Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Savvy Packing Tips To Become The Expert-Traveler

Can you believe that the airlines can charge you up to $175 for overweight bags?! It's absolutely crazy! I refuse to waste my money on paying overweight charges, regardless of how long I'm traveling for. Airline fares are high enough nowadays, so don't let them get cha on fees for excess baggage! 

I've picked up some really helpful travel tips over the years that I wanted to share with you. They will not only help you pack more efficiently but also save money, in some cases calories, and most importantly, save you lots of hassle!

1. Wear your heaviest pair of shoes on the plane & pack others that easily convert from day-to-night. No one, shoe-lover or not, needs to haul along a dozen pair of shoes!

2. If you are bringing along expensive jewelry, wear it onto the plane and check only your fun costume jewelry. Unless you have some hefty travel and/or personal articles insurance, don't risk it! Also, use a jewelry organizer to keep it all together. Here's a perfect one for $10.56: Hanging Jewelry Organizer from Amazon.

3. Just like with shoes, pack a purse that will work well with multiple outfits. My favorite thing to bring along on vacations are small clutches like this BCBG Clutch from Macy's. It's currently marked down from $78 to $34 and comes in black, pewter or pale gold. Leave your big purse and unnecessary items at home! It's less to carry and less to misplace or lose.

4. I learned this one from my Mom! Always wear a sweater or shawl on the plane for travel days since it's often chilly up in the air. Try to wear something that would also compliment your other outfits too in case there's a breeze in the evenings. This tip makes the plane ride more cozy and again, saves weight & space in your suitcase. I really like this classic one at Express. 

5. For sleeping, bring only a couple of small p.j. sets, t-shirts or nighties. No one needs a different pair for each day! I love Victoria's Secret's cute & comfortable pajamas like this set for $24.99. The same goes for workout clothes, gals. You really don't need a different set for each day.

6. Toiletries- This is one area I always struggle with because I'm a bit of a make-up and product junkie. Is anyone else's favorite store Sephora? I've found that the best way to keep it under control is to use travel-size bottles. Don't get suckered into buying the branded travel sizes though! I make my own using this travel set for $18. Fill the bottles with your must-have products and top off the leftovers next time... It's easy, spill-proof and saves me tons of space!
7. Don't forget to pack mix-and-match staple items like tanks, tees, classic jeans and leggings so you can create multiple outfits with accessories like jewelry, shoes, sunglasses, etc. By planning ahead you can easily find ways to re-wear multiple items.

Also, I know it's a little time consuming but I always try on my outfits before I go. No one wants to have a dramatic melt-down on vacation because something you brought doesn't fit nicely, etc. My poor husband has had to listen to my whining on multiple occasions when I've neglected to do this ahead of time.

8. I know this sounds totally unnecessary, but I recommend buying a hand-held luggage scale for your home. It's a really easy way to make sure you're under the limit before you get to the airport kiosk. Who likes to shuffle items between their suitcases under stress, with everyone in-line staring at you and in your business? Not me!! Here's the exact Taylor scale we have for $17 on Amazon. It's very accurate and makes things so much easier.
9. Let me preface this next section but saying that I'm not an extreme health nut by any means (I certainly love my carbs and sugars just as much as the next girl!). I do try to choose when to indulge on vacation though or it can get completely out of hand. Normally I'll make healthier choices especially on travel days because I don't want to over-do it before I even get there!

Surprisingly there are lots of healthy options available at airport kiosks including salads, fruit assortments and sandwich wraps. Also remember to B.Y.O.S! That stands for 'Bring Your Own Snacks' :) You'll save a ton of money and calories by packing your own. My favorites tends to be easy items like almonds, cashews or peanuts, apples and 100 calorie packs.

I hope you all found these helpful! They've definitely saved me money and stress on all of my vacations. If you have any clever travel tips of your own, as always, I invite you to leave us a comment and share!

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