The One Piece You Should ALWAYS Pack

Photo: Courtesy of Camille Charriere.
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No matter how many times you do it, packing is one of those things that will forever be a nuisance. Sure, there's usually an awesome vacation waiting on the other side of that zipped-up suitcase, but first you've got to navigate the inevitable chaos that pre-empts any trip, from loads of laundry to paring down what you need to last-minute dashes out for mini toiletries. In other words, it's easy to be a hot mess until you step on that plane — unless you have a game plan, that is.

For fashion writer and frequent adventurer Camille Charrière, packing hardly warrants stress. Thanks to a few handy tricks, like packing the same five essentials no matter where she's headed (spoiler alert: two pairs of jeans are a must), the half-French, half-English blogger keeps it cool under the pressure the night before takeoff. Scoop the rest of her tips below, then head to Gap for more from the laid-back explorer.

As a frequent traveler, you've visited a lot of incredible places. Are there any cities left on your must-see-next vacation list?
"I'm desperate to go to Havana, Cuba, as they just opened flights from America. [If I wait] too long it will lose its unique charm. I'm also keen to check out Latin America. Cartagena and Lima tickle my fancy. And a beach holiday is always needed when coming out of winter to soak in some serious vitamin D."

How will you narrow it down for your next trip?
"My next trip is already planned: a week-long trip to L.A. — one of my favorite foodie spots in the world and one of the only places where I know how to relax. I’ll spend a few days there, then head to the desert for a weekend filled with concerts and pool parties. Bliss!"

The desert will be quite a temperature change from your home base in London. Is there anything specific that you plan on packing for the heat?
"Plenty of one-piece suit options that can be worn as tops under shorts in case we end up at pool parties. Also, I've learned my lesson to never leave the house without my sweatshirt regardless of how hot it is during the day. When the sun goes down it's positively freezing out there, and there is never time to go home to change in between events."

What five items do you always pack, no matter where you may be headed?
"I always pack at least two pairs of jeans, one skinny and one boyfriend. Because let's be honest, vacays were made for feeling cozy and breaking free from the high-fashion bubble I sometimes feel I'm sucked into because of my job. I also bring a white tee, a cashmere turtleneck (no matter what the weather forecast), and my favorite pair of city sneakers. Oh, and a great leather jacket."

Aside from being supremely comfortable, why else is denim such a huge player in your travel wardrobe?
"It's the easiest to style. Plus, denim works in any given situation, from red carpets to home lounging and from dates to city adventures. My style is naturally pared back, very French, and denim is often the key component of my daily uniform."
Photo: Courtesy of Camille Charriere.
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How would you describe your packing style? Are you a minimalist who keeps it short and sweet or a maximalist who can artfully cram a lot into your luggage?
"I don’t plan outfits, so I would call myself a maximalist in the sense that I like to take a bunch of options with me — I never know what I will feel like wearing. I don’t overpack, though. Except shoes. I have a serious issue with shoes, as I like to have flats, boots, and heels in several shapes and forms no matter where I go. As I said, you never know where you will end up. I like suitcases that are not too rigid so there's always room for more."

Give us the head-to-toe breakdown of your ideal en route travel look.
"You can spot me in a relaxed-fit pair of high-waisted jeans, with a chunky knit or a funky sweatshirt, all in muted colors. Then, white lace-ups or black boots and a big tote bag to fit all my mess."

Which travel-size beauty products do you always have handy in your carry-on?
"I carry coconut oil for moisturizing and Caudalie’s Eau De Beauté."

Do you have any quirky or straight-up weird prepping rituals that you do the night before a trip?
"I maniacally search for my passport."

How do you treat yourself before a flight?
"[I pick up] Vogue, popcorn, and a fully charged iPhone as I prefer to listen to my music than watch in-flight entertainment. Currently on repeat is my festival playlist with all the best hits from the whole lineup — that way I get to know all the bands playing before I land so as not to miss out on something I might not be a fan of…yet!"

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