They say that once the travel bug bites, it’s an obsession that never stops. After travels abroad in my early 20’s, I slowed down on trips away for many reasons but this year I’ve decided to make it a priority again. Luckily for me, reconsidering my travel essentials to keeping packing light, smart and multi-functional has been easier thanks Spanx.
I’m going to be completely frank here, I’ve previously been the kind of girl would rather haul extra luggage around and pay for extra baggage weight than leave that ‘one little thing’ I might need at home. But my mindset has started shifting to less is more generally, so learning to pack lighter was a given. I got to put this to the test on a quick road trip to the Waterberg to view some game and catch the last of the summer sunshine, before spending a night staycationing at the incredible Pablo House, Melville.
Leggings that are comfy enough to travel or chill in and easy to dress up are a godsend. They also take up nearly no packing space and slim you down in all the right places. Whoever wrote that meme about children and leggings never lying, clearly hadn’t tried a pair of Spanx Faux Leather Leggings. I arrived at our staycation in sneakers and a parka jacket, then freshened up and changed into a knit and pointed flats for sundowners and dinner. For date night or cocktails, block heels, a floaty v-neck blouse and longline coat would be all you need.
Spanx Bra-llelujah Bra is something worth writing home about. I’ve stopped wearing underwire bras because I find them so uncomfortable. This has to be the first underwire bra I’ve worn in living memory that doesn’t dig into my rib cage, the back of the bra is made entirely of soft-touch hosiery so there’s no prodding or bulging there either. I didn’t believe them when they told me I’d forget I was wearing it… but I did. The cups sit smoothly like t-shirt bras should and the front clasp sits low enough to work with a lot of different necklines. Plunging, scooped or crew neck, Brallelujah has your assets covered just the right amount.
Spanx High Power Shorts are the shapewear choice for me because of a little gripe I have with my thigh and bum area. Now, what I love about Spanx is that it’s about empowering women to feel more confident. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a bit of cellulite or some extra weight. Those are things are not the enemy- they are things that nearly every woman has! And if shapewear can give you an extra boost so you feel good in a fitted dress or something body-skimming, then I’m all for it. You do want to be careful while getting them on and roll them up as if you’re putting on fine stockings. Once they’re on, they’re surprisingly comfortable. The fabric is really thin on the legs so you don’t feel like you’re being ‘squeeze’ but don’t let that fool. These shorts are small but mighty. While on this trip I was hanging around in sneakers more than anything, I’ll be taking these shorts with me whenever I need to get dressed up and smooth out my curves for an evening look.
I’ve (previously) been using an oversized beach bag type of thing as my overnight bag and it (kinda) worked- but it wasn’t great. Then I found out about ZEMP Lifestyle and got that situation sorted. Zemp Lifestyle is run by a husband and wife team who started small (on their kitchen table) and over time, became known for their high quality and innovative bags and watches. The Bobo Bag is really the ultimate travel bag. It’s spacious without being bulky, has inner and out pockets that I find handy for tech, like camera cables and chargers. The over the top zip double straps keep everything secure and there’s a detachable shoulder strap if you opt out of using the handles. Zemp’s handmade touches also include a monogramming service. I went for my initials in the beautiful blind embossed finish but they also offer motifs and metallic finishes.
Zemp recently added a curated collection of minimal watches with an emphasis on contemporary design and quality finishes. Picking just one design form them was a rather difficult task but they have a range interchangeable straps. The simplicity of the Eleven Eleven‘s geometric face and understated mesh strap came out tops for me. I prefer the type of relaxed travel, where there aren’t times to stick to be we all need to be on time for flights at some stage. This last weekend in the bush, my Zemp Eleven Eleven come in handy when I needed to make sure I was shooting during the morning and afternoon golden hours- and get to our game drives bright and early.
Spanx and Zemp show that ideal travel companions- no matter the destination- are well selected modern classics that will stand the test of time. My only other addition to these travel essentials would be sunscreen (always and forever), a yoga mat to stretch out after long trips and a loved one to share the memories with.