By: Alexis Posada TeStrake

My favorite Silk Eye Mask, a neutral Cross-Body Bag and my Hat Bag Clip

Traveling is BACK!!!

Planning a trip to see loved ones?  Or finally about to depart on the trip(s) previously cancelled? It’s summer and a rekindled sense of excitement and enthusiasm fills the air!  As I pack my bags, I’m sharing my three favorite travel essentials.


The getting-to-and-from experience of travel is not carried out as it once was.  Gone are the days when getting to one’s destination was part of the fun.  Once the embodiment of pleasure, reaching your destination can come with aggravation from crammed TSA lines and roulette-style cancellations. It’s often a dreaded means to a blissful end.

While I would love to turn back the the clock on the splendor that once was the norm, it’s not likely to happen anytime soon, so rather than just sulking through it, I now bring a little “éclat” to my in-flight experience. 

COMO Shambhala’s calming eye pillow’s lustrous habutai silk cover and weighted flaxseed fill relaxes the facial muscles by applying gentle pressure to the eyes and forehead.  Available exclusively at Via Coquina  so you can arrive looking like a first class traveler from the past. You’ll find this pillow exclusively in my travel bag … which brings us the the next essential … 

via coquina

A perfect travel companion, all ingredients are 100% natural and plant based.
Available ONLY at Via Coquina


Otherwise known as a cross-body bag, this coy accessory allows for hands-free to exploration, eating, photographing, or my personal favorite: shopping.  The right cross-body bag will do all that for you and elevate your outfit! No tacky tourist here. What’s more, you don’t have to worry about clutching your handbag from pickpocketing claws!

My top cross-bodies:

  1. YSL LOU Camera Bag in quilted leather. A timeless cult classic that is not yet in my closet, but very much on my want list (I can PM you my shipping address!).  Not too big and not too small, I have admired her on casual daytime looks and dressier evening ensembles alike!
  2. Cuyana Half-Moon Shoulder Bag.  If you have not heard of Cuyana yet, you need to get out more!  The Cuyana brand is all about creating foundational wardrobe pieces that are timeless, versatile, and affordable without compromising standards, materials, nor ethics!  The Half-Moon Shoulder bag, made in Italy from heavyweight Italian leather is understated, timeless, and ethically stitched.

Clockwise: The YSL Lou Bag; the Taco Raffia Bag and
the Cuyana Half-Moon shoulder bag

3. Taco Raffia Bag.  I chose this one with my beach vacation in mind.  Once again, I am bringing you to Via Mizner’s 120 Lino, but who can resist?  This bag is the PERFECT sand and surf accessory!  I’m heading to La Romana this summer and other than a beach bag, this is the only other bag to bring!  It goes with everything, it will carry all the basics for excursions into town (aka shopping), and it will transform into a clutch thanks to the removable wooden ring strap.  If you like the Taco, check out the Panini too.


I’m rarely seen sans hat.   They’re the Rx for keeping our faces from soaking too much of those damaging (and aging) rays.  Although I am pretty sure that my hat wearing tendencies benefit my outfits more than my skin–since I often forget my sunscreen.  Don’t tell my derm, but the right hat always elevates an outfit!  It just does….until it doesn’t because … well, it’s been misplaced or worse, rear-ended by a heavyweight.

The TOPTOTE hat clip is one of those hacks that once you discover, you wonder how you ever lived without it.  So simple. So game changing. They clip onto your bag strap with one end, and on the other is a high-powered magnetic closure that works like a money clip (but stronger) and harmlessly grabs hold of your hat brim safely securing it to the bag.  This means, no more lying my hat down on random surfaces to get dirty or flattened by someone’s backside.

Three Things

Lindsay Albanese Toptote Hat Holders

These clever clips come in a variety of colors, shapes, and even fabrics.  I’m sporting the FRAY in natural because it parallels with my summer vibe. See the entire collection HERE!


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