Travel can be a disaster if you are not prepared. But, sometimes our fear of being stuck without can sometimes cause us to be overloaded with too much.
In 2012, I moved to Spain with my husband. A year and a half later, we have a beautiful baby girl and a lot of travel under our belts. Last month alone, I conquered a whopping 10 flights, ranging in length from 1.5 to 13 hours, four of which I flew alone with our baby. But—between a stroller, 1 carry-on, diaper bag, an infant, and a crazy travel schedule—it's easy to get overwhelmed by all the essentials.
Here are 6 tips I picked up during my travels to help simplify getting from point A to point B.
1. HASSLE-FREE MONEY
Take the worry off of facing unexpected—and unwelcome—charges after your trip. Try using an ATM/debit card that charges no ATM fees and refunds you the fees other institutions charge. Another solution is to use a no foreign transaction fee credit card with EMV (the global standard for "chip cards" typically used abroad). This preparation will not only alleviate the worry, it will also lighten your purse.
2. CUSTOMIZED BAG ORGANIZATION
See-through packing cubes make it a breeze to organize, store and identify the contents of your bag. As a bonus, they're also useful for storing laundry for the journey home. Try the highly recommended ebags for your next trip.
3. PACKING ENVELOPES
Security-friendly packing envelopes are perfect for holding toiletries and easy-to-lose items. Water resistant packing envelopes are easy to clean in case your lotion explodes in transit. Try Travelon's 7-piece set.
4. HANGING TOILETRY BAG
A hanging toiletry bag that has all your favorite travel sized items in it, makes the packing process that much faster! Just throw into your luggage or carry-on and then hang it from a towel bar, shower rod, hook, or door knob when you arrive. Try Eagle Creek's Wallaby Trip Kit.
5. COLLAPSIBLE CARRY-ON
An elegant collapsible bag can take you from boarding, to the boardroom, and then the beach. Collapsible bags can be large enough to serve as an overnight or baby bag, but small enough that it folds into the size of a wallet if you prefer to stow it in your suitcase for later. A water-resistant tote is perfect for rainy days. Keep the collapsible bag inside your nice handbag, and—if its looking like rain—take it out, unfold it, zip your nice purse inside, and carry on without a qualm. Try Longchamp's Le Pliage tote.
6. ONE COLOR PALETTE
Verily's Beauty Editor, Nicole Caruso, suggests packing "one color palette for clothing so every piece is interchangeable. Shoes too. Then the suitcase is smaller and lighter!" When it comes to simplifying your travel life, who could argue with that?
( Photo by Gabriela Hansen )