Is it ever too early to start prepping your looks for a vacay? According to travel blogger, Tanyka Renee, planning vacation slay ahead of time can keep your luggage limited to just a carry-on, avoiding the hassle of overpacking. “The rate of luggage getting lost has increased because more people are starting to travel; but your carry on is always with you. We tend to overthink what we pack. We pack all these clothes but end up wearing the same thing most of the time. Pack smart and pack things you can also wash out by hand,” Renee says.
We tend to overthink what we pack. We bring all these clothes but end up wearing the same thing most of the time.
Renee’s passion for traveling started with a trip to Miami when she was 19 years old. After a bad breakup encouraged her to find herself by exploring the world, she started venturing to various citiees, sometimes with only $100. Now with over 300k Instagram followers and a number of brand partnerships deals under her belt, Renee has visited 82 countries–including Jamaica, Guatemala, India and the Phillippines, which she traveled to this year alone. And she does all this while looking fab everywhere she goes.
ESSENCE got a chance to chat with Renee and get all her travel secrets on how to look your best for your next vacation.
ESSENCE: How do you plan what to wear on your vacations?
RENEE: I’m a very visual person, so when I’m going on vacation I already know what the vibe of the location is. I’m not really into designers or into labels and I wouldn’t consider myself a fashionista but I love to give looks. If I’m in Jamaica I want to give an island vibe and if I’m in the south of France I want to give the European boogie vibe. That’s how I decide what I want to bring with me.
ESSENCE: What’s the best way to choose how to dress in certain climates?
RENEE: It’s levels to the temperature. If I’m going to Caribbean countries like Jamaica, Puerto Rico, or the Bahamas I don’t like to wear jeans since it’s so hot. Jeans hold heat, so I wear as much cotton as possible. You don’t have to be “naked” but you want breathable clothing. If you’re doing the south of France, you can wear nice dresses; it doesn’t tend to be as humid, so you get a nice breeze. If I’m doing Southeast Asia, I hardly even pack; I do biker shorts with a sports bra and I do bikinis with sarongs. I’ll take sarongs and that’s my towel, my coverup and my dress. Southeast Asia is very hot, it’s very humid and it rains off and on. It’s very sticky throughout the day so you want to stay away from jeans and heavy materials.
ESSENCE: What are the best places to shop for vacation clothing?
RENEE: Because I travel so much and I love giving these looks, I’ve been shopping at Rent the Runway. I use the unlimited plan so I pay a monthly fee, and I am renting clothing. I wear it, and when I get back, I return it. There’s also Rebag. If you want a vacation bag, you can grab it, keep it for 6 months, and then return it. It’s perfect for vacations because you don’t have to commit to pieces.
ESSENCE: If someone wants to be glam on vacation what is some advice you would give?
RENEE: For the girl who wants to give the looks, you want to get strong pieces. You want pops of color and that pop of color doesn’t have to be in your clothing it can be in your earring, headscarf or your shoe. I also like to play with texture. You may have ruffles or you might have something that has lace on it and it picks up well with photos.
ESSENCE: What are some good places to shop overseas?
RENEE: For streetwear, I like Seoul, Korea. Their fashion scene is amazing. For European high-end brands, I love south of France. Paris has the best thrift stores–you can find Chanel items at 60% off. For leather and furs pieces I love Argentina. You can get handmade leather bags for $5 and even custom shoes.
ESSENCE: What are some travel secrets you can spill?
RENEE: Be flexible. You can find last-minute tickets for low prices. Airlines want to make sure that their flights are full and if that’s not the case, they are going to drop prices. You can also set alarms or notifications to alert you when the cost of flights drop. Use sites like Sky Canner, Kayak and Skip Lagged. I like to use Skip Lagged for travel within the U.S. and I use Kayak to search for international locations. If you’re going to anywhere in Asia, don’t be afraid of hostels; if you’re trying to save some money and you’re on a tight budget you can find great locations for just $9 per night. Don’t worry–they’re not creepy; you’re not sharing a space with anyone.
Shop these slaycation-worthy buys below: