While this is a home-focused blog… all of us do at least some, if not a lot of traveling. With the holidays coming up, I thought I’d share my Top Travel Tips to make planning, packing, travel and unpacking – wayyy less stressful and help bring the comforts of home along for the ride!
TRAVEL MUST HAVES | Don’t leave home without
- Hard-shell Suitcase – for any CHECKED luggage, you can’t find a better suitcase than a hard-shell. These can take a beating and have built in compartments that traditional suitcases do not.
- Packing Cubes – these transform your suitcase into an organized, travel dresser and keep your suitcase from becoming a tangled up mess.
- Shoe Bags with Window – keep the contents of your suitcase clean, and free from any shoe-contact. I’ve also found that these fit pretty much any type of shoe, from sneakers and heels, to bulkier footwear, like boots.
- Jewelry Holder/Organizer – 100% necessity. Keeps your jewelry organized, visible and safe. Highly recommend traveling with it in your carry-on bag.
- Hanging Toiletry Bag – after more experimenting than I’d care to admit, I finally found the perfect toiletry bag. This bag keeps everything upright and organized, and fits, literally EVERYTHING. It’s compact enough to fit neatly into just about any suitcase or travel bag, and gives you easy, visible access to all of your toiletries once you arrive at your destination.
- Travel-sized Products – it may sound silly, but spend the extra money up front to purchase the mini/travel-sized versions of your everyday products. It’s so much easier to identify what’s what when you can instantly recognize your shampoo from your body lotion. If you absolutely CAN’T find a mini-version, or you have a product that is hella expensive – I recommend travel bottles that are similar in shape/size to the originals and labeling them with a typed label of the exact product name. Trust me, you’ll be glad you have the exact name, when you go to reach for an item and can’t remember which “Shampoo” you actually put in the bottle. ULTA, Sephora, Bed Bath & Beyond and Target are all fantastic resources for travel-sized products
- Foldable Eco-tote – this is a little life hack I only discovered a couple of years ago. I randomly threw one into my suitcase for a holiday trip one year, and it came in handy so many times – I now never travel without one.
- Lightweight Robe – while most hotels provide robes, they are usually bulky and oversized, and not very practical to wear while getting ready. A lightweight robe, that takes up almost NO room to pack, is a game changer.
- Microfiber Hair Towel Turban – I don’t know if you’re like me, but microfiber hair towels pretty much revolutionized my life. If you are someone who uses two full-sized towels whenever showering and washed your hair, allow me to change your life. Not only does the lightweight, microfiber towel turban stay put (because of the little elastic loop holding it in place), it also reduces drying time and isn’t insanely heavy, like a full-size bath towel. I discovered these gems in college and never looked back.
CARRY ON ITEMS | What to keep on your person
When packing for a trip, consider your carry-ons your “if I landed and my bag was missing for a day or two I wouldn’t burst into tears” kit. I always have a backpack (for items I don’t need at the ready, but will not be checked) and shoulder tote (for items I’ll want easily accessible in the airport/on the plane). Below is how and what I pack in each.
- Backpack – should be able to fit your computer, but small enough to comfortably carry and fit under the seat in front of you
- Computer, electronics and chargers – I typically corral similar, small items into their own pouches. It helps keep everything organized and easy to find. These travel pouches by Truffle, are PERFECT.
- Travel wallet – this is where I keep my insurance cards, checkbook, and any additional important “wallet” items (basically anything that isn’t your ID, credit card or cash)
- Prescriptions/medications – including contact lenses/glasses
- Small notebook and pens – inspiration almost always seems to strike me on flights
- Cosmetics – if you’re like me, your makeup ain’t cheap – don’t let it out of your sight. I also carry on my face products (i.e. Retin-A, etc.)
- Medium-sized Tote (with zipper) – should be comfortable to carry, and sized to fit next to your backpack, under the seat in front of you
- Card Wallet – super slim card wallet to hold your ID, credit card, and cash (don’t worry.. your other items are in your travel wallet)
- Thin, cozy pashmina/scarf – should be thin enough to roll into a ball about the size of a dollar bill (or smaller) and large enough to double as a little blanket on the plane
- Water bottle – either a refillable one for after your through security, or purchase a big bottle for $8 at the kiosk near your gate. Stay hydrated.
- Gum – helps with popping ears (and if you happen to have a slightly stinky neighbor in-flight)
- Unscented Hand Sanitizer – just trust me
- Face towelettes – so nice to wipe away the “plane-feel” right after you land
- Set of headphones – what kind, are up to you (just make sure they’re fully charged, if that’s required)
- Earplugs and eye mask (for longer flights)
SAVE SOME SPACE | What to leave behind
- Hairdryer – almost everywhere you go will have one
- Multiple handbags/clutches – you only need one fabulous and versatile bag for just about any trip. I prefer a cross-body with an adjustable/removable strap, turning your bag into a cross-body purse by day, and simple clutch by night. Gigi New York is my go-to. They’re classic, yet always on trend.
- Multiple pairs of sunglasses – pick your favorite pair and leave the rest at home
- Different shoes for every single outfit – pick a dressy, a comfy (maybe a stylish sneaker you can also knock out a quick workout in or wear in the event of a lot of walking) and a daytime pair (plus maybe some slipper socks/very light slippers for when you’re not out and about) and leave the rest at home. PRO TIP: Wear your heaviest/most bulky shoes on the plane when checking a bag to save on weight and packing room.
Let me know what your favorite travel tips are in the comments below!