Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My Top Twelve Travel Tips

While I haven't been around the world, or even out of the country for that matter, I've done my fair share of traveling. I typically fly on an airplane 1 to 3 times a year and have at least 3 weekend road trips.

The majority of my trips have been to Vegas to visit family and I typically fly standby. Because of this, I've definitely gotten accustomed to packing everything in just a carry-on and almost every trip I've been on has required summer clothes.

Here are a few tips that I always follow to make my trips go smoother, keep things cleaner and make my life easier. Pack it up, pack it in, let me begin... (tell me you know that song!)

1. Wrap Your Shoes: I always wrap all shoes in a plastic grocery bag. This prevents all the gross stuff on the bottom from contaminating all of your clean clothes. Or, you can use one of those plastic disposable shower caps as well.


2. Mix It Up: Always try to bring items that can mix and match. Bring bikini separates that can be used interchangeably, stick to one color palette, bring all neutrals with a few colorful accessories, etc. Do whatever works for you, but try to keep it to a minimum. (I still struggle with this one! I'm a total over-packer!)

3. Be A Germaphobe: I always like to bring a small thing of hand sanitizer and alcohol wipes or wet wipes. After going through the airport and touching any items on the plane, it's nice to have a quick way to clean my hands before eating those free peanuts. Plus, I'm totally OCD and swear they don't really clean everything in the hotel. The wipes come in handy for remotes and door handles too.

4. Roll With It: Don't fold, roll. This really does save a ton of room and keeps your clothes wrinkle-free. Just in case though, I do like to bring this wrinkle release spray!

(Pictured for Kauai Trip: 1 work out tank, 1 pair work out pants, 1 lightweight cardigan, 5 camis and 5 tanks... (I brought so many tops b/c I always layer a cami under everything! Even tanks!)

5. Don't Be Caught Naked: Worst case scenario: your checked bag is lost....with all of your clothes. Avoid this and always pack at least one complete outfit in your carry-on. Or, at least a pair of clean underwear and an extra shirt. I also like to pack my bras and swim suits in my carry on so the cups don't get squished and misshapen.

6. Bag It Up: If you are traveling with a carry-on only you have to fit all of your 3oz or less liquids in a quart sized bag. Even if you are checking a bag though, always put your liquids in a plastic bag. That way, if any of your items explode from the pressure changes or the rough handling of your bags, all of your other things will stay clean and goo free. You can go one step further and put a little piece of plastic wrap inside each lid as well.

7. Protect Your Assets:  If you are traveling with jewelry always, always, always pack it in your carry-on or purse! It's bad enough if the airline does happen to lose your bag, but it's ten times worse if your beloved jewelry was in the bag too. Remember when the airline lost the bag in Meet The Parents? Bad, bad idea. To protect my jewelry I always pack earrings individually in little bags like these. For necklaces, unclasp and feed one end through a straw then re-clasp. This will prevent those dreaded tangles. You can go one step further and roll your items in a hand towel for extra cushioning.  Click here for an example.

8. Downsize: I love it when I can bring a travel sized item with me and then just throw away the package before coming back home. This leaves so much more room for souvenirs and makes the frantic repacking go smoother. For example: I portioned out just enough vitamins for this trip and put them in a little baggie which can be thrown away before coming home, I brought my almost empty bottle of mousse so that when I use the last of it I can throw it away, I packed a travel sized body wash (which was free from my MGM Grand stay by the way) so I can throw the bottle away before I leave, etc.

9. Be A Bag Lady: I always bring extra plastic bags with me. That way, if the above mentioned explosion does occur, you have a clean bag to repack your liquids in. Also, I like to use plastic grocery bags to separate clean and dirty laundry. I don't know about you, but I don't want to just throw my dirty socks and underwear back in with the rest of my stuff.

10. Bulk Up: Always wear your heaviest items on the airplane. Plan to work out on your trip? Wear your tennis shoes on the plane. Think you'll need a coat? Wear it on the plane. This simple tip saves a ton of room in your suitcase! Just don't wear everything you want to bring, or you'll look like Joey.

Could I be wearing any more clothes?!

11. Protect with Pads: Cotton pads that is. Put them in your powder compacts to prevent shattering. Also, put these items in your carry-on to further protect. Anything that goes in your checked bag will likely get thrown around and roughly handled.

12. Take Advantage: I always take advantage of what the hotel offers. My husband is totally cool with using the free bar soap, so I never pack him any. I'm all about free and convenient. Does your hotel provide a hair dryer? Don't pack one! That free shampoo you wouldn't dare put in your hair? Use it to wash delicates or rinse your swimsuit after being in the chlorinated pool.


I hope some of these tips will make your next trip go more smoothly! HAPPY TRAVELING!

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