How To: Pack Like A Stylist

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Travel Channel star Samantha Brown with her stylist, Christina Burns.

Pack Like A Stylist

Pro tips for a perfectly prepared suitcase.


Interviewed by Annie Fitzsimmons
Photos courtesy of Christina Burns
For the past ten years, stylist Christina Burns has traveled with Travel Channel host Samantha Brown, planning every detail of her clothing, accessories, hair, and makeup for filming all over the world.
“You want to look stylish and polished,” Burns says of packing. “But for me, it’s about the destination first.” While she may overpack for a TV shoot (“We need options, options, options for last-minute changes in the schedule”), she has collected plenty of pack-perfect tips for her own travels, beyond bringing ziplock bags and packing cubes for spill and wrinkle prevention.
In her own words:
Your Clothes Become Part of Your Travel Story
“Don’t forget that you’ll be wearing these clothes in front of the Eiffel Tower, in the pictures you’ll share and look at forever. It’s worth it to take the extra time with packing!”
Beat the Mad Rush
“Always try to plan ahead, but if you don’t have time to try your outfits on, at least lay them out. I’m a very visual person.”
Research Like a Journalist
“Before I go on a trip, I check the weather constantly. I’ll even check the websites of restaurants and hotels I’ll be visiting. What do the places look like? Are there dress codes? Will I visit temples or cathedrals? Am I going to be doing activities like zip-lining or exploring caves, or doing a lot of walking?”
The Magic Number
 “I hate to overpack for myself, so I bring 10 to 12 pieces of clothing, always including a little black dress. You might need it for an unexpected evening out, and it’s something you can wear day and night.”
Yes, Bring a Scarf, But Make It BIG
“A larger scarf is so versatile: Wear it around your neck as a fashionable accent or as a sarong by the pool, curl up in it on long flights, or lay it on the grass at Retiro Park in Madrid.”
Always Take a Trench Coat
“A trench coat is one of those magic pieces, stylish and comfortable, plus many are water-resistant – and you don’t want a loud, crunchy raincoat.”
More Key Pieces
“I suggest you bring an inexpensive, cute pair of sunglasses (I would hate to lose an expensive favorite pair!), plus stylish, comfortable ballet flats (I like Lucky Brand and Cole Haan). I love the fragrance I wear, so I bring a travel-size atomizer to get me through – Hollywood Fashion Secrets’ perfume atomizer works great and can be picked up at a local drugstore. Always bring a simple and delicate necklace that goes with every out t. I feel like it finishes off my look for the day.”
The Last Thing You Pack: Have a Preflight Ritual
“The only time I ever buy gossip magazines is when I’m traveling, never at home. They’re like my drug
of choice. I get overly excited – I’ll buy four or five of them and then hand them off to Sam.”

Originally appeared in the September 2016 issue of Virtuoso Life.

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