How to be a travel blogger & what to pack: best suitcases and bags. Off to Bangkok, Thailand with Seby!

thailand press trip, bangkok travel blog

Time to pack and fly to Asia again. This time, my destination is… Bangkok, Thailand with Seby! (I like the sentiment of his t-shirt: “Naughty” and “Endless Summer.”)

Everyone’s familiar with Jpop and Kpop — but did you know Thailand also has exciting youth culture and street style? Thai Tourism is sending Seby and me to report on these trends, including a futuristic hotel, apothecary bar, and Gothic Lolita fashion boutique.

We’ll work hard to bring you unique coverage of Bangkok, going far beyond the usual tourist attractions. If you have suggestions for places to visit, let us know. (I visited the city about 10 years ago, but so much has changed and I can’t wait to rediscover it.)

scottish fold cat sitting on suitcase

Many of you have asked: how do I pack so many outfits for my trips? Believe it or not, I take only one suitcase with me. The trick is to plan ahead and bring travel-size products.

In this post, I’ll break down the essential items needed for travel bloggers with a fashionable bent. These are items that I’ve personally used and road-tested, so you can trust these recommendations. To purchase the products, simply click the blue links below.

travel blogger packing list, designer suitcases

SUITCASE. From my experience, it’s best to take a large, lightweight suitcase. Bringing only one case saves space in your hotel room, and make it easier to you get around. I prefer soft, expandable luggage (in case you go shopping and need the extra room!). Wheels and a pull-out handle are a must. If possible, try to get something colorful so that it’s easier to find in baggage claim.

1. Samsonite Silhouette Sphere 25″ (Spinner Expandable) is exact suitcase I have. It cost $550 but has lasted me for years — better to splurge once on a quality case, than on a $200 one that quickly breaks.
2. Tumi Alpha Lightweight suitcase is also stylish and lightweight. Tumi is one of my favorite travel brands, and the cute bear logo is a plus.
3. Michael Kors rolling suitcase has sturdy wheels and a waterproof PVC fabric.
4. Tumi Voyageur is a smaller case, and ideal for short trips. The bright Art Deco flowers are chic and easy to spot.

travel blogger packing list, designer suitcases

PURSES AND BAGS. I usually only take one purse on each trip. Get one with zippers and pockets, and make sure it’s big enough to hold your camera (and even laptop). For my favorite backpacks, keep scrolling down.

5. Sumo Laptop Purse is padded to protect your computer. With a pink trim, it’s a lot more stylish than the typical laptop bag, and can be worn when you’re out exploring.
6. Kipling Aleron messenger bag has lots of pockets and secure clasps. A fun, solid color like this one can contrast nicely with neutral outfits.
7. Forzieri red apple messenger bag merges cuteness with functionaltiy. It can match kawaii or Lolita outfits.
8. Alexander McQueen Heroine tote is sturdy, and the black color goes with almost anything. Make sure your purse has a solid strap or handle like this one.

travel dresses, how to pack for vacation

DRESSES, BIG TOPS, LEGGINGS. Do these coordinates look familiar? These are my staples for travel outfits. The clothes below can be dressed up or down. Look for lightweight fabrics that don’t require ironing, so that you can roll your clothing to save space.

9. L’ecole des Femmes “In the Mood Dress” is a fitted, wool black dress that is perfect for colder weather. With different accessorizing, this single item can work for a casual outfit, a formal event, or a club night.
10. Freak Of Nature Hi Lo Dress in Desert Rose Print is equally versatile. You can go sightseeing in it, then Goth up your makeup for a bar or party.
11. Miss Karmaloop The Scenario Dress is easy to layer; you can wear tights and a jacket if the weather gets colder. The black color also masks stains.
12. ASOS Swing Dress With Woven Drape Pocket has handy pockets and a relaxed fit, in case you ate too much pasta.
13. Freak Of Nature Let It Rock Lace Up Leggings. When I’m on the plane or train, I like to wear big t-shirts with leggings. That way, you’re comfortable without looking like a sweat-pants mess.

goth punk shoes, leopard creepers

SHOES. My travel filmmakers and I need to cover a lot of ground during our shoots. I always bring good walking shoes, but there’s no need to sacrifice style and height.

14. Camper wedge sandals are great for warm climates. Camper is one of favorite brands (I wore them in this Dubai post). The neutral color and sturdy heel goes with many coordinates.
15. Underground x Long Clothing Comanndo Double Sole Ankle Boots. Even if you’re not planning on hiking, it’s important to have a good non-slip sole. These black ankle boots would match all the outfits featured above. (They have a shoe version too.)
16. Bess NYC Leopard Creepers are light and give some height. Leopard print adds punk flair, and can match a number of colors.
17. Dr. Martens Stud 8-Eye Boot in Metallic Silver. Docs are the tried and true footwear for Goths. A solid metallic color, such as silver, can match more items than a multi-colored pattern print.

goth backpacks, studded black leather backpack

BACKPACK. In addition to my large suitcase (see above), I bring a backpack as my “carry-on item” for the plane. Trust me, it’s much easier to travel with a backpack than an additional small, wheeled case. Go for a quality one, or you’ll end up with sore muscles.

18. Crumpler Dry Red #5 is the exact backpack that I carry. (Naturally, I decorated it with a few cute charms.) This pack has a compartment to cushion your laptop, and designed to protect your back. Again, a worthy investment that lasts.
19. Cargon 2.5 – Black Backpack Carry On Trolley has pull-out handle so you can roll your bag behind you. There’s a zippered compartment at the bottom, with a padded laptop pocket.
20. UNIF Shredder Pack can double as your bag for going out. It’s edgy, but also has lots of zippered pockets to protect valuables.
21. UNIF Black Pack Backpack is equally cool, and can be worn anywhere.

skull goth sweater, one teaspoon leather jacket

COATS, SWEATERS, JACKETS. Since outerwear tends to be bulky, I usually only bring one large jacket and use layering to stay warm. Avoid rigid, voluminous and structured coats; they’re a pain to pack.

22. Fringed Leopard-Print Scarf. A scarf is a smart thing to carry around in your bag, in case the weather changes or you need to cover up (I’ve been denied entry to churches for dressing too scandalously!)
23. One Teaspoon Storm Rider Leather Jacket. Can’t go wrong with a sleek leather jacket. Beware of heavily decorated and studded ones, as they can be heavy.
24. Halfman Romantics Miss Fur Cardigan. I like to layer with a sweater or cardigan. This one is easy to keep in your purse, and can match many outfits.
25. White faux fur coat. This will keep you warm, without complicating your packing. This store carries a Lolita coat too.

travel kit makeup, portable cosmetic brushes

MAKEUP AND BRUSHES. For convenience, I bring compact brush kits and palettes. (Loose minerals and powders get messy, and it’s difficult to find products when they are jumbled up in a bag.) Stick to the highest-quality cosmetics and neutral colors, but don’t forget red lipstick. Invest once in a good set of makeup brushes, and you’re set for a decade or more.

26. Travel Brush Set – Chantecaille has all the basics for your eyes and face. The shorter handle helps save space.
27. NARS eyeshadow set contains 6 shades, a travel-size Eye Shader Brush, and a medium base. Perfect for building smoky eyes.
28. Laura Mercier ‘Signature Color Essentials’ Travel Set. I’m a big fan of Laura Mercier, and this kit has flattering colors for your cheeks, eyes (including mascara) and lips.
29. Bobbi Brown Caviar and Oyster Collection is a fab 7-piece brush set. I used travel-size products in day to day life as well, so you only have to purchase one good set.
30. NYX ‘Beauty To Go’ Kit contains 47 eyeshadows from matte to glitter, glosses, concealers etc. in a fold-out package.
31. GloMinerals – Deluxe Holiday Kit is an excellent option for sensitive skin.

big cat eye sunglasses, travel glasses

HAT AND SUNGLASSES. On lazy days, you can still look fashionable by covering up your bad hair and tired eyes. Big sunglasses are always in season. I usually take only one hat, since they can be hard to pack.

32. Eric Javits Maribel Cutout Sun Hat has a lovely cut-out brim, and is similar to the one I wore at Art Deco Weekend Miami.
33. Swinger Large Brim Sun Hat has a nice contrast, and accessorizes well with black or white garments.
34. Tom Ford Malin Cat-Eye Sunglasses, Havana Big. A large, cat eye shape is flattering for most faces.
35. Karl Lagerfeld round glasses. Such a fun shape, and it’s worth splurging on designer brands.
36. Kenzo big round acetate sunglasses. These black frames add flair, and match most skin tones.

leather jacket sunglasses, gladnews skirt

I hope you found these fashionable packing tips helpful! Above is an example of my tricks in action: big cat-sunglasses, leather jacket, black clothing that can be dressed up or down, red lipstick, and ankle boots that are good for walking.

Do you have any packing strategies? Leave a comment to share them with me! You can also learn more about the items I recommended by viewing the links above.

goth city, glowing art

See you in Bangkok, Thailand! Lots of travel blogs to come (above is an outtake from Montreal). You can see previews on my Twitter and Instagram. Looking forward to hearing your suggestions.



  1. Desi
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Squeee! Dying to see this!

  2. Elder G
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Hell yeah!

  3. MelissaR
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Great tips! I totally need to get a stylish backpack and scarf for those colder days! Can’t wait to read about your Thailand adventure! FISTO! :-)

    • lacarmina
      Posted September 17, 2013 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

      yeah! and can’t wait for OUR next adventure!!

  4. alana
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    oo now i see the secrets of how you pack!

    heh heh

  5. Neil
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    The last picture is beautiful

  6. Crumpler
    Posted September 17, 2013 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    Nice review! We think it’s a pretty awesome bag, too!

  7. Astrid
    Posted September 17, 2013 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    those dresses are rad!

  8. Elligons
    Posted September 17, 2013 at 2:26 am | Permalink

    Woo, it’s Seby! :D

  9. Ramona
    Posted September 17, 2013 at 2:27 am | Permalink


  10. Reina
    Posted September 17, 2013 at 2:27 am | Permalink

    aww.. welcome to Bangkok city doll believe me!! this place is amazing !!!

  11. Reina
    Posted September 17, 2013 at 2:34 am | Permalink

    aww.. welcome to Bangkok city doll believe me!! this place is amazing !!!

  12. Euri
    Posted September 17, 2013 at 3:03 am | Permalink

    That Alexander McQueen Heroine tote!! (>O<)/

    Since I'm small, I need a luggage that is as much light as possible to carry around. My wardrobe are usually just oversize tops and leggings. I just bring a scarf, a blazer and a coat to keep me warm if it's cold. I don't have much problems with colors since my clothes are mostly in black and white (advantages of gothic fashion!). I also bring only one heels and one boots. I don't bring hats since I tie my hair most of the time, but sunglasses are necessary for me since I get blinded by sunlight easily. I bring 2. One aviator and one oversize sunglasses. :D

    I leave a lot of space left for my luggage for "necessary" shopping. XDD

    • lacarmina
      Posted September 17, 2013 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

      Ooh that’s a good tip! Yes same, oversize tops and leggings are a good staple.

  13. Julia
    Posted September 17, 2013 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Jumping for joy to hear this news congrats :-)

  14. Laura
    Posted September 17, 2013 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Damn I wish I could have endless summer and naughty too

  15. Iris
    Posted September 17, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Great tips. I pack scarves too
    I would add bring flip flops in case your shoes break

  16. Chicago
    Posted September 17, 2013 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    I saw you on bizarre foods. Cool cat

  17. Vera
    Posted September 17, 2013 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    don’t forget your passport!!!!!!!

  18. Edward
    Posted September 18, 2013 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    Write about live music venues.

  19. kathy
    Posted September 18, 2013 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    Can I baby sit for Basil? :)

  20. Princess Rockstar
    Posted September 18, 2013 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    lucky!!! TT^TT

  21. Ruaki
    Posted September 18, 2013 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    see you soon in Bangkok La Carmina. ^^

  22. Natalie
    Posted September 18, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Hope you enjoyed your trip!

  23. Kanae
    Posted September 18, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    i want to know more about the culture of sexual minorities in Thailand :D

    • lacarmina
      Posted September 18, 2013 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      Intrigued! Can you tell me more about what you mean?

  24. Iadanza
    Posted September 18, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Nightlife would be good. Best of luck, drop Basil by our house we would hold him so much he won’t touch the floor.

  25. DNR Worldwide Fanclub
    Posted September 18, 2013 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    You are lucky!! Have fun and enjoy!!

  26. W Osbourne
    Posted September 18, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    pollution bad in Bangkok ..phuket iz better

  27. Maya
    Posted September 18, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    yeugene fay please :))

  28. Ruaki
    Posted September 18, 2013 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    what date you will go to Bangkok?

  29. Katrina
    Posted September 18, 2013 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Have a safe and fun trip! ^u^

  30. Coralynn
    Posted September 19, 2013 at 1:26 am | Permalink

    Hope you have fun in Bangkok! :D

  31. Strawberry
    Posted September 19, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Enjoy life

  32. Tea
    Posted September 19, 2013 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    When are you coming to Malaysia hon, I want to show you around

  33. prettytendency
    Posted September 20, 2013 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Hi!​​, Have a blog with a lot of style, you want us to follow?

    I love it.

  34. Dan
    Posted September 20, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    love it have a great time

  35. Noo_NP
    Posted October 2, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    hope that u will enjoy traveling here ! can really to know if u will go to any beach here? ^^

    • lacarmina
      Posted October 7, 2013 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Ahh sadly we didn’t have time… I hope to go to Phuket soon! Lots of previews of my trip on Instagram!

  36. Michelle Eisley
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    One thing that also helps me maximize space is rolling things instead of folding. Fold your pants in half, then roll from the hip to the ankle, same with shirts, socks, and anything else that can. You will find that if you can roll things up tight you have more space left over. For gifts, and travel supplies.

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