I like to consider myself a seasoned traveller. I may not be jet-setting across oceans and continents every week or few days, but I have been traveling every year since I was months old.
I’m not on planes 24/7, but I spend a lot of time on trains traveling between DC and my home. I’ve acquired a few travel tips over the years. It’s taken me a couple of tries and many wardrobe malfunctions to get it just right, but I’ve managed to crack the code. I’ve come up with some basic traveling essentials.
1. Carry-on luggage
Your carry on bag is just as important as the luggage that you’re checking. Your carry on bag should be big enough to hold things like magazines, books, headphones, mints, computers, snacks, anything that will a. hold you over on your flight and b. keep you entertained. The key, however, is finding one that isn’t too bulky, but can still fit all your things. I find that structured bags with a detachable long strap are always good. Or, if you fancy yourself a backpack, go for it! I personally prefer to retire my backpack whilst traveling solely because sometimes my backpack needs a nice break (I’ve been using the same one everyday for school since I was in 9th grade). Check out one of my favorite structured bag picks here.
2. The outfit
You may not think twice about your outfit while traveling, and that’s fine! I, however, after having many a mishap in my sweatpants while traveling, have begun to put more effort into my travel outfits. You have to strike a balance of looking put-together while also being comfortable. I generally opt for a pair of jeans, a loose sweater or top (depending on where it is that I’m traveling to), a scarf (planes are always chilly), and either low-heeled ankle boots or flats (shoes that I can move in). Hats are especially important for keeping your hair in check. Sometimes, after a long flight, your hair decides to be your worst enemy (unless you’re a Victoria’s Secret model and look like you just stepped off the runway). Floppy hats and slouchy beanies are always my go to (comfy and can easily be folded into a bag!)
3. The night before
I’ve given you your tools, now go make a masterpiece! The night before is crucial. It’s time to pack. If you’re anything like me, you’ll start packing at 1 a.m. to catch a 6 a.m. flight/train. Last minute is my middle name (not really, but it does start with an L!) At the very least, even if you’re not packed, you should have your ticket printed, an outfit in mind, and an idea of what you’re going to pack. Narrow it down to the basic questions:
Where are you going? Is it warm or cold? Does it tend to rain or be very dry?
How long will you be going for? Will you be staying with family or in a hotel?
How many outfit options do you really need?
I am the queen of over packing. I need at least 4 outfit options for a two day trip, and that is not including my travel outfit or my PJs. The best advice I can give you is to stock up on travel sized items, and have some outfit options in mind before you start packing. Also, any things that you want to bring with you on your trip leave on top of your suitcase the week before your departure! That way things actually make it into your bag!
4. Have a good time!
Regardless of where you’re going or what you’re business will be while you’re there, try to make the best of it! Traveling is such an amazing thing. It can take you to new and exciting parts of the world, where you can discover new things and meet cool new people! Even if you’re just visiting family, have fun! Just make sure you’re having a good time while traveling because we are responsible for our own happiness!