Hey Glammies!!! How are you doing!? I just got back from the gym and now I'm snuggled in for a bit finishing up this post with Christmas music playing and my fave candle Twisted Peppermint from Bath & Body Works burning!!
Todays post How to Travel Like a Boss has been a work in progress for the past few years while I've tested many things during our travels!
I think I have finally figured out out so here goes! It's a long post but nice and detailed so grab a latte and enjoy!
I have been wanting to share this type of travel post with you for awhile now and with it being around the holiday travel season thought it was perfect timing!
Leeroy and I LOVE traveling and we've learned a lot over the years and have tweaked our "travel strategy" if you will quite a bit. I like efficiency and functionality but it definitely has to still be glam! (DUH!)
Check out my resource, The Ultimate Travel Checklist you can download and use for your upcoming travels!
Luggage when Flying
For any trip we fly for, I pack the exact same amount of luggage. I swear it doesn't matter if it's a 3 day trip or 7, the reality is I take the same toiletries, workout wear, etc that I just have the same format. I check one big suitcase and it usually ends up being right at 47-48 lbs when they weigh it before they check it. Then I take on the plane with me my small roller-bag that I put in the upper overhead compartment and then I take my backpack which I smush under the seat in front of me.
About a year ago I got this gorgeous bright pink hard side luggage and what drew me to them was the bright color because they are super easy to identify at baggage check and they are hard shell which I like. Our luggage previously was like a beige/taupe and it was harder to tell if it was ours when we went to the baggage claim. The other reason I really like this luggage style is each side is the same depth. My previous luggage was one big suitcase with a cover that basically zipped over it so everything went on one side of the suitcase. This style is different so I can divide my things up and there's a zippered net on one side and then the traditional straps that are like a seatbelt inside the bag to hold the bigger items in place. It just seems to work better for me that each side I can pack independently and then zip up in the middle versus packing everything on one side.
Packing a Big Suitcase
For the big bag that I check, I use the Container Store Pack It Folders to fold down all my clothes except workout wear, bathing suits or pajamas. Everything else though gets folded up nice and tight so it doesn't wrinkle and it's stacked so it takes up the least amount of space. Then I pack all my workout wear in one of their large size packing cubes. I fold everything down and contain it to one cube usually. Then if it's a beach vaca I pack all my bathing suits in another cube and then any other lingerie, socks, and pajamas in a third cube.
If I pack a floppy beach hat I usually put that in my big bag to start with and pack all my cubes around it. (I'll film a video to show y'all if you want).
I usually pack one pair of sneakers for working out/exploring and coordinate all my workout clothes to the sneakers and pack my sneakers in this bag b/c they usually are really light weight.
If it's a beach vacation I'll pack a pair of wedges and then any additional flip flops. If it's a winter vacation and I'm packing Uggs or my Sorel's or other bulky boot I try to wear those on the plane unless I'm wearing my workout shoes or pack them in my carry-on luggage so they don't weigh my big bag down since they charge you if your checked bag is over 50 lbs on most commercial flights. 🙂
I then put on a fun bright name tag on my bag to quickly identify it if in the event someone else has my same luggage.
Carry-On Bag #1
Ok, now on to how I pack my carry-on bags! So for my roller-bag, I usually pack all my valuables like my designer purses, sunglasses, jewelry, etc on the side that has the zippered netting so that it keeps all the smaller items in place. (Both pieces of pink luggage are the same on the inside with one side having a zippered netting and the other side having the luggage straps to secure everything before you close up the suitcase).
The other thing that I end up doing is I fold up my Louis Vuitton Neverfull and put it in this bag on the bottom and pack the sunglasses, etc on top. I'll explain why I do this below...On the other side I generally pack anything bulky that didn't fit in my big suitcase and then I also put in my hair dryer (I have to take mine - I'm a hair snob like that! :), my non-liquid cosmetics, and any bulky shoes like my wedges or boots that didn't fit in my big bag and also our DSLR camera and lenses.
I do try to keep the footwear to a minimum so when I pack my outfits I stick to a color theme so like for a beach vaca I generally take a pair of sneakers, a pair of wedges or chunky heels (high heels don't work on the beach for me) and a few pairs of flip flops (a pair for the beach and then a few nice pairs like Tory Burch for the evenings).
For a winter vacation I also stick with a color scheme that I can mix my shoes and generally take a pair of sneakers, a pair of Uggs and then a pair of Sorel's if we're going to be in the snow/rain.
I also will pack an extra outfit in this bag. I've learned the hard way MULTIPLE times that delays happen...it's easier to have an extra set of clothes/bathing suit/etc when you get delayed then having to buy everything from underwear to deodorant...(we've gotten delayed on out of country fights like to the islands and they wouldn't give us our checked luggage so we had to spend the night in Miami without any of our checked stuff).
Carry-On Bag #2
So next, I have my "personal item" as the airlines calls it. So used to I would load up my Louis Vuitton Neverfull and lug that thing all the way to our destination. About a year ago when we were coming home from a ski trip in Jackson Hole I was like this stinks...the bag gets so heavy, it digs into my shoulder and it doesn't fit under the seat in front of me when it's jam packed and doesn't have a zipper so everything would shift when I laid it down to go through security and my hands were full of trying to carry drinks b/c I was worried they would spill in my tote...So that's when I opted for the configuration I have now which I LOVE!
Now I do have to tell you...when Leeroy first mentioned getting a backpack I was mortified...I mean WHY would I want to trade in my designer bag for a frumpy backpack...I LOVE carrying my Neverfull...I'll tell you why...it makes way more sense...BUT it took a LOT of convincing...However...when we fly, I'm the girl that always has her water bottle, shaker bottle, and Starbucks with her on the plane. I have my little routine where we get to the airport 3 hours early (haha...maybe 2 hours) and I get all my stuff organized and ready to go. The problem was I was trying to carry my overflowing Neverfull, while rolling my roller-bag WHILE TRYING TO CARRY MY HOT COFFEE AND HOLD MY BOARDING PASS. It was SO not practical. So we went shopping and I found a cute backpack that has pockets galore including cup holders...so I gave in...and honestly have never looked back...We've been to Maui, Barbados, Vegas, and about to go on a Caribbean Cruise and it's worked perfectly!
I still pack my designer tote for when we get to the destination b/c I do enjoy using it as a purse when we travel (more on that later) but for the travel days this works way better. So last month we upgraded our original North Face backpacks to these Osprey ones which I think will give us a bit more room so I'll let you know how they work after we get back from our cruise in February!
So in my backpack I pack all of my technology items like my iPad, chargers, and headphones. I generally don't take my laptop on vaca but if I do I would pack it here. Then I add in my shaker bottle that has some stacking/interlocking pieces where I pack protein powder, and pre-workout supplements, vitamins, etc and usually that all fits in the inside of the shaker bottle. I'll also pack any protein bars, almonds/snacks that I'm bringing along so I don't have to worry about them melting or anything in my big bag that I'm checking. I prefer all my food items to be with me. I also always pack a 20 oz YETI with a slider lid so I can pour my coffee into it on the plane and during our trip and if it's a beach vaca it's perfect to keep drinks and ice cold on the beach!
Also in my backpack I carry my RFID protected passport wallet and that's what I put my credit cards/money/license/etc and that's also where I stick my boarding pass. I keep that in a handy outside zipped pocked of my backpack so it's easy to quickly access. I usually also carry one pair of sun glasses so they are easy to access when we get to our destination versus having to unzip my smaller roller - bag.
Then once I hit Starbucks and the magazine counter, I can tuck my books and magazines into the big part of my backpack and the water and coffee into my handy dandy cup holders so my hands are free when we board the plane other than having to wheel my roller - bag and hand them my boarding pass!
Because I've been delayed a few times and I am partial to not having to purchase cosmetics for a day, I bring along a heavy duty plastic quart sized bag that I pack all of my liquid cosmetics, toothbrush and deodorant. The bag has a quick release buckle that I put on the outside of my backpack so I can quickly get it out and into the security bin at the airport. Then once we're done with security I just throw it in my backpack. The last thing I pack is my airplane pillow - it's in a pink sac bag that I also have a small blanket and pair of socks that I take so that if I get cold on the plane I can snuggle in. That usually gets tied onto my backpack b/c the bag has a drawstring on it.
As far as packing purses, I usually will bring one small clutch for the evenings and then I typically use my Neverfull as my purse because I can make it smaller or the full size with the straps on each side. That way if we're taking the camera or anything extra as we explore we have a bag that works. I typically don't pack full size purses for the 3-7 days we are traveling.
For beach trips I will usually pack a straw beach bag that we take on the beach instead of the Neverfull and I will pack that in my big suitcase with my floppy hat and just lay it down and put my cubes and other items in the bag so I can get it all in one big suitcase. If we end up exploring or doing something more rugged then I just bring my backpack so I usually always have a bag that works for the event.
Whew! This is a long post and I feel like I could also do a video to walk through some of the things that I explained, so comment below or DM me on Instagram if you want me to do a video explaining more and showing you the inside of my bags and how I pack!:)
Packing honestly used to give me a lot of anxiety and now I'm so comfortable and happy with my process that it's really taken away any concern I used to have so I can enjoy the process more!
As far as travel outfits go....girl, we could do a whole blog post on that so if you want that let me know by either commenting below or shooting me a DM on Instagram!
Check out my guide What to Pack for a Beach Vacation to get all the details on what I pack for all my beach vacations and check out all my travel posts!!!
If planning to go on a trip stresses you out or you are overwhelmed with all the to-do's, grab my FREE Travel Checklist and you'll be organized in no time flat!
Let me know if you have any questions and if you have any ideas that you like when you pack and I hope this helps you to travel like a boss!
Alexa McLain says
All of these tips are so helpful!! I definitely was thankful that I has a backpack when I flew to Europe! It came in super handy! Thanks for posting girl!