Becoming an Organized Traveler

During the last year, my traveling as jumped from once or twice a year to once or twice a month. Needless to say, I have the art of traveling down pat. As I prepare for yet another upcoming trip, I thought I’d share some of the tried and true tips that have made traveling a bit easier for me and my family.

•    I’m a list-maker and here is a time where it is imperative. You must plan your outfits! Ladies, we know that if we don’t organize, we overpack, throwing random tops, dresses, and shoes into the suitcase while thinking, I may wear that…maybe. Take fifteen minutes, stand in your closet, and choose your outfits. I do this two days before a trip so that I can have the most up-to-date weather forecast.
•    Pack from your last day forward. What I mean is put your last day’s clothes in the suitcase first and go backwards so you’re not tearing apart your suitcase on the first day.
•    Wear your boots and jacket on the plane to save room in your suitcase.
•    If you travel frequently, keep a toiletry bag packed and ready to go. I also keep a few ziplock bags in there so that the morning of, I can throw any liquids (remember, 4 oz or less!) in. I store the ziplock in my purse for easy access when making my way through security (you don’t want to have to open your suitcase). I also make it a point to buy my moisturizer in 4 oz or less bottles- it makes traveling that much easier.
•    Don’t waste space by packing shampoo, conditioner, or lotion if your staying at a nice hotel or with a friend. Their brand will be fine for a day or two. (Hotel conditioner also makes for a great shaving cream!)
•    For face wash, I used to keep my fav in a travel bottle but I have recently found an easier solution. Say Yes to Cucumbers Facial Towelettes are fabulous! They are 98.7% natural and biodegradable so they’re a great eco-friendly choice for girls on the go (I will also admit that I’ve been known to use them when I’m not traveling on those late nights when I don’t have the energy to really wash my face, they’ve been a lifesaver).

Travel Day:
•    Comfy clothes, slip on shoes, and a light jacket (planes can be cold) are a must for everyone
•    Make sure all travelers have things to do on the plane to keep themselves occupied
•    Eat a healthy meal before traveling
•    Take a bathroom break before arriving at your gate (although for some kids, going to the bathroom on the plane is inevitable because of the “fun” factor)

On the plane:
•    We all love Jet Blue because of the tv, but you can also use your time on the plane time to catch up on your reading or, my new favorite thing to do, edit home movies. Make sure your laptop is charged, sit back and get those movies ready for prime-time viewing. You know that’s been on your to-do list…
•    Take an immunity enhancer. Traveling can wear down your system so it’s best to be as preventive as possible.
•    Drink water, spritz your face, and moisturize your hands. I love the travel-size Evian bottles that they sell at Sephora. This will keep your skin hydrated during the flight.
•    Make healthy snack choices. Nuts, pretzels, craisins (new on Jet Blue flights!) are much better choices than the cookies. Even better, pack your own snacks so you really know what you’re eating.

Once you arrive:

  • Always use the same combination for hotel safes
  • If you’re in an area you’re unfamiliar with, use your phone to take a picture of any maps. Then, instead of walking around with your face buried in a map (it screams tourist!), just look down at your phone like everyone else. 😉

Tips For Kids:
•    Make children pack their own suitcases. Dedicate 30 minutes to this. As always, kids do best with very clear directions. For example, tell them to, “Lay out three pairs of pajamas”. Notice how I said lay out. Yes, let them pack but, of course, approve of all choices. You don’t want to get where you’re going to find your child has thrown together mismatched outfits. Go through each category (pajamas, underwear, socks, day clothes, night clothes, and any specialty items) and have them spread the piles out on the floor. Once they’re done and you’ve checked, instruct them to fold and place the clothes neatly in their suitcase. Believe it our not, kids are usually very excited to pack  because it elevates their excitement about the upcoming trip.
•    If you travel frequently, a child-sized suitcase is a must.
•    Encourage them to pack a carry-on bag for the plane. My girls don’t leave home without a portable dvd player (if we’re not traveling on a plane w/t.v’s), a chapter book (I always make them read a chapter before any electronics are removed from the bag), fully charged ipods and game players, and a notepad and colored pencils for drawing.

*Note- I do not charge electronic devices. This is their responsibility. Yes, even my six year old. I do give them reminders but, if they don’t, then they can read the entire time. I’m sooooooo mean, I know, but responsibility is hard to teach and this is one great opportunity!

Finally, don’t forget…
•    chargers for your phone, laptop, camera, and the kids electronics
•    hair supplies personally, I always bring my curling iron, brush, pins, and a travel-size hairspray
•    a travel steamer (hotels will have an ironing board but, in my opinion, nothing beats a steamer)
•    over-the-counter medicine Even though I rarely use or give to my children, I never travel without advil, children’s tylenol, something for upset stomachs, and band-aids.

With all these tips, your travel should go a bit smoother. Here’s to a fabulous trip!



2 thoughts on “Becoming an Organized Traveler

  1. Great tips! I love that you give your kids responsibility! My parents where the same way with traveling and by the time I was in 5th grade I preferred reading to using electronics! Great post!

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