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There are different types of packing — overnight stays, long weekends, work trips, beach vacations, etc. — but the hardest (and the one we get the most questions about) is packing for transatlantic travel. What clothes do you bring with you traveling overseas? What's the best bag to bring on a trip across the pond? How do I fit everything into a carry-on suitcase?
Mother-daughter team Rana and Camryn Lebowitz, the founders of the new luggage brand Royce & Rocket, have been doing the transatlantic haul for decades. During their travels, however, they realized the packing game could be done better.
"Royce & Rocket is an accumulation of hard-learned lessons from years of traveling. I’m obsessed with efficiency and would consistently tweak products to make my experience easier — like sewing hidden pockets into my suitcase lining to hide valuables on the road. I knew that travel products had the potential to offer travelers so much more than what was standard, so I came up with the idea for Castle Shelves, the signature shelving system for Royce & Rocket luggage," explains Rana.
These signature Castle Shelves are what sets their suitcases apart from the competition. "The shelves fold down from the lid and belongings can be laid out in an orderly, easily accessible fashion," she continues. For her daughter, Camryn, the uniquely built Royce & Rocket suitcases serve as a way to not only make the packing process easier, but to create a more realistic way to travel. "I always want to get the most out of my trip, so I never take the time to unpack and always end up living out of my suitcase... I feel as though other bags are created assuming the traveler will always unpack, when, from my experience, that’s rarely the case," says Camryn.
Below, transatlantic travelers Rana and Camryn spill the details on their favorite things to wear while traveling as well as their best advice for travelers packing for a trip across the pond.
My tried-and-true outfit to travel in…
Camryn: The only tried-and-true thing about travel is that you never know what the temperature of the plane is going to be! For me, layers are key. You can always catch me at security in my jeans, a t-shirt layered with a sweater, and a comfortable pair of sneakers. I’ll wear a scarf or have one in my bag, but either way, I don’t travel without one!
My go-to bag to carry-on bag to travel with…
Rana: I’ve always opted for a large, structured tote that’s easy to rest on top of my carry-on, if I’m bringing one. I’m obsessed with my coated vegan leather version! I picked it up at a boutique on Portobello Road 12 years ago, and it’s truly indestructible. A dozen years of flights and memories and there’s barely a scratch.
What we always bring with us on a long flight…
Chapstick, eye drops, and hand cream! Hydration on the plane is so important. An oversized scarf is also a must; it can double as a blanket if you get chilly. Trusty noise-canceling headphones — why deal with plane-din if you don’t have to? Leuchtturm 1917 journal, Micron Pigma black pens, Anker portable charger, and our latest long-haul obsession: a cozy eye mask that plays music.
The Best Advice for Transatlantic Travel from the Founders of Royce & Rocket
1. Embrace the capsule wardrobe.
"If you haven’t heard of this trend, a capsule wardrobe consists of multiple items of clothing where everything matches a certain color scheme. For travel, this makes life so much easier. This way, you’ll have the most amount of outfit combinations with the least amount of clothing. It’s a win-win!"
2. Packing cubes are your friend.
"We think of packing cubes as a gift from your pre-travel self. They make it easy to keep each set of items — from beauty essentials to pants, shirts, and socks — separated and organized. By packing this way, you'll keep your suitcase organized with minimal effort during the actual trip."
Find the best packing cubes here.
3. Bring a “You Never Know” bag.
"A 'You Never Know' bag is one that folds up small enough to fit in your suitcase and is strong enough for under the plane, but chic enough to be a day bag. You never know what great finds you’ll stumble upon across the pond and a 'You Never Know' bag ensures you always have enough room to bring back your treasures."