Well, the year of travel continues and while myself and the rest of the world are getting ready to be out of office for a few days, I wanted to share some highly requested content. Let’s be clear from the start: everyone hates packing. If they don’t, do not trust them. They likely don’t like puppies, funnel cake or Journey – and you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.
I am a serial procrastinator when it comes to packing. I mean, hours before my flight I’ll be putting rolling shirts and ordering chargers on Amazon Now. It’s not my proudest moments. BUT I’m committed to breaking the cycle and this year has been amazing practice. (Remember when Sahir made me go to Paris for a week in just a carry-on?)
I’ve learned a few things from my weeks of travel and talked to a lot of people. From packing to gadgets, here are the five tips that jet-setters swear by:
BUY PACKING CUBES
I have to admit, I wasn’t sold on these when I first got them. People raved about them, both online and in person. “They will change the way you pack!” and “You can fit so much more!” I had to try it for myself. Well, the first time I attempted to use the packing cubes I found myself left with no room for anything else. Frustrated, I abandoned the mission and resorted to the ol’ roll & tuck philosophy. But then I gave it another shot, but with a hardside suitcase. (I swear by this one) Pro tip: only use a small, medium and large sized cube i.e enough for one side of your suitcase. My mistake was that I filled both sides of my suitcase with the cubes and I had no room for shoes, my straightener or other gadgets. Use your large cube to store pants & dresses, medium one for shirts and sweaters, and small one for undergarments & swim. Once all of your clothes are safely tucked away in one side of your suitcase, you have the entire other side for everything else.
CANCEL THE NOISE
Not sure how, but a while back Sahir found out about these BOSE noise cancelling headphones I swear on all things Mindy Kaling, that every single person who tries them – buys them. Yall, you never reason how obnoxiously loud the background noise is on a plane until you have to give these headphones back to your husband because “your hour is up and you promised you would share” – insert roll eyes emoji here. Get your own, it’s so worth it.
BAGS ARE FRIENDS
You know those pretty little tote bags that come when you buy an expensive handbag that you think “I’ll surely use this!” and then it ends up in bottom drawer at the back of your closet. Well, pull em out! Those bags are perfect for storing your shoes when you travel. I am guilty of always needing at least three pairs (I think I’m packing 5 for this trip- eek!) and storing them can be a hassle. Use ziploc bags for accessories, tote bags for shoes, and cloth bags for makeup, jewelry, and safety/bobby pins.
Traveling is the one time that you will absolutely need an external charger. I really like the Mophie power bank it’s less than $40 and lets you charge two devices at once. Take advantage of the in plane outlets (if you are lucky enough to have them) to charge up both your phone and your external battery because once you hit the road there’s no turning back.
Voltage can be tricky depending on where you go. While my preference is to ask your hotel for a rental (they usually will provide an adapter and just put a hold on your account) so that you are sure that it is the best adapter for the country, you don’t want to be a victim to circumstances. Carry your own adapter per the country that you are visiting. We just bought this 3 pack adapter for $10 that should get us through our trip. Remember that voltage is different and you don’t want to run the risk of blowing out your favorite straightener. Check and make sure that your device can handle additional voltage before you pack it.
Pro-Tip: Never exchange money at the airport. You are guaranteed to get the worst exchange rate. Opt for a travel credit card like the Chase Reward Card that doesn’t charge international fees. Your credit card company will give you the best rate for that day + you will be protected. Make sure you let the bank know that you are traveling beforehand.
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