After the travel pause we all encountered during the pandemic, it’s been nice to see our social media feeds filled with stunning wanderlust images of summer travel adventures, near and far. Although summer is a peak season for traveling, if there’s one thing we’ve learned in recent years, you’ve got to seize the moment and live life to the fullest. So, although we’re nearing the end of summer vacation, especially for us parents with kids going back to school, traveling is season-less and always an excellent idea. With that in mind, I enlisted the advice of three fabulous jet-setting friends to get their tips and lists of travel must-haves.
Interestingly enough, when I asked my globe trotting friends whether or not they are methodical packers, all three affirmed that they are indeed methodical. Alexis TeStrake, closet curator and stylist, takes it to the next level by snapping pictures of each look. Packing cubes are highly recommended as a great organizing hack and maximizes suitcase space. Destiny Beck, restaurant publicist and Float8 co-owner, reiterates that, “it keeps everything organized so unpacking and repacking are easier when making multiple stops.” Two other important tips by Aimee Vitek, owner and travel planner of TripBliss Travel, include bringing cash in the local currency and purchasing travel insurance. “It’s important to not only protect your investment, but also have baggage loss, trip interruption, and medical coverage during your trip,” says Vitek.
To make the airport experience a tad bit more pleasant, Vitek cannot stress enough the importance of having TSA PreCheck to avoid those long queues. Much to my dismay, I must admit that I keep putting off the TSA PreCheck registration and regret doing so each and every time I’m at the airport.
Before arriving to any destination, there is the flight, train ride, or road trip. Beck relies on her Kindle for some good reads to get her through the lengthy travel time. Same for TeStrake, who urges us to bring along soundproof headphones and any kind of entertainment. Beck adds that another great recommendation for in-flight comfort due to the cabin’s low humidity is to bring a good chapstick and moisturizer. Her go-to’s are Sun Bum Chap Lip Balm and Origins Moisturizer.
Exploring Made Easy
When it comes to those once-in-a-lifetime sightseeing moments, being hands-free is key. “I recently bought a Bandolier case for my iPhone and I’m obsessed with it. It’s hands-free and I can quickly snap a photo or grab my credit card without digging around in a purse,” says Beck. TeStrake opts for a fashionable yet functional cross-body bag because “this coy accessory allows for hands-free exploring, eating, photographing, or my personal favorite pastime: shopping. Plus, the right cross-body bag will do all that for you and elevate your outfit.” In fact, she’s got an eye on the YSL Lou Camera Bag, but loves her versatile Cuyana Half-Moon Shoulder Bag.
Being an expert travel planner, Vitek believes that it’s important to have an itinerary. “Even if it’s a loose plan for each day, an itinerary helps you to avoid overpacking and missing out on activities that require advanced booking,” says Vitek. Plan, don’t wing it! Another important reminder is to stay hydrated, even on vacation, with a YETI refillable water bottle, notes Beck. Oh, and stay wrinkle free with some Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus because nothing says disheveled more than out-of-place creases, quips TeStrake.
Packing may not be the highlight of one’s trip, but when planning ahead of time, it certainly can be more enjoyable. Plus, my one tip, aside from using Protect My Shoes of course, is to keep some room in your suitcase for those special purchases you make during your great escape. There is something truly special about those pieces bought whilst on a dream vacation. After all, they become daily reminders of all those fantastic adventures you’ve taken and the ones that await you. Bon voyage!
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