Packed & Ready to Go.

Hopefully by now you’ve all seen via Instagram that I spent this past weekend in Florence, Italy on behalf of St. Regis Hotels & Resorts and their #GrandTourista experience. We travel quite a bit for work (was in Palm Springs this time last week and will be in DC next!) so I have packing down to an art.

St. Regis Hotels and designer Jason Wu collaborated on the perfect travel tote inspired by luxury, style and elegance for the modern day traveler and here is what I never leave home without (from the top down) when traveling:

  • A good magazine. So PDN might be a bit photo-geeky, but it’s one of my favorite industry reads.
  • A soft scarf. This purple & green Chopard scarf was a gift handmade in Italy & perfect for chilly moments.
  • Sunglasses. Just in case you get off the plane and the paparazzi are waiting… jk, but if your eyes look less than perky this will keep the rest of the world from knowing.
  • Eye mask. This is my favorite and yes, I always sleep on flights so I can hit the ground running.
  • Makeup, Jewelry, Amenities. The floral clutch, blue pouch and larger pink pouch are all handmade items from Of a Kind and where I keep my makeup, lipsticks, travel sized perfume, lotions, pills, and travel mirror. This is my favorite NARS all-in-one red lipstick to travel with; I never leave home without this elixir; planes tend to make skin very dry so I have Josie Maron Argan oilKiehl’s Lip Balm #1, and Olivina Fig Hand Cream.
  • Entertainment. iPad with books, movies, and games to pass the time & a super classic Tiffany & Co. iPad case. (Also, FYI, the iPad has become an amazing tool on location shoots to pull up inspiration photos to share with the model on set for what we are trying to achieve!) 
  • A camera. Any camera, because you never know when you need to snap a photo. I just acquired an old Olympus film camera after being inspired by this book given to me by a dear friend. I love it for being small and easy but ready to roll.
  • Writing utensils. I always take a journal and pen for moments when ideas come to me or someone suggests a restaurant I must go to where I’m traveling. My red journal was made in Florence with paper marbling edges, so beautiful.  You can buy it in NY in the seaport at Browne & Co. For a good pen, I *love* my Parker Pen with its beautiful old fashioned tip.
  • Last but not least, the passport. Here is a story to show you how much of a perfectionist I am: I went to three different stores to have my passport photo taken because I was unhappy with the quality of camera or quality of light used. I think of documentation photos as pieces of my history, I want my grandchildren to discover this one day and see me at my best! It has also been very popular among passport control.

What do you put in your travel tote? Am I missing something I shouldn’t be living without?

The Grand Tourista Bag by Jason Wu for St. Regis Hotels & Resorts—for a new generation of global travelers experiencing a new grand tour.

Emma’s Bag

My fall tote had a hidden note in the pocket.

I bought this bag at a garage sale in Oklahoma a few years ago and I’ve been carrying it this fall everywhere I go. Well I reached into the outside pocket, one I never use, and there was a note. “Made and donated by: Emma Long Harning” along with her address and a sweet “Enjoy the bag.”

I sometimes wonder when I buy thrifted items where they have been before or where they came from and although I don’t know how it got from California to Oklahoma, it is really fun to have a small piece of its history known. I think I’ll add my information on the back on how it became mine and where I carried it for the next owner to discover.

Enjoy the bag.