March 03, 2014

Spring break is just a few weeks away and that means plenty of traveling for a lot of people.  I try to avoid traveling in the month of March simply because every single thing is inflated.  But that doesn't stop me from planning a trip soon after.  I rounded up a few pointers I have found helpful.  I shared in this post safety tips for traveling... and this is geared more towards the process itself!

When packing for your trip whether it is a short weekend or a week long planning ahead of time is key.  Stephanie Johnson sent me this Turquoise and gold Mumbai Alicia tote and brush bag.  I Gathered up my go to items for my carry on to share with you.  

1.  Start a master list

This list will be any thing and every thing you can think of that will pertain to your trip.  Errands to run, things to purchase, reminders to drop of or pick up from the cleaners and any appointments to make.   Just jot down what comes to mind and we will break it down into more manageable list later.  I always keep a notepad by my bed to right down thoughts and reminders for the next day.  Inevitably I always remember stuff when I am all tucked in for the night so keeping a list by your bed will help you free your mind of things to remember and you will rest better.

Another great tip is to create a common items list. It is a little more time consuming and you will want to do this when you're not planning for a trip, but it is so worth it in the end.   This is a list of the items you always take on a trip no matter what the destination. ie: toothbrush/paste, razor, deodorant, chargers, etc.  Then when compiling your master list, just print a copy of this one and get to packing!

2.  Know the climate

Always check a reliable source for the current weather to your travel destination.   Just because it's a warmer climate doesn't mean the nights don't take a dip in the evenings, or it may rain there every day for a while.  With all this screwy whether lately you never know what your headed into.  People actually don't realize how cold San Francisco really can be and end up having to purchase a jacket once they arrive. You will be glad you checked this out!

3.  Pack your outfits by Days

Once I am at the pulling from my closet stage I pack my outfits by the day. Laying my clothes by outfit on my bed; I then have the advantage of seeing what could be worn in multiple outfits keeping the over packing to a minimum.  The same jeans can be worn more than once with a different top.  Add a jacket or scarf to change the look entirely.  There you just created three different looks with one pair of jeans.

4.  Pack Light/Travel Heavy

How many of you have had to open your suitcase at the counter to remove items to make the weight requirement?   I have to admit I have.  Then my carry on is stuffed.  Wear your bulkiest, heaviest, biggest items thru the airport to same precious pounds.... whatever it takes to keep that bag under the fifty pound limit.

5.  Forget something?
I have to admit I go thru a mental checklist as  I pull out of the driveway on my way to the airport. And I tell myself that worse case scenario is I will but whatever I forgot or borrow it! Why stress!!   Stressing about forgetting something is such a waste of energy.

So checked bags or carry-on?

Check it: 
  • You have a single flight, no connections, or connections are on same airline.
  • You have a single travel destination…hopefully your luggage makes your destinations as well but if not the airline will be able to track it better.
  • You prefer to have more clothing options.
  • Limits on the amount of liquids you can bring are much greater.
  • Carrying your luggage through the airport and on board is a task.
  • You don't mind the possibility of checked bag fees. I still love Southwest bags fly free!
  • You arrive too late at the airport... scary!
  • Your travel includes multiple destinations, or short layovers with tight connections.
  • You prefer to keep your belongings with you.
  • You don’t mind carrying smaller sizes of your lotions and other liquids. I have friends that actually buy small bottles once they reach their destination.
  • You are able to put together a wardrobe that has versatile items that mix and match well that will comfortably work with all of your activities.
 As a carry-on traveler though I really think it is important that you check airline carry-on guidelines and be sure your luggage is compliant. Please don’t be a bin-hog…be sure to utilize the space beneath the seat in front of you.  Attendants are paying much more attention to what people are trying to bring on, and enforcing gate check of oversized items and too many bags.  Place your handbag inside your carryon tote to minimize your bags down to only two.  I know I never really want to count my handbag as a third item… but the airlines does!   When entering and exiting your seat... avoid using the seat head rest in front of you as a point of leverage unless it is an empty seat.  It really is annoying when your seat it jolted backwards.  Also, please don’t run over other people’s feet with your wheeled suitcase.

Do you check bags or do you travel carry-on? Any tips to share with fellow travelers?   

Check back tomorrow for a fabulous giveaway of a Stephanie Johnson bag for your next trip!  

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