I think it’s fair to say that Indre Rockefeller knows a thing or two about travel. I mean, she IS the co-founder of Paravel—a chic new brand of canvas travel goods that are crisscrossing the globe in the hands of fashion-savvy jet setters from Los Angeles to London (trust me, this is the kind of luggage that makes you stop and take notice—oh, and it’s totally affordable!)…so I sorta think that gives her some major street cred. Here, the New York-based entrepreneur talks to us about her favorite travel souvenir, the destination that’s at the top of her bucket-list, and the beauty products she never leaves home without.
City you call home?
New York City!
How often do you travel?
I’m most often traveling for work to Italy because at Paravel we manufacture most of our product at a family-run factory in Florence and source our canvas and leathers in Tuscany.
How many countries have you visited?
I would have to count stamps on my last few passports but it’s over 30. Some of the most memorable include Australia, South Africa, Lebanon, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, and Morocco.
Favorite destinations to travel to?
One of the most memorable trips I’ve ever taken was to Cape Town, South Africa. I was awed by the physical beauty, not to mention the spectacular wildlife-penguins in Simon’s Town and cage diving with great white sharks in Gansbaii (that was one of the biggest bucket-list items crossed off my list!).
Where’s your “happy place” to visit?
Bali! It’s paradise filled with under the radar local restaurants and cultural gems.
What was your last vacation and where will your next one be?
Kauai, Hawaii…and unfortunately I have no idea where the next one will be!
What brand of luggage do you use?
I use the Paravel complete system in Scout. I carry the Crossbody Capsule almost every day but I can’t leave home for longer trips without our packing cubes for space saving organization, The Grand Tour duffel for my carry-on items, and the Boxer for my cosmetics and jewelry. The best part is our bags can handle any spills or stains because they are made using our signature treated travel-proof canvas.
What brand of camera do you bring?
My iPhone 7!
Singapore Airlines for its unparalleled service. That being said, the airline I fly most often is United.
I have a soft spot for the Helsinki airport. I lived in Helsinki for a year when I was dancing ballet professionally and always found it delightful and easy to navigate.
The Treehotel in Harads, Sweden is at the top of my hotel bucket-list.
What are your in-flight travel essentials?
Natura Bisse Oxygen Cream, a Slip silk eye mask, as much water as I can possibly carry, raw hazelnuts, my Prabal Gurung two-tone cashmere wrap that doubles as a blanket, and the Paravel pochette trio to stash magazines, chargers, an iPad, headphones and ear plugs.
Aisle or window?
Window. For the views, of course.
Preferred in-flight beverage?
Water…and more water!
What music is on your travel playlist?
A total mood-dependent medley ranging from Taylor Swift to Chopin.
Gadget you can’t leave home without?
A Mophie case for my iPhone.
Do you use any travel apps?
Kayak for booking flights, Airbnb for when I’m looking to stay in a house instead of a hotel, and Uber to get around all over the world.
Do you have any travel rituals or superstitions?
No, except I always try to avoid checking bags.
How do you entertain yourself at 35,000 feet?
I just downloaded Phil Knight’s memoir Shoe Dog.
What’s your go-to uniform for the plane?
How do you deal with jet lag?
I take a walk as soon as I arrive—especially if I’m just getting off of a red-eye.
What’s your exercise routine when you’re on the road?
I always pack gym clothes, but, to be honest, most of the time I opt for walking instead.
What’s the first thing you do when you get into your hotel room?
Look to see if there is a bathtub and then unpack my toiletries.
Are you an over-packer or under-packer?
I try to avoid checking bags at all costs. This usually means I underpack for long trips and overpack for short trips because I’ll fill my carry-on regardless.
Do you have a packing strategy?
I use packing cubes for everything! I have Paravel packing cubes (in red and blue) in three sizes so I can separate out my items and use the viewfinder to see what’s in each pack, without needing to unfold everything.
One surprising thing you always pack?
The Paravel Stowaway bag. It folds completely flat into a larger bag and can pop open into an additional bag when I go a bit overboard shopping at the flea market.
What are your favorite items to travel with?
Brock ‘Wright’ jeans because they are my staple.
A Celine blazer with pearl buttons that I bought in Paris 5 years ago—it has become the classic ‘go-to’ in my wardrobe.
Aquazzura ‘Christy’ flats because they are the most comfortable flats I have found and can be dressed up or down for just about any occasion.
Outdoor voices ‘Springs’ leggings in an attempt to encourage myself to work out while on the road.
Johanna Ortiz ‘Pearly King’ swimwear for beach holidays.
What beauty-essentials do you travel with?
I love the Natura Bisse line for just about everything but my go-to products for travel are The Cure Sheer Oil-Free Fluid and The Cure Sheer Eye because they do double-duty as hydrating treatments and concealers in one. If I’ve just come off of a long flight, I slather on Natura Bisse Oxygen Cream to jumpstart my skin’s recovery. Other items I pack are Aquaphor for my lips and cuticles, CeraVe facewash, Yu-Be hand cream, L’Oréal Double Extend mascara, Clé de Peau concealer (for covering dark circles), and Marvis mint toothpaste. For my hair, I bring Dry Bar detox dry shampoo and a Tangle Teezer brush…and then I just keep my fingers crossed that the hotel has good shampoo and a functioning blow dryer.
Favorite item to order from room service?
Spaghetti Bolognese in Milan.
Favorite item from the hotel mini-bar?
I generally try to stay away but I have had my fair share of Pringles.
Best travel advice?
Always pack an extra bag for the return trip because by ‘packing law’ it’s always harder to pack your suitcase the second time around.
Have you ever had a travel disaster or mishap?
Definitely. I’ve gotten on the wrong train in Japan, been re-routed mid-flight to a different city in Italy, missed a flight in Germany, and gotten seasick on a boat in Stockholm…but it’s all part of the adventure.
If your luggage was lost, what are the 5 items you’d buy at the drugstore?
I have a weakness for Parisian dugstores, so would be happy to restock in Paris. I would start with Bioderma Sensibo cleansing water, Klorane dry shampoo, Avène Thermal spring water, Avibon pommade, and just about anything from Caudalíe.
Favorite souvenir from your travels?
My favorite find was a vintage 20’s nightgown I bought at the Paris flea market that has become a summer dress staple.
Favorite childhood memory of traveling?
My first trip to Lithuania (where my family is originally from) in 1992, a year after the fall of the Soviet Union. The trip was deeply emotional for my parents and made an indelible impression on me.
Travel destinations still on your bucket-list?
India is at the very top. I’m itching to go ASAP!