The One Thing Alexandra Daddario Never Forgets to Pack for Holiday Travel

published Dec 1, 2023
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Alexandra Daddario joins Hilton and American Express to celebrate the newly enhanced Hilton Honors American Express Cards in NYC on November 8
Credit: Associated Press for American Express

Holiday travel is a special kind of travel. There are snowstorms, delays, suitcases overweight with presents. Airports look less like that sweet scene from Love Actually with all of the heartfelt reunions and more like that chaotic scene from The Hunger Games where everyone grabs what they can from the cornucopia and runs away.

Needless to say, it’s nice to find some moments of calm and joy in holiday travel wherever you can. That’s why we got on the phone with Alexandra Daddario, a well-seasoned traveler and actress known for her captivating role in season one of White Lotus. The HBO show follows a group of strangers on holiday in Maui and takes place completely on the grounds of a hotel resort, so it’s only natural that Daddario partnered with Hilton and American Express as they launch their newly upgraded Hilton Honors American Express credit cards.

When you pack well, you can rest assured knowing you have a bag full of all the practicalities and creature comforts you’ll need for a smooth trip. As for Daddario’s travel essentials, I’m taking notes. Here are four of her must-haves, including one item she never forgets to pack during the holiday season.

A Carry-On with Lots of Pockets

“I pretty much exclusively traveled carry-on; it would have to be a very unique situation for me to check something,” Daddario says. “I love Away bags and anything that has really handy pockets to separate things and because when you travel light you have to be really organized and planned out.” This big weekender bag from Away has interior and exterior pockets aplenty, while this hardshell carry-on is a sleek option if you prefer a wheeled suitcase. 

Face Wash

Raise your hand if you have been personally victimized by hotel bar soap. Hotel bathrooms often lack face wash, so Daddario recommends bringing your own. “I think it’s really important to bring your own, as hotels don’t always carry it and it’s good to have your own special face wash. I love this oil called Vintner’s Daughter. I bring that with me everywhere I go,” she says. If you’re prone to leaving things behind in hotel rooms, though, or looking for a more affordable option, she has another rec: “I love Clean & Clear. And if you leave it behind it’s not a big deal — you can pick another one up at CVS.”

A Warm Hoodie

If you’ve ever found yourself shivering on a plane, you know the importance of an extra layer. “You have to have a really good sweatshirt — especially now that the weather’s getting cold,” she says. “Planes get really cold so you have to have some warm layers.” 

One of her tried-and-true sources for sweatshirts? A good ol’ airport gift shop. “I buy all the tourist stuff [at airports], so I have a branded sweatshirt from everywhere or a branded hat from every place I’ve been with the sports team on it,” she says.

A Holiday Staple: Red Lipstick

Daddario says she still wears a mask on the plane, but when the mask comes off, she always has a red lipstick ready to go in her carry-on. “I love to wear red lipstick for events, but in my day-to-day life I don’t wear red lipstick on my own — until the holidays come and there’s all these parties. That’s when I feel like you rock a red lip.” If you’re looking for a wallet-friendly way to embrace a bold lip, you can pick up this long-lasting Maybelline crayon lipstick at your local drugstore. Or, for a slightly elevated option, you could spring for this Dior liquid lipstick