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A life & style blog dedicated to sharing what brings strength & joy.

August 31, 2019

My Travel Tips & “Recovery Kit”

FILED IN: Travel

It’s only August but we’ve had quite the year of travel. It doesn’t exactly compare to your avid traveler or those who practically travel on a weekly basis for work – but hey, for us, it’s been a lot!

From Arizona in January to Vermont to Charlottesville (VA) to D.C. to North Carolina, South Carolina, all throughout Northern California, Prague (Czech Republic), Hatteras, and Iowa…I’ve learned a few things along the way.

Some of these are things I learned after our trip to Paris last fall, too!

They’re all listed below, followed by the “recovery kit” that’s saved us on multiple occasions!

Travel Tips

International Trips

01 – For long trips, bring a large checked bag, a roller carry-on and a small crossbody or a tote.

I used to think the best approach was packing one big suitcase and one large tote with all of the things I’d need, but then it was always taking up my foot room and hurting my shoulder as I’d lug it through the airport. {This set is on my wish list!}

I started wishing I had a smaller bag I could keep at my seat and stow the larger one up above. And well, if you get unlucky with flight delays, missed connections, cancellations, or missing baggage, this ensures you have toiletries and a change of clothes if you need it. Just pack it with the essentials and leave the rest in your checked bag!

02 – Comfy shoes are everything – like everything.

I finally got down with the sneakers with dresses & skirts look and I’m loving it for the comfort. Mules and slides, as much as I love them, just don’t work for me when your walking miles upon miles per day throughout Europe. Great brands for cute & comfy sneaks: Adidas, Nike, Veja, and if you want to splurge, Golden Goose.

03 – If you’re someone like me who depends on your hot hair tools, know the difference between adapters vs. converters.

I only had an adapter, which wasn’t strong enough to power my hair tools, causing me to just rely on the hotel or Airbnb’s blow dryer. Read those Amazon descriptions carefully!

04 – Stay organized by packing a trash bag or using the laundry bag in your hotel room to separate your dirty clothes from your clean clothes.

This makes it suuuper easy when you go home to start laundry, much easier to see what you have left to wear during your trip, and simple to pack back up when it’s time to head home!

05 – If you’re going in pretty much any season other than summer, bring a trench coat like this one!

You’ll want one! You can also find great, reasonable ones at places like J. Crew, ZARA, Banana Republic, ASOS, Abercrombie, etc.

06 – Some days we’d walk double-digit miles, and after a long day of traveling, it’s a good idea to put your legs up against the wall.

It’s sort of like a yoga pose – scoot your booty as close to the wall as you can, lean your legs up against it as you lay your back down on the floor. This helps with lactic acid build up and blood flow, plus it just feels good!

General Tips

07 – Photo Taking & Editing –

I used a DSLR camera on our trips this summer and loved it! When we had down-time in the hotel room or a bit of a drive, I’d use the WiFi to transfer photos to my phone and edit a few of my favorites, using a Lightroom preset, or creating my own. People feel differently about this, but I’m not likely to come home and go through hundreds of photos I’ve taken and edit them in one sitting. I’d much rather edit a few at a time and share them within the window of our actual trip!

08 – This is just a fun one, but create an IG Stories Highlight for each trip –

If nothing else but for your own “scrapbooking”. I love having one place to look back at moments I shared during our trips!

09 – I feel very obvious saying this, but stay hydrated!

I hate buying plastic water bottles, so we always try to travel with reusable ones but it can be hard to find clean water at times. Do the best you can but definitely keep it top of mind! You will feel so much better and your digestion and skin will thank you for it.

10 – Use packing cubes!

You can get ones from places like Calpak, or find an inexpensive set on Amazon, but they’re definitely worth it if you tend to be an over-packer and want to maximize space in your suitcase.


11 – Unpacking –

On a long trip, and when possible, I like unpacking my suitcase so our living space stays neat and I can actually see everything I packed. This might not be for you, but I’m that crazy person that unpacks as soon as I get home and immediately starts the laundry. It helps me settle back in and “recover” from a trip much quicker. (If you follow tip 04, this is a breeze!)

The Recovery Kit

Okay, so this is kind of an inside joke between Connor and I but we originally kept calling it “the bag of tricks” and it made us laugh.

But really, this ‘kit’ has gotten us through each trip, using multiple items from it daily.

And before you roll your eyes at how long of a list it is, if you get travel-sized ones, they can all fit in a medium-sized pouch. I carried mine around in a mini leather backpack!

(I’ll admit, some things I leave back in the hotel room / Airbnb and just bring what I think we might need.)

Medicine

  • Charcoal Pills
  • Advil
  • Tums
  • Pepto
  • Allergy Meds
  • Bandaids (for blisters)
  • Jet Lag Pills

Beauty & Hygiene

  • Rose Water Facial Spray
  • Arbonne Facial Wipes
  • Arbonne or L’Occitaine Hand Lotion
  • Chapstick
  • Pacifica Underarm Wipes
  • Mini Deodorant
  • Hand Sanitizer (I get mine from Whole Foods)

Sleep & Other

  • Arbonne Fizz Sticks
  • Arbonne Digestion Plus
  • Arbonne Lavender Essential Oil
  • Melatonin 
  • Silk Eye Mask
  • Tweezers

There you have it! I hope that helps make your next trip a healthy and enjoyable one.

Bon Voyage!

x, Kaitlyn

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