How I Travel: General Tips

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As someone who rarely travels, it’s a significant event when I do go somewhere, whether it’s for work or vacation.  I’m always finding ways to improve the stress of packing, getting through security, and living out of a suitcase for days. My travel routine is always in progress but here are a few things I’ve found helpful:

  • Packing cubes.  I bought these on a whim and, at first, I was kicking myself for not getting hard-sided cubes.  However, I’ve really come to love the soft-sided ones since they allow me to cram in just a few more extra little things. (Also, let’s agree that they’re not really cubes.)  The packing cubes are great for organizing my suitcase as well as claiming every last inch within.  I typically only use the medium and large sizes from that kit; when I recently flew to Boston for work, I used my 19″ suitcase and managed to fit both cubes holding a week’s worth of clothes, my liquids case, and two pairs of shoes. I hate carrying my liquids bag with me, and the cubes made it super easy to create a little cubby for the liquids bag for easy in/out at the security checkpoint.
  • Travel wallet. First and foremost, the rose gold color is absolutely beautiful. It’s surprisingly really high quality and is on par with my rose gold Kate Spade items; the cross-hatched material is durable and holds up well to use. The wallet also claims to have RFID protection which is a nice little extra. It holds an ID card separate from debit/credit cards, which is convenient in security checkpoints, and fits planet tickets and a passport.  Bonus: I could put my iPhone 7 Plus (in a bulky Mophie battery case!) inside the wallet and still snap it closed.  I just set it on the middle part of the wallet, then closed the two flaps. This was great for toting around the hotel without carrying a purse.
  • Miss Fong laptop tote bag. I spent a long, long time trying to find a tote bag that would the Perfect Carry-On.  I wanted something spacious enough to hold my in-flight items (iPod, Kindle, crossword books, maybe some snacks, eyeshadow palettes, and all the other random purse things), have lots of pockets and compartments to keep things organized, and still look nice and classy. Oh, and this one in particular needed to hold my 14.5″ work laptop. I took a chance on this bag from Amazon and wow, by the end of my trip, I was blown away with it!The exterior of the bag is made out of a satin-finish nylon. It’s durable and resistant to stains and water.  It doesn’t look as cheap as I had feared and the hardware is minimal and subdued. It doesn’t scream “STEAL ME!” There’s an outer zip pocket that is deep and wide enough to hold my travel wallet and phone with no problem; the zipper tab actually settles into the top of the zipper instead of dangling down, which is a small security feature that I really appreciated. The zipper for the main compartment is strong and coverage for the top flaps is pretty good; a lot of tote bags have some serious gaps around the top zipper so items can (and will) fall out if the bag falls over. The bag features a tab that allows you to slide the bag over the handles of your suitcase; which was great since I wound up at the far ends of every airport I went to. (Sigh.

    The interior has a zippered compartment for my laptop; it was a bit of a snug fit but the padded sides ensured my laptop would be safe and sound. One side of the laptop compartment is just an open pocket, no little storage features; I kept papers and such there, but you could also fit a tablet.  The main compartment of the bag, on the other side of the laptop compartment, is a bit wider and has a few mesh pockets as well as a zippered pocket. I did have difficulty fitting bigger items (like a laptop mouse) into the mesh pockets with my laptop inside, but that’s okay. I mostly kept my iPod and lip balms in those.

    The other thing I like about this bag is that, no matter how full or heavy this bag got, the straps held up wonderfully and I never worried they would break. This was also pretty comfortable to hang on my shoulder. And, throughout it all, it never became too bulky. I’ll probably wind up picking up the slightly larger PU leather version as well!

  • Scrubbing gloves. I hate washcloths and bath poufs are annoying to travel with, so these scrub gloves come in handy. Yeah, they’re a little weird but these are so convenient!
  • Folding brush with mirror. This is a staple in my purse! The mirror makes it easy for on-the-go touch-ups and a brush is always handy to have.

I’m still in the process of finding the right set of luggage; I adore my 19″ rolling suitcase but it doesn’t have spinning wheels, which makes it a bit unwieldy to cruise through the airport.  Samsonite and American Tourister are on my radar, as they’re super light (great for when I’m traveling alone and have to heft my bag into the overhead compartment) and have spinning wheels… but holy wow, are they expensive, even at Kohl’s!

Some day, I’ll be that glamorous, well-traveled jetsetter with an entire routine down!