Time for a trip!

Tomorrow I am heading out for my first trip of 2018! My company is flying me down to Florida for their annual conference. I’m looking forward to staying at Saddlebrook Resort in Wesley Chapel (which looks amazing) and really using the time to focus and connect with my new company. However, of course I am staying a few extra days to visit my dad’s side of the family and catching up with a friend… and hopefully getting a little vitamin D!

I have a few travel tips & tricks I thought that I would share. The first tip is that a successful trip, just like a successful meal or party or day at work, requires planning.

I started my planning last Monday. I looked at my schedule to see what I would be doing each day I was away and what kind of attire would be suitable. I couldn’t check the weather that much in advance, so I listed a few items as options, such as a long-sleeved sweater that would add to an outfit but wouldn’t be missed if it was too warm, or leggings to go underneath a skirt. From this daily list, I compiled a master list, which you can see most of below.

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I’m not going to bore you with all of the details that are on my list, but here’s a few basic tips.

  • Even when you’re going to stay at a nice hotel or resort, don’t take for granted that they will have all the foods you like, need, or want. If you have a specific diet, consider taking a few items on your own that you know you’ll eat or enjoy. If I could go back in time and pack one more thing into my suitcase I took to South Korea, it would have been protein bars. I didn’t get enough protein when I was overseas and it really threw off my groove.
  • If you travel often, consider investing in a phone charger or battery back-up that permanently stays in your suit case. I feel like the one thing I almost always almost used to forget when I was road-tripping between Detroit and Erie for a year and a half was my phone charger. Finally, I bought one that I kept in the car all the time. I left my regular charger at home and never went on a road trip without a charger again.
  • I don’t know about you, but I can’t sleep if my room isn’t 100% dark. I highly recommend this sleep mask, which comes in a handy carrying pouch AND comes with a pair of ear plugs! What I really like about this product I linked is that you can completely open your eyes when wearing the mask, so it is really comfortable and seals well around your eyes without being too tight.
  • If you travel often, keep spare cosmetics and personal items always packed and ready to go. While I don’t have doubles of everything, it’s nice to have a small travel cosmetic bag always packed with toothpaste, toothbrush, razor, hairbrush, etc. These things aren’t going to break your budget to buy two of… heck, most of them come in packs of two, three, or five! Set aside one of each that are always ready to grab on short notice.
  • When my mom and I our first of many planes from ERI to ICN, I powered up my Kindle, ready to enjoy The Secret Life of Bees. “You know,” my mom said to me, “I didn’t even think to bring a book….” I literally don’t now how she survived our hours of international flights! I always travel with my Kindle. My plane read this trip is going to be Evicted: Poverty & Profit in the American City. My cousin recommended it… and so did Barrack Obama, so there’s that. The good thing is, if I don’t like it, there’s at least forty other books already downloaded that I’ve read and know I like… all without taking up even a pound in my carry-on. Plus, a Kindle battery lasts for a month, so I don’t have to fuss with a cord!

The planning is kind of boring (let’s be honest…), but my next tip is anything but boring. Guys, my Lily Bloom suitcase is made out of a special fabric called Karma that is woven from, of all things, recycled water bottles! I’m going to feature some other eco-friendly products in future posts, but I can’t do a travel post without telling you about my Lily Bloom bag.

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For years, I traveled with a suitcase I had inherited from my childhood. It was literally Barney dinosaur purple and green… so 90’s and out of style! Last year, I threw that bag away kissed that bag goodbye and bought a Lily Bloom bag on sale at Marshall’s. It’s smaller than the required check baggage but too big to carry on, a nice happy medium that you can pack lightly for three days or heavily for seven.

Lily Bloom doesn’t have a website (they have a Facebook page, though, I guess?), but their products in soft and hardcase style from Marshall’s or TJMaxx in limited styles and availability or from department stores like Belk and Sears. It looks like you can buy some styles from Amazon. They make over the shoulder purses, carry-on luggage, check luggage, medium sized luggage like mine, wallets, weekender bags, and lots more in between that I couldn’t mention!

A travel themed post could go in as many directions as there are points in the compass, but for this post, I think I’ve covered enough. Stop by again around February 1 and I will have some pictures to share! Or, if you don’t want to wait that long, follow me on the ‘gram (@speck.on.a.speck).

Happy travels to you all!

c. b. wag

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