I wrote this post from my gate as I waited to board a flight to Buenos Aires, where I was able to visit my husband for 10 blissful days!
Travel. It’s what makes life worth living, but it can be stressful! Arriving to the airport early, untangling headphones, looking for your passport… Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Here are 7 steps to becoming an organized jet setter:
Before you do anything:
- Research the local weather and fashion trends
- Think about the different types of clothing needed for activities (e.g. hiking, swimming, formal events)
- Make a packing list – Evernote is the best app! I even color code items that need to be purchased according to their location (e.g. pink for Amazon, green for CVS) and check off each item as it’s packed.
1) Invest in some travel essentials:
Have you ever taken a 4-hour bus clear across an island to fly out of the country only to realize you left your passport at home? Nope? Just me? Ok. It was one of the worst travel experiences of my life, and I’ve had quite a few (anyone else had their engagement ring stolen in Belgium pre-proposal?).
Just to be safe, I bought this cute hot pink “trippin’ wallet” – not only will it ensure I never forget to pack my passport, it has tons of pockets for everything else! It holds a pen, key chain, credit cards, ID, cash, all of my travel documents, and I had to sneak a few business cards in. 😉
I love how it sounds like a mustache for your neck. But this is really a hidden place to store cash when traveling that fits underneath your clothing. I don’t use it unless I need to travel with a lot of cash.
This handy little bag has makeup brush holders and mesh pockets on the inside for organizing my toiletries by category. It even has a hook for hanging! I also use travel size bottles, even when I’m checking liquids – they’re such space savers! Downy wrinkle releaser is a life-saver when you don’t have an iron, and makeup remover wipes are a must when you’re too tired from traveling to wash your face.
I am so sick of my sunglasses getting scratched. This microfiber bag does the trick and I can even use it to clean my phone screen.
2) Multi-functional luggage is key:
Often when I travel, I wind up taking little trips within a larger trip, and this one is no exception! We are traveling to Salta in the northwest of Argentina to go sightseeing/hiking in the Andes mountains! It is important to visualize these trips and what kind of luggage will be most functional and efficient, especially on an airplane. I bought this two-in-one tote bag with detachable cross-body bag (at Francesca’s) that will be a lifesaver for day trips and as my carry on for the plane trips. The cross-body bag holds my bulky camera, which is a huge plus.
3) Corral your chords:
Is there anything worse than not being able to locate your noise-canceling headphones on a 9-hour flight that seems to be only carrying screaming babies?
First, I bundled the chords with binder clips.
These folding headphones were a worthy investment. Next, I collected everything with a chord into a spare makeup bag and slipped it into my carry-on luggage.
4) Pack your shoes first:
The first thing I always pack is my shoes. Place them around the interior perimeter of the suitcase to distribute their weight evenly. Place shower caps around the bottoms of your shoes to prevent germs and dirt from transferring to your clean clothing! Make sure you pack comfortable shoes for exploring!
5) Roll your clothing:
To maximize space, roll each piece of clothing before placing it in the suitcase. Begin with the heaviest items, such as coats and sweaters. The next layer is for jeans and dresses. Finally, stick rolled leggings and t-shirts wherever room is left.
I even rolled my socks and stuck them inside my boots!
6) Bring a laundry bag:
I have a darling little handmade cloth bag that I use as for dirty laundry when I travel. Mesh bags can be purchased at the dollar store and thrown in the wash with everything inside. It’s great to have a place to separate dirty laundry from what is still clean. On the initial trip, I use it to store all of my bras and underwear.
Place other accessories (belts, hats, scarves, and an extra purse) in the inner zipper pocket.
7. Keep your paperwork on hand:
Make a printable with your flight/confirmation numbers, the local exchange rate, and directions to your hotel once you land. It can be very hard to navigate a new place when you’re well-rested, let alone after an overnight flight, and having these and other important details on hand makes all the difference. Place this and your passport, ID, and any other documentation required by the country you are entering in your handy new passport wallet, and you’re ready to go!
Carry-On Travel Essentials.
Can’t forget my mini umbrella, sleep mask, inflatable neck pillow, or water bottle! Snacks and gum are always a good idea, and planes are the best places for getting some good reading in (especially when you’re reading travel literature about the place you’re visiting 🙂
Ready to go!
Bon Voyage & Happy Travel Organizing!