Lily Aldridge Talks Travel

From her genius travel outfit trick to the healthiest snack you’ll find at any airport. In collaboration with Michael Kors.

By: Meagan Wilson
Photography: Jake Rosenberg

When you’re a jet setting supermodel required to fly all over the world (from Rome to St. Barth’s and back again), you quickly become a pro at the more mundane, albeit practical, parts of travel: packing, making it to your gate in 10 minutes flat, navigating the snack options at Hudson News. Given that her second home is basically a plane, Lily Aldridge is no exception. So when we had the chance to chat while in Greece together, it was only natural that the conversation centered around Aldridge’s travel habits. Here, she breaks down everything from her travel bucket list to her craziest experiences on set all over the world (like how during the Wonderlust campaign shoot in Antigua, thousands of butterflies surrounded the shoot—yes, she’s basically Snow White).

Her genius airport uniform trick:

“I definitely have a uniform that I wear when I travel. I usually go into the airport wearing something a little nicer, and then I have a little sweatsuit that I’ll change into for the plane, with a hoodie. Something I can escape into. Cozy time! I’m like, ‘don’t look at me!’”

Her carry-on strategy:

“It’s very meticulously rolled up, so that I can fit as much as possible. I think scarves are generally great to travel with. You can be cozy on the airplane, and then make it into a sarong when you get to your location—I’m usually shooting on beaches. I always have a fragrance in my bag, because it makes me feel fresh when I get off the airplane. And I always come with little eye masks and earplugs and things like that.”

Her travel snacks of choice:

“I love Lara Bars. I think they’re delicious, and they’re healthy. And I always have green tea or lavender honey tea in my bag.”

Her travel bucket list:

“The Amanzoe, where we are right now, was one of my bucket list of travel places because it’s so beautiful. But I would really love to go to Japan one day with my family. I want to go everywhere—to the spas, to the temples, to Tokyo, and take my daughter and go to the cool robot cafes where everything looks like a cat...and the cherry blossoms!”

Her favorite place to travel to:

“Honestly, going home. I love being in my house with my family, there’s nothing better. My family is English, so we go to London every summer, and that is always very special.”

How travel was an unexpected perk of the job:

“It definitely wasn’t what drew me into modeling, I don’t think I even really thought about that part of the job. But now, it’s such a humongous luxury to be able to come to places like this. We shot the campaign in Antigua, which was so beautiful. You just can’t believe that you’re getting to work in these amazing places. I still get to my hotel room, wherever I am, and go, ‘ahh!’ It’s pretty spectacular.”

How she’d describe Wonderlust in one word:

“Adventure. The whole Michael Kors fantasy of getting whisked away, and going on some romantic escape. That’s what this fragrance makes me feel like.”

What it was like working on the Wonderlust campaign:

“Honestly, it was so fun to shoot. Just looking at the bottle and seeing everything, it reminds me of being in Antigua with Mario [Testino] and Michael and having such an amazing time. We were shooting on this amazing yacht, and I’d never had this happen before—thousands of butterflies would come and surround us on the boat and then disappear and come back throughout the day. It was so magical! Watching the commercial and seeing everything brings such a memory of being happy and having fun. It was a very special, special shoot. I don’t think there’s anyone on this trip and who won’t smell Wonderlust, and think about the helicopter ride, the amazing food, and the friendships we’ve made on this little adventure we’re taking. It’s pretty special."

How she keeps sane despite her hectic travel schedule:

“I always try to take time for myself. For me, taking a bath at night is such a luxury, it’s a moment for myself. I always bring epsom salts with me, and little candles to try to make the hotel room more cozy. Just stuff like baths, working out, or taking a swim. A good book, too, is very luxury for moms. I’ve been reading while I’ve been here.”

How technology makes traveling as a working mom a little easier:

“Facetime is the most incredible invention, it’s so nice to see face-to-face and actually talk. I’ll have my daughter Facetime me, and I’ll be seeing the bottom of her chin while she’s walking around, I always take screenshots of it and it’ll be like me blinking and her chin, but it’s so sweet to see a little face.”

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