Packing by outfit is my favorite method because it prevents me from trying to stuff my entire closet in my bag and ensures that every item I pack is there for a reason. I look through my saved outfits in Stylebook (the app I co-founded!) and add a look for each day of my trip. The app automatically generates a checklist of clothing items from the outfits I add to the packing list, so it’s very easy to pack by just going through the checklist. Afterward, I try to pare down any items that are similar, which saves so much suitcase space.
I’m 100% a carry-on packer. Losing a bag to the checked luggage abyss is my nightmare. I also don’t want to wait at the baggage carousel for 30 minutes to an hour once I land. Luckily, packing by outfit is very efficient, so I’m able to fit all my clothes in my carry-on suitcase and my toiletries in a slim backpack.
I try to arrive at the recommended time – 2 hours early for domestic, 3 hours early for international. The traffic and security lines at Newark Airport are unpredictable, so I give myself a little extra time to avoid added stress. I try to be as efficient as possible when going through security. I wear shoes I can easily slip off and I place my liquid toiletries and electronics inside my backpack so I can take them out quickly. Putting electronics and liquid in the same bag sounds like a terrible idea, but my backpack has two main compartments. Everything is separate and I’ve never had a spill!
After security, my husband and I usually grab bite to eat or coffee at one of the restaurants. Terminal C at EWR just got a makeover so there’s a decent amount of stores and cafes to browse through. I like to shop through newsstands for magazines to read on the flight. Sometimes, we’re able to wrangle a pass to lounge through our credit card, which is nice if the gate is overcrowded.
Before I leave for the airport, I rent a few movies from iTunes and download them to my tablet so I can watch without Internet access. It gives me a chance to catch on films I didn’t have time to watch in the theatre (or movies my husband didn’t want to watch with me, haha). I also look at magazines, either the couple I bought in the airport or through the app Texture. My husband usually gives me the window seat, so sometimes I relax by looking out the window. We’ve been pretty lucky with cancellations and delays; I don’t want to jinx it, but I’ve never had a cancellation so far and only minor delays.
Jessica’s travel essentials
Mark & Graham Suitcase
My favorite bag is my Mark & Graham hardshell suitcase. It looks beautiful and is surprisingly durable. It just made it through 16 straight days of being dragged across cobblestones, up 5-floor walkups and on all forms of public transportation in the UK!
eBags packing cubes & Eagle Creek packing envelope
I pack the cubes by category – pajamas in one, dressy clothes in another, etc. They keep everything organized and compact; plus, if I need to open my bag, I know I’ll be able to close it again. The envelope compresses clothes and actually prevents them from getting wrinkled.
I save my outfits in the packing list feature so I can refer to them each morning. It makes getting dressed fast and stress-free. When traveling, I don’t have time to worry about clothes – I want to go out and enjoy myself!
Comfortable shoes are a must. Aching feet will ruin my day and I want to explore as much as possible, which usually requires lots of walking. I try to bring a pair that’s appropriate to the destination. My most recent trip was to the UK so I brought a pair of packable Hunter boots for country walks and a pair of leather wedges for city adventures. The boots are amazing – they roll up to the size of a regular pair of shoes and were a lifesaver when trekking on muddy footpaths.
I download movies and read magazines via the Texture app.
Solid Beauty Products
I try to bring as few liquids as possible so I pack stick foundation, makeup removing wipes, gel liner, etc. My favorite new product is the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look palette in Beauty Glow – the colors are perfect (I can’t take credit for it, Hitha recommended it to me before my trip!)
Shop Jessica’s Essentials