How to look good without even trying while you travel

^She definitely isn’t trying… 😉

If you’re already thinking, ‘I don’t care what I look like while I travel. I just pack my bags and go, you’re lucky if I pack a toothbrush’, then this probably isn’t the blog post for you.

This isn’t about piling on the make-up or spending hours styling your hair (come on, we have much more interesting things to do while we’re travelling!) but I personally still like to look good while I travel.

I like to have photographs of myself that I’m proud of and will show them off when I’m 90. I want to print them off and display them around my house for all to see. If I look like a bag lady in every photo then there’s no way they’re getting printed off!

So here are my top tips on how to look good while you travel without even trying…

Pack light

I feel like a broken record because I say this ALL the time. The secret to looking good when you’re travelling is packing light. Honestly. I know this sounds like it couldn’t possibly be right. Surely the more clothes and shoes and accessories and makeup you have, the better you’ll look, right?

Wrong.

There is nothing sexier than breezing through the airport, hopping in taxi, strolling through a busy street and arriving at your destination looking untroubled and fresh as a daisy.

Compare this to the girl who has the oversized case and had to argue with the check-in staff to get it onboard. She had to pay a small fortune to get it on the plane (there goes her taxi on the other side budget). She couldn’t sit down on the train because she couldn’t squeeze her case down the aisle. She’s hot, she’s sweaty, she’s tired and she’s flustered.

Pack light and you will not regret it.

Plus, simple yet elegant outfits and a capsule wardrobe look much classier.

 

Get pampered and look after yourself

I’m a firm believer that nothing looks good unless the foundations are right, and I’m not talking about the Double Wear type foundation. Sounds a bit cryptic but let me explain.

Before you start splashing out on expensive makeup, make sure your skin is in good condition. Look after your hair, your nails and your body because nothing looks better than looking healthy.

Drink loads of water, use sun cream, remove your makeup, try not to drink too much alcohol or caffeine (that’s a toughie, sorry) and exercise.

caci microliftIf you fancy splashing out, check out the CACI Microlift. I’ve been using this for a couple of months now and it’s amazing. It’s a fancy facial toning gadget that emits low frequency, micro current impulses (kind of like tiny electric shocks). I’m only 27 so I didn’t think it would make such a big difference but it makes my skin look and feel really soft. It isn’t cheap but if you usually get facials it’s cost effective in the long run – maybe something to add to your list to Santa!

 

 

Easy to use and all-in-one products

Travel beauty productsA foundation that’s also a sunscream, yes please.

Cleanser, toner and makeup remover all together, I’m all over that.

Hair products that tame, repair and protect from the sun? I’m in.

I’m a big fan of powder foundation as it doesn’t make you feel too sweaty. bareMinerals with SPF15 is my favourite but, admittedly, lose powder foundation is a nightmare to travel with because it can be messy after it’s been shook up in your bag. I’ve never used to the bareMinerals compacts but if you have let me know how you found them and maybe I’ll switch.

I use DHC Deep Cleansing Oil to remove make-up and sun cream. After years of trying different brands I’ve found this is the best for lazy ladies (like me) who have a habit of sleeping with their makeup on. It’s super quick and easy because you apply it to dry skin, rub it in and then rinse it off. In less than a minute you’ve removed every scrap of makeup and it feels really nice too. I even use this when I’m drunk or so tired I can’t keep my eyes open.

Embrace the crazy hair

Tame crazy hair while you travelSome people are lucky enough to have perfectly straight or perfectly curly hair. But there are a lot of people like me who just have crazy hair. It’s not straight, it’s not curly, it’s just mad. If I don’t blow-dry my hair it sticks out at every angle in frizzy kinks and there’s not a lot I can do to tame it.

I quickly learned there’s no point trying to keep my hair straight in hot climates so these days I just embrace the crazy hair.

I use Pureology Sea-Kissed Texturizer because it tames crazy frizz and makes it look more like soft waves. It isn’t a salt-based spray so it doesn’t dry out your hair and smells gorgeous.

Dry shampoo is also a lifesaver while you’re travelling because it makes your hair look fresh and clean without the hassle of actually washing it.

Get a Shellac

ShellacI love having brightly painted nails but when I’m travelling I don’t get the time/can’t be bothered to touch up chipped polish. I get a Shellac – a brand of nail polish which lasts about 3 weeks. I can usually make it last a month, partly because my friend who does them is amazing, but also when I’m travelling I don’t do any cleaning so they last a little longer.

 

De-fuzzing

Veet wax stripsWaxing might be painful but it’s the quickest and easiest way to de-fuzz while you’re on the road.

I use Veet Wax Strips -I’ve tried own-brands like Boots and they’re not quite as good. I don’t know if I have a high pain threshold or it’s years of practice, but I find these don’t hurt too much and they’re much more convenient than finding a salon or shaving while you’re travelling.

Tip for using wax strips: It says to heat them between your hands to melt the wax but they’re more effective if you something hotter. Place them on a heater or give them a quick blast with a hairdryer to melt the wax properly.

Pack Alka Seltzer

I never travel without Alka Seltzer. I have the tablets you dissolve in water and usually add a Berocca Vitamin C tablet to make them taste better.

It says on the box it’s for acid indigestion but I use it for hangovers, dehydration, headaches and upset stomachs – four things you experience a lot of while you travel!

Never think, ‘Screw it, I’m on holiday’

Yes, you’re on holiday or having a great time travelling it’s the people who think, ‘Ahh screw it’, who go home with an extra stone. Try all the local foods, indulge from time to time, relax on the beach and enjoy a few vinos but don’t go overboard. Keep exercising and avoid going back for seconds.

Pack a comfy travel pillow

If you have an itinerary packed with early mornings you’ll want catch all the sleep you can. Take a comfy travel pillow or a scarf/jumper/jacket you can use as a pillow or blanket to help you sleep on planes, buses and trains.

There’s more about my favourite travel pillow in 10 things to pack in your hand luggage.

Find a hotel workout to suit you

Workout DVDs for travelWhen I’m travelling in a hot country I usually find all the extra walking, swimming and outdoor activities are enough to keep me feel good. But when I’m in a cold country I’m a little lax so I do little workouts in my hotel room.

I personally like Rodney Yee’s yoga DVDs like Power Yoga Total Body but I travelled with a friend who loves Davina McCall DVDs. Another friend swears by the 10-Minute Workout DVDs because she can trick herself into thinking it’s just a quick session but will always end up enjoying it and will do 3-4 sessions together. If you’re not travelling with a laptop to play your DVDs, try the Nike Training Club app for your phone or tablet.

What to wear

I wasn’t going to tackle clothing in this post because it’s a beast of a subject and really depends on what you’re doing and where you’re going. All I’ll say is wear the kinds of clothes you love to wear at home. Don’t change your style because you’re travelling and keep outfits simple to make life easier for yourself. I have more packing tips here.

I also have a travel style Pinterest board which I love. Think lots of slouchy jeans, plain tops, beachy hair and tonnes of jewellery.

Do you have any other suggestions or products to look good without trying while you travel?

TheTravelHack

Monica is the founder and editor of The Travel Hack. She began the blog in 2009 when she left the UK to travel around Asia and Australia for two years. She's now a professional blogger and has travelled around the world in search of stylish adventure travel. Monica has recently had her second baby and is determined to prove that travelling with a baby is possible!

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SHOWHIDE Comments (14)
  1. Amazing article! As a travel blogger, I always try to look good whilst travelling since photographs are everything on my blog. It is is SO hard, especially if I go to a hot country…

    Your description of a girl with oversized luggage is that of me. Made me laugh so much.

    Shellac is a life saver.

    http://wideseanoanchor.com

  2. ‘Embrace the crazy hair’, so true! I need to do this more often. Especially in humid, tropical climates. I recently went to the Florida Keys and had a nightmare of a time trying to blow-dry my hair everyday in 95% humidity. Aweful. Probably would have been way better if I’d just embraced the medusa-hair!

    V
    Life+1

  3. Veet wax strips are the best thing invented. I’ve been know to de-fuzz on the plane after almost missing a flight (don’t worry, it was in the loo!), and as they’re not liquid/a sharp blade, they’re perfect to pop into hand luggage.

  4. Such a good list! The older I get the more conscious I am of taking care of myself on the road. I definitely need to look into Shellac for travel and for life! Thanks 🙂

  5. Good tips! One of the biggest one I recommend is to make sure you get plenty of rest and sleep. Its called a vacation for a reason! Plus there’s nothing that looks worse than a person looking hungover, tired and dragging two large bags across the airport =)

  6. I loved this post!
    I am a girlfriend of a professional tennis player. This means we travel all the time. Pretty much different city every week! Traveling light is essential. Luckily I have learned how travel fashion really works, so I can manage that! And today I learned even more! Thank you!

  7. Thank you! I love to travel, and do it as much as possible. Not as much as you, I’m sorry to say.
    But I just bought Pureology Sea-Kissed Texturizer AND the trtl – thank you. Am sure my next trip will be even more wonderful.
    Bought 4 trlts. They will be great christmas gifts. Thanks!!

    1. Thanks great to hear, I hope you love them both and the people you buy the trtls for enjoy them! I caught my boyfriend using his trtl on the sofa the other day, it’s that comfortable!

  8. so glad i found your blog. love it! i’ve travelling everywhere with my laura mercier mineral powder foundation (the loose one). the packaging is way better than bare minerals. and it does wonders on my skin too. =)

    1. I’ve just had a quick Google and the laura mercier mineral powder foundation looks really good, and definitely better packaging for travel. I’ll definitely look out for this next time I’m running low!

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The Travel Hack

The Travel Hack is a blog about stylish adventure travel and affordable luxury.

We believe luxurious travel can be affordable and isn't just for the rich. Follow along with our worldwide adventures as we share our trips and tips for incredible travel experiences on a modest budget.