Anyone who has lived in New York for a while will tell you that sometimes the best thing about New York City can be escaping it. One New Yorker I know who is always traveling from one chic destination to the next is social media content creator Kate Bartlett. The way Bartlett and I met is actually kind of funny. Before she gained over a million (and counting) followers on TikTok and became one of NYC’s most popular creators for all things fashion, beauty, and travel, she was a fashion student at FIT who happened to be roommates with one of my friends. One day, I went to visit my friend at her midtown apartment, and there was Bartlett in the other room, just as friendly and easy to talk to as she is in her videos online.
Fast-forward two years, and as a content creator and an editor, Bartlett and I kept bumping into each other at events around the city. One of my favorite things about her social media content is she's always documenting where she is going, whether it's a brand trip or a personal adventure. She does such a great job of taking her followers along with her. As someone who loves to travel and is manifesting lots of plane tickets for the new year, I knew I had to reach out to the travel guru herself for the travel items I will be needing on my upcoming trips. When Bartlett and I got to talking, she didn’t hold back. She told me everything I was going to need, from the makeup/beauty organizer she swears by to a backpack she claims could hold a week's worth of items.
Keep scrolling to read our conversation and shop the 13 travel items that made her list.
What was your favorite trip of 2022?
I think when I went to Turkey for the first time. I did a bunch of videos of that trip. It was so beautiful. We went to Cappadocia and saw the hot air balloons, it was amazing. That was definitely my favorite trip of last year. It was also not a work trip. I was just going for fun, and I felt very inspired there.
Do you have any upcoming trips you’re looking forward to?
Yes, I’m going to be in Paris for Paris Fashion Week, so I’m super excited about that. I was just there in September, and this February, I’m going to go again, so I can’t wait. Paris is the one place I would say I could go every single month and never get sick of.
Would you say your style changes depending on the destination you’re headed to?
One-hundred percent. Whenever people ask me about my personal style, I never have a word to describe it, because it changes so much. Whenever I’m traveling, I pick up so much inspiration from what the locals are wearing or what other tourists are wearing or other people I’m meeting from all of these different places. I pick up on their style. I was just in Mexico for Christmas, and I feel like my feed went from black, white, and neutrals to being super colorful just because I was so inspired by all of the colors there, but 100% my style changes depending on where I’m traveling.
Describe your ideal airport outfit.
Sweatsuits are a go-to for me. There's one particular smaller brand called Adanola, and I have about five sweatsuits from there, and those are the only things I wear on planes. I’m obsessed with them. They fit me so well. They’re so long and comfy, and they make you look a little more put together. But I do have a pair of jeans that I call “the only pair of jeans I would wear on a plane.” These jeans are ridiculously soft and comfortable, very loose and baggy. So if I am wearing jeans on a plane, which is very, very rare, it would be those jeans with a big sweatshirt.
What is one piece of travel advice you would give those of us who want our 2023 to be filled with trips?
I grew up traveling a ton. When I was younger, my sister and I used to backpack through Europe in high school. We would save up all of our money to take trips together. People often think that traveling has to be super expensive, and that’s totally not the case. There are so many hacks these days out there for things you can do to make traveling cheaper. You can really see so much of the world. Don’t knock anything off your list, because it’s totally possible. It might take a little bit of planning, but traveling on a budget is so possible, and it’s so worth it to see the world.
Shop Kate Bartlett's Picks
"I started using Béis in the summer. I have a lot of suitcases, and this one is definitely my favorite. However, I would say not this beige color because it does get pretty dirty. But this suitcase holds so much, and the thing that I love about it is… My luggage is always overweight. Every single time. But the handle on the side of this suitcase has a meter when you pick it up to let you know if your bag is overweight or not. It’s amazing."
"So I’m not claiming this is the cutest backpack in the world. It’s very basic, just a canvas backpack, but it holds so much. I could probably travel for a week and fit everything that I needed in here. It’s the first backpack I have that I feel like doesn’t sit too heavy on me. I can really load it up, and it's not too heavy. It has a spot for your laptop, your passport, everything."
"Whenever I am traveling or on planes, I have to use an eye mask. I cannot sleep without it. Even when I’m home, I sleep with an eye mask, and this is the one that I use. Whenever I’m on planes and they pass out the little sleep kit with an uncomfortable eye mask, I always reach for this one instead. It sits so nicely on your skin, and even if I’m wearing makeup underneath, this mask doesn’t smudge it."
"I use this every day when I’m home, and when I travel, I’m not sure why, but my face gets so puffy. This NuFace roller de-puffs your face so nicely. I absolutely love it. I need it when I travel because otherwise my face will just blow up."
"This is the sweat set I’m talking about when I describe my go-to airport outfit. My followers have probably seen this a million times since I always wear it when I travel. It’s just a classic. You look pulled together, you can throw a trench coat over it, throw a puffer over it, wear it with some sneakers and high socks, and you actually look pretty good."
"This is something that I never really knew I would need but once I got one in a PR package, and it changed my life forever. It doesn’t take up that much space. I use it as a pillow when I have a window seat, and it’s great because I always get cold on planes. I love this. It’s even great if your flight gets delayed or canceled, now you have a blanket while you’re waiting at the airport."
"This is the best makeup organizer ever. It is a little bit heavy, but it has little slot inserts so you can customize it to fit everything you need. I customize mine to fit everything, including my hair products, makeup, and skincare. This is just the most organized way. I used to carry an individual bag for everything, and this has been a game changer for me."
"These are my favorite sneakers for travel. I feel like they go with everything. This is the colorway that I like and own. There are just comfortable sneakers, and I end up wearing them every time."
"These are amazing, especially because they are specifically designed for puffiness and dark circles. So they’re great for early morning flights. What I’ll do when I have an early morning flight is put these on under my Slip eye mask. Then, when you land, you just take them off, and you look refreshed, with no under-eye bags."
"When I travel, I like to only bring two pairs of sunglasses: a black pair and a brown pair. You know, just to keep things super simple. These go with everything. They’re also big enough that they basically cover your whole face, so when you’re traveling with no makeup, you’re covered. They’re flattering on every face shape."
"This is my favorite makeup remover. They make a little travel size, which is perfect. Honestly, this is just a really solid makeup remover. I can’t recommend it enough."
"So this, I love. I use it for everything. It’s like a one-stop shop facial spray/elixir. I use it before I put on my makeup, I use it after, and even when my Beautyblender needs a little bit of moisture, I’ll spray this on it. It’s the best. It's so refreshing. It just feels good, and it works for all skin types."
"These are the jeans I was referring to when I said these are the only jeans I would wear on a plane. I’ve had them for around two years now, and they feel like leggings. They’re the softest pair of denim I own. I would definitely say to size down because they do run pretty big, but these are incredible. I have the high-waist and the low-waist version, but I prefer the high-waisted pair."
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