Christie Brinkley's Carefree Mindset — and Go-to Skincare Product — Is Coming With Us on Our Next Trip

"I love going with the flow and seeing what happens," Brinkley told T+L.

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Christie Brinkley
Photo: Courtesy of Sunshine Sachs

When it comes to epitomizing Travel + Leisure, no one does it better than supermodel Christie Brinkley. After all, she was discovered by a photographer when she traveled to Paris after high school, which sparked an incredible career spanning nearly 50 years and a lifelong love affair with travel.

The model, 67, who has appeared on more than 500 magazine covers, including three consecutive Sports Illustrated covers, makes several trips a year to her home in Turks and Caicos and regularly travels to Treviso, Italy to check on her prosecco brand, Bellisima, but still has dreams, go-tos, and tips, when it comes to traveling — and we got to hear all about it recently during AdWeek 2021.

You have traveled the world but are there still places you want to go?

"Yes, there are still places I really want to go! I have never been to India. I've briefly landed in Calcutta and then went on to the Kingdom of Bhutan. I was there for the coronation of the King which was incredible. I got to sit with the king during his coronation. But being that close [to Calcutta] and having that experience made me want to go. I haven't been there yet because I don't want to go on a work-related job. I want to be fully immersed and not have to stand there in clothing and be on."

"Also, believe it or not, I have not been to the islands of the South Pacific. It's funny when I first left home to live in Paris I wanted to see the [Norweigan] Fjords. I had this image of them and wanted to see them. So I got as far as Copenhagen, but my clothes weren't warm enough! The weather was already starting to change. I had a Eurail pass so I thought I better head south!"

Can you describe your mindset when it comes to travel? Do you try to plan everything or are you more go-with-the-flow?

"I love going with the flow and seeing what happens. I think that is one of the problems with grownup travel — and the world has changed a lot — but people tend to do a certain amount of planning ahead and everything books up. When I was a teen and I just traveled free it was just the best. Even though you do have to have certain meeting points if you are traveling with young children or friends along the way, I do love going with the flow. And I don't think I've ever booked a trip where I've actually used my plane tickets for the day they were booked."

What do you love about Treviso, Italy?

"I go for the harvest every year and to check on everything. It is in such a beautiful region, a 20 to 30-minute drive to Venice, which is just magic. Just magic! Especially in the off-season. And then from the vineyards, you can look towards the Alps and see the snowcaps and the foothills and little steeples rising. I will be heading there soon!"

"I went for Christmas once to Italy and I must say that is a very magical time there even though it might be too crowded but it was just sparkling!"

What is your best trick for beating jet lag?

"I'm a big movie buff so I plan my movies while keeping my jet lag in mind. If I want to be able to fall asleep when I [arrive], I am strategic about it. Coming home from Europe I watch movies the entire way to keep myself up so I am so exhausted when I land that I get into bed and go to sleep.

Do you have any holiday travel planned?

"We have a home in the Turks and Caicos [in Parrot Cay] that we've had for about 25 years. We just love it. We usually go down for all the holidays so we'll probably be doing that again. Last year we went after the holidays because of COVID. We knew in our home it would be safe. They really buttoned down [during COVID.] They really contained it."

How did you choose Turks and Caicos as a vacation home?

"I think I had read that their claim to fame was empty beaches and you could have solitude and I thought, 'that's for me.' I love the idea of feeling like a castaway. Like these are my footsteps on this beach. When I'm there I like to wake up early in the morning and step out and grab a handful of water and throw it up and say, 'Thank you universe!' My house is called Lucky House because I feel so lucky every second that I'm there. It is a true place to exhale. Heaven touches the earth there. It's really unbelievable. We do a lot of diving there and hop around to other islands."

And of course, we have to ask, what is your go-to beauty product when traveling?

"It's all about sunblock. As a beach lover and nature lover and whenever I can be outdoors [or] I have to be outdoors, for those times when I didn't slather on the sunblock, I use SBLA Beauty. It actually reverses the signs of damage. I've been down to Parrot Cay a couple of times and I come home from the islands looking like a leathery old pirate and this time I was pretty unscathed [thanks to SBLA Beauty.]. It's so packed full of great ingredients and all kinds of peptides that attract moisture to your skin. It keeps you really well hydrated."

"You can also use the facial wand and the neck sculpting wand and then you put your sunblock right over it and it doesn't dilute it or lose any of the potency. So now I have sunblock with active ingredients in it. It really is great. If you are traveling a long time and you can't get your regular appointments with your dermatologist, the wand has certain proprietary plant-based ingredients that relax the muscles in your forehead and give you that smoother look."

This interview has been edited for clarity.

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