bag tracking through their apps over the past few months, and as soon as you land you can look up where your bag is."

Three travel essentials you never go without:

JR: "Nothing is more uplifting during a stressful travel situation than a spritz of CAP Beauty The CAPtivator Energy Mist ($46); a really good sleep mask with chambers (so that the fabric doesn't touch your eyes or eyelashes), like the Dream Essentials Escape Luxury Travel and Sleep Mask ($20); and face wipes to get airport grime off your face (I love paraben-free Yes to Coconut Cleansing Wipes ($6) for its natural ingredients and transportive coconut smell)."

A photo posted by Steph Korey (@stephkorey) on

SK: "Away's Carry-On ($225) because it maximizes packing space while staying within carry-on restrictions and charges my phone on the go; Glossier's face mist ($18) and priming moisturizer ($25) to combat dry plane air; books and magazines — airplane time is perfect for catching up on non-digital reading."

Favorite holiday vacation spot:

JR: "I love Verbier. I'm better at apres ski than I am at any snow sports, but it doesn't feel more festive than Christmas in the Alps."

SK: "Everyone thinks of Nantucket as a place to visit in the summer, but the first weekend of December every year they have a weekend called Christmas Stroll that is magical. All of the stores and restaurants open back up just for the weekend, holiday decor and spirit is everywhere, and Santa arrives on the island on a Coast Guard Cutter. It's the best weekend of the year up there."

Wil Ariyamethe of Thapelo Paris Swimwear

Photo: Courtesy of Wil Ariyamethe of Thapelo Paris

A photo posted by Thapelo Paris (@thapeloparis) on

Ariyamethe's Paris-based swimsuit label Thapelo Paris has amassed a cult following after being featured in CR Fashion Book, W, and Elle magazines. Celebrities like Jessica Alba and Amber Heard are fans of her sleek, classic swimsuits as well. They're perfect for a holiday beach getaway.

Go-to packing tip for a holiday vacation: "Pack as little as possible. If I can pack everything into one carry-on suitcase, I feel like I'm going to have a good holiday."

Three travel essentials you never go without: "Paw paw ointment ($16), numerous pairs of sunglasses, and, of course, a few of our swimsuits, ponchos, and dresses. I also bring neutral sandals that can go with everything."

Favorite holiday vacation spot: "I love going on holidays and discovering new places. I don't have a favorite, but I love Thailand and Spain. We spent last summer on the lakes region in Italy — so relaxing and beautiful."

Lizzy and Darlene Okpo of William Okpo

Photo: Ackime Snow

Lizzy and Darlene Okpo's line, William Okpo, has been on the fashion radar for a few years now, appearing in Vogue and making Racked's Young Guns list earlier this year. With a background working for Opening Ceremony, the duo continue to make a name for themselves in womenswear, while traveling the world for inspiration in the process.

Go-to packing tip for a holiday vacation:

Lizzy: "My go-to packing tip for a holiday vacation would be to simply pack light. Bring a suitcase small enough to be stored in the over head compartment, can hold about 5 days worth of outfits, and is easily interchangeable. Of course, any and every way I can avoid the headache of luggage check-ins the better."

Darlene: "Pack light and keep it cute. I used to pack so heavy and never got to wear most of my items. So I changed up my packing routine and packed my most beloved items."

Three travel essentials you never go without:

L: "Our William Okpo Herin bodysuit ($200) because it can be paired with just about anything and add some unique flare to any outfit. I would also bring the William Okpo Ezi cape shirt because it can be worn by itself or as a layering piece and the William Okpo utility purse ($400). Simply put, it helps to keep me organized  especially when traveling and visiting multiple places."

D: "A William Okpo piece, my phone, and lots of underwear."

Favorite holiday vacation spot:

L: "My favorite holiday vacation spot would have be anywhere that is isolated and cozy with water, green trees, and weather that is always above 70 degrees. Anywhere with my mother's cooking, honestly."

D: "I am totally in love with Marrakesh, Morocco."

Kelly Corroon of Corroon Bags

Photo: Courtesy of Kelly Corroon of Corroon Bags

A photo posted by @corroonbags on

With previous positions at brands like Ralph Lauren and Gap, Corroon knows a thing or two about taste. Since then, she's travelled the world and created a contemporary luggage line for the stylish and well-traveled.

Go-to packing tip for a holiday vacation: "I choose either a black or tonal colorway for the whole trip, and then I start from the feet up. I always pack a sexy night shoe, a flat brogue or boot that I can do a lot of walking in. I pack a ton of chunky jewelry as I find this is the best way to spice up outfits differently when you are on the road. Right now my go-tos are pieces by Iradj Moini and an Hermès studded cuff given to me by husband. I pack them in our lightweight Sungkay travel kit ($28), which is stuffed like a puffy coat so it keeps it all well-protected."

Three travel essentials you never go without: "Oversize cashmere gray scarf I bought in Jodphur by a man who makes scarves for Etro and Missoni. Finding these artisans is the best thing about travel, and I am always cold on planes so it is an essential. My onboard travel companion is our Shek O toiletry kit ($70), named for a bohemian beach outside of Hong Kong. I load it with Malin + Goetz hand cream ($20), peppermint lip balm from Beauty Counter ($18), and a toothbrush."

Favorite holiday vacation spot: "Truthfully, my heart is always on holiday in Sun Valley, Idaho. But the Maldives is pretty otherwordly as well. The coconut porridge at the Como Maalfushi is not to be missed."

Farewell From Racked

Best of Racked

Best of Racked Essays

Best of Racked

Best of Racked Funny Stuff