Travel in Comfort & Style

Portrait of Katrina Garnett

There are two things we all want when we travel: to be comfortable and to look our best (not travel-weary or as if we’re living out of a suitcase—even if we are). It sounds simple, but it can take years to figure out what is essential and find the right products. Over the last decade, I have traveled so much both for business and with my family that I have finally come up with a system that works whether I’m just getting off a 12-hour flight, having dinner at a five-star restaurant, or simply kicking back in my hotel room. To make sure that my every experience is optimal, I don’t leave home without my “It List”:

  • In-Flight Beauty Rx

    Cosmetics + Hermes

    Longer flights can wreak havoc on the skin, so I bring Skinceuticals Hydrating B-5 Gel, Claudalie’s Eau de Beaute elixir spray and Hydraflight cream. It’s amazing how fast that stuff gets absorbed when you’re on a plane, so I find myself reapplying every three to four hours. Together, these three make my skin feel so hydrated, I nearly forget that I’ve been sitting on a plane so long. Closer to landing, I’ll apply Clarins Beauty Flash, which helps me look well-rested and makes my skin softer and more radiant.

    I don’t tend to wear much makeup, but for a quick touch-up, I bring my Nars lipstick and Lancome concealer. Lancome makes a terrific concealer—it’s extra light and even has filler. I only need to apply this under my eyes to look instantly revived. I always take a travel-sized Hermes perfume bottle, and even spray a little on my scarf for a light whiff of fragrance on stuffy flights.

    To stay hydrated, I drink a lot of water throughout the flight—which, in my case, also helps to ward off migraines.

    Finally, I’m convinced that Purell’s hand sanitizer is the reason we’ve never been sick while traveling.

  • Jet Lag Busters

    Jet Lag Busters -- Pajamas, Melatonin, Earplugs

    If I want to get some sleep on the plane, I can’t forget my Melatonin and foam earplugs. The Melatonin is very relaxing and completely natural, so you don’t need a prescription. Meanwhile, foam earplugs shut out the gray noise that can keep me from drifting off.

    I love Shanghai Tang pajamas, and while I wouldn’t wear them on a plane, they’re the absolute perfect sleepwear. Not only do they do double duty in the morning, when I’m rushing around the house trying to get the kids off to school, they’re also great for hotel stays where room service or housekeeping is often dropping in. It took me 10 years to figure out that Shanghai Tang’s breathable pj’s, especially the ones in bold colors, are the most attractive and practical choice whether you’re looking to stay cool in hotter weather or keep warm in an air conditioned hotel room. I have these in four colors, which should tell you something.

  • Must Haves

    Must Haves--Passports, local currency, iPad

    I think we can all agree that passports and local currency are a must have, since you’re really not going to get very far without them. I like to write down my favorite places and experiences, so I take a journal wherever I go. I’ve added the iPad to this list because I can’t go on holiday and not read—and neither can the kids. With an iPad or Kindle, we no longer have to transport pounds and pounds of books around with us.

    When we travel, we bring both an iPhone and a Blackberry, because you never know when some country will have trouble with a service provider. Last time I was in Egypt, for instance, the entire T-mobile system went down, so my iPhone worked but the Blackberry didn’t. I also bring an iTouch. It’s the iPhone minus the phone. It has games, music, video, the works. This way, we can stay entertained without running down the business phone’s battery. I also love the SOL Republic headphones and ear buds for their high quality.

  • Vision Quest

    Vision Quest -- Channel Sunglasses

    You can add my Chanel aviators to the list of must haves, since they are prescription and I am literally lost without them. These classic aviator frames never go out of style because you can take them anywhere, from the most casual boat ride to the chicest restaurant. It took a little searching to find a style that flattered my face and accommodated my prescription, but these are just perfect.

  • It’s a Wrap

    It’s a Wrap—Hermes Shawl open

    My Hermes shawls go wherever I do. They’re soft, light and absolute lifesavers in the summer when you’re constantly shuttling between arctic interiors and tropical exteriors. On a plane, these generously proportioned wraps can do double duty as blankets, so you can avoid those airline-issued numbers. And if you’re sightseeing at churches or mosques, you can just pull it out and use it to cover your shoulders. In fact, I carried my shawl at all times in India and Dubai out of respect for their culture—plus, it actually looks great on!

  • Staying Fit

    Staying Fit -- Whole Motion Fitness DVD

    The key to staying fit and healthy on the road is a workout routine that can be done anywhere, and doesn’t take too much time. I swear by Whole Motion Fitness, a unique concept developed by our MLS Wellness Ambassador, Sandra Hahamian. This 30-minute workout helps wake up my muscles after a long flight, and keeps my core and glutes strong so I stay in shape for my favorite sport, horse jumping. You can use hotel room doors and chairs as props—no need to find the local gym. You can download the Apple app for iPhone or iPad here. For more of Sandi’s travel fitness strategies, read her articles on My Little Swans.

  • Footwear

    Footwear -- Two pairs of shoes

    Speaking of exercising on the road, walking is a big part of any getaway that doesn’t revolve around a beach and a lounge chair, which is why great shoes become especially important. You want something that can take you all around town and still look appropriate if you choose to stop for lunch at a fine restaurant. And that means only one thing: Forget your high heels. Lanvin ballet slippers and Hermes flats are the perfect substitute. Either of these styles will ensure that you don’t sacrifice fashion for comfort or vice versa. In these, I can spend all day walking in 100-degree heat without so much as getting a blister. They’re wonderful!

  • Effortless Chic

    Effortless Chic -- Belt and Bag

    Looking great is all about your accessories—and shoes and scarves are only part of the equation. Your belt and your bag complete the look. To make things simple, I only carry three Hermes belts. I like the style with the small H and have one in basic white, another in blue and a third in brown leather. They’re practical, stylish and great quality. The same goes for my Hermes canvas travel bag. It’s roomy enough to fit absolutely everything and unlike so many bags that weigh ten pounds before you put anything in them, it’s very lightweight. I have two of these bags—the canvas one I use for summer travel and the one that looks like a horse blanket is for winter. Plus, I just got a third one in Taupe. These canvas bags come in three sizes and now Hermes has added six new beautiful colors.

  • Objects de Bling

    Objects de Bling -- Jewelry

    I’ve talked a lot about casual items that can fit into more formal settings. If there is one sure way to dress up a low-key ensemble, it’s with jewelry—which is why I always bring my Louis Vuitton jewelry case. The hard case keeps my finer pieces safe from breakage. For obvious reasons, it goes in my carry-on. In the photo, you can see my Chanel pearls and gold hoops, which can even make a plain white tee look dressy. I love my Hermes leather strap watch for its casual elegance and my metal Cartier for its practicality. Morgan wears the Michael Kors watch which is all the rage with girls her age. I love the Hermes bangles as well—they add that perfect touch of refinement to any outfit.

So there it is—the “It List” that has seen me through countless trips. Over the years, I’ve found that this inventory of essentials not only takes the stress out of packing but makes the vacation itself far more comfortable and enjoyable. Now that you know what’s on my list, feel free to write me with your own…

Here’s to the next journey!