Before i travel I always check travel.wikipedia.org, which can tell you everything there is to do/see at a location. They even tell u the best ways to get to & from the airports. ALWAYS do your research before you go. You’d be shocked at how ignorant Americans are when they travel. (One time I had a classmate who said that she didn’t know the Vatican was in Rome!)
Must: check the weather of the location you’re going to & pack accordingly. I always check the weather on weather.com. If you’re visiting friends/family you can always ask them what the weather is like.
Another must: plan how you are getting from the airport (roundtrip) to your hotel/destination. Is someone picking you up? Are you taking a bus/train/cab? How much is it & how long will it take?
Another must: This is a personal choice: believe it or not there are still hotels out there that don’t offer internet, & this can be a deal breaker for a lot of people. If this is important to you MAKE sure before you make that reservation. There are also hotels that charge a daily fee for wifi, & for some people that may/may not be worth it. ALWAYS check before booking that hotel.
One important thing about clothes & traveling: don’t bring things that wrinkle easily (i.e, linen) or you will look like a nightmare. Bring knits, things that are stretchy, or don’t wrinkle easily. If you MUST bring things that wrinkle (i.e, if you’re traveling for business) a travel steamer is a great investment. You don’t need to iron & it brings out all the wrinkles. (The above garment steamer is on Amazon.com for $30)
If you’re going to a warm/hot place: bring your fair share of tops, bottoms, & dresses. Bring a jacket just in case it might get cold. Don’t forget shoes! I think it’s best to plan outfits & then match accordingly. I think it’s best to bring one cocktail dress, for a night out on the town with your friends/family, or just to have dinner with your man.
If you’re going to a beach: bring your bathing suits! I find it best to pack at least 2. The best deals on swimsuits are Target & H&M, where a bikini can cost about $20, $30. And the great thing is that they sell tops & bottoms separately! After you wear one to the beach, you can wash it, hang it dry, & wear your other swimsuit. No one likes wearing a soggy bathing suit from yesterday. I used to bring little samples of laundry detergent, but washing your bathing suits in shampoo will do. If you’re NOT staying in a hotel (i.e. like family or friends) I like to bring my own towel. Also bring some ‘coverups’. Dresses/tunics that you can slip on & off before going in the water. & don’t forget your sandals & sunblock! Spray on waterproof sunblock is always the best.
If you’re going somewhere cold: bring your sweaters, cardigans, & if it’s really cold, thermal underwear as well. Check the weather if you need a jacket vs. a coat. Think about what kind of shoes you might need. In the winter, I always wear boots, so that would be my staple that comes with me. For others, sneakers will do just fine, & they are comfy if you do a lot of walking.
If you’re traveling to a city: bring comfortable shoes in case you do walk a lot. A smart idea: download on your phone apps like maps (also public transportation) of the city BEFORE you go. If you travel to a country that speaks a different language, a dictionary/translator app is useful too.
And where to get luggage? (If you don’t have any) I’m going to keep mentioning this store but it is one of my favorites: Target.com They always have great prices & carry good brands like Swiss gear & Samsonite. The best deal is if you buy them in a set. i.e. one suitcase could cost you like $50, where as a 5 piece set could cost $100. Each suitcase would be cheaper & it’s a great deal (especially if you don’t have any luggage) Otherwise the other place I would go to is TJMaxx.
These are my must brings when I travel (depending on location):
-Passport: obviously if you’re traveling internationally. Always check beforehand if you need a travel visa. If you do, a travel agent can always help you out.
-Chargers: whether they’re for your phones, laptops, iPads, cameras, don’t forget them! You may need adapters depending upon where you’re traveling. The universal adapter is quite handy in this situation.
-Another wallet: (OR a wallet that can carry another set of bills) this is smart if you’re traveling to another country & you need to carry another currency. You don’t want all your dollars & coins getting mixed up together with other currencies, only to be a mess at a cash register. One wallet for dollars, another for the other currency you’re holding onto for your destination.
-Ipad/laptop: This is a personal choice. I find that the ipad has made traveling so much easier & lighter. I can whip it out in the airport, on the plane, in my hotel; just about anywhere. Some people need a laptop for work; if I bring one it’s only because I want to bring some dvds with me. And if you do bring one you’ll need a bag that is ipad/laptop friendly. I usually bring with me a book bag (for my ipad & pillow), & my purse as carry ons.
-Camera: I always bring a camera on my travels, but some people are just fine with their cell phones. I find that cameras are more professional & can hold more pictures.
-A purse: specifically that zips up & closes. Never travel anywhere with an open bag that doesn’t close, & always be wary of pickpockets.
Fashion no no: Do NOT bring a fanny pack. They haven’t been in style for a long time but yet there are always people who wear them when traveling. This screams, ‘I’m a tourist!!’
-A portable umbrella: this is a personal recommendation, but you never know what the weather is going to be like, & if it does rain, you don’t want to be scrambling around to buy an umbrella.
-Undergarments, pajamas & socks: well, duh. Every girl needs her bras & underwear, but what about pajamas? Depending upon the weather, maybe you only need shorts, or you need your thick pjs. Some women love to wear a robe in the bedroom. Things of personal preference: spanx, pantyhose, leggings. This may sound silly, but pack the things you need/usually wear. Don’t be the girl who didn’t bring any socks or enough underwear. The stress of traveling often comes from not bringing the things that you need.
And what to pack in your weekender? Everything that you would normally would use in the bathroom. Put into small bottles your shampoos, conditioners, & lotions. Or buy travel sized bottles of your favorite stuff. (Target & bed bath & beyond are great sources for that stuff, & they usually cost $1 each; The above travel bottles are on Amazon for $9) Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, a small hairbrush, (& what I find important) a mini shaving cream & a razor. You dont want to show up at the beach with hairy legs.
Optional things that would make you feel better on the flight: some makeup (some color on your face after a long flight would make you look & feel better), your favorite books, magazines, & music to listen to on the airplane. For me I must bring my own pillow. I prefer the kind that have beads inside, vs. inflatable ones. (They even have memory foam ones now!) Buy a bottle of water AFTER you’ve gone through security. You’ll need it. Or bring an empty bottle & ask the flight attendant to fill it after you get on the plane.
Tip: For the really long flights getting a portable toothbrush (or at least get a bag that fits your toothbrush) & travel size toothpaste is another great idea. Brushing your teeth whether in the airplane bathroom, or at the airport during a layover is nice & refreshing. A must for me: chapstick. That can be relieving on the airplane. Also a spritz of perfume or bringing your favorite lotion wouldn’t hurt either. (Don’t forget that lotion & perfume are considered liquids, so think about where to pack them. Either in your luggage, or separately in the plastic bag that the TSA allows.)
Optional: They’re starting to offer more travel options at Sephora, (travel sized containers) and they have a section by the register called ‘On the fly’ where they sell travel sized options of makeup / perfume. What’s also available there: atomizers. (They also have them on Amazon) What are they? They’re about the size of a lipstick, they’re small spritz bottles that allow you to bring your favorite perfume with you when you travel. It might sound a bit silly to get one, but a spritz of perfume I think is rejuvenating after a long flight. (Who wants to smell like an airplane?) Or a rollerball of perfume would be great here. (If you haven’t read my post on perfume, Sephora carries over 200 of them) Both are convenient because it allows you to carry your favorite fragrance with you on your trip. Also remember all of their makeup brush sets come in bags / pouches, which is another great idea.
It is a wise idea to bring SOME makeup with you on a trip. Bring whatever you want to bring; bringing a whole caboodle doesn’t seem wise. You DO want to look good in those pictures with your friends/family/significant other; or if you just take selfies at the beach. If you want to stick to basic essentials; an eyeliner & lipstick will do.
Something I don’t recommend: painting your nails before / during a trip. The moving & shifting of luggage will ruin your nail polish; and I find it inconvenient just to paint my nails while I’m on a trip. Plus if you go swimming, the salt/pool water will wreak havoc on the paint. They do sell travel sized bottles of nail polish remover; but if you really do want to do your nails on a trip, the best thing you can buy is:
Nail polish remover pads! Just make sure the pouch stays closed or else they will all dry up. If you get on a site called www.shopmissa.com, they only cost $1. The above E.L.F. one costs $2. Check it out!
Must: Always wear something comfy on the plane. I think it’s silly once in awhile I see a woman in high heels & a suit for a long flight. I always wear something that looks good & is comfortable (if it must be a tracksuit, but please, no pjs on the plane)
Obviously you don’t need to pack everything I mentioned, but this is from my experience & travels abroad.
Please read my next post, for it’s about traveling for a weekend, vs. taking a vacation.
Pack everything that you need, and most importantly, enjoy yourself!!!
Makeup bags at Target (where you can also find weekenders:) http://www.target.com/s?searchTerm=makeup+bags&category=0%7CAll%7Cmatchallpartial%7Call+categories&lnk=snav_sbox_makeup+bags
Travel sized lotions & shower gels at the body shop: