7 Stylish Essentials a Fashion Editor Packs in Her Carry-on

Alison Rombough

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Summer’s here and there’s no better time to curate a well-appointed carry-on suitcase for your upcoming travels. Whether you’re ready to splurge on brand new gear in anticipation of an upcoming girls trip, or simply want to discover fashionable and fun products to make future packing endeavors that much more enjoyable, look no further. 

As a seasoned traveler who also happens to be a fashion editor, I pride myself on packing like a pro, consistently bringing only a carry-on roller bag for trips near and far. I’m often asked to elaborate on the stylish essentials that make the cut into my compact luggage, so I’m here to spill the beans. 

Here’s what I would pack for a fun-filled getaway with the girls.

For an effortless airport outfit, I stick with a solid jumpsuit, like this incredibly comfortable one from Lezat. Wearing a super soft one-piece while en route to your final destination makes getting dressed (especially if you’re checking in for those early bird or red eye flights) a lot more bearable. Plus, it packs well and saves space in your bag. Flights tend to be a bit chilly, and this cute look will keep you cozy without the bulk of schlepping an extra hoodie or blanket.

This might be one the most eye-catching carry-on bags I’ve laid eyes on in a while. The cheerful colors and limited-edition designs piqued my initial interest, but the super smart design and waterproof shell won me over. The Go Bag Mini by Baboon to the Moon counts as a personal item on the plane, which means you can maximize every square inch of this one, and still bring a sensible roller bag for the heavy lifting. With detachable straps, this cool tote can be worn as a crossbody bag, backpack, or briefcase, and it has plenty of handy pockets and compartments to keep you completely organized. 

When I stumbled upon JJwinks, a cool sleepwear company that delivers flattering looks (nightgowns and tank tops with matching shorts or pants) with built-in bras, I was sold. Each piece is certainly cute enough to wear during daytime hours (gotta love multi-functional fashion when you’re traveling light), but also feels heavenly on the body while you’re counting sheep. With its soft elastic Light Hug shelf bra inside, and a subtle shirred detail for added nipple coverage, the Maxi Nightgown is a solid pajama choice. So even if you’re opening the door to room service attendants in the wee hours, you’ll feel perfectly supported and confident in the brand’s clever designs. 

To buy: JJwinks Hostess Maxi Nightgown, jjwinks.com, $109

When it comes to beauty products and liquids, I’m a firm believer in only packing what works for your skin and hair regimen, but bringing full-size bottles would force me to check my luggage, which is a cardinal sin in my book. To bypass this annoyance, I admittedly used to bring a smattering of random travel-size toiletries just to make do, but those days are over. Now that I’ve discovered these cool magnetic capsules by Cadence, I can pack precisely what I want without any worries. Plus, they look super chic and modern on any hotel bathroom counter. 

Every savvy traveler needs a smart pair of slip-on sneakers, and I’m digging this classic style by Cariuma. This pair is ultra-comfy, vegan, and knit with sustainably harvested bamboo and recycled plastics, which means I can look good and feel good at the same time. 

Last but not least, let’s talk about swimwear. I was recently turned on to a new brand called Kitty and Vibe that’s simply revolutionizing the bikini game with its inclusive sizing. In short, the brand offers playful prints and flattering styles that take booty and hip measurements into account so my bikini bottoms always hug my assets in the best way possible. Safe to say that readjusting saggy swimsuit bottoms is a thing of the past. 

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