The Pack: Nadine Abramcyk
The non-toxic beauty guru makes room in her bag for a steamer and ankle weights.
The Traveler: Nadine Abramcyk, co-founder of on-toxic nail-care company TenOverTen
Base: New York, NY
Destination: Los Angeles, CA
My dad’s Uruguayan, my mom’s British, and I grew up in Texas, so I was traveling a lot and going on an airplane every spring break as a kid; it never felt daunting to me. Now I travel often to Austin and Los Angeles, because TenOverTen has salons there, so I’m pretty used to being on an airplane every four-to-six weeks.
When you travel you get out of your routine, so I try to set myself up so that I don’t get distracted from it.
I definitely have a system and I know what works; I have loyalties to certain airlines and airports and concessions. I travel so often that I know what I need to take with me to feel comfortable. It’s a lot on your body, skin, and mind, but if you prepare, it’s always better.
After years of packing last minute and getting somewhere and not having what I want, I now always pack the day or two before. We went to Mexico for spring break and I packed a week before we left! I’m very minimal in the way I dress and I don’t have a ton of accessories or shoes, so I can pack for as many days as I need.
I’m a big button-down and jeans person, so I’ll really spend time folding my shirts nicely when I pack. I have a handheld steamer that I literally don’t go anywhere without—even if it’s overnight in a car. I never iron my clothes, but it just immediately takes the wrinkles out of things. So I’ll use that as things get wrinkled. I’m not the person who does laundry at the hotel, but I always travel with little packages of laundry detergent from Dreft, a baby laundry detergent, in case I need to wash things in the sink.
I wear the same thing every time I fly: Gucci loafers, because they’re super comfortable and easy to take off at security, blue jeans, and layers. I’m always layering because I find it can be freezing one minute and then hot the next on the plane, so usually it’s a T-shirt with a sweater over it, and then a big cashmere shawl that I put over me.
I’m a light packer, but I always check my bag—I have this Nike suitcase that I’ve had literally for a decade that isn’t small enough to fit in the overhead, but it has all of these components with it and I like the way it packs. Plus, I don’t like to lug through the airport; I like to be light and breezy and have my purse and water and magazines and be done with it.
If everyone took astragalus they would feel so much better.
My husband makes fun of me because what takes up most of my carry-on are wellness products. When you travel you get out of your routine, so I try to set myself up so that I don’t get distracted from it. I have a little tote bag that I keep in my bathroom, and every time I have a trip I’ll take it. It’s usually pretty well stocked with the things I like to have on the airplane: little packages of Manuka honey for my tea, CAP Beauty matcha mixes, organic Turmeric Lift powders.
I have a green juice every day, which is hard to do on the road, so I’ll take an 8G—they’re so good and they just dissolve in water. My immune system gets really beat down, so I take astragalus liquid extract right before I travel and then while I’m on the flight—if everyone took astragalus they would feel so much better. I’ll also travel with single-serve packets of Natural Calm.
I try to fly with the same airline, mainly for ease and stress-level management. It means I know where I’m going and generally how long it takes, plus I know that I’ll have certain perks with the airline. When I can, I travel with United—at this point I’m part of their Mileage Plus Club, so I have premier access. That means when I do check my bag, it comes out first at baggage claim. I can get onto the airplane first. I can upgrade to Economy Plus for no charge. If I think I have a work meeting but I’m not 100-percent sure, I can book with them and then cancel and have no fees.
My advice for people who don’t belong to a mileage program is that even if you travel once a year it benefits you, so try to have some loyalty to an airline. You really do get perks from it—and it’s one of my biggest [travel] de-stressors.
My advice for people who don’t belong to a mileage program is that even if you travel once a year it benefits you, so try to have some loyalty to an airline.
The first thing I do when I sit down on an airplane is turn off the air vent—that re-circulated air blowing will make you sick! Having a shawl or sweater to put over your nose is really nice. Sometimes I’ll take an essential oil on a plane and put it on my wrists—it smells nice and it’s relaxing.
I’ll use EO hand sanitizer, which is non-toxic, so I don’t have to get up and go to the bathroom continually. I take face wipes by Ursa Major—they’re also non-toxic, and really nice face wipes. And then I’m constantly putting the TenOverTen The Rose cuticle oil on my fingers, because everything’s so dry. I usually have the Olio E Osso all-in-one balm and use that on my cheeks and lips, just to try and stay hydrated.
I don’t wear a drop of makeup when I travel, because my skin already gets so dehydrated. Instead, I’ll moisturize well before, drink a ton of water, and then on the flight I reapply my moisturizer. I really try to focus on drinking water; it’s the cure-all for so much. If you’re feeling groggy or coming down with a slight headache, so much of the core of things is dehydration. And when you travel it’s intensified, so I just drink a ton of water. I always travel with a one-liter BKR bottle and refill it at the airport. And when I land I like to take a bath right away—you feel icky from being in your clothes and sitting on the airplane for so long.
I don’t wear a drop of makeup when I travel, because my skin already gets so dehydrated.
If I’m at a hotel and can’t find somewhere to work out nearby, I’ll just run in the neighborhood. Or I’ll stream workout classes in the room—I recently started streaming Tracy Anderson and it’s really good. I was going to Austin and traveled with ankle weights in my suitcase! I was gone for two days, my bag was half empty, and I thought, I’m going to take them with me. I was sweating that the bag was going to be over the weight limit [laughs]…but it wasn’t!