Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Inquiring Minds Want to Know: Your Best Travel Tips & Tricks!

Hello Loves!

My big girl vacation is just around the corner.
Two weeks tra-la-la-ing through Europe.

It's bratty. I know.

The good news is you will be getting your daily dose of the cuppa while I'm gone! I have an entire series of posts written and scheduled - and I think they are really fun! Hopefully you will too! You won't even get a chance to miss me!

So - here is what I need from you....

Give me your best travel tips and tricks. I am taking a LONG trip on a plane. Across the pond. And I need to sleep.
I will be turning 30 in the sky! How crazy is that?
When I land in Barcelona, I am going to be THIRTY.

It will be my birthday. So I need to be spunky and fresh - not tired, groggy, and jet lagged.
Not cranky from the misery of traveling.

Help a sister out.

Ready for a few of mine: Benadryl, Packing Cubes, Kindle, Water Bottle, and Carry-on Essentials.

1. Benadryl knocks me OUT. Perfect non prescription sleeping pill.

2. Have you ever seen packing cubes? They are AWESOME.
I bought some two years ago when I went to Ireland and they were SUCH a life saver.
I have these and these. In RED.

They all fit in my suitcase. I put tops in one, pants in another, socks and undies in another, cami's get one too. Etc. Until all of my clothes are packed. Not only do they help keep my stuff organized, they kind of compress everything into smaller compartments, and makes more space so I can fit a TON more in my luggage.
Since they all kind of take on a square shape, it all stacks up neatly.

Also, since I'm going to be on a cruise ship, and you have to unpack your suitcase when you are on the ship (did you know this?) - it helps keep things organized within the stateroom.

Seriously. EBags is not paying me to tell you this. I am just telling you because I love them. You are welcome.

3. My travel life changed when I got a Kindle. Again, Amazon is not paying me to say that. I just LOVE it. Vacation to me is time to READ.

One year I went to Hawaii, and brought a giant stack of books. I was MISERABLE lugging those suckers through the airport. I always travel with my Bible, devotional, and then whatever books I plan to read on vacation. Which is typically at least two or three.

Now, I carry my super light Kindle - which means more room for clothes, shoes, and bringing home souvenirs.

4. Now that TSA has regulations on the whole traveling with liquids thing - which by the way, I was in Mississippi when that federal throw down occurred, and on our return flight home, we were all bewildered that we had to throw away ANYTHING liquid - sunscreen, bug spray, lotion, EVERYTHING. Lesson learned. Quickly.

Anyway, now that that regulation is not going anywhere, I always carry an empty water bottle with me. Once you are through security, you can fill it up with ice and a little bit of water - and you are good to go. Then you have your own water bottle with you wherever you are. Definitely beats paying $5 for bottled water. And I need to have water. All the time.

Do not wait to hydrate.

5. What would you do if you traveled all the way across the Atlantic ocean, and when you landed your suitcase had a panic attack and decided to stay behind and all you had was what was in your carry on? Would you be able to travel comfortably for the next several days until you were reunited with your two wheeled buddy? Or if it was gone forever?

I may have lost sleep over this idea last year.

So, I take one of my packing cubes, and include a few extra undies, my favorite outfit (after all, when I land its my birthday, I want to look and feel good!). I also throw in my bag an extra pair of shoes and socks, maybe some PJ's, non-liquid make up, hairbrush, etc. Anything I would be super bummed to not have, at least for a few days. Obviously, you want to include any medications and irreplaceable personal items as well. Just please be sure to not lose your bag in the terminal. Things would get ugly.

Okay - SO - tell me, what are you must haves/must dos for traveling? On the plane? On a boat?
Carry-on, luggage, packing, unpacking, etc.

I want to know it all.

I want your best kept travel secret!


  1. Well, I am beyond excited for you to be traveling for your birthday, Kim! Especially such a big one as THIRTY! 30 was good to me, I am sure it will be good to you also!

    One thing I learned from reading PW's book is that you don't want to sleep the ENTIRE plane ride. Because she was asleep and not yawning and popping her ears, she got crazy sick (on her honeymoon, no less!) because her ears were out of whack. So if you want to sleep, make sure you don't sleep the whole time.

    Other than that, sounds like you're pretty prepared!

  2. Benadryl's good. I break a percocet in half and pop that sucker for red-eye flights.

    Water water water!! drink it nonstop when you aren't sleeping. Just as important though is to moisturize your face big time. planes will kill your face. dry skin gets dryer, oily skin gets oilier. Do not mist your face. It will actually make it worse. Just use a good moisturizer. YuBe moisturizing skin cream to go is perfect for a plane if you are going to sleep. It's a little thick, but works wonderfully. I also like Carol's Daughter Bring in the Moisture face lotion. It's not thick and not thin. Both are at sephora. Put on moisturizer when you first get on the plane. Again before you go to sleep. And then again when you wake up. You'll look fresh as a dewy daisy when you walk off that plane.
    Also...while your in europe, pick up their sunscreen. It's a million times better than ours in america. And you can take liquids on a plane-each thing (conditioner/shampoo/lotion/liquid makeup) just has to be 3oz or under and all liquids must fit in a quart-sized ziploc bag.

  3. i love the packing cube system-i need it!!
    we do the empty water bottles, too.
    i always seem to forget some liquid item and it gets confiscated. pfft. so annoying.
    also, my sister is a lead supervisor for tsa.

  4. That packing cube system is insane! I love it!

  5. When I went to Thailand I was able to borrow sound cancelling head phones. They are a bit larger than normal headphones, but I swear they are worth it! I think they helped me sleep across the pacific more than anything else!! I'm sure you can find them on amazon. :)

  6. First of all - Happy Early Birthday! How exciting to be changing decades at 30,000 feet!

    I only have one travel rule, and that is to AVOID CHECKING A BAG IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. For the flight itself, I take my eye mask-thingy to block out light on a long (especially overnight) flight. It amazes me the people who stay awake ALL NIGHT LONG!!! I like to be ready to go when my feet hit foreign soil!! I also take plain 'ol ear plugs. I love that they don't block "all" sound because I like the lull of the engine.

    Happy Trails to you! Can't wait to see pics after you return. You and your dad had better be stylin' on those bikes! ;)

  7. Hooray Europe! AND a cruise! Jealous. ^^

    Love love love those cubes, may have to invest in some myself.

    When you check in @the airport, ask whether or not the exit rows are available and if there is one exit row seat available, take it!

    Also, check the time difference between here and Barcelona. Use that time difference to base your sleeping schedule (also dependent upon what time your flight leaves, duration of flight, layovers, and what time you land). Try and get a "normal" night's sleep during the flight. However, make sure to do the math right, because it may be that you shouldn't sleep at all on the plane based on your numbers!

    Have such a wonderful time!

  8. You are so super organized. I think I might steal some tips from you!! :)

  9. I don't really have any travel advice. I went to London 8 years ago but I don't really remember the flight. Those travel cubes are genius! I have to get some of those!

  10. HYDRATE!
    sleep when you get the chance. truly, embrace the sleep whore. melatonin is good, but it needs to be dark to work...face mask it up!
    take walks ever couple of hours. (between naps, of course).
    get yourself some compression socks to avoid blood clots. for reals. don't hate.

    ps, buy me something cute ;)

  11. I have no nursing advice for you, unlike cindy. I smuggle the ambien, because benadryl doesn't touch me.
    Eye mask WITH nose flap, ear plugs/head phones, and a GREAT PLAYLIST are my must haves. I normally don't like the neck pillows, but some of the people who went to cambodia with me had inflatable ones that didn't inflate the part that goes behind your neck - which I thought was cool because that's what always bothered me about those. AND it doesn't take up much space because its inflatable, and you're not doing the head jerk for 8 hours!

  12. That will be a birthday to remember! I don't really have any good travel tips, except these:

    - I always wear sweatpants and a comfy t-shirt on long-haul flights, and shoes that I can easily slip in and out of. And no make-up that can smudge! I don't want to be even more uncomfortable than I know I'll be anyway. Anything that is very close to sleep wear will do! If I want to look glamorous on embarking, I'll pack a nice crinklefree dress and make-up so I can change in the bathroom before landing.

    - I pack a change of t-shirt and underwear in my hand luggage in case my checked luggage should get lost or I spill something. I'll always have a toothbrush and moisturizer on me, too.

    - I take fruit and carrot sticks as snacks, or anything else that tastes fresh and will keep me hydrated. In addition to a big, big bottle of water!

    - If I travel across time zones, I change my watch to the local time of where I am landing as soon as the plane takes off. Then I try and adjust my body clock to that time and make sure I eat meals and sleep according to that. At my destination, I try and stay awake until it's nighttime, that way I will be really tired and get a reasonably good night's sleep to counteract the jetlag.

    Anyways, when are you leaving? Have a great trip!

  13. Travel tips:

    1. Always have a new DVD ready for kids who get cranky and bored on any long drives. Not the same Veggie Tales or Robin Hood they've seen 549 times.
    2. Baby wipes. They work for SO many things.
    3. Snacks: goldfish, gummies, drinks, etc. A must.
    4. Hand sanitizer bottles are your friend.

    Oh, wait. All of these tips are only applicable on those long drives with children who are not interested in being on the I-5 one second longer and who really really really need to go to the bathroom even though there's not another stop for at least an hour. Not for super fabulous jaunts through Europe. DISREGARD EVERYTHING I SAID!!

    OK, my only tips: Look fabulous {think biker chic}, take TONS of pictures, eat amazing food, and tell us all about it. Have a BLAST! And happy birthday, too. The 30's are pretty darn good. :)


  14. not a clue. we went on a mission trip to india a few years ago and the excitement go me through the first half of the trip, fear that i would somehow have to stay against my will nearly paralyzed me, and then of course excitement to see my babes brought me home. my father-in-law works for tsa and he totally thinks he is a legit cop...annoying.

  15. Love tip 5, something I have always feared and actually happened to a friend of mine while going on her honeymoon...

    My tips- always a comfy cozy outfit on the plane plus easy slip on/off shoes with socks. chew gum while taking off and landing to help your ears. eye mask but the scented kind :) much more relaxing and try to convert to the other time before hand by a couple hours each day.