Good Morning and Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I spent a good portion of mine packing (or pretending to pack, or avoiding packing), which made me think today would be the perfect time to share some of my travel and packing tips that I’ve tested over the years! I like to think that after traveling to Europe and California I’ve managed to learn what the difference between being ‘prepared’ and ‘neurotic’ is, because while everywhere has stores, no one really wants to spend valuable vacay time running to find the nearest GAP/Sephora/Target/etc because they forgot something (this from the girl who spent an evening in Paris looking for dental floss and has gone into the Sephora in Times Square three years in a row because she forgot to bring mascara to the IFE).
I have never seen the allure of traveling for a week with only a carry on, and I never really stress myself out trying to make it happen when I probably have a million better things to worry about. I don’t mind the wait in baggage claim, fighting for overhead storage makes me anxious, and I would much rather be able to stretch my legs with a walk around the terminal before sitting on a plane for eight hours without dragging all of my belongings along with me. It’s possible that my family and I are the only people in the world who feel this way, because pretty much every blog/magazine/tweet I’ve ever read about travel advises the carry on way, so to each their own.
That being said, I am kind of a master at overnight and weekend travel, and I do only use a carry on size bag for those trips. With Massachusetts being in such close proximity to all different kinds of destinations and friends who live all over the place, I can pack for an overnight or weekend trip in a breeze thanks to my grab and go bags and a tried and true formula for efficient packing.
For starters: this bag. This bag is the best purchase I have ever made. I get compliments on it everywhere I go by pretty much every type of person/traveler. Whether its a trip to Maine or a weekend in New York City, this bag is perfect and stylish and finishes off the ‘I’m a seasoned traveler’ look perfectly. The best part is the quality of the vegan leather is amazing and it cost about 1/100th of the cost of any comparable bag I’ve ever seen and lusted after. It’s currently sold out which is a MAJOR bummer and I hope the lovely Sole Society decides to bring it back, but the slightly smaller size is still available, as is this similar bag and this weekender which is on major sale!
While flying with a carry on, you must maximize your personal item. Most of the time I use an old striped tote (similar to this one) and then just pack the crossbody I plan to use during the trip (love this one-it has so much space!) My trusty and reversible every day “work bag” by Street Level is a great option as well as this oversized satchel. A proper sized personal item can definitely help eliminate that ‘pressed for space’ stress that carry on travel brings.
This makeup bag from bareMinerals is always packed and ready to go at a moment’s notice. I love not having to worry about remembering everything after I use it in the morning, because I have an extra of everything I need stashed in this case. All I have to do is toss it in my bag and we’re ready for takeoff! Having all of these items conveniently stashed together gives me the extra time to stress about my clothes and shoe options-you know, priorities. My favorite part of this bag is that it’s see-through, so I can just toss it on the belt and breeze through security. They don’t make this exact one anymore, but I found a similar at Sephora here– it even has the same cute airplane zipper detail! I travel with minimal makeup because, as my past travel companions will verify, I like to wake up at the crack of dawn and start exploring on vacation and make the absolute most of my time in a new city. Going through a full makeup routine in no way helps me achieve that goal. I make sure this bag has all my under 3.4 oz liquid products (cleanser, moisturizer, lotion, toothpaste, and hand sanitizer) in it so as to not be deterred by an airport security hold up. The only other products I bring are my deodorant, hair brush, and a plethora of hair elastics, along with the three makeup products I deem worthy and easy enough to wear on vacation (mascara, eyeliner, foundation). I’ve filled up my travel bag mostly at Target-their section of travel sized items is an absolute life saver. I never bring shampoo or conditioner with me, because hotels always have them and it’s just another thing to bring, but you can also find a great selection at Target. In other news about hair brushes, I love the wavy look braided hair gives, so by braiding my wet hair the night before it totally eliminates the need to brush my hair in the morning-I just take out the braid and I’m good to go! This proves extra useful if you have an early departure or just don’t want to have to worry about remembering your hair brush.
I’m such a sucker for matching items, it’s kind of outrageous how happy seeing these three items sitting next to each other makes me. This gorgeous iPhone case gives me such a case of wanderlust inspired daydreams on a regular basis, I’m just happy to finally be going away with it! You can shop more of Kate Spade’s fun and colorful phone cases here, and make sure to stop by the travel shop for more getaway inspired items and must-have travel tools! My passport case is about a year old from J.Crew, but their Factory Store has some super cute ones available here! This clutch is from Banana Republic’s fall collection, and is perfect for any small items you may need to easily access during your flight or travels. It’s sold out, but this one from Sole Society is practically identical, right down to the embossed mantras!
Now a quick word about technology. In an ideal word, we would all be able to put our phones away on vacation. But then we wouldn’t be able to take pictures and instagrams and snapchats, so we need backup batteries and potentially adapters. I absolutely love this PowerCube. Not only does it come with all the interchangeable wall plugs you could ever need, but it’s also equally amazing for use at your home year round. With the help of this PowerCube, I can charge everything I need to without having to run around the hotel room trying to claim all of the outlets to myself (sorry about doing this on basically every pre-PowerCube vacation ever, friends). I love to bring this Jackery battery around with me-it holds a full charge and is compact enough to carry in a cross body bag. I plug it in with this cable, even though the battery comes with one, because it’s smaller to carry around and never gets tangled!
Finally I make sure to put my iPad and cosmetic case on top of my bag where they’re most accessible to reach during security and voila! We’re good(ish) to go!
I hope you all have a wonderful week! If you want to see more posts like this and found it at all helpful please let me know in the comment section! Thanks so much for stopping by!