Time for young souls to party. Time for parents to relax. My kiddo is off to Paris with a school group for homestay with a family. With a guest room that overlooks the Eiffel Tower. Is it bad to be jealous of your child?? JK. Honestly, I’m thrilled for her. It will be just me and two rescue kittens home alone for the week. Ok, that sounds pathetic. Plenty of time to catch up on work! Hmmm…that sounds like I’m trying to compensate. Oh well, I’m happy for my child (said with a smile so forced and teeth so gritted I may need Juvederm to recover).
In lieu of the obligatory “Look How Great My Vacation Is” post, I am choosing to take the high road and share my travel organization tips. I am The Ultimate Girl Scout (always prepared!). I’m the one with the best snacks and activities and spare phone charger. My kid is the one you want to sit next to on the plane (even as a toddler) because she will be well-fed and have enough travel entertainment that you won’t hear a peep. You’re welcome!!
I am fortunate to live near a fantastic outlet shopping mall. Samsonite is a brand that has been around for decades for good reason: they make quality luggage at a reasonable price. Over the years I have become a big fan of the rolling duffel. Samsonite offers them in sizes ranging from 22” to 35”. The larger ones have a drop-bottom which is perfect for shoes (and dirty laundry!). I highly recommend a rollaboard bag for carry-on that complies with airline restrictions (most domestic airlines permit 22x14x9 under 40lbs). Considering how early you have to arrive to clear security these days, why not give your back and shoulder a break and bring a rolling bag??
I wear black. Only black. All the time. So, imagine how hard it can be to identify one garment from another inside a suitcase. Thank goodness for The Container Store! Their Eagle Creek Pack-It Folders enable you to neatly fold items so they arrive as close to wrinkle-free as possible. For casual garments, there are Amazon Basics packing cubes in small, medium and large. Makes packing and unpacking a breeze. Even makes living out of a suitcase tolerable. One cube for socks, another for tops, another for jammies, etc. Which brings me to toiletries. I consider myself environmentally-aware but refuse to let go of my Ziploc habit. I have been known to Ziploc every last toiletry that could possibly explode in-flight. For those who prefer not to litter the world with non-biodegradable plastic, consider the Victorinox spill-resistant pouches. Sold in a set of two, the large pouch holds all the toiletries a product-lover like me could need for ten days and a smaller pouch perfect for makeup. Traveling with a down coat or your own pillow? Check out Ziploc’s XL Space Bags. No vacuum needed! Just roll the air out to compress your puffy items.
Don’t you just hate how hotels place outlets so far away from the bed that you have to choose between charging your phone overnight or having it nearby? Enter Native Union’s 10ft Night Cable. Traveling overseas? A quality converter is a must. Don’t cheap out and get one that will overheat and damage your phone or hairdryer. I like Conair’s TravelSmart all-in-one adapter. There is a button that shifts from Europe to Asia to Australia depending on where you’re traveling. Gotta love the built-in USB port and nightlight!
OUT & ABOUT
The perfect daypack is Lo & Sons Hanover backpack. Holds everything you’ll need (and then some!) for a day of exploring. I am a huge fan of Lo & Sons since one of my BDFs (Best Design Friends), Sheila, introduced me to them about a year ago. The concept is simple: stylish, affordable, quality bags that are ultra-lightweight. If you’re a worrier like I am (you can take the girl out of NYC but you can’t take NYC out of the girl!!), consider getting an RFID-blocking wallet so The Bad Guys can’t wirelessly scan your credit cards or passport. I like Baggalini’s passport & currency organizer. With multiple zippered compartments, you can separate your Euros from your Yuan and still have room for your ID and passport. Traveling somewhere of architectural interest? Guess what’s back in style? Totes Clear Bubble Umbrella!! If you have the patience to carry a full-size umbrella, this is the way to go! Avoid getting wet and don’t miss the sights! Finally, in case you hadn’t guessed how much I love organization by now (just making sure you’re still paying attention!), I take clear zippered pouches everywhere I go. Legal size, letter size and envelope size. Envelope size is perfect for travel documents. Letter size is perfect for itineraries. Legal size is perfect for saving magazine articles without having to fold them.