Mandy Moore has an impressive résumé: accomplished actress, singer-songwriter, human embodiment of what it feels like to try on the perfect summer dress, and — especially as of late — I'd go so far as to add amateur mountaineer. Summiting Kilimanjaro, trekking to Everest Base Camp, and hiking through Chilean Patagonia on her honeymoon are just a few highlights from her recent adventures into the wild.
I got to spend a few minutes talking travel with the This Is Us star at J.Crew’s Summer Soiree in honor of National Stripes Day (coming up on June 21). Moore was wearing an appropriately striped, cut-out dress from the brand's summer collection, and very much not looking like she just took the red-eye to New York City from L.A. the night before, so naturally I had to start there.
Read on to get the scoop on Moore's go-to travel shoes, airplane pet peeve, and the utmost importance of packing both nutritionally nourishing and emotionally satisfying snacks for a hike (looking at you, sour gummy bears).
T+L: Can we start with the fact that you just shared on Instagram Stories that you’re fresh off a red-eye and positively glowing? What’s your best jet lag hack?
Mandy Moore: "You're very nice! First of all, the weather couldn't be better. I feel like I hit the ground running — get outside, get some fresh air, get some exercise — that’s always my go-to move. And staying awake. I’m a terrible napper and I feel like that’s one of the worst possible moves. I try to stay up as late as I can to reset my frame of mind and the time zone and just jump into the day."
You’ve been on so many incredible adventures recently. Why is it important to you to travel and to spend time outdoors in nature?
"It’s everything to me. It’s what sustains me through the rest of the year when I can’t travel and I’m dreaming of traveling. I love being outside. I’ve lived in Southern California now for more than half my life and I’m constantly out hiking and appreciating the great weather year-round. So when it comes to travel, I want to push myself to do something that’s physically challenging, but also I want to immerse myself in new cultures and meet all kinds of people, and check off these bucket list places I never thought I’d get to see with my own eyes."
On a nature trip, in particular, what would you say is important to consider when packing?
"For the kinds of adventures that we’ve been doing, I’d say layering is always key. Bring more layers than you think you would need and have them with you on your person or in your backpack all the time. You never know when it’s going to get hot or cold and you can just peel off a layer or add some. Other essentials: sunscreen, always. And snacks, but like snacks that make you feel good. I have snacks that help sustain me and give me energy but then I always make sure I bring something that’s a bit more of a reward, too, so like a little bit of dark chocolate or I brought sour gummy bears to Everest and shared them with everybody and at the end of the day you’re like, OK, I deserve a couple of these. It feels good to reward yourself."
Do you have any go-to in-flight routines?
"I’m not a germophobe, but I do like to make sure that I clean my immediate area. I always have some sort of travel scarf or blanket or something that can double as both. Eye mask. Earplugs. And I try to travel without anything on my face, in terms of makeup and stuff — going onto the plane with a clean face if possible if it’s early morning or late at night. If you’re in the middle of the day, I get it, but I always clean my face once I get seated and settled, and then put on whatever products or moisturizer I feel like I need to have on. Sometimes, I love a good moisture mask to sort of retain everything while you’re on the flight."
And what about your ideal plane outfit?
"For a longer flight, I always pack my little roller, my Away suitcase, and in it, I bring a sweatsuit or some sort of comfy clothes that I can change into. We just were traveling for like 36 hours, so I brought a sweatsuit with me and changed right before we got on the plane — got in my comfies. And that way, it kept my regular clothes nice and clean. I brought a nicer little jacket and had the flight attendant hang it up, and then you’re just able to be cozy and put your clothes back on at the end of the flight and feel refreshed, not like you’ve been sleeping for 16 hours in sweaty jeans and a T-shirt."
Is there a pair of shoes you pack for every trip?
"I bring Birkenstocks with me. I always have them in my travel suitcase. First of all, on a long flight, you want to take your shoes off anyway and I bring big, thick, cozy, yummy socks and my Birkenstocks, so when I have to go to the bathroom I’m not padding in in just my socks, because that makes me want to throw up when I see people do that. Sorry to pass judgment, guys, but wear shoes to the gross, sticky bathroom. It’s also nice to give your feet a little bit of a break."
Agreed on all counts! So what’s next on your adventure wish list?
"I definitely want to do Machu Picchu. I want to go back to Nepal. And I want to do some actual climbing. I think I’m going to do a bit of climbing this weekend in Washington state. I’d love to do some more local stuff, like Whitney in California, Rainier in Washington, so I’m slowly working my way up. I also want to explore my backyard a little more, and get to know more hikes out on my side of town in L.A."
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.