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Oct 18

Elizabeth Taylor’s Glamorous Travel Secrets

The woman, the myth, the legend. Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor lived every aspect of her fascinating life stylishly. She was known for her captivating glamour, exorbitant jewelry collection, and unmatched passion for life, both onscreen and off. Of course, this joie de vivreled her to quite the jet-set lifestyle – but you wouldn’t ever find her roughing it, even at 30,000 feet.

Tim Mendelson, who worked as Taylor’s chief of staff for more than 20 years and is currently a trustee for the House of Taylor, gave us some insider insight into the actress’s travel secrets. How did she stay looking fabulous up in the air? How did she manage to transport her jewels? Click through for the very inspiring answers. Let’s just say you’ll think twice before boarding a plane in sweatpants ever again.

[Photo Frank Worth, Courtesy of Capital Art/Getty Images]


What were Elizabeth’s favorite destinations for each season?

Elizabeth spent much of her adult life traveling the globe. Whether on location making a film, promoting her stunning fragrances, or helping to save millions of lives from the devastation of HIV/AIDS, she was always working, always a mother, always on the go, and always in love.

Elizabeth’s favorite vacation destinations were warm and tropical. She spent much of her downtime in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where she and Richard Burton owned a home. Acapulco, Africa, the Dominican Republic, Hawaii, the South of France, and Thailand were amongst her other favorite vacation spots as well.


Did she have any must-stay hotels?

Elizabeth, being one of the most photographed and sought after women on the planet, would usually stay in villas and private homes while on vacation. Elizabeth traveled with a large entourage—comprised mostly of her children, assistants, nannies, pets and hairdresser—therefore she needed the extra space to accommodate everyone. A hotel didn’t allow her much privacy, and privacy was of paramount importance for relaxation.


What were her in-flight essentials?

Elizabeth traveled in style and had quite a few bags containing various in-flight necessities. In her handbag, she carried lipstick, lip gloss and a lipliner all in the same color; a small Judith Lieber metal comb; Kleenex; a small magnifying mirror; eyeshadow; eyedrops; and sunglasses.

Elizabeth’s Louis Vuitton Train Case held her perfumes – once Elizabeth started her fragrance line she was loyal only to those in her collection. White Diamonds was her favorite, but at other times in her life she would bring and wear whichever fragrances she was most enchanted with and combined them to create her own unique scent. Along with perfume, the case contained a manicure set, a Cartier Travel Clock, earplugs and sunscreen. Also, baby shampoo was very important for cleaning her Krupp Diamond (The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond) and Elizabeth wore that huge, 33-carat stone every day—no matter where she was on the planet.

Elizabeth also traveled with two Bottega Veneta duffel bags while in flight. One was specifically designated for jewelry. The other contained a good book or two, a luscious cashmere throw and cardigan, her address book, a pair of fluffy socks, and two super soft Porthault boudoir pillows that she affectionately called “baby pillows.”


What was her go-to luggage?

During her marriages to Mike Todd and to Richard Burton, Elizabeth had custom floral pattern carpet bag luggage with matching oversized trunks. The trunks were important because she traveled with a huge entourage of children, animals, secretaries, nannies, and hairdresser. Starting from the 1980s, Elizabeth used Louis Vuitton and Bottega Veneta luggage exclusively. What made Elizabeth’s luggage stand out were the purple “MINE” tags attached to every piece – they represented her signature color and unique sense of humor.

What were her rules for vacation dressing?

Since most of Elizabeth’s vacation spots were warm and tropical, she wore caftans primarily, both for their comfort and easy glamour. Elizabeth frequently wore scarves in her hair, gold hoop earrings and bangle bracelets, sunglasses, and a good tan.


How did she pack/organize her jewelry when traveling?

When traveling, Elizabeth’s important jewels were kept in their original boxes and Cartier, Bulgari and Van Cleef and Arpels primarily. The more casual jewelry was organized into soft cases separated by style, stone colors, etc. Elizabeth had regular favorites, along with her newest pieces which were always included.

She also traveled with jewelry basics (so to speak), that worked with almost every outfit and were included just in case. The basics were things like gold chains of different lengths, bangle bracelets, and other pieces that worked together. She loved to layer her jewelry and most importantly, Elizabeth needed to have choices.


What were her jet-set secrets?

Elizabeth frequently took a nap on the plane depending on the travel distance. She drank tons of water and wore jewelry throughout the journey: boarding, departing, arriving and obviously, in flight.

Written By: Stephanie Maida
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