Erica Macaranas is the self-taught fashion designer behind Sweets and Hearts and writes a fashion style blog of the same name. She recently graduated from Woodbury University with a degree in fashion marketing. She is the founder and leader of Etsy U, an Etsy team for college students that allows its members to network, interact, and promote their shops while supporting each others’ creative and academic interests.
I recently got back from an art-based study tour to Paris, Florence, and Rome. It was my first time traveling abroad without my family, and I was both nervous and thrilled to meet new people, try different kinds of food, and see places and artwork I had only read about in my history classes (and Dan Brown novels). As cliché as it sounds, it really was an experience of a lifetime. Not only did I get to immerse myself in European culture, I became close with my roommates on the trip, bonded with the rest of my classmates, and even got to know my professors on a more personal level.
Aside from all the fun and exciting things I saw and did, nothing prepared me for the jam-packed tour itinerary and walking marathons. Traveling can be intense — especially when you’re trying to balance recreational activities (shopping, sightseeing, relaxing) and school activities (essays, projects and studying). Here’s a starter guide to make your trip a little easier — and a bit more fashionable — with the help of some Etsy sellers.
For Your Stuff:
You don’t want to be standing at baggage claim, reaching forward whenever you see another black nylon suitcase pass you by — only to realize it’s not yours. Why not use a bright vintage suitcase like the one from scrapsistersvintage to set yours apart from the rest? To erase any doubt that it’s yours, attach a monogrammed luggage tag by leathermadenice. For the girls who want to bring their makeup and other knickknacks with them, asoftblackstar makes super chic makeup bags and brush rolls.
For the Plane:
Whether your flight is two hours or twelve, sleeping on a plane isn’t typically a comfortable experience for anyone. A silk eye mask by bibbon is perfect for getting some shut eye. When you’re trying to shut out your neighbors by plugging headphones into your ears, a quirky felted mixtape case by dorydesigns is the perfect way to protect your mp3 player. Don’t forget a pair of knitted socks by morrgan (your toes will thank me later).
It’s hard to predict what the temperature will be when you arrive at your destination, no matter how many times you check the weather report beforehand. Be sure to pack items that can be layered and taken off easily according to climate changes. An infinity scarf by KangarooKnits is as versatile as it is stylish and will keep you warm on chilly nights. Vintage cardigans and sweaters, like this purple sweater from Troubador Vintage, are also great alternatives to your favorite collegiate hooded sweatshirt and will help you look your best from day to night. Top off your outfit with a pair of vintage aviators from starstruckladies and a knit beret by mehran and you’re good to go.
For Your Travel Bag:
A small journal by paperfetish would be useful for when you need to take notes, jot down some information or sketch ideas. Protect your camera with a versatile gadget case by RogueTheory. A set of sudsnsuch soaps-to-go are extremely handy when sanitation is not your destination’s priority. Toss everything into a mid-sized shoulder bag by Hollyaiken and your hands will be free to carry your luggage (and extra shopping bags on the way home).
Etsy is a great resource for satisfying all your traveling needs! To learn more about my school trip, you can read about it on my blog.
Thanks to Erica for sharing her travel-made-easy recommendations. Do you have any trips coming up? Tell us what essentials are missing from this list in the comments below!