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How to Pack Like a Swimsuit Editor

These women know how to travel efficiently.
MJ Day on set with Kate Bock, Jasmine Sanders, and Olivia Culpo in Bali for SI Swimsuit 2020.

MJ Day on set with Kate Bock, Jasmine Sanders, and Olivia Culpo in Bali for SI Swimsuit 2020.

One of the things readers love the most about SI Swimsuit is seeing all the incredible destinations where the photo shoots occur. And while the shots may look effortless, a lot of work goes into pulling off that glamour. That includes a lot of jet-setting for the editors and producers. After years of flying everywhere from Thailand to Montenegro, these talented folks have learned a thing or two about packing a suitcase. So what are their Marie Kondo-esque secrets? Here several editors share their top tips.

Choose a Color Palette

SI Swimsuit editor in chief MJ Day has been on over 200 shoots during her 24-year tenure with the franchise. And her top hack is to pack items where everything fits into a color palette. “Everything goes with each other so I can mix it up if the trip is long and not feel like I am wearing the same thing over and over,” says Day. “Even though I am.”

Pack Multiple White Shirts

Like Day, managing video producer, Janine Berey likes to maintain a minimalist wardrobe with legs. She does so by packing multiples of the same white and black T-shirts. “A clean, crisp white T-shirt can be mixed and matched,” Berey says. “I can wear it on set or pair it with a cute pair of jeans or a skirt for dinner. Dress it up with jewelry. I pack multiples because set days can get dirty. So it’s great to have clean, fresh backups. So simple. I don’t have to think about what to wear and can pull together a little look quickly.”

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SI Swimsuit production coordinator Ellie Gill agrees, adding, “Investing in nice basics is a lifesaver because you can mix and match without having to pack all different sets of outfits.”

Janine Berey in Montenegro for SI Swimsuit 2021. 

Janine Berey in Montenegro for SI Swimsuit 2021. 

Roll, Don’t Fold, Your Clothes

Managing digital producer Mara Milam s very pragmatic when it comes to packing. That’s why she swears by rolling her clothes instead of folding them. “I don’t remember where I picked it up, but I swear I can fit so much more,” Milam says. “It also helps save room for any gifts you pick up on the trip!”

Always Have a Sweatshirt

This seems to be one tip nearly every editor cites. “I always pack a thick sweater because I’m always freezing on the plane no matter what time of year it is,” says Day. Berey agrees, adding, “I have a cozy sweater in my carry-on because I am always cold on the plane.” Milam notes, “I pack a surplus of shirts and sweatshirts.”

Janine Berey and Cindi Blair in an airport traveling for SI Swimsuit.

Janine Berey and Cindi Blair in an airport traveling for SI Swimsuit.

Focus on Beauty Products

Even if you’re staying at the nicest hotel, having your routine beauty products can make all the difference, right? That’s a resounding “yes” from these SI Swimsuit editors. “I always have my own soap and shampoo with me,” says Day. “I can’t tell you how much that makes a difference in my sanity. Sometimes hotel products just don’t hit right.”

“I basically never travel without my skincare,” Berey adds. “My go-to products are face oil and Edible Beauty Oil. These products feel like home and help me stay fresh and feeling normal on long shoot days.”

SI Swimsuit editor Margot Zamet gets her everyday makeup in travel sizes, so she always has her favorites ready to go. And SI Swimsuit social media director Joanna Guinta swears by her Maui Shampoo and Conditioner.

Bring Along Some Comforts of Home

Although these women get to travel to exotic locations, it's still nice to bring a piece of home along. “I always have white sage and palo santo with me,” says Guinta. “I hate the smell of hotel rooms, and it always makes it feel more homey.” Meanwhile, Zamet always makes sure to bring a silk pillowcase. “Mainly because I get skeeved out from hotel bedding, but it’s also so comfy and better for skin and hair,” she says.