Whether for business or for pleasure, this time of year seems to have us all jet setting to the point where as soon as we unpack and begin to unwind, we’re right back at it - fleeing off somewhere again. Weddings, vacations, visits to see friends, family and loved ones, client meetings and other unexpected last minute trips. It can certainly disrupt any sort of routine we hoped to have and can play tricks on our immune system. Not to mention that the process of traveling itself can be stressful.
We’re confined to the limited rectangular space that is accountable for securing all of our necessary belongings from wardrobe options, accessories and shoes to hygiene products, hair tools and those two dozen Baked By Melissa’s that you promised your family you’d bring home. Weather’s calling for rain? Fantastic, there goes one third of my available space to squeeze in a pair of rain boots.
We may not be able to control environmental conditions (although, wishful thinking) or the cycle of continuous travel, however there are plenty of things that we can control to help lighten our load and make the travelling process seem more comfortable and ultimately, a bit more enjoyable.
To each their own, but when I see women decked out in skinny high heels before boarding the airplane, I first question why she made such a decision. Then, I wonder how she manages to contain her sanity without twisting an ankle or two while carrying around heavy luggage. I suppose I give that kind of woman props, but there are safer and wiser decisions that can be made. We all weren’t born for the runway, you know.
Flats, slip on sandals, and flat heeled boots are the optimal choice in order to more easily dodge the crowds or rack up your Nike Fuel points as your chase your way (chic-like, of course) to the gate before you miss your flight.
Remember that transportation is usually kept (re: cranked) on the chillier side…to reduce traveller irritability so I learned. Opt for breathable layers and a cozy cardigan or large scarf to keep you warm or to use as a blanket. A comfortable bra is also a wise decision because the last thing that you want are wires poking you in every which way or something that makes you feel as though you’re in a straight jacket. Save the fancier things for more special occasions.
In warmer months, stray from wearing shorts – they’re the less hygienic option, but perhaps wear a maxi skirt to maintain that elegant and comfortable look. And if you can pull it off, take note of how this lovely lady and dear friend over at Sew Fetch manages to travel in style. We could all use a pair of swag sweats, no?
Travel ensemble advice from the lady herself...
"Luckily, traveling-celebrity-wear closely resembles homeless-woman-wear, but considerably more expensive, and my wardrobe is full of hobo-chic essentials that make the second travel goal much more attainable than the first (come and get it gentlemen, am I right?) Here, I layer some beloved extremely overpriced studded sweatpants, a friends’ deceptively-structured-but-totally-made-out-of-sweatpant-material-jacket, an oversized purse which will soon be crammed full of excessive magazine and candy purchases from Hudson News, and a hat that very effectively hides Sunday morning hair while also parlaying the message that I am from New York and probably don’t want to speak to you.
Ta-da! Just add at least 3 tiny bottles of airplane wine and I’m definitely drunk, and almost famous."
If you’re checking a bag, you have more flexibility….but if you’re avoiding a baggage check, try to be mindful and remember that in this case, less is more. Pull wardrobe items that can be worn several ways and include a few pieces of statement jewelry that can help transform an outfit from day to night.
And don’t be afraid to ask. If you’re visiting a close friend or relative, ask if you can borrow their hairdryer, a towel for showering, and any generic toiletries you can use that would otherwise take up space and weight in your carry on. I personally have a few products here and there that I feel are important to carry with me, but my long locks can go without fancy hair wash and conditioner for a few days. Who knows, maybe you’ll find yourself latching on to a new brand or two by the end of your trip. Ah, the beauty of product experimentation.
In terms of makeup, I have a smaller travel bag that I’ll dump the necessities into for the purposes of travelling. Moisturizer, under eye concealer (lord knows we could all use more of this when we travel), eyeliner, mascara, bronzer, respective makeup brushes, chapstick, lipstick. Again, to each their own. Perhaps you’ll need five shades of lipstick for your particular getaway (lucky you, miss red lips).
I suggest a face mist, as a refresher before reaching your final destination. My favorite go-to is Caudalie’s beauty elixir – an instant wake up call for your senses.
Beyond the phones, laptops, respective electronic chargers, various forms of ID, wallet, tampons, etc., these are personal items I deem as miscellaneous “essentials” which may vary based on your own needs/interests.
- Earphones and hours worth of carefully curated playlists that can be listened to in the “offline” mode (Spotify subscribers, you can attest to this, as I learned the hard way when none of my playlists projected sound during a recent subway commute)
- Reading material, such as your top two or three favorite magazines (include at least one guilty pleasure and one educational), a current hardback, or your kindle for further saving you some space & lbs.
I also seem to fall into the trap of impulse purchasing my magazines at the Hudson News Stand and feel like I’m forking out an arm and a leg out for just a few simple travel reads that usually only last the first hour of my trip (and sometimes before take off). That said, I recommend grabbing your magazines ahead of time to save yourself a few dollar bills. And try to avoid opening them until the wheels on your mode of transportation have begun moving.
- Camelback that you can continuously fill in order to stay hydrated throughout your trip.
- Healthy snacks that won’t cause a mess or awful odor, such as raw trail mixes (with little to no sodium), a banana, and your favorite energy bars. Airport options are becoming healthier, however this way you know you’ll have something to easily grab and will save yourself from having to pull out your wallet as you travel.
- Vitamins & Medications – I fill a Ziploc with a handful of Vitamin C pills, multi-vitamins, and probiotics to keep my immune system in check.
And last but not least, how will you manage to carry all of your belongings? For your heavier items, a rolling luggage piece like the blue beauty below is fantastic - and if you check your bag, it's a sure way of easily spotting it among the chaos that happens at baggage claim. For a shorter weekend trip, a duffle sized weekender bag makes it easier to climb flights of stairs without putting too much strain on your shoulders. And for those carry on miscellaneous essentials, a nice little backpack will do - this leather one is excellent for city dwellers as well that are looking to avoid the one shoulder bag that's weighed down with your work laptop and other belongings.
Onward, you jet setting queen.