Although we might not all be jumping on a plane right now and slathering on our SPF, the nostalgic memory of vacations is definitely lingering. The smell of sunscreen for one brings up reminders of the good ol’ days when complaining over being too hot or having to put on another layer was the norm.
We spoke to some new players in the beauty market that draw on travel as inspiration (even if in the metaphorical sense) with new solutions that shield us from the daily aggressors that we face. Clean, ethical, sustainably-sourced and leisure-enhancing – we asked the founders’ what they would pack in their suitcase (apart from of course, ahem, their own brands) once travel is more accessible.
Vacation’s nostalgic memories of summer
Reminiscent of 1980s nostalgia, Vacation is a sun cream brand developed by entrepreneurs Lach Hall and Dakota Green alongside Marty Bell of Poolsuite FM. An extension of the viral ’80s-themed online radio station, Poolside FM (now Poolsuite FM), the brand has built on the nostalgia that is core to its radio identity featuring design cues led by old-school travel brochures and timeshare pamphlets. “The first time I slathered on the sunscreen, I was hit with the unmistakable banana—the artificially sweetened kind, like Runts candy. The experience is saccharine—but in a good way. It’s pure summertime euphoria in a bottle: bright, energetic, with a slight sugar hangover,” says Rodrigo Flores-Roux from Arquiste Parfumeur.
We asked the Executive Partner at Vacation, Lach Hall what he would pack in his suitcase:
Extension cord – this just might be the most handy thing ever! I can instantly plug in my laptop, iphone, and anything else when (like most times) there’s only one socket in the room I’m staying in. It’s the first thing I grab out of my suitcase every single time and most people don’t even think to pack one.
Extra debit card – I’ve been traveling since my early twenties and found that it’s best to have a little safety net in terms of cash. Debit cards can often get lost, stolen or just stop working when you’re away from home and having an extra on hand has saved me more than once. An extra little trick that I learned is to keep a majority of your traveling money on one and just enough to get by on the other to keep you afloat for the rest of your trip if something were to happen.
Unlocked iPhone – a simple way to start making calls pretty much immediately after landing. I usually buy a prepaid SIM card wherever I am, and I’m good to go!
Fanny Pack – as I’ve gotten older, I find myself succumbing to comfort over fashion. Fanny packs are incredibly practical when traveling – no more struggling with fitting my passport, phone, keys, wallet into my pockets or loosing them at the bottom of a large bag. Now I just whack it all in my fanny pack, which makes things super easy when you are sitting in a tiny chair on a plane/train/bus for extended periods.
Vacation Classic Lotion – sunscreen is often the first thing you forget (and the one thing you 100% need) when you hit the beach, and you end up having to buy it in a random gift shop while your tried and true product is stuck at home. I’m biased of course, but our Vacation Classic Lotion – aka the “World’s Best Smelling Sunscreen” – is my go-to!
Pick your favorite KOBU hotel:
Hotel Punta Caliza on Holbox Island: I visited the island of Holbox a while back and absolutely loved it. Places where you can only get around via golf cart are always at the top of the list in my opinion!
SALT & STONE find wellness in motion
Founded in 2017, SALT & STONE was founded by Nima Jalali, a former professional snowboarder who traveled the world experiencing a broad range of outdoor environments and conditions. The impact on his skin drove him to create products with outdoor extremists in mind, that were lightweight, formulated with natural ingredients and could withstand a long day in the sun. With an SPF 30, the products include Hyaluronic Acid and Ashwagandha to soothe and moisturize the skin, while Non-Nano Zinc Oxide blocks UVA and UVB rays.
We asked founder Nima Jalali what he would pack in his suitcase:
SALT & STONE SPF 30 Lotion – I use this every day on my runs or when I do other outdoor activities.
SALT & STONE Natural Deodorant – ensures I’m smelling nice.
Iphone – mainly for work. It would be hard to leave the computer without this.
Hoka Carbon x 2 sneakers for running – I run every day and these are the best shoes, they last me 500 miles a pair.
District Vision Spino running shorts – the best running shorts on the market, I love them
MacBook Pro – needed for daily work. I work a couple hours a day when on vacation, I can’t help it.
Pick your favorite KOBU hotel:
TOPI’s environmental skincare is made for travellers
Since lockdown, our climatic environment hasn’t changed that much. TOPI is a skincare brand designed for the future when travelling between different climatic conditions will be more accessible and where we expose our skin to the differences in indoor and outdoor air, artificial temperature control and natural elements, screens and sunlight, all on a daily basis. Ethically and sustainably sourced, the collection consists of two vegan serums – a Sun Serum and Snow Serum which contain a carefully vetted selection of botanically-based ingredients proven to benefit skin health.
We asked founder and frequent traveler Quentin Smith what he would pack in his suitcase:
Clinique Sun SPF 30 Face Cream – it’s a lightweight, oil-free, SPF that I like to layer on top of TOPI Sun Serum before any flight, long or short. Airplane passengers often forget they’re much closer to the ozone layer where the sun’s rays are brighter and much more harmful. Sun protection is an absolute must.
Postalco Travel Wallet – it’s the perfect organiser for travel essentials; boarding passes, itineraries, passports, cash, cards, receipts, and anything else you’d prefer to keep close en route to your destination.
Bottega Veneta Plat Sneaker (in Black) – a sleek and lightweight slip-on sneaker in Bottega Veneta’s signature elasticated intrecciato. It’s multi-function footwear perfected. Easily slipped on and off at an airport security checkpoint, comfortably worn during a long flight, dressed down for daytime walkabouts and worn with a suit for a smart dinner.
Macs Ultra Soft Foam Ear Plugs – I can often expect to be in meetings or on a Zoom within hours of landing, so in-flight sleep deprivation is not an option. I always keep a pair of ear plugs handy to help me rest. Macs Ultra Soft Foam Ear Plugs are soft, snug, and come in a large quantity – so you can pack a few extra to use during your trip.
Omars External Battery Pack – with everything from boarding passes to payment going touch-free, it’s more important than ever to have a fully charged smart phone at all times while traveling. The Omars External Battery is a great choice for travellers. It’s fast charging, compact, and features two USB and one Type C outputs – ideal for charging a phone, tablet, and a gaming device, all at the same time.
Pick your favourite KOBU hotel:
As for my favourite KOBU hotel, it’s Il Sereno Lake Como. I love Italian Modernism, and this property is an icon of modernist design one in Italy’s most beautiful locations.
My favourite item from the shop is the Tom Dixon Alchemy Travel Candle. I love the idea of transporting scent, and also the feeling of calm and creature comfort that a candle adds to a space, especially an unfamiliar one.