If you follow Shay Mitchell on Instagram, Snapchat or YouTube chances are you’ve been experiencing some serious travel envy from her #Shaycations. When the actress isn’t busy shooting Pretty Little Liars, she taps into her eternal love for traveling and plays the role of the ultimate explorer, hitting up destinations like Morocco, India and Hong Kong. “I just fell in love with meeting new cultures and meeting new people,” she told InStyle. “I feel like it expands who you are so much when you take yourself out of your own comfort zone.”
And luckily she wants to bring us along—that unfortunately doesn’t mean hopping into her suitcase but vicariously experiencing her adventures through her camera lens is the next best thing. So we reached out to the star to learn her top 7 secrets behind creating that Instagram-worthy vacation. Scroll down for some major travel inspo that will have you dying to book your next getaway!
Create a vision board to organize all of your travel inspiration.
“What I’ve always done is I’ve had this vision board since I was little and if I see a photo of a place that I want to go, I’ll rip it out and I’ll put it on my board or I’ll screen shot it and I’ll just kind of put it up there so I’m always constantly looking at it.”
When it comes to packing, less isn't always more.
“For me, I [would] always rather have more than not [enough]. Nothing’s worse for me than getting to a place and being like ‘Oh my gosh I should’ve brought this dress. Why didn’t I?’ Normally I do travel with two large suitcases, that’s my jam.”
The perfect vacation snap doesn't need a filter.
“I usually hold my phone up against the window and take a little fifteen second clip of what it is I’m seeing out of the window. I think that’s the truest form—you can’t edit it, you can’t filter it or anything like that. And I’ll do a time lapse, that’s always really interesting, just seeing the movement and flow of the people. It’s just something that needs to emote a feeling in you because then it’s most likely going to emote something in somebody else.”
Opt for a fresh, make-up free look for the flight.
“I don’t like to wear any make-up when I’m traveling—that I’ve learned. Any time that I’ve tried to wear make-up, as soon as I get off the plane I have a new friend—a pimple. I love doing these sheet masks—SK-II ($17; sephora.com) is obviously a good one, and then there’s also other brands like Skyn Iceland ($39; skyniceland.com).”
Prep for staying healthy when traveling.
“I always have to have Wet Wipes on me. I’m that person that’s like ‘Hey do you want a wet wipe to wipe down your whole seat?’ And I’ve learned that you get really dehydrated so I also bring a lot of water and I’ll also pack a couple of bars—right now I’m loving Kind bars—so I can snack and feel healthy. Sometimes a lot of the stuff on the plane has a lot of sodium and then you get off the plane feeling not so good. And vitamin C, I like to always bring that especially on a plane being with a lot of people.”
Choose a good read as your travel companion.
“I have this app called Next Issue ($10 per month; nextissue.com) and it’s my favorite app. There are over 150 different magazines and it’s just great because you’re not having to lug around heavy magazines and it’s also good for the environment.”
And if you’re looking for that perfect vacation read, check out Shay’s new book, Bliss, scheduled to release on October 6th ($20; amazon.com). “I wanted to write a story I thought all my girlfriends would enjoy, that they could bring with them on their vacations and have a quick read,” she told us. “Something that was funny and talks about all different aspects of things we’re going through right now in this time.”
I’m so happy to share the cover of mine and @michaelablaney’s debut novel with all of you! We have been keeping this secret for far too long! This project is so close to my heart and I co-wrote it with my best friend Michaela - It’s a novel about love, friendship, finding yourself, and following your bliss! I hope it means as much to you as it does to us. #BlissBook // PRE-ORDER TODAY and keep a pdf or image of your receipt for a special surprise tomorrow. LINK TO PRE-ORDER in my bio! I love you all and cannot wait for you to read this. 🙌👭📖
Plan your chic vacay outfits ahead of time.
“When I do chose to go to a place and I look at the top bloggers over there I see what they’re wearing and I look at the backdrops of the places. So my next trip to Italy I’ll take a lot of whites, capris, blues and light clothes like linens and easy flowing dresses that are kind of romantic in their own way.”
Stay updated on all of Shay's upcoming travels with her Shaycation YouTube series!