10 Items to Pack for a Stylish European Vacation

rachel bilson
Rachel Bilson
One of my guiltiest pleasures in life is looking at photos of celebs in airports. Shots of them eating? Meh. Pictures from premieres, where they're all gussied up to the nines? Bo-ring. Give me a photo of Penelope Cruz walking through Heathrow and I'm in heaven.

Traveling in style is not the easiest thing for us mere mortals -- especially when you're flying internationally -- but it actually can be done and at, dare I say, a small(ish) price tag. Read on to see how you can (seriously) whisk off to your European vacation in style -- and how you can stay looking great while you're there.


Okay, so allow me to start by saying that last summer on a trip to Italy, I made some great travel decisions and some awful ones. Let's focus on the things I did -- and totally recommend doing -- first.

Bring Oil Blotters. Your skin will get greasy and oily while walking around in the hot sun all day. Those little Clean and Clear packs go a long way.

Evian Facial Mist. While you're at it, throw in a couple of those small Evian aerosol bottles, as well. They'll cool you off and hydrate your skin after you've blotted all the oil away. Also, they're great for the dry plane air.

Water on the Plane. But you knew that already, didn't you?

Bring Emergen-C and/or Go Greens Vitamin Packets. You're not going to be eating salads and whole wheat bread when in Europe. Bring some kind of nutrients to replenish you after all your electrolytes are lost to red wine.

Bring a Silk Robe. It may sound a little Dynasty, but it fits so easily in your suitcase, and it's fun to act all fancy when you're away. This is the one I have. Don't be jealous. My sister worked at Topshop. (Also, if you're going away in the summer, I highly recommend bringing as many light, airy, silky clothes as possible -- they're cute and they take up less room. Also, bring a small bottle of wrinkle releaser like this.)

Bring a Small Bottle of Woolite. Even if not for you, for your husband, who will undoubtedly spill spaghetti sauce on his shirt.

Now for the things I didn't do, but am planning doing the next time I find myself in Europe. Which, okay, is next month. Be jealous.

Buy a Small European Hairdryer! Okay, this may seem a bit extravagant, but you can find them for, like, $30. Adapters DO NOT ALWAYS WORK! I tried three different ones on my trip (one was mine, two were the hotel’s) and none could handle my bigger/stronger/faster American dryer.

Bring a foot pumice/foot file/anything feet-related. Despite the cobblestone streets and endless days of walking, I still insisted on wearing sandals during the day and (sometimes) heels at night. That, combined with the dry hotel air, left my heels so cracked and dry that I had to seek out a pharmacy to purchase one. (Note: Italian foot files are not cheap.) When you go on a trip, you walk a lot. Bring one of these.

Bring a Body Scrub. One that’s in a tube and isn’t oily (because you don’t want to clean that out of a suitcase). Why not have fresh-scrubbed skin while strolling the streets of gay Paris? Try St. Ives Apricot scrub (meant for your face) on your body.

Bring an Eyeliner Sharpener. Because, let's be honest, those are never easy to find.

What tips do you have for traveling in style?


Image via Splash

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