The Sydney-born actress, and star of Smythson’s latest campaign film, Phoebe Tonkin, spends an inordinate amount travelling; from the set of The Originals to her hometown and back again, along with frequent trips to New York, Paris and LA. Phoebe tells us about her in-flight essentials, stealing Le Labo, and getting lost in London.
What’s the one thing you love about travel?
For me, travel is about experiencing other cultures – seeing the world, meeting new people. I just want to experience different things.
What are your number one in-flight essentials?
On the plane, I always take a Sisley miniature toner, an Evian facial spray, Nivea lip balm, and Bioderma Creatine H2O wipes for make-up remover. I also try to remember a cosy sweater – I’m currently loving Rouje. Their sweaters are really light but made with a good-quality wool.
“I like to take a face mask: a clear one that doesn’t make me look insane. Sisley’s Black Rose face mask is amazing and really hydrating.”
If you are only travelling with one bag, what do you pack?
My number one would be a bottle of Evian water, so I don’t dehydrate. Probiotics from Kimberly Snyder: I love this brand, I usually order them online or try to pick up a few when I’m in LA and can stop by her store, GLO BIO. If I can’t get hold of any, I try to eat food that’s rich in probiotics like Sauerkraut and Kombucha. I always take my Nile Blue Smythson Passport Holder: it’s colourful, which is great…I hate getting to the front of the line and then suddenly rummaging through six million items – you need to be able to see it quickly. I like to take a face mask: a clear one that doesn’t make me look insane. Sisley’s Black Rose face mask is amazing and really hydrating. I also take my Shu Uemura eyelash curler pretty much everywhere I go.
I always pack a black Matteau Bikini, and I recently just stocked up in a bunch of gorgeous viscose shirts by Rouge. I rarely pack heels, I usually just pack a pair of Chanel ballet flats, Nike sneakers, and Ancient Greek Sandals. I am a blue jean junkie though I’m a blue jean junkie, so this trip I bought five pairs of Frame jeans with me to London…which, in hindsight, was probably a bit excessive.
What’s the one book you’d always turn to in transit?
My current carry-on is the Smythson Burlington Backpack: as long as you can fit a laptop, your passport, a wallet and a few toiletry items in a bag, you’re all good—I always try my best to avoid checking luggage.
What’s the one thing you like to eat on the plane?
I try not to eat on the plane but, if I do, I don’t eat the plane food and usually rely on a stop-over to get a rice salad that I can take away. They’re good because, even if you don’t eat it for a few hours, it doesn’t go bad.What is your one must-have in a hotel?
When I’m booking a hotel I always check to see if they have a steam room, because I love to get off the plane and just sit in it for as long as I can. The Greenwich Hotel in NYC has an amazing indoor pool and a great sauna and steam room, but in LA I like to go to a place called Sweatheory where they have infrared saunas. Sometimes If my hotel has a bath tub, I will swing by the chemist and grab a big bag of Epsom Salts and try to de-bloat from the plane.
What’s the number one process for curing jet-lag?
I’ll often get jet lag when I travel long distance, it always comes to me at about 2am in the morning, and I can’t get back to sleep for about three hours which has been happening since I got to London for the Smythson campaign shoot. I think the trick is not to stress out about it. I always leave my book next to my bed so I’m not lying there going insane and can read for a bit.
When I land home I immediately take all my luggage out and put it to be cleaned – I love Jessica Alba’s line, the Honest Company. I have used her laundry detergent for years now. I hate getting home and having piles of washing to do when you’re already tired and try to get it done as soon as possible. I don’t really wear a lot of tailored things so I don’t necessarily need to hang up all my clothes – I mainly wear silks or linen so they don’t need to be pressed. My favourite brand right now is Protagonist. They just came out with a whole collection of silk slip dresses in the dreamiest colours that are super light and easy to pack.
I also have a really long shower and wash my hair to try and get the plane grim off. I am obsessed with Christophe Robin. Nothing I have ever used before has made such a drastic improvement to my hair. I love the antioxidant Shampoo and Conditioner and the Rose Volumising Mist. And the chestnut hair mask is life-changing. For Body wash I love Dr. Bronner in Hemp. I usually buy jojoba oil at the local Whole Foods or something, as I am petrified of leaving it in my bag and it accidentally spilling.
“I am obsessed with Christophe Robin. Nothing I have ever used before has made such a drastic improvement to my hair. I love the antioxidant Shampoo and Conditioner and the Rose Volumising Mist.”
How would you spend one day in London?
Whenever I get to a new city I like to walk around, stretch my legs and get lost. Last time I was in London it was only for 24 hours, so I have a bit longer this time. We’re currently staying at The Edition Hotel, and everything in the room is by Le Labo; I love how the products smell, so I’ve been taking their body moisturisers for the plane. The night that we arrived we were in the mood for sushi (whenever I land off the plane I’m always in the mood for a healthy dinner – something rich in greens and nutritious), so we went to Roka. I also always try and have a glass of red wine that first night, to help me fall asleep.
How would you spend one day in your home city, Sydney…
If I had to pick my number one city, it would be Sydney. I suppose I have to say that, but I also genuinely believe it. I’d recommend having dinner at Fratelli’s, everything is great there, and it’s very reasonably priced. The Boathouse at Balmoral Beach is perfect for breakfast, and you should go to Icebergs Bar for a cocktail: my signature drink is an Old Fashioned, although I’m not actually that fussed about where I drink it – I recently bought all the ingredients to make it at home. For a very traditional Australian thing to do, I’d also recommend just buying a bottle of Chardonnay and finding a random grassy knoll to drink it in!
What’s the one restaurant you always try to visit in New York and LA?
Whenever I visit New York, I make sure I have breakfast at Gemma under the Bowery Hotel. It’s so old. I love that hotel, and love rolling down and getting eggs, a juice and a coffee in the morning. The ABC Kitchen is great for dinner: have the ricotta and butternut squash toast. In LA, I like Cafe Gratitude for brunch – they have amazing pancakes and muffins, which are not that healthy, but very good.
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About This Series
The One: The definitive guide to the one thing that you must do in a city, take on your journey, or wear when you get there: from the best sashimi restaurant in Osaka, to the perfect travel-sized moisturiser; that one dress that never creases, to the place for late-night paella in Madrid. Take advice from the people who’ve seen it all, and never find yourself stuck queuing for a tourist trap again.