Aug 2, 2010

How To: Travel Edition

I don't consider myself an "expert traveler" - I know there are those who rack up hundreds of thousands of miles a year, but I have been traveling extensively over the past few months, and have learned some rules of thumb that have helped me get through it all.

The below rules are just from what I've learned from my own experience, and usually hold true if you're traveling for a few days (1 - 4 days):

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+ CHECK THE WEATHER. I don't know how many times I've forgotten to pack an overcoat only to have it pour on me. Or it was 90-degrees and I brought my fall / winter clothes. Plan ahead. Areas where the weather is volatile (e.g. the mid-west & east coast), it doesn't hurt to pack a small umbrella.
+ Decide what luggage you're taking. I usually take the below, as it has multiple compartments & that lasts for a good 2 - 4 days. I can choose to put my laptop in the suitcase or in my backpack.

+ Pack one pair of shoes (wear the other). When traveling for work, I pick one pair of heels (usually brown or black) that can be worn with multiple outfits, I then wear my flats or sandals to the airport. This saves a lot of room in your suitcase. Pick your shoes first, then figure out what outfits coordinate (not the other way around).
make sure to put your shoes in a grocery bag to avoid getting your clothes dirty.
+ Pack one pair of jeans. If you're a jeans-fiend like I am, wear one pair & pack the other. Otherwise, one pair of jeans & a pair of leggings work best. I know you THINK you'll wear 4 pairs of jeans...but you won't. You can re-wear jeans 3 - 4 times before having to wash them.

+ Unmentionables. How many nights are you staying? Bring that amount of panties + 2 (for good measure). Are you wearing leggings & don't want VPL? Bring thongs. Going comfy in jeans? Bring boyshorts. One black & one nude bra works best. If you're wearing a strapless dress, don't forget to bring the correct bra!
+ Hair Care. Used to wearing your hair in curls? Bring a curling iron, don't bother with your bulky hot rollers. Don't worry about hair dryers as all hotels will provide them for you. Most hair products now come in travel sizes, so go to your local CVS or Target for them. Don't forget a few hair ties & bobby pins.
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+ Toiletries. When it comes to toiletries, the best check-list is to pack the day you're leaving; everything you use make sure you either throw in your bag or you have a comparable travel size. Also, do a mental check-list from head-to-toe. Hair products? Contacts & glasses? Make-up? Bras? Clothes? PJ's? Panties? Jeans? Razor? Shoes? One of my favorite products when traveling is Schick's Intuition - no need to bring shaving cream!

don't forget your liquids (contact solution, hairspray, etc.) need to go in a ziplock bag that is easily accessible to take out at security
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+ Make-up. When it comes to make-up, palettes are your best friend. I really like Kat Von D's palettes for eyeshadows. Since you already know what you're wearing, think what make-up you'll need. Palettes usually allow you to go from day-to-night easily & without packing individual shadow cases. Note that liquid eyeliner will tend to ooze out due to the pressure-changes, so be careful when opening!

+ ID & Boarding Pass. Save yourself the hassle of waiting in line at the ticketing kiosks, if you're not checking in your luggage (for a trip of 2 - 4 days, you shouldn't have to), print your boarding pass the night before

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+ Gadgets & Gizmos. I carry a backpack for my laptop, though a lot of cute tote bags would work as well. Don't forget your cellphone charger & any other chargers for any electronics; however, there are a lot of instances where chargers can double-up, for instance, my Blackberry charger charges my Kindle (and if you have an iPhone, it charges your iPod, etc.) This helps eliminate bringing two of the same thing. Don't forget your headphones! My go-to? These (Product) Red Beats by Dre headphones.

Things to avoid bringing:
+ Hair dryers
+ Shampoo + Conditioners
+ Body lotion (unless you need a specific kind)
+ Iron
+ Large hair curlers (hot rollers) - opt for a curling iron instead
+ Full sized anything

Don't forget:
+ ID & credit card (and cash if you plan on cabbing it)
+ Toothpaste & toothbrush
+ Contact solution, back-up contacts, glasses, and sunglasses
+ Razor
+ Facial cleanser & moisturizer (do not use the hotel's!)
+ Round brush or comb
+ Hair ties & bobby pins (the solution to every bad hair day)
+ Phone + charger, Kindle / iPad, iPod, and headphones
+ Blanket & scarf (perfect for the cooler AC on planes)
+ Frequent flier miles - even if you don't travel too often, make sure to sign up for these loyalty programs; you'll often get great deals for doing so.

I know it was a lot of text in one post, but hopefully you'll find some of this information helpful, if not, just a friendly reminder when packing & jet-setting! Safe travels!

questions? ask here!


  1. i love travel posts! i love to see how people pack when traveling, as i am the ultimate over-packer that forgets the essentials! this is great! :)

  2. Oh good idea with the mental checklist, thinking from head-to-toe! Your unmentionables are showing! >.< haha

  3. Great tips- totally agree with you on the 1 pair of jeans and 2 pairs of shoes- I try to cut down on my shoes as much as possible. xo, mel

  4. I love the tip on picking your shoes first!! definately... they take up so much room. I too have to cut down as much as possible.


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