Introducing the Travel in Style series, in which we ask influencers from around the world how they travel in style.
Travel is such a personal experience, and everyone’s trip preferences are so unique that no two people are the same. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m pretty particular when it comes to travel. Having said that, I still believe that there are certain experiences that, when shared, would positively affect most of us reading this. Which is why an Architect Abroad came to fruition in the first place, so that by sharing my travel experiences with the world, the world can then experience them too.
an Architect Abroad seeks to share those rare travel moments, the experiences that differ from the rest of the guidebooks, that elevate a trip to its utmost potential. We see no reason why travelling should equal khaki pants and tevas, and firmly believe in respecting the new culture you’re immersed in instead.
In our travels, we’re looking for genuine places, not tourist menus in a hundred languages.
And above all else, we want to ensure we travel in style, whatever that may mean.
In this instalment, we are delighted for you to meet Jessica from The Belle Voyage!
Claim to Fame: The Belle Voyage
Hello! We can’t wait to hear about your travels and style. First, let’s hear a bit about yourself.
Hello! I’m Jessica and my blog, The Belle Voyage, is all about stylish travel.
I grew up in a tiny town in Wisconsin, so as a kid, I always dreamed about seeing what else was out there in the world. In college, I studied abroad in both London and Kyoto. I loved my adventures abroad so much that I spent another semester abroad in Melbourne during business school. At some point along the way, those semesters led to degrees, so now I’m fully employed trying to repay Sallie Mae, who just won’t seem to let a girl spend all her money seeing the world! But I am constantly daydreaming about the day when I can live overseas again!
These days, I’m based in San Diego and I work in the healthcare industry. Fortunately, my job requires me to travel quite a bit, so I can usually manage to sneak in an afternoon or day of fun along the way. Most of my travel these days is to NYC, San Francisco, Boston or Chicago – so I’m lucky that I often get to visit fun cities!
I also try to make the most of my vacation days to travel anytime I can. My next big trip is to South Africa in December. I’ll be visiting Cape Town, the winelands, and then spending time on safari. I am counting the days til it’s time to go!
What’s your favourite destination of all time?
London is my favorite city in the entire world! When I studied abroad there in college, it stole my heart forever. I’ve gone back a few times since then, and every time, I love it more and more! Someday, somehow – I’ve got to find a way to live there again! The charm and the mix of modern culture rooted in history just can’t seem to get out of my head.
Do you have a best travel memory?
Oooh this is a tough one. Do I have to pick just one?? Living in Kyoto, Japan might be my favorite because I think that experience is what taught me that I was capable of traveling by myself overseas. Between the language barrier, constantly being lost, missing my friends, and knowing not a soul, there were some really difficult times when I first arrived. But I managed to get beyond all of that, and ultimately, had the time of my life.
What’s one thing you never travel without (or three!)?
Given the choice to pick three, I’ll pick three! First is my GHD flat iron. It can pretty much camouflage any sort of bad hair situation, so it’s a must-have. Second would be black leggings. I can wear them on the plane, or to lounge around at a hotel, and they also double as workout gear. Third would be travel-sized dry shampoo. Another lifesaver in the hair department!
Do you have a go-to in-transit outfit?
Sure do! For work travel, it’s usually black stretchy skinny jeans with black flats and some sort of blazer or leather jacket. For summer travel, it’s a long black maxi dress – so comfortable, but also stylish!
Do you have any packing strategies you swear by?
Don’t overpack! Bring pieces that are truly versatile. My leather jacket, a black maxi dress, and black skinny jeans are my go-to’s. Oh – and always pack an extra black t-shirt, no matter what! If you spill on an outfit, or need an extra fresh top, a black t-shirt can be styled to work with pretty much any outfit.
How do you choose what to wear when travelling on a trip?
I tend to group my travels into different categories, and I have go-to pieces for each kind of trip. For work travel, it’s sheath dresses, blazers, versatile tops, and black skinny jeans. For vacations, it’s maxi dresses galore! Having reliable staples helps a ton.
Do you save any room in your suitcase for shopping purchases while away?
Yes, always! Especially when I visit NYC! My suitcase is the kind that expands, and it’s pretty much always expanded on the way home.
What’s your favourite thing you’ve bought on a trip?
Hmmm…it’s not the most exotic, but I had a work trip to NYC a few years ago that was reeeeally rough, work-wise. I decided to sneak out of meetings for an afternoon and shop myself better. I ended up scoring a beautiful trench coat that I’d been eyeing FOREVER, at a huge discount. Every time I wear it, I think about that trip to New York!
In what way do you prefer to travel; Planning everything out, or letting it happen as you go?
I am a total planner by nature – I can’t help it! And I totally enjoy the travel planning process – I think it gets me really excited for my next journey. I usually have a pretty good sense for what I want to do before I arrive – but I like to leave room for spontaneity along the way! Having too many things crammed in will stress me out – so I am a bit of a mix.
And finally, what does travelling in style mean to you?
For me, it’s as much of a mindset as it is an outfit. Embrace new adventures, have the courage to get lost somewhere, and be open to new experiences that will bring wisdom to every piece of your life. Pack a cute dress, too.
You can follow Jessica here: