What to Pack for Valentine’s Day Getaway
Mr. Glamorable and I have known each other since we were teenagers, and throughout all these years we loved to travel together. By the time we got married, we crossed Latvia, Lithuania, Spain, Tunisia, Egypt, Italy, Turkey, Dominican Republic, and Thailand off our bucket list. We also visited other countries separately, but this blog post is about traveling together so I’ll leave those off the list for now.
If you want to hear more about my travels, let me know in the comments. Don’t be shy to ask nosy questions about $$$ and such, they are welcome and will be answered.
Even though traveling abroad is great and all, visiting different places in the US is fun, too. In fact, that’s what we’ve been doing since I moved to America several years ago. There is just as much culture and history to be found across the 50 states, and each one of them offers something special to satisfy our adventurous souls. Our most recent trip to NYC was nothing short of magical, it’s a city we fell in love with pretty much immediately. We went to celebrate our 5-year wedding anniversary, and our stay there was totally not long enough. Actually, I feel like any amount of time in NYC is not long enough, and it’s now kind of my not-so-secret dream to buy a nice place on Manhattan somewhere close to the subway.
Traveling for Valentine’s Day holds a very special meaning for us. Before we got married, Mr. Glamorable and I always made sure our winter vacation fell on February 14th; it’s also the day he got down on one knee and we became officially engaged. Now that we actually live together, traveling as a couple is so much easier! You came here for the tips, right?
When I’m choosing what to pack for Valentine’s Day getaway, the first thing I have to decide on is the size of the luggage bag. If we presume that a getaway is a one- or two-night mini-vacation, one duffel bag is all we need for two people. Right now we are using Solo Impulse Duffel from Urban Code collection, and we love it! It’s roughly the size of a gym bag, but it looks totally chic and the craftsmanship is superb. Unisex design makes this duffel the perfect choice for both of us, and the muted color palette with elegant color-blocking is inspired by the concrete jungle of our favorite NYC. It’s not just one hollow compartment on the inside; Impulse Duffel comes with a fully padded 17.3″ laptop pocket, an iPad®/tablet pocket, and several other nooks that can fit all kinds of things, like passports, tickets, maps, a phone etc. And yes, that is “Solo” written in Morse code in the little square logo at the bottom, as a symbolic nod to the original digital pioneers. A lovely tribute, isn’t it? Psst! If you sign up for their emails, you will get a sweet coupon for 50% off + free shipping on your next purchase.
I am actually a big fan of Solo bags; I got their Bridgehampton Backpack last year and now I wear it every time I go on bike rides around town. You might have seen it in my Snapchat and Instagram stories, actually. Sometimes, when the weather is nice, I would ride to my husband’s workplace and bring him lunch, so he can enjoy home-cooked faves to the tune of “Awwww!s” from his office buddies 🙂
Back when we were novice travelers, we would pack the entire closet so we could change outfits multiple times a day, but as the years went by, we learned that realistically, you need very little.
- 1x Chinos for him. Wearing the same pants 2-3 days in a row is perfectly acceptable, as long as you change underwear daily.
- 1x Jeans for me. Same as the above.
- 2x Tees for him + 1x long-sleeved. If it gets too warm, the sleeves can always be rolled up.
- 2x Tops for me + 1x long-sleeved. Ditto.
- Outwear, if applicable. To avoid packing sweaters that take up too much space, I make sure outwear is warm enough so we can wear t-shirts underneath.
- 1x Sweater. I always pack an extra single-toned cashmere sweater just in case one of us gets really cold. Why only one? We have the same top size [Mr. Glamorable is pretty slender].
- 3x His bottoms
- 3x My Bottoms
- 2x Underwire bra. FYI, you don’t have to wash your bra after every use, but it’s advisable to give the elastic band time to rest and reshape. Just make sure to wear it at least every other day instead of daily, and you’re golden.
- 3x Socks for him.
- 3x Socks for me.
While we’re on the topic of socks, can I just say I am obsessed with Happy Socks lately? I’ve got several styles that I rotate between, but these Artsy ones are my fave. They are running a winter sale right now, so if you hurry, you can grab a pair – or five, I won’t judge – at 30% off + free shipping. I don’t know when the sale ends, so you might want to hurry.
- 2x Sneakers, one pair for each of us.
- Phone chargers.
- Necessary medications.
- 1x Dirty laundry bag. I like using large airtight ziploc bags, so the smell of worn clothes will have no chance of spreading throughout the duffel.
At home we use very different personal care products, but for travel purposes we consolidate our routines into one. Some skincare is suitable for all skin types, so that’s what we pack. If I have enough suitable foil samples then I always bring those, if I don’t, I just try to minimize the volume by using products that come in smaller bottles.
- Cleansing oil. This camellia cleansing oil has been a favorite of mine for many years. It turns into milky emulsion on contact with water, and washes off the skin without leaving it sticky.
- Foaming cleanser. The two-step cleansing is something I am not willing to compromise on, so I always pack a few foil packets or a small travel-sized bottle of my favorite foaming cleanser. Lately I’ve been bringing this one from Exuviance, because it’s gentle and has low pH.
- Hydrating serum.
- Small bottle or packet of skincare oil to use as a night cream.
- Moisturizer with SPF. We just use my Korean sunscreens that combine the creamy texture of skincare with sun protection. I don’t have a favorite, but I heard great things about this one from Biore [it’s Japanese, though].
- Lip balm.
- Deodorant. We just share one, since our bodies are clean after the shower when we would typically use it.
- Travel-sized tube of toothpaste.
- Matte styling pomade.
Shampoo, body wash, and body lotions are pretty common hotel amenities, so we never bother bringing those. Same goes for the hairdryer; but even if our hotel doesn’t have one, I just end up air-drying my hair the night before and wearing a sock bun.
- 1x FOREO LUNA play for deep cleansing.
- 1x FOREO ISSA toothbrush. That’s right, we only bring one toothbrush and it’s not as gross as you imagine! ISSA is made of antibacterial silicone [even the bristles], so it can be fully sanitized with soap after every use. Generally speaking, an entire family can just use one brush without passing on the germs.
- 1x Gillette Venus razor for me.
- 1x Electric shaver for him.
- 1x Hair Brush.
I can’t imagine my life without perfume, so when Mr. Glamorable and I are traveling, I scour my stash and bring one-two bottles of unisex fragrance both of us can wear.
I am partial to niche brands because they tend to have the most intriguing bouquets, and right now I am loving Santa Eulalia Barcelona 1843 Obscuro and Provision Resonance Eau de Parfum. I found them both at Mills Pharmacy, a historic apothecary from Metro Detroit that celebrated its 70th anniversary last year. The pharmacy offers state of the art compounding along with a carefully curated assortment of premium beauty and personal care products. I can’t even call it a drugstore, even though technically that’s what Mills is, because it has very little in common with your typical neighborhood pharmacies. This is a very unique place that deserves its own blog post, and I’m definitely going to tell you more about it at a later date.
Obscuro is a dark and mysterious spicy oriental, very much like the best-selling mainstream giants Spicebomb by Viktor & Rolf and YSL Opium, except deeper and more complex. It combines notes of Incense, Star Anise, Peru Balsam, Leather, Saffron, and Amber in one intoxicating blend. Mr. Glamorable and I both adore it, and it smells different on each of us. His skin keeps more of the saffron, leather, and balsam, and mine holds on to amber, star anise, and incense. Body chemistry works in mysterious ways, indeed.
Resonance Eau de Parfum was a wild card pick. I smelled Obscuro at a high end department store before committing to a travel-sized vial, and this one I chose just by looking at the product description on Mills website. This beautiful blend of Cork absolute, Spanish Labdanum, Olibanum, and Vanilla absolute leaves me with the most comforting feeling. It’s like a hug in a bottle, so warm and gentle; I sometimes of think of Luna’s soft paws when I wear it. This fragrance is special in more ways than one. Truth is, Provision brand products are very hard to come by. Crafted in small batches by a professional perfumer Sherri Sebastian, these little treasures are carried only in 7 stores nationwide, Mills being one of them. They are not necessarily limited edition, but certainly limited distribution. By the way, the brand is so new, there aren’t really any reviews out yet, so naturally we’ll have to fix that. Stay tuned for a more detailed dedicated blog post soon.
In the meantime, check out other offerings at Mills; I guarantee you will be very impressed with the selection.
Packing my makeup is actually one of the hardest things to do. I have a lot of favorite products, so paring it down to bare essentials feels like choosing a favorite child at times. While I enjoy playing with all of the toys in my collection, traveling is the only time when I strip it down to basics. My best advice is to bring several multi-purpose items that you can mix and match.
- BB Cream or Foundation. I usually bring Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream, because my husband uses it as a spot corrector, and we have the same skin tone. This BB cream can be built up to full coverage, or sheered out into a tinted moisturizer.
- Versatile Palette. My favorite will forever be the Viseart Neutral Matte Eyeshadow Palette. This is more than just an eyeshadow palette, you guys! I mix and match the colors to use it as an eyeliner, a brow powder, and even as a bronzer for contouring. There is a rusty orange pan that can be used as a blush as well. I mix it with the white eyeshadow from the same palette to add a beautiful warm peachy color to my cheeks. Best Sephora purchase in recent years, that’s for sure. I also recently got It Cosmetics Most Wished For Palette, which has bronzers, blushes, lipsticks, eyeshadows, concealers, and even a setting powder. It’s lovely but not nearly as compact as Viseart. Remember, all of this stuff needs to fit into one duffel bag 🙂
- Setting Powder, if necessary. I wish I could find a way to avoid bringing setting powder, but alas, my skin would turn into an oil slick and it won’t be pretty. This one by Laura Mercier is my favorite, and sounds like a lot of beauty bloggers love that one, too.
- Makeup Brushes: Sponge Applicator, Blush, Angled Liner, Eyeshadow, Powder. I just can’t imagine not bringing these 5 makeup tools on my trips, even if it’s just an overnight stay. While foundation, blush, and eyeshadows technically could be applied using your hands and fingers, I never got very good results using that method. The exact brushes I use are in the shoppable widget below.
- Mascara. Go with your favorite smudge-resistant formula!
- 2x Lipsticks. I always bring one nude lipstick and one of my many killer reds to every trip. Even when I’m wearing jeans, a swipe of the red lipstick instantly dresses up any outfit, turning me into a chic Parisienne.
- Where’s the highlighter, you might ask? Honestly, I just dab a little lip balm on my cheekbones, cupid’s bow, and tip of the nose. It gives a different kind of glow that is still very youthful and flattering. Try it some day, just make sure your lip balm doesn’t have mint or menthol in it or your eyes might water.
I know this post turned out to be pretty wordy, but I wanted to go into as much detail as possible to really explain why I do things the way I do them. I am glad I shared these tips with you, guys! I do most of these unconsciously while packing, but it’s always nice to have the list in front of me in case I forget something.
Are you planning to travel for Valentine’s Day this year? Do you have any tips for traveling as a couple? Are you the one in charge of deciding what to pack for Valentine’s Day getaway or do you split the packing process with your loved one? Would you like to learn more about my travels, or get a more in-depth breakdown of vacation costs and how we saved a lot of money on pretty much everything? Gosh, I have so many questions today! You know the drill, let me know what you think in the comments below.
Disclosure: This post features PR samples and products I purchased myself, and may contain affiliate or referral links. For more details about my product review policy, copyright, and information about affiliate links, please refer to Disclosures & Content Use page.