We’ve all been there. Your whole vacation is planned out perfectly. But then it comes down to actually having to pack for said vacation and you suddenly are sent into a frenzy trying to decide which products actually make the cut. To help calm all of your packing woes, we chatted with Hitha Palepu, travel expert and brains behind Hitha on the Go. Read on for her best packing tips!
How did you decide what your essential travel beauty items are? Do you have any secret favorites you can share with us?
“For me to pack a specific beauty item, I have to use it daily and not be satisfied with an alternative product. I can use any provided body wash or lotion, but I’m a loyal user of TULA’s cleanser and mask, this La Roche Posay eye cream (the only one that works for me!), and Glossier’s priming moisturizer and balm.”
What’s the best way to avoid spills without adding the bulk of Ziploc bags?
“First, ditch the plastic bag. Invest in a sturdy zippered quart-sized bag that is an inch or so thick. Not only will you fill more products in that bag, you’ll never have to worry about any spills escaping the bag to your other belongings. I try to avoid refillable bottles and invest in travel-sized versions of my favorite products, which are less likely to leak. The best refillable bottles are actually empty prescription bottles— totally leak-proof and you probably have a few in your medicine cabinet at home!”
What are the best sites or brands for purchasing travel cosmetic cases?
“I have this Anya Hindmarch case, which was a huge splurge. Hudson+Bleecker andStephanie Johnson makes equally beautiful dopp kits and toiletry or makeup bags that are more affordable. FLIGHT001 is the most affordable, and they also have great designs.”
How far in advance do you pack?
“I begin the packing process a week before my trip: writing out a list, [doing] laundry or dry cleaning, restocking toiletries. The actual packing happens the night before. The day of the trip, I pack my makeup as I’m applying it and toss it in my suitcase and away we go!”
Are there any multi-purpose beauty products that you’d recommend?
“Coconut oil! It is the ultimate beauty multitasker—a moisturizer, makeup remover, shave gel, and hangover remedy (see: oil pulling). My liquids bag always has this travel-friendly jar packed at all times. From a makeup perspective, I love Wander Beauty’s blush and illuminator stick.”
How do you keep compacts from shattering?
“My Hudson+Bleecker makeup bags are lightly padded. Since I’ve started using them, my compacts have never shattered (knocks on wood)!”
Do you pack your toiletries and cosmetics based on where you’re headed, or do you have a go-to kit?
“My basic toiletries (face, dental, eye, and skincare) are always pre-packed in my liquids bag and a Hudson+Bleecker dopp kit (for non-liquid products). I’ll make a note of trip-specific products (sunscreen for a beach, a thick face cream for cold destinations) when I’m writing my packing list and pack them the night before. With makeup, I pack my bag as I’m applying it and will select products that are suited for my destination and the type of trip.”
We heard you have a book coming out soon! Can you tell us a little bit about it?
“Yes! My book, How To Pack, will be coming out February 2017. I’ll be sharing my entire packing method, from selecting the perfect products and pre-packing like a pro. There will also be my handpicked items for specific trips and destinations. It’s also one of the prettiest books I’ve ever seen, with stunning illustrations and really nice paper. But I may be a bit biased.”
How has co-founding Bridge2Act given you new insights to traveling? (Bridge2Act is a digital platform that streamlines charitable donations.)
“In working with our charity partners, I’m getting a look at the world that I’ve never experienced for myself. What’s necessary for visiting rural villages in Africa is very different than what I had packed for a typical business meeting. What amazes me is how efficiently these founders and executive directors pack, and how they always leave room for gifts to the sites they’re visiting.”
Any last advice for women on how to figure out their travel beauty must haves?
“First, take note of your daily beauty routine. What products do you have to use? What are products that you can swap out easily? Are there liquidless swaps (solids, towelettes) that you can make for products you’re not obsessed with? Ditch the baggie and purchase a nice zippered quart-sized bag that you love. Your suitcase is your home away from home, and packing familiar products is a great way to feel grounded when you’re on the go.”
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