If travel is a privilege, then traveling in style is the icing on an already decadent cake. Looking good, feeling good and being prepared take effort and investment, but the pleasure payout is limitless. Nothing feels more indulgent than luxuriating in the best this world has to offer, and New Orleans’ most prestigious businesses want to equip you to soak up every moment of your next grand adventure.

Town & Country Travel in Metairie stands apart from the pack in its take on world travel. “We design a trip specifically for a client, all detail oriented and very private,” says owner Lucienne Gore. A homogenized travel package or prosaic bus tour is simply not on the menu at this travel agency. Because Town & Country understands that traveling in style means indulging in unique experiences off the beaten path, Gore’s clients have orchestra seats to the best shows in Manhattan and private tours of historic castles in Tuscany. Gore sums up her company’s travel philosophy succinctly, “We aim to make the client feel like they’re on top of the world.”

“You really need to pamper yourself when you travel,” says Sara Gremillion, Aesthetician at Face & Body Institute in Metairie, a plastic surgery clinic and medi-spa specializing in cosmetic procedures. An expert in looking and feeling refreshed while traveling, Gremillion offers up a wealth of information for those who want to look their best before, during and after a long trip.

“When you’re traveling, your body undergoes a lot more stress than normal. Before a trip, a good antioxidant-rich enzyme peel will cleanse, hydrate and nourish your skin, preparing it for a long journey.” And once you’re on the plane, there are several things you can do to combat tired, dry skin. Wear minimal makeup – just a light, tinted sunscreen and a touch of concealer is plenty. Too much makeup can smear or become cakey by the time you’re ready to deplane. Additionally, Gremillion warns, “Your eyes and lips will definitely take a beating with travel.” Carry eye drops, a small ice pack and soothing eye cream to revive the delicate eye area, and slather a hydrating treatment on lips, like Face & Body Institute’s Image Ormedic Lip Enhancement, which moisturizes for up to eight hours.

Few people understand personal style like Evie Poitevent, Co-Owner of and Buyer for Feet First, currently celebrating 32 years as New Orleans’ largest independent shoe, handbag and accessories retailer. “Traveling in style means putting your best foot forward – with sophistication, comfort and practicality in mind. My parents always taught us to dress up when we traveled, particularly when visiting a country in Europe. My mother always advised packing a few different black separates that you can mix and match to make several different outfits, and black hides dirt the best!” Onigo hand-woven straw hats, Maxx leather handbags and Chanel-inspired Me Too quilted flats are just a few of the timeless yet practical pieces that can be found at Feet First and will persist through seasons of trends and years of travel.

SHOP, a boutique on Magazine Street featuring contemporary clothing and accessories, offers worthwhile style advice for savvy female travelers. Manager Elizabeth McNulty hones in on the importance of versatility to traveling in style. “MiH jeans fit every woman and make the hiney look great, and they can be dressed up or down so you can get ready for a night out as soon as you step off the plane.” Susana Monaco dresses, also available at SHOP, are another must for the stylish traveler. Made of a special Suplex fabric that never wrinkles, they come in a variety of colors and styles to meet your preferences. McNulty assures her clients, “You can throw that dress in the bottom of your bag and go.”

Another supplier of Susana Monaco dresses, FeBe, offers designer clothing, shoes, handbags and accessories for “every occasion in a woman’s life, including travel,” says salesperson Ron Jones. With high-end brands like Nanette Lepore, Diane Von Furstenberg and Theory, FeBe is just the place to infuse your travel wardrobe with versatility and style.

Perlis, a family-owned clothing retailer catering to ladies, men and children, carries a Mardi Gras pant that is perfect for this time of year and will bring the festive New Orleans spirit with you wherever you go. Edwin Eley, men’s clothing buyer for Perlis, offers another simple suggestion for the style savvy male traveler. The elegant, comfortable and versatile seersucker suit is an absolute must for your suitcase. “The advantage of a seersucker suit is that it’s a little more wrinkled, more casual, more traveled. It’s got a little bit of an attitude about it.” Not only does this timeless suit keep you tremendously cool in hot weather, it also breaks into separates for casual wear with jeans or a sport coat. As an added bonus, the all-cotton, relaxed fabric never needs ironing and gives “the look of being ‘dressed’ while still being comfortable,” adds Eley. The Seersucker suit, available at Perlis, knows no generation or region. Worn by grandfathers and grandsons alike, it looks equally stylish in Nantucket, New Orleans, San Francisco or any number of other locales.

Lisa Goff is store manager at Gentry, a family owned store on Magazine Street, purveyor of “general gifts and comfort shoes.” Offering the utilitarian necessities for today’s weary but style-conscious world traveler, Gentry prizes convenience, comfort and organization above all. “Today, traveling in style is also traveling well organized,” Goff says before further commenting on heightened airport security. A rolling travel bag or ticket organizer from Bagolini could become your best defense against the crowds and chaos. And with Gentry’s line of comfort footwear in mind, she added, “If you have shoes that can easily slip off, you’re in good shape.”

Canine Culture, an upscale pet accessory store located Uptown, provides for your dog’s every whim, including his or her travel needs. “You want your pet to have its own space so that it can feel just as special as you do,” says Shannon Kottemann, store manager. Available at Canine Culture, the Crypton fabric tote bag with doodle dog print is highly durable, odor resistant, stain resistant and brightly colored, making it a functional yet stylish way to carry your beloved pup’s belongings. Kottemann, like all the employees at Canine Culture, understand that your dog is “a member of the family and should travel in style too.” A beautiful tote filled with leashes, water, food, collars, toys and other necessities will help to create a comfortable and pleasant trip for both you and your pet.

“Making it to the destination is one thing, but you may never get to go again, “ says Scott Simon of Lakeside Camera in Metairie, which boasts a variety of cameras that will add style and substance to your vacation. Simon emphasized the importance of a high quality camera to upscale travelers and described the expansive selection at his store. “We run the gamut as far as cameras that could capture everything you possibly want on a trip.” A high-end interchangeable lens camera with video capability could be your best friend while enjoying the panoramic view off the Empire State Building. And a shock proof, waterproof camera could be more valuable than a pair of fins while scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef. Simon and the other experts at Lakeside Camera will work with you to customize your photography equipment to your travel needs. A camera may become the most important travel accessory you carry.

Devoting some effort and attention to your personal style will encourage the best possible travel experience.

Thoughtful packing, primping and preparation could be the difference between a mundane trip and a fabulous one!