Before every great trip is stressful packing. Whether it’s for a staycation in the B&B 30 miles out, or a plane hopping excursion across the Atlantic, you must always be prepared. Throughout my years of traveling, I still haven’t learned the trick to pack efficiently and effectively. So this summer, I’ve spent loads of time researching what makes it such a hassle and how to remedy the situation. And let me tell you, it’s all in WHAT and HOW you pack. For instance, never take toothpaste, mouthwash, razors, shampoo and conditioner and little knickknacks with you. Why? It’s more cost effective and space saving to purchase those things on arrival. Plus if you’re staying in a hotel, most places have these toiletries either already in your bathroom or available upon request. Seriously, unless you have medicated hair and body supplies, keep those things at home.
1. Don’t let anyone tell you that what you pack in is the least important thing.
Like, for reals, those
trolls people don’t have your best interest at heart. That’s like saying showing up on a first date looking disheveled is fine as long as your great personality shows through… ha, no honey! Your luggage whether it be a makeup case, checked-in item, your personal item, are how you distinguish your property from others. Imagine the airline loses your you black, scratched up Samsonite hardcase filled with khakis, a black bra, red panties, and some shoes. Well guess what? Get in line. There are a hundred other passengers giving that same description as we speak. Having distinctive property isn’t only a bold fashion statement, but it allows baggage handlers to take better notice of your bag when loading, as well as help airlines quickly locate your item in a sea of “same ole, same ole”.
2. Protect the skin you’re in.
I feel like that’s totally someone’s slogan, and if not I’m trademarking it as that’s pure gold! Everytime I get a facial, they tell me I have beautiful radiant skin but that will all fade if I don’t start using SPF. And I’m sure many of you out there think your invincible, and don’t take care of yourself. So from today on, we’re going to start…together. Especially now that apparel brands actually make clothing with SPF inside. So not only is your makeup, lotion and daily regimen shielding you from those deadly UV rays, so is your chic ensemble.
3. LEARN. THE. LANGUAGE!
Or at least try to get a hold of the basics enough that you’re not running around demanding information in a tongue natives don’t understand. It’s not easy to learn another tongue, but with so many applications out now, it’s hard not to at least learn a few key phrases, or simply type your request to be translated for you. These three programs have all been tried, and liked for different reasons. Living Language has games that you can play to make the process fun. There are flash cards, workbooks, and audio CDs that correspond to the workload. Fluenz is the old school way of learning, which I prefer. There’s lots of repetition, dictation, conversation. It’s like being in class again, except it’s done on your time. And Rocket Language records you and compares your syllabic inflections to native speakers, allowing you to see what you need to work on. But the best part is that all of these programs can be used on your mobile devices (Fluenz is only available on iPhone currently).
4. Travel smart people.
I don’t know where you’re going, but where it may be, just be prepared. Cameras aren’t a must. With mobile devices being the new thing, don’t lug around thousands of dollars worth of excess, when you can make the most out of your phone or tablet. Olloclip offers wide angle, 10x zoom, fisheye and other high quality components. It’s very small so can even fit in your pocket. Drinking water? Filtered water costs extra in many countries, so stick with tap and sterilize it yourself with Steripen. I wouldn’t recommend this for very indigenous places, but you hikers should be a-ok! For those of us who always pay excess baggage fees, we might as well make the most of it. Compression bags are God’s gift to over-doers comme moi. I know my suitcase will never be 50lbs, yet I still purchase everyone and their mother a gift when abroad. With compression bags, I’m able to create more space for those moments where sitting on the suitcase won’t close. And for you others, who don’t factor in excess luggage fees, travel with a portable scale. It’s small enough to carry with you every where, and it could save you lots and lots of moolah. There are many options out their, but I prefer MüV Digital Scale due to capabilities and color options.
5. But wait, what are you packing?
It’s really none of my business, but I’m hear to help either way. Some people travel just for the touristy effect, others travel for business, and some for pleasure. For whatever reason you need to jetset, make the most out of your space. I like to double up constantly. When boarding, I have my large LV tote where I pack my computer, a scarf, IDs, money and little snacks. I then fold the sides and stuff that into one portion of my backpack where I pack another bag, reading material, contact supplies, glasses and a toothbrush. This way, when going through TSA, I don’t have to deal with too many bags, and I have many options when on the ground. And don’t think I’m packing ANY bag, I like handbags with hidden pockets, extra secure closures, and close enough to the body, I can feel any pickpocketers.
6. As for fashion pointers remember these three things: 1. Manageable, 2. Easy to care for, and 3. Versatile.
Unless you’re moving, everything you take is best when it comes with dual (or more) functions. Pocket Poppet and Joseph Ribkoff were the best brands I found. Pocket Poppet Travel Cardigan that is so light-weight, easy to clean, but most of all it stores itself. I find it to be more comfortable than most airline pillows and it’s very cooling. While Joseph Ribkoff isn’t self-storing, it’s wrinkle free to the point you can roll it up, throw in the bottom of any bag and still have it come out wrinkle free. And the collections are very on trend offering selections for almost all occasions.