3 Must-Have Items for International Travel

Let's just be honest...travel is amazing and wonderful and sparkles and unicorns and whiskers on kittens. But if we're being really honest there's also the side that's tiring, uncomfortable, and annoying. For me—that's packing and preparing for travel.

But there are a few things that are always, without a doubt, going in my travel bag...and that make those uncomfortable parts of traveling a tad bit easier.

Over the years I've tried lots of travel-friendly products which help me build custom packing lists for our private travel clients and our those on our small group tours.  Here are a few of my favorites that I would never leave home without:

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  1. Inflatable Travel Pillow - I'll admit I used to make fun of people with travel pillows...and then I became one. My favorite Eagle Creek pillow deflates to a compact size, you can remove and wash the cover, and it's far more comfortable than airline pillows (currently unavailable on Amazon — another great option here: Purefly Pillow)

  2. RFID Blocking Wallet - You've certainly heard about the risk of identity theft through RFID (radio-frequency identification). This Articulate wallet/clutch is my favorite tool for storing my passport and cards while on the go. It has multiple compartments and has interchangeable straps.  There is also a men's wallet available.

  3. Compact Backpack - It's a pain to carry a backpack on the plane in addition to your other luggage. Having a backpack that folds up has been a life saver on hikes, in markets, and on day trips. My favorite is the Eddie Bauer Packable Daypack which has lots of pockets and *bonus* you can secure zippers to other zippers and hooks using an S-biner.

    And those are my top 3! What do you HAVE to have for international travel? I’m always looking to pick up more tips, so don’t hesitate to comment below your Top 3 Must-Haves!

    Don’t forget to pin this article for future reference!


Packing Hack: How to Spice up Your Travel Wardrobe (Without Buying New Clothes!)


Travel is immensely rewarding and exciting, buuut, sorting the details can be incredibly complicated, frustrating, and stressful.

First, you have to choose where to go (okay, that’s the easiest and most fun part) and figure out how to get there. Then there are the hours of researching and (if you’re like me) breaking out the Excel sheets for what to do once you get there, where to stay, and where to eat—all the while trying to decipher which will actually be the unique and authentic experiences you’re looking for, hoping you don’t end up at some touristy diner that serves pre-made frozen pasta dishes in Italy.

Thankfully when you travel with us on our trips to Italy, Peru, or other destinations, we take care of all those maddening details so you can stop googling “best places to eat in Naples” for the 5th night in a row and get back to your busy lives with the reassured confidence that you will show up and have an amazing trip of a lifetime with deep, authentic connections (and zero amounts of pre-made, frozen food).

However, there is one more thing about travel that is complicated, frustrating, and stressful, and that even if you go on a trip with us, you’ll still have to do yourself—PACKING.

Packing is— by far—the thing that drives me most crazy about travel. I’m a “better safe than sorry” kind of person, so I want to make sure I have something for every occasion and weather possibility...while at the same time, I am also equally dedicated to packing ONLY a carry-on whenever possible.

This paradox subsequently results in hours spent debating which items are appropriate for the occasion (will I be too cold? Too hot? To dressy? Not dressy enough?), but also versatile (can I wear this shirt with multiple other items I’m bringing? Does it transfer easily “day-to-night”?).

And then, finally, and perfectly rationally, I usually come around to the conclusion that I hate everything I own, I have nothing to wear, and I want need a completely new, fun wardrobe to bring with me and not the same clothes I wear every day.

Tell me I’m not the only one who goes through this.

The Packing Hack We’ve All Been Dreaming Of...
In walks Armoire—a wardrobe rental subscription service, based here locally in Seattle, but available to anyone online.  

As an already fond member of their service, I was in their store, discussing the pains of travel packing and how I was considering pausing my membership with them while I’d be in Italy for three weeks, since I wouldn’t be able to swap out new items.

And suddenly, it became clear to both of us this was not a problem, but an opportunity!

Together we created the 8-Piece Travel Pack—a travel wardrobe you could curate with a stylist and then return when you get back—to assist with your travel adventures this summer, and solve the classic packing woes.

How it Works & Why Renting your Travel Wardrobe is the Best Tip I’ve Found
For this May Heart of Italy Tour and research trip, I met with a stylist at Armoire and shared the basics I thought I would bring: a white tee, jeans, gray jackets, sneakers, sandals, etc. Then together we picked out 8 items with fun prints, patterns, and colors to put together that worked with my staples and that I could mix and match, dressing up and/or down.


Anytime that I’m allowed to shop, chat, and drink champagne—I’m pretty happy. So packing with a stylist actually became something fun instead of a dreaded chore I save for the last, frantic minute (scene cut to me at my own home alone, frazzled, throwing things around my room, and sending mirror selfies to friends asking which pants I should take).

So here I am currently in Italy with my 8 pieces (you can ready more about which ones I settled on and how I’ll be styling them here), and I am digging this experience!


What I’ve loved about traveling with these 8 pieces is that they are all fun, new, and I am excited to get up in the morning and put on a full outfit that has already been pre-planned. No standing in front of my suitcase debating which items to put together for the day.

Travel Packing Tips to Live By
To get you inspired, here are some of my go-to travel packing tips to keep in mind whenever & wherever you’re doing your packing:

  1. If a piece can’t be made into more than two outfits, ditch it

  2. Rule of thumb: look for super lightweight, breathable items that don’t wrinkle easily

  3. Layers, layers, layers. Unless I’m going somewhere with extreme cold temperatures, I’d rather wear 3 sweaters to keep warm than to carry a heavy, big coat.

  4. Always pack more underwear than you need. It’s the smallest item you pack and the thing you change the most (hopefully :)

See How it Works In Real Life — This June!
Interested in this life-changing, new way to pack for a trip? Join us for a drink, packing tips from me, a stylist to help you choose your 8 pieces for your next trip, and a chance to win a $1000 gift card at our Armoire + The Table Less Traveled Event on June 19.

I’ll be hosting this event with the amazing boss women over at Armoire. Come by to get styled for your summer, learn about traveling to Italy on a trip that’s curated and planned, and hang out with fun people while doing that dreaded packing at the same time.

Hope to see you then!

Travel in Style
with The Table Less Traveled + Armoire

Wednesday, June 19, | 5:30-8pm

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