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How to Pack Like a Fashionista – 10 Stylish Essentials

Hello, lovely readers!

How does one pack like a fashionista? While it seems simple (a pair of heels and a cute dress), many questions must be answered before stepping onto the plane. Are my shoes suitable for walking long distances? Do I have sun protection? And will my purse feel heavy with the number of items I need to carry? These questions are essential in deciding whether your trip will end with beautiful memories or with you weeping over your cute yet uncomfortable 6-inch heels.

As someone who has been in that situation more than once, I have found a way to be fashionable while gliding through a well-deserved vacay. Beginning with these ten ultra-stylish essentials, you will be serving looks on the cobblestone streets of Florence or the sandy beaches of San Diego in no time! Let’s get packing.

Pink suitcase with stylish travel essentials

Arnel Hasanovic / Unsplash

How to Pack Like a Fashionista – 10 Stylish Essentials:

1. Travel Bag

Number one on the list is a roomy suitcase for all your OOTDs and the souvenirs you will surely buy. I always try to find bags with plenty of pockets and hidden compartments to store my curling iron and laptop without them being damaged. Another important consideration is the sturdiness of the suitcase, as it will most likely be shoved below multiple, heavy bags. This will determine if your suitcase will remain in one piece or fall apart before it gets onto the tarmac.

2. Comfortable Shoes

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Sonnie Hiles / Unsplash

The second thing you will need for your trip is a pair of comfortable shoes with a kick of style. I stick with my Nikes or Keds, but the fashionista inside me wants to rock cute heels. I recommend a wedge heel with a platform to give you more stability because of the wider width, covering the whole shoe. The platform will also positively impact your overall comfort by lowering the heel height.

3. Light Purse

A light bag with substantial space for your sunscreen, sunglasses, phone, and wallet will serve you well. I hate carrying around a heavy purse while I’m out all day. That’s why I tend to choose straw purses with ample space for whatever I need to carry.

4. Miniature Toiletries

You’ll need products to keep yourself groomed, and a hotel’s complimentary toiletries can dry the skin and hair, so why not bring your own? I like to take a few miniatures of my cleansers and a small container for my moisturizer. This way, I can keep up with my routine and prevent travel-induced breakouts.

5. Sunscreen/Sunblock

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Reuben Mansell / Unsplash

Adding to number four, a broad-spectrum sunscreen or sunblock of at least 30-50 SPF is a must in your travel bag. Sun protection is the main ingredient in determining whether your photos stay hidden in your phone or be posted on social media. A bad sunburn after a fun day hanging by the pool can be a terrible end to an otherwise exciting day. It’s best to use sunscreen anytime in the sun and behind windows to prevent painful sunburns, skin cancer, and premature aging. If hitting the beach, always choose reef-safe sunscreen to protect our planet’s beautiful reefs.

P.S. Don’t forget to reapply every two hours!

6. Sun hat

Wearing a sun hat is an added layer of protection against sunburns and makes for a cute picture. My favorite style is floppy because it makes me feel like a Golden Age movie star, but any style will do. Feeling trendy? Try a bucket hat or a neon visor if you want to go for the 90s look. The options are truly endless, so have fun!

7. Protective Phone Case

A protective phone case is required to prevent the much-dreaded mishap of a shattered phone screen. This will avoid risk and make taking those vacation selfies much more fun. My favorite phone case is the Otter + Pop Symmetry by Otterbox because it has a PopSocket built-in for extra stability.

8. Pair of Sunglasses

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Katarzyna Kos / Unsplash

Not only are sunglasses chic, but they also serve a fundamental purpose – to protect your eyes from the sun. With many styles, there are endless ways to incorporate this staple into your OOTDs. Look for a pair with “100% UV Protection” written on the frame. That means the shades will prevent 100% of the UV rays from reaching your beautiful eyes, adding an extra layer of protection.

9. Cardigan

I always pack a cardigan in my carry-on bag because of the cold air on the plane. I adore how cozy it makes me feel as I sleep. Also, feeling like Taylor Swift doesn’t hurt. Cold girls, unite!

10. Going-Out Outfit

Now on to the fun part – a chic outfit for a night out! This could include anything from a flashy, sequin dress to a pair of velvet heels. The choice is entirely yours!

Congratulations, lovely readers! Now you are ready to pack like a fashionista. There are many more essentials needed for an Insta-ready vacation, but these are the ones that I always stick to no matter what. I hope you enjoyed reading my list and will consider including these essentials for your next trip.

For more on packing, read 10 Beach Essentials for Your Next Vacay.

As always, I love my lovely readers!


Lauren Hochman

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Lauren Hochman
Lauren Hochman

Lauren Hochman is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Lifestyle on a Budget and THE TEEN RUNWAY. She has over a decade of experience giving women advice through her writing. When she isn’t at her laptop, you can find her exploring Texas with her fiancé, Alex, and dog, Mr. Cantaloupe.

Find me on: Web | Instagram


  1. Elenor
    July 5, 2023 / 3:07 am

    As someone who loves both fashion and traveling, finding the perfect balance between style and practicality when packing can be quite a challenge. However, this article has truly come to the rescue with its wealth of tips and tricks.

    • July 7, 2023 / 11:43 am

      Hi, Elenor! Thank you for the kind words! I completely agree; finding a balance between style and practicality can be a challenge. xx, Lauren

  2. June 6, 2023 / 5:03 am

    Hey Laoren, you travel essentials are awesome. This blog can be really useful for those who are planning for vacation. Thanks for sharing this blog with us. Keep posting!

    • June 6, 2023 / 7:49 am

      Hi, Shirley! Thanks! I appreciate your feedback! 🙂 xx, Lauren

  3. Tadej
    June 6, 2023 / 4:01 am

    I always take one pair of long trausers and comfortable shoes to explore the surroundings. It is not important to take a whole closet with us but we should think of comfortability first.

    • June 6, 2023 / 7:46 am

      Hi, Tadej! I whole-heartedly agree. Comfort before all else! xx, Lauren

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