Regardless of how many times I get on a plane, visiting a new place is always exciting for me. It's thrilling to get to immerse myself in another culture and learn new things about people from around the world. Tonight, I'm leaving for a 10-day trip to India and the Maldives, and I could not be more excited. I'm quite a stranger to cultures of both countries, so I had to do the proper research as to what is appropriate to bring in terms of dress, skincare, and accessories. Here are just a few of the things I'm packing for my trip to India and the Maldives.
Though I had to buy a lot of random things for the trip — like an India-specific power adapter, mosquito bracelets, and a seemingly-endless collection of maxi dresses — nothing can deter how excited I am for this adventure. I'm going to be visiting the northern part of India (two nights each in Delhi and Jaipur) and the rest of the trip island hopping in the Maldives.
I'll be staying at incredible hotels, including Taj Mahal, New Delhi, Jai Mahal Palace, Jaipur, Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, and Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, to see and experience the best of Indian and Maldivian hospitality. While in Delhi, I have plans to take a day trip to Agra to see the Taj Mahal in person, and I've already put together a list of all of the most Instagrammable spots in Jaipur.
Because I love learning about traditions from around the world, I've arranged to learn more about Indian beauty and wellness techniques, as well as holistic treatments while I'm at the Jai Mahal. I'll definitely indulge in some spa time at the Conrad, and I want a pic jumping into the ocean at the Taj Exotica.
I'm positive that this is going to be the trip of a lifetime, and regardless of what I pack in my bag, I'm going to have an amazing time.
1. The new iPhone
Let's be honest: Apple's iPhone XR is the real deal. The XR takes incredible pictures, so you know your travel selfies will consistently slay. It's also splash and water-resistant, which is great for traveling (especially in the Maldives, where I'm going to be completely surrounded by water).
2. Mosquito repellent bracelets
I researched travel necessities to bring to India, and came across a lot of information regarding mosquito bites. Even though I'm a bug magnet, I'm not a fan of traditional insect repellents because the chemicals in them aggravate my skin. I decided to buy these repellent bracelets after reading the product reviews on Amazon. They're made with essential oils, and I love that they look like friendship bracelets.
3. A straw hat
A statement hat is a must. This straw one from Lack Of Color is perfect for trips to warm places, because it won't feel too heavy on your head and looks great in pics. I love the neutral straw color, and the leather terracotta-colored band gives it a little bit more of a statement.
4. A breezy maxi dress
I knew I needed to plan conservatively when it came to clothing. I grabbed a few new pieces that fit the bill. I fell in love with this dress from Lulus when I saw it because, to me, it screams "tropical vacation." On me, the slit in the leg doesn't come up too high, so it will just allow some breeze to flow through the dress. I love how loose and flowy it is, and the print is simple and chic.
5. A flowy, cream sundress
Every beachy trip calls for a flowy sundress. I love the bohemian style of this dress, from the tiered skirt to the tassels. I can picture this dress looking perfect on the beach, with a swimsuit underneath and the crystal-clear water in the background.
6. Comfy, chic leather sandals
These sandals have gone all over the world with me, through rain, mud, and many walking excursions, and they are still going strong. I love that the tan color is pretty close to my skin tone so they work as my "nude shoe" option, and they even kind of match the band on my straw hat. (Outfits come together in the details, you know?) Even though they're very flat, they're surprisingly comfortable, even when you're walking a lot throughout the day.
7. A good lip balm
I absolutely cannot live without lip balm — especially at the beach. This one has been a lifesaver recently. The cannabis oil in the formula is really soothing for chapped lips. Shea, cocoa, and mango butters help with texture and softening.
8. Sheet masks
I rely on sheet masks while I travel, so multipack boxes are always my go-to. I really love these masks from Snow Fox, which help soothe, plump, and brighten the skin with Japanese cherry blossom, white tea extract, and hyaluronic acid. Anytime I use these masks, my skin feels smoother and looks bouncy and fresh, which is perfect for combatting tired travel skin.
9. Kiehl's eye cream
Traveling can leave my under eyes looking dark, and I see a visible difference when I use this cream regularly. It's extremely hydrating, which is great both when I use it by itself and under my makeup.
10. A lightweight moisturizer
No travel skincare routine is complete without a good moisturizer, and this one from Tatcha is the absolute best. I like that it's formulated as a gel cream, so it's hydrating without feeling heavy on the skin — perfect for trips to warmer climates — and it works for all skin types (including my very dry skin). Plus, it's packed full of Japanese superfoods to help protect against the elements.