9 Luxe Little Essentials We Always Pack

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Who What Wear

Forget looking forward to a nice long winter vacation… At this point in the new season, post–fashion month madness, it feels like every colleague I've talked to here at Who What Wear HQ is dying (hi, I live for hyperbole) for a nice, well-earned late-fall escape—even if it's just for one seriously relaxing solitary weekend. After all, road trips have benefits aplenty: No rushing to the airport, no dealing with TSA, and most importantly, a bit more opportunity for unexpected adventures along the way.

 

Take it from my co-worker Michaela, who recently transferred from our L.A. office to NYC and is itching to explore her new surroundings now that the summer crowds have headed home. "I'm really excited to swap out my two-day trips to Palm Springs or San Diego with the Hamptons and the Catskills," she bragged said, before graciously agreeing to spill the contents of her go-to weekend travel bag.

One thing I noticed about her travel must-haves? She likes to keep things luxe, from her new wireless headphones (in fashion girl–approved baby blue) to her beverage of choice (a nice cold bottle of FIJI Water, please).

 

IN FACT, HERE'S HER EXACT PACKING LIST

One thing we editors keep top of mind? Thinking through our refreshment situation well in advance. "I'll be all kinds of miserable and annoying to be around if I'm hangry or thirsty on my road trip," says Michaela. "Thus, my friends will really appreciate me packing a few bottles of my favorite FIJI Water for the road. The soft, smooth taste and sleek bottle get you in that luxe getaway mindset almost immediately."

"A weekend trip ideally only requires an outfit or two, so a tiny duffel will do," Michaela says—but not just any tiny duffel… That's right: It's time to retire that boring old backpack you've been making do with. An elevated weekend away starts with a fresh new weekender bag, à la this crisp off-white Away option.

It's also important to ensure that the shoes you bring along for the ride will work with whatever activities you've got on your agenda, Michaela advises: "Whether I'm traveling for one night or 12, white sneakers are a must. They're guaranteed to look cool with any outfit I pack, and they're comfortable enough for a full day of exploring. I'm really into this sporty style at the moment."

I think we've all reached the point where trying to sleep with our heads pushed up against the window just isn't going to cut it. "Again, comfort during train/subway/car travel is key, and this memory-foam neck pillow is as close to a real one as you can get," Michaela explains. "It's especially great if you're the type of person who claims to never nap but promptly falls asleep a mere 15 minutes into the ride."

Also important: making sure you've got Instagram-ready outerwear options. "The weather is a bit iffy this time of year—super-hot afternoons followed by really chilly evenings," Michaela says. "I don't want a jacket that takes up too much real estate in my bag, so I'm really into this packable down hoodie (it literally folds into a tiny packable bag… genius)." This option from The Arrivals will protect you from the elements, sure, but the fact that it's rendered in fall's It hue and silhouette? Well, that doesn't hurt.

Before you embark on your weekend trip, make sure you're armed with a stylish pair of headphones—those ragged earbuds are just not going to cut it. "You never know what kind of crowd you'll get on the train, so noise-blocking headphones are an essential lifeline," Michaela tells me. "I'll likely be playing a mix of Mumford and Sons and Lizzo because balance." (Note to self: Have Michaela share her fall playlist with me ASAP.)

There may be significantly less sunshine to contend with this time of year, but that doesn't mean you can afford to skip the SPF. (Please don't do that to your dermatologist.) That's where this non-gloopy multitasking option comes in. "A small piece of luggage often requires you be highly selective when packing," Michaela notes. "This finishing powder with SPF is exactly the kind of two-in-one product that makes the cut."

I know, I know, sometimes sleep attire can be a bit of an afterthought when you're packing for a weekend trip. But bringing along a cute matching set is an easy way to ensure a sound night's sleep. (Also, Michaela brings up the very good point that you never know what the A/C situation will be at your Airbnb. Luxe lightweight pajamas are always a safe bet.)

Oh, and PS: Should your travels require a bit more clothing options—ahem, indecisive packers—Michaela also swears by Away's supremely stylish silver-tone carry-on.