Travel. The one thing we all need to do more often. Whether the distance is a few hours away, or an entire world, an occasional getaway is essential. But, let’s face it. Even if we can get those few extra days off from work, getting away to paradise can be a nightmare. You know what I am talking about: planning, packing, jet-lag, lost luggage … the list can go on. So in celebration of the approaching travel season: here are some tips from me to you.
Packing (and unpacking):
Ugh. I’d rather sleep in a bed of needles than try to figure out what to take, what to leave and all those other things in between. Although I stake no claim on being an expert, I have had my share of experiences.
Lesson 1: Just what exactly are you doing on this trip? This is the easiest way to conclude what not to take. For example, if you’re trekking it to grandma Rubie’s house 4 hours away (it’s not St. Tropez, but her vintage collection of pill box hats and Armani suits are worth the sacrifice) then that Marc Jacobs mini won’t do. Put it down and wear it when you return.
Lesson 2: What’s the temperature like at your destination this time of year? Remember the weather station is your friend, rain or shine. Visiting Miami? Therefore that beautiful blue knitted sweater from Kenzo you bought last year, yes it’s your favorite, I know, will do you no justice in the Miami heat. Don’t you dare justify it by saying “I’ll use it for the cool evenings.” Restraint, restraint, restraint.
Lesson 3: my favorite, if you over-pack there will be no room for all that new stuff you’re going to buy.
Lesson 4: Actually, it’s a tie, this is also my favorite: your junk shouldn’t be carried in junk. Whether or not you have the funds now, know that luggage is an investment and therefore gives you every reason to buy whatever your heart desires. It should be cool, classy and ooze you-ism, screw the trends. After all, you’ll have it for life. And, oh yeah, that whole quality thing, make sure what you’re buying is worth every penny.
My dream piece: Ghurka Batan floral bag $895 (www.ghurka.com)
My dream carry-on :Terrida Effetto T Duffel bag $885 (www.neimanmarcus.com)
Planning and My Personal Travel Agent:
In a perfect world, a travel agent would be hired for every traveling occasion, near and far. Heading overseas: get a travel agent. Heading an hour south to your parents house: hire a travel agent. Heading uptown to that sale at H&M: you get the idea. But it ain’t happenin’. On that note, for those of us who can’t afford the luxury of having someone find low airfare, hotel rates etc, www.kayak.com is the best. It’s simple, it’s quick and they don’t have annoying commercials (i.e. expedia.com and travelocity.com.)
Any traveling excursion wouldn’t be complete without a few extras. For all those traveling far this season, a GPS device need be in tow. But instead of walking around Milan with an Italian pocket dictionary, MP3 player and currency calculator, downsize. A new GPS device called the Garmin Nuvi 350 (www.garmin.com)which does all of the above and then some, will be hitting this side of the shore soon. And consider this another investment. Although the price has not yet been announced it can be assumed this won’t be cheap. Another item that might come in handy are the Style Sheets by Ted Gibson. My hair is big and massive (a la Diana Ross) and given the typical traveling circumstances (running around like a mad woman trying to see every site all in a few days) my hair will need a mid-day touch-up. These little packages can easily be tossed in your carry-on or purse, as they are packed with extracts and amino complexes. So because I’m a hippie at heart, I am in love with some of the Aerotherapy (yes Aero) stuff in the specialty store Flight 001 (www.flight001.com.) My favorite is the Aromatherapy Travel Kit by Ashleigh and Burwood of England. The kit comes in different scents (patchouli & ylang ylang and lavender and orange etc.) Palm oil candles, scented cushions and incense are included.
Navigating in style is a must, you won’t look like a tourist when you pull this out. (www.garmin.com)
A pack of 10 for $25; seriously if it works for my hair it can work for anyone’s. (www.beauty.com)
Items to put in your carry-on:
Style Sheets (refer to Extras above)
Diane Von Furstenberg Wrap Dress (who’s in favor of low-maintenance chic?)
Moisturizer with an SPF of 15 or higher (I prefer Neutrogena’s Oil Free SPF 15)
A good book (try: Free Gift With Purchase by Jean Godfrey-June)
Ballet flats in black
Big black sunglasses
MP3 player (I’m anti-IPod)
Digital Camera (disposable cameras are no longer cute )
A small bottle of parfum
Anything of value (jewelry, electronics,)
Whatever you don’t want to be a victim in the “lost luggage” story
Passport and all those other technical papers
Nuvi 350 (refer Extras above)
Needless to say, although I’ve learned to be adamant in my packing regimen, my carry-on is my weakness (and my heaviest.) What will you put in your carry-on?