A Peek Inside Alix Strauss’ Carry On Bag

Alix Strauss

We recently snooped inside the carry on bag of Alix Strauss, author of Death Becomes Them: Unearthing the Suicides of the Brilliant, the Famous, and the Notorious. (Our favorite chapter in the book is “Not the Suite Life: Ten Hotel Suicides”.) Here’s what Alix takes with her when she travels:


I haven’t checked my luggage since 1987. I covered an eco-challenge in New Zealand for 2 weeks and didn’t check anything!

Years and years ago, when I was a junior reporter I went to a Bottega Venetta event. They gave me this beautiful bag with my initials on the lock. I felt like I had won the Golden Ticket! The shape was so ahead of its time. Through the years, I’ve had it cleaned. I’m a true minimalist: I have very few, but I have very good.

I got my iPhone over the summer as a very early birthday gift. Now, it’s an appendage. I’m obsessed with it. The whole world can work out of one little thing.

I also travel with a Nano and back up my computer with it. God forbid my computer falls apart.

My head never shuts off, so I appreciate books on tape. If I wear out my mind, I’ll eventually go to sleep. Currently I’m listening to When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris.

I’m a a very light sleeper and true insomniac. I need a light noise to get me through the night. I have a recording device that you can plug into an iPod. I taped my air conditioner for 2.5 hours, so when I’m in hotel and traveling or in a tent or something, I can actually fall asleep. Ear plugs help, too.

I’m now an alternative music fan — I used to be show tunes. Who doesn’t like Sondeheim? Now I’m on to Ambulance, New Pornographers, Belle and Sebastian. Beta Band and Death Cab for Cutie (below)

As for makeup, I travel with YSL Touche Eclat because I sleep badly, Nars Orgasm Blush, Calyx perfume and hair gel.

I travel with Wrigelys, because fresh breath is a priority.

I always carry a floor map of new apt that I just bought. I’m in the process of interviewing contractors. On that note, I also have a tape measure.

I travel in a V-neck black or navy cashmere sweater. I follow the slide out and rotate rule. (JSG Note: We like this J. Crew cashmere option.)

Coffee is my only vice. My new back up plan is Starbucks instant coffee. If I’m really hard up, I just swish it in my mouth.

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