I'm a Fashion Director That Just Drove Across the U.S.—Here's What I Packed

Now that it is officially autumn, it’s hard to believe that summer is over and even harder to believe what became of the traditional travel season. While some people may have gotten a reprieve from the typical daily grind, the past several months of COVID-19 undoubtedly threw a wrench into all of our best-laid plans—especially when it came to vacations.

Tasked with making a family-sized pitcher of lemonade out of lemons, Marina Larroudé, fashion entrepreneur and former VP Fashion Director at Barneys New York and Fashion Director at Teen Vogue, saw these challenging times as an opportunity for an adventure. 

The self-described Brazil-born New Yorker at heart has called the city home for the past two decades, during which she worked her way up the ladder in the fashion industry, married the love of her life, and had two children, Gloria and George.

Presented with the realities of remote work, canceled summer camps, and the desire to be able to travel safely by car, Larroudé and her husband Ricardo hatched a plan: They rented an RV, plotted their course, and set out for a two-week coast-to-coast road trip. Naturally, she chronicled much of her adventure, which was so enjoyable that her family decided to road trip from New York City to Los Angeles and back again ad document it on Instagram

Whether or not you’re familiar with Larroudé, her credentials and colorful Instagram feed make one thing abundantly clear: She has an incredible sense of style. So when I saw Larroudé begin posting about her adventure, I had to know: What does a fashion obsessive pack for a cross-country road trip? 

Not only did Larroudé share her packing tips, must-have pieces, and organizational hacks, but she also shared several beautiful photos from her trip across the country and back. Read on for some serious style inspiration—no matter where the rest of this unpredictable year takes you.


(Image credit: Courtesy of Marina Larroudé)

When or how did you decide to embark on a cross-country trip with your husband and two kids? What are some points of interest on your route? How many days will your trip take total? 

Marina Larroudé: One night in June, my husband Ricardo and I looked at each other and said, "Let’s do this? Let’s rent an RV and drive cross-country?” The next day, we began planning it, and a month later, we were on the road! 

We have always wanted to do a cross-country trip from New York to Los Angeles, with stops at National Parks. With our crazy work lives, it was impossible to take two weeks off in a row. Since the start of the pandemic, things have calmed down in both of our lives. And since the kids didn’t have summer camp, we finally had the time to do it.  

My husband and kids are Americans, and they were all born and raised here. I’ve just begun the process of naturalization and I can not wait to become a citizen, so this was a great way to experience the entire country ahead of that special milestone. 

Initially, we planned to go for two weeks and take a plane back to NYC, but due to COVID-19 and our love for the road, we extended the trip and we were on the road for 33 days! 


(Image credit: @marinalarroude)

As a New Yorker, how do you feel about all that driving? 

When I was growing up in Brazil, I used to travel from my hometown to São Paulo (a 6-hour drive!) so I guess I’m used to it. Luckily, my husband loves to drive. On the RV, you sit pretty high, and we had huge windows, so it was like sitting on a porch and seeing the entirety of America.

What are a few of the must-have items in your suitcase that will make you feel at home on the road? 

I kept it simple and brought my favorite summer staples: Agolde cutoffs, T-shirts, three dresses, bike shorts, leggings, Birkenstocks, a few long-sleeve shirts for chillier days, and some simple sweatpants. This trip was about enjoying nature, being comfortable, and being present with the family. 


(Image credit: @marinalarroude)

What are a few items that you would usually pack for vacation that you won’t be needing in the RV? 

I always bring some evening minidresses with me and high heels for every vacation. This time I did not pack heels! Just sneakers and flat sandals. 

I did bring an easy summer dress from La Ligne for an evening out. I adore their dresses.

Before our trip, I also bought a belt bag from Lululemon. It’s super simple and chic in black nylon, and it was super handy to have it for the trails.


(Image credit: @marinalarroude)

How would you describe your typical road trip outfit? 

Effortless summer ease: breezy dresses or cutoffs and colorful tees.


(Image credit: @marinalarroude)

Given your background as a fashion director, if you were styling this road trip as a shoot for a magazine, what are a few items you would pull? 

Lots of Ralph Lauren! Both vintage and new. Some Pendleton blankets and shirts.

White breezy cotton dresses from Love Shack Fancy, turquoise jewelry, and raffia hats.

Athleisure pieces from Alo Yoga like leggings and tops, Sporty and Rich sweatshirts, white Nike Air Force Ones, Birkenstocks…

Also, denim is a staple in my wardrobe. I first came across CQY Denim when I was working at Barneys and we launched the brand. It quickly became a top seller, because their jeans are that good! I haven’t worn any other jeans since.

Actually, I reconnected with Sam, the founder of CQY when we were RVing in California and got inspired to do a collaboration. It's now available in two styles, with the Larroudé logo playfully embroidered on the pocket, which makes for a fun road trip memory. 


(Image credit: Courtesy of Marina Larroude)

What beauty items are you taking with you on the road? 

I have a beauty routine that’s very strict and I follow no matter where I go.

During the day I use toner by Mario Badescu, Vitamin C powder that I mix with Dr. Brandt moisturizer, followed by Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer with SPF for even skin tone, and Vertly tinted butter for healthy lips.


(Image credit: @marinalarroude)

Since you don’t have to check your luggage, I bet you can bring as much as you want, but also need to bring full-size shower products. Is that right?

Yes, exactly. For the body, I’m obsessed with Bastide clean moisturizer which smells amazing. 

For my hair, I use Frederik Fekkai shampoo and do a weekly Kérastase nutritive hair mask.

For the evening I repeat the same steps as my morning routine, but I replace sunscreen with Neova DNA Total Repair, and of course, eye cream from Dr. Brandt.


(Image credit: Courtesy of Marina Larroude)

As a person who is into health and wellness, how do you plan to keep up your routines while on the road? 

I’m a fan of Tracy Anderson’s workout and I do it from home or any hotel while I’m traveling. This time was a bit tricky with the RV, and I was a bit lazy, to tell the truth, so I basically just ran outside.


(Image credit: @marinalarroude)

Any snacks, food staples, or vitamins, or supplements you’re taking with you?

The RV life made it super easy to keep a healthy diet and avoid junk foods on the road.

I bought tons of Evolution Fresh Celery Juice and Essential Greens. It’s available at Whole Foods, so it was easy to find it around the country, once my initial stock was empty.

Cashews and SkinnyPop are my go-to snacks. My friends constantly make fun of me for the amount of popcorn I eat a day—it is comical!

Up Next: The Fall 2020 Starter Pack: 7 Items That Will Upgrade Your Style

Drew Elovitz
Director of Content Strategy

Drew Elovitz is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but has spent the last decade living and working in New York City. She earned a master's degree in media and popular culture from New York University, then began her career on the internet as the Twitter voice of Barbie. She worked previously at Who What Wear as the director of content strategy and also spent several years leading the social media teams at Teen Vogue and Entertainment Weekly. You'll find her byline on the site around topics such as celebrity fashion, must-have basics, beauty favorites (particularly nail polish), and wellness tips and tricks. Her personal style tends to favor the classics: She loves crisp white button-downs, sneakers, and skinny jeans—and no look is complete without a great pair of oversize sunglasses and a trusty leather jacket. After she finishes reading the entire internet every day, she can be found dining out at her favorite restaurants, trying new beauty treatments, or indulging her historical-fiction habit.