As you know, I travel a lot. Sometimes it’s for fun, and other times it’s for work or Jeremy’s work. When I first started traveling, I got nervous at airports, stressed when trying to pack, and scare of the unknown. Now, it doesn’t even phase me. I have a little routine that helps me stay organized and prepared. If you are a frequent traveler, you probably have great tips as well! Feel free to share them on this post! I love learning from you guys as well. If you are not a frequent traveler, I hope this post can help you out on your next trip!
Before you begin packing, go online and check your airlines guidelines. I always fly Southwest when I can because they have great customer service, let you have multiple bags, and I like the no seating arrangement on the plane. I also have a Southwest rapids reward credit card that allows me to earn flight points every time I use it. If you travel a lot, I’d recommend looking into one! Southwest lets you carry two bags onto the plane and carry one two bags. The bags that you check in can’t be heavier than 50lbs a piece. I always weigh my bags before going to the airport. That’ll save you from unpacking things and stuffing them into other bags in the airport. I’ve learned my lesson on that one!
Other things you should do before traveling: Check in your flight 24 hours before, continue to check it’s status and gates, and get check what time the airport recommends you getting there before take off. Some days it’s really busy and some days it’s not. Tuesdays are the best days to fly! If you don’t pay attention to the recommended time, you could miss our flight with the extra long security line. If you are an A-list flyer, you probably won’t run into any of those problems.
Pack the day before you travel! If you forget anything, you’ll have time to pick it up.
When you are packing your bathroom supplies, make sure to keep them in a leak-proof bag. Don’t keep the bag in your carry on because they may get thrown away at security. You’ll end up buying all new products on your trip and that can be pretty pricy depending on where you are going.
I have a travel bag obsession. It helps that I get them cheap at TJ Maxx. They have little bags for computers, make up, bathroom supplies, luggage, or carry ons. They are usually marked down 50% compared to the normal designer price.
When you are packing your make up, only take the basics and downsize to a smaller bag. You can’t pack a huge make up case, so use a carry bag. Bring some fun lip gloss, eye shadow, and your necessities. Oh, and don’t forget those tweezers! I like to carry my makeup in my carry on bag, because I don’t trust that it won’t break in my suitcase. I’ve never had a problem getting it through security.
Oh and again, check out TJ Maxx for those little bags! I’m obsessed with Betsey Johnson and they have a ton her stuff.
If I were you, I’d pack extra sunglasses. You may not be as hard on them as I am, but I either lose them, sit on them, or they break in my bags. Keep them with you in your carry on.
I’m sure you’ve heard of rolling your clothes to get them to fit, but I’m against that. You’ll most likely pack way too much and your bag will be overweight. Also, it’s not great for your clothes! I fold them up before adding them to the suitcase.
I’m not sure why people think you have to continue to buy new clothes for vacations, but I’m all about recycling. Call me a clothes hoarder if you must! This dress is three years old and I still wear it out. I STILL get compliments on it. Save your shopping money for vacation! Don’t waste it buying clothes before you go.
I know vacation requires getting getting all fancy and dressed up, but don’t forget to bring some comfortable clothes! There will be a lot of downtime and you’ll wish you were all cozy. I bring a lot of workout shorts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, flip flops, tennis shoes, and pajamas!
I also have a rule: Try it on before it goes into the suitcase! If you don’t wear it while you are at home, why would you wear it on vacation. Don’t waste suitcase space with pointless items.
Always choose a comfortable outfit for the airport. I like to wear jeans, a nice comfortable/casual top, flats, and a cardigan if it’s cold. If you set that aside, it prevents you from packing it up and digging it out in the morning.
I hate when my shoes get smashed in my suitcase and I don’t like the idea of my dirty shoes on my clean cloths, so I keep a bag just for my shoes and comfortable clothes. I don’t really care if my shoes touch my comfortable clothes. This is my second check in bag.
And last, pack what you’ll be bringing on the plane. I pack my laptop, phone, my sunglasses, makeup, headphones, wallet, and some healthy snacks. Don’t buy snacks at the airport if you don’t have too. They double in price! Just make sure you put your laptop in a separate bin during security and keep your bag open. Make sure keep your ticket and license in your hand to save time instead of digging around for them. Pack antibacterial wipes with you. The airplane seats are full of germs. Give it a good wipe down, especially on the tray!
If I were you, I’d download a movie on your laptop the day before to keep you busy on the plane. Make sure your computer and phone stays charged all night.
I hope this little post could help. If you have any other questions, leave one and I’ll try to answer it! If you have some advice, I’d love to hear from you!
I think it’s really good advice! Especially take a look at a point that we should not take what you do not wear We all know it, but always forget about it.
And what about my advice .. not to be trifled with airport staff! More than once I saw those pranksters who were sent on a thorough inspection of their jokes.
And you’re absolutely right about the fact that we should not throw out the old stuff and buy new every vacation! It is very expensive and I’m sure we all have things in the closet that we bought for a vacation and just dressed a couple of times.
And ,Taralynn, I tried to contact with you about my idea – translate your blog into Russian language.If that you’re interested, contact me about, please.
Linda @ Fit Fed and Happy says
I like that not only do you post about healthy foods, but you post about other aspects of lifestyle.
Thanks so much for the tips! I’m heading to DC in June and probably won’t have a car so I’m trying to work out how to pack ultra-light. I usually fly Southwest as well, but I didn’t realize that the bag limit was 75lb–I always thought it was 50 haha. I usually hit around 46 for a weeklong trip, even with my heavy suitcase.
This post was very helpful since I’m going on a cruise vacation over spring break and I haven’t flown in a while! What is your opinion about outfit planning when packing? Do you plan outfits for everyday or do you just throw in a bunch of tops and a bunch of bottoms/dresses? And how many pairs of shoes would be considered acceptable to bring?
Taralynn McNitt says
Thanks! A cruise sounds super fun! I used to plan out my outfits for each day, but found that it was a waste of time because I never wore them. I usually pack the way I dress in the summer. I bring my favorite shorts, maybe 2 swim suits, lots of flip flops, a couple sun dresses, jeans, a sweater, and a pair of running shoes and heels! Don’t bring more outfits than you’ll wear 🙂
Thanks so much, some great ideas!
I am not a frequent flyer by any means. However, when I do take trips, they’re 8+ hours away…
I always pack frozen oranges or grapes and eat them within the first two hours of the flight. Grapes will turn brown, fast!
If you bring a water bottle, which I suggest, do NOT bring one with the pop up straw… The pressure in the cabin will make the water shoot out and turn into a fountain…. Found that out the hard way.. You can bring that type of bottle but twist the cap off and ignore the straw part. Plus! If you bring a water bottle, the flight attendants will fill it up when you get on the plane if you ask.
I would recommend not a lot of hard to digest grains… Nobody wants a rumbly tummy or worse-the toots- on a plane.
I try to put my flat shoes like flip flops or toms in the front pouches of my suitcase.. What else could you put there and feel secure that it won’t be broken or leaking when you reunite after the flight?!
I agree with Tara about the rolling of the clothes… I DO roll them on the way home though. I always have little things I pick up throughout my travels and I need extra space in my bags! 🙂
I have never had a need to bring my laptop on vacation. I always bring my iPad which I stock up with internet free apps or activities. I actually like reading for a good amount of my flight and because I’m a nerd, my books are always really think and heavy… iPad solves that problem.
Airport clothing can be tricky.. If you’re in a cold climate and are going to a warm one, what the heck do you wear?! This is why layers were invented, I’m sure of it. Wearing clothes that give a little is important to me because I bloat on planes, every time. :/ I like being comfy but not looking like a slob haha
I hope to read some more great tips! 🙂
Great tips. I always pack an extra outfit in my bag when traveling in case of lost checked bags!! And I’ve learned to carry a water bottle vs buying water in the airport
These are great tips, I fly at least four times a year for school and what not. Something else I strongly suggest is to know the security procedure before you get there, for frequent flyers the most annoying thing is having to wait longer in TSA because someone did not realize they couldn’t keep their belt on, or are trying to get their liquids out, be prepared!
THAT YELLOW TRAVEL BAG IS PERFECT. I can’t find a similar one anywhere! Was that the one from Wilson’s Leather?? I checked there too. Thanks! 🙂
Thank you so much for posting this!! I am getting married May 2015, and we will be taking our honeymoon right after to Japan! This will be extremely helpful.
The key is to bring outfits you can mix match at a moments notice. You might decide to wear that shirt with that skirt that you were going to wear with something else. 🙂
I’m a flight attendant (I commute to San Diego from Macomb, Michigan!) and this post is right on! I’ve made the art of packing into a science…I don’t always know where I’m going to end up every night so I have to pack clothes that I can wear anywear…Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico, West Coast, East Coast…it’s always an adventure! I’ve learned that you WILL survive even if you pack light. I always have a bathing suit, pair of jeans, tank top, zip up, and of course work out clothes! I also pack food for 4-5 days worth of traveling. This saves money and helps my waistline.
The only tip I’d absolutely suggest to the general traveling public is to pack a zip-up/hoodie/pull over/wrap for on the plane! It’s cold up there and almost all airlines got rid of blankets with the outbreak of swine flu a few years ago. It’s by FAR the most asked question we flight attendants get asked.
Thanks for the tips! I leave for Ireland friday and I know this will come I handy!
Robyn Pratt says
yay! now do one on road trips!! 🙂
I travel a handful of times each year and I practice a lot of the sames things you do. Having travel bags is the best thing I’ve ever done! It keeps my luggage organized and I can find things much easier! I live in Iowa (GO HAWKS!) and we usually travel to a warm destination. We fly Delta, you can have one at 50 lbs, so I have to condense a little more. A great little tip for your shoes is using a disposable shower cap so they don’t touch your clothes, or if you have little divider pockets put them in there still with the cap. I also keep all my nice clothes in plastic bag, like the ones the dry cleaner gives you. It lessens the wrinkles and packs easy! I also pack a pillowcase with a zipper and put all my dirty clothes in it as they are used. Another great tip is to make lists, I love lists and they save my life when I travel! Great posts Taralynn!
Karen K says
What do you reccommend for snacks to take to the airport that the security will allow?? I am actually flying to Vegas in T-2 days! and I would like some ideas. — Thanks Taralynn!
Ashton Jury says
I recommend always packing a scarf. Even if you are going somewhere hot, I swear the plane is always cold! Also it makes a great pillow too when leaning up against the window.
Another thing is the naked pallet, that has become a lifesaver when traveling it has all my colors and is light and easy to pack. I feel bad for honestly neglecting my other makeup.
Sounds pretty much my strategy of packing as well 🙂
The only thing with the shoes I put them in a recyclable plastic bag stuff them on the side pocket of the suitcase then tie the bag; It just helps to prevent any dirt and grime to get on the clothes ;D
-Also this would be in the carry on bag/suitcase since security usually opens the bag and defeats the purpose :/
Love your blog!
I travel a lot and recently had the airline lose my luggage, so I have learned the hard way to pack differently.
Most airlines will not cover the cost of cameras and jewelery so always make sure to pack that in a carry on and also your prescription glasses. And make sure you have a photo of what your suitcase looks like.
I always keep a plastic shopping bag in my suitcase to put my dirty clothes in and I pack my shoes in those as well.
What about Mr. Grumples? How do you travel around with him?
Thanks so much for this post! I literally read this while I was packing for my trip to New Zealand! I also did a little post about my own experiences, as I have been doing the same long- haul flight between Germany and New Zealand quite a few times now! 🙂
Check it out on http://www.joiscakesandcelebrations.com
Thank you, I truly love your blog!
Hi! This post it awesome!!! Thank you so much!! Im not a frecuently travel, but this year i will trake a trip to europe, and this advices are great! Thank you so much!!!
Trade lives with me?
I would like to sponsor one of your trips. How do I contact you?
I want your life too ;(
Thanks for sharing.
Kelsey Meshias says