“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Lao Tzu
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Ready for travel
I don’t know about anyone else, but I am so ready for some hardcore traveling which thankfully is what I have been able to do this past month. And while it isn’t a Caribbean vacay, (some day!) the warmer weather and being able to dip my toes in sandy beaches, and while still frigid, at least bearable water, has made my soul sing. (not that you want it too) There is nothing better then being able to explore or re-explore a place. It really does get my creative juices flowing.
I knew I missed traveling, yes even for work, but I didn’t realize how much I did until I started doing it again. Nor did I realize how out of practice I have been. Packing in my opinion really is an art form. Being able to fit everything into your suitcase just so, AND on top of that being able to remember everything you need. I always look at it as a puzzle, or perhaps a bit like Jenga. As the world opens up (alleluia!) here are my packing tips and must haves that not only make traveling easier, but you can enjoy your trip without worry.
First off, arguably the most important part of travel is the luggage. Having a durable (and yes cute, sone on it can be cute AND durable friends) suitcase is always foremost in the mind of an avid traveller. Nothing ruins a trip more then a damaged or broken suitcase (a lost one definitely, but I am dealing with what I CAN control) There are many questions to be asked; Is it carry-on acceptable? Is it durable? Will it survive baggage handlers? And will it fit all of my crap? While I have no problem checking a bag, I actually love Away’s larger carry-on. It fits a ton of stuff while still being able to have it with you on MOST (definitely check the rules and perimeters of carriers) flights. It has tons of pouches perfect for organizing, and it also has a rechargeable battery that you can take out and charge all your electronics.
It IS an investment piece, but one that I will happily splurge on. I bought mine on sale, which they usually have during the summer months. There are similar styles on Amazon like Samsonite or Kipling that are equally durable, but sightly cheaper. I actually own a couple Kipling rolling duffle bags and love how easy they are to carry. For optimum cuteness this Streamline trunk also on Amazon is super chic and adorable and definitely unique! Because luggage is so expensive I recommend protecting your suitcase with luggage protectors. They are clear plastic that goes over your suitcase and keeps it from getting dirty and scratched. You can buy them off Amazon for twelve or so US dollars and it is a hack I never knew I needed, but so happy I have now.
Aside from a suitcase my number one travel must have, has got to be packing cubes. Once I started using these, I haven’t stopped and I never will. Not only am I able to fit a lot more into my suitcase, which may or may not be a good thing, but they keep everything organized. There are several methods to using packing cubes. One is packing by outfit or occasion. The other is packing one style of clothing into the cubes like shirts or pants. I tend to use a combination of the two. I try to keep my workout gear and pajamas together, but then will pack all my shirts together etc. I also use the roll method, which I find allows me to fit more clothes, even doing it in the cubes. They are great for when you travel because then you know what everything is and you can also designate a bag for dirty clothes.
Ironically, it isn’t clothes that take up the most space, but my toiletries and lord do they take up a lot of space! I am actually not a huge make-up person, but when it comes to skincare and my hair, I admit to being extremely high maintenance. Especially because most of the places I travel too are on the ocean and with the sun and salt it can be pretty damaging to the hair and skin. Which reminds me, ALWAYS bring sunscreen (This is my favorite) when traveling! Important PSA aside, I usually try to travel with smaller bottles of my products, or snag the samples at Sephora, but for some of my larger items like heat protectant spray and dry shampoo, I do bring the original sizes, because is cheaper, even if they are bulkier. I put everything in this travel case which you have probably seen a similar style shared by bloggers all over the internet (and for good reason!) It keeps everything organized the removable dividers, and contains anything that might spill. I also use it at home since it is great for storage and organizing even when NOT traveling.
I use to be the queen of plastic baggies. They make everything neat, orderly, and spill proof when it comes to smaller toiletries alas they also aren’t the most eco-friendly, even if I did try to re-use mine. I found these reusable but durable plastic bags which come in various sizes on Amazon. They keep everything organized while also being able to wash them if anything spills! They last me years instead of just a couple trips. The bonus is they are see through so they are TSA approved! Win-win.
Portable Charger/ Charging cords
Honestly, a portable charger is just a necessary life hack in general. Especially if you are going to be away from home or on the go all day. I swear by mine. I not only use it when I travel, but when I am working and taking copious amounts of pictures that love to drain the battery, when I am walking around the city, or when I am spending the day at the beach. It really is a life saver! Making sure you have all your cords are also important especially when traveling to another country as the plugs are all different. Lastly I like to have everything nice and neat in my bags so I always carry them in a pouch designed just for cords and charges. It means I find everything every single time.
Miscellaneous Must Haves
Traveling has gotten so much easier in thanks to all the gadgets people have created to make it more easeful. Some you never knew you needed until you started using them. One in particular is this hat holder from Lindsay Albanese. (Yes THAT one on Instagram) Y’all know how I love my hats, but wearing them on the plane can be a nuisance. This magnetic gadget clips onto any bag and holds your hat in plane, keeping your hands free and your head happy. Another must have is bringing a reusable water bottle with you. Most places have areas water stations to fill up, and it ensures I will always be hydrated. Speaking of drinks, this cup holder which attaches to your suitcase, is another genius hack! You can have your hands free, but STILL have your coffee with you. I always bring a blanket like my Chappy Wrap, or lately I have started bringing my heated blanket which helps with the ache and pains that can come after long trips. While I sleep with an eye mask anyway, they can help on the plane, or if your hotel room has a light of light that disturbs you. A small umbrella and water repellant jacket are also perfect to have for rainy days. I also ALWAYS travel with baby wipes (even before covid) because they are great for washing hands and removing make-up as well as cleaning up any spills. Lastly, while my trusty tripod comes with me everywhere anyway, it really is a must have if you are traveling solo. You will get those pics every time!
I am sure there is more that I am forgetting, but these are most of my trusty travel must haves, What are yours? Do you travel with any of these?