Traveling With Your Significant Other

Hello my friends, welcome back!  Today I wanted to take a minute to share some thoughts I have about traveling with your significant other!  Though Bryan and I spend plenty of time together and love taking longer trips around the Northeast, our trip to San Francisco was the longest amount of time we had ever spent together uninterrupted by work or life obligations.  Amazingly, it went off without a hitch!  So today I’m sharing some of the things that I found helpful in coexisting 24/7 in a new location!

Identify the type of vacation you want to take right off the bat.  Whether it’s a relazing trip to the beach, an active adventure outdoors, or a cultural immersion into a different city, it’s important to make sure you’re both on the same page upfront in terms of your travel expectations.

Compromise.  I’m an aisle seat person, B prefers the window.  Neither of us want to pay triple the airfare to fly first class, where we both could get our seat of choice.  I’ll take the aisle on one flight, and B gets the window on the next.  This sort of back and forth compromise has to happen the whole trip – much like it does in real life.

Plan together.  I have a tendency to take the reins in planning things as small as what we’re having for dinner on a Tuesday night, so making sure that I slow down and involve B in the process as much as possible is crucial.  For the most part we wanted to do the same things, but there are always attractions that don’t overlap, or something I might not have known about.

Discuss your budget upfront.  No one wants to be stuck having the money conversation in the middle of vacation.  Get it all out in the open early.

Designate phone time.  B and I both take a lot of pictures, so while we tend to have our phones “out” a lot, I try not to start cruising Instagram in the middle of the day.  A pre-dinner stop at the hotel to change and relax makes for a good designated time to decompress with some mindless scrolling.

Schedule down days.  In the middle of our trip, we didn’t plan anything except for visiting Bryan’s family, which turned out to be a perfect reprieve from the aggressive touring we were doing.  Having nothing scheduled and no planned wake up time gave us a chance to reset and relax before returning to more active itineraries.

Make sure to check in with the other.  As someone who will happily hang out outside and walk around all day long, sometimes I forget that this isn’t for everyone.  If it’s 90 degrees outside, B will probably want to take a break for some AC.  Similarly, my sister tends to need to recharge at the hotel mid to late afternoon after a full morning.  It always helps to check in with your travel companion and see what their needs are.

Know the signs.  B can tell when I’m hovering around hangry a good half hour before it really sets in.  Because he’s so good at catching it early, we can grab some food before getting really contentious.  Likewise, I try to be aware of how much heat and sun we’re in, so I know when to get B some shade or air conditioning before he gets uncomfortable.

Be still.  This has been a cornerstone of my approach to traveling in general over the past few years, but it’s just as important to do when you’re with someone.  When we go to a particularly wow-worthy location, we always make sure to put away our phones after we’ve taken our photos and just stop and enjoy the place together.  From a sunset in Burlington to seeing the Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Headlands, they wind up being my favorite moments together.

Carry On Travel

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

xo, C