5 Essentials For An Avid Traveler

I’ve been extremely lucky to do a quite a bit of traveling throughout my life and feel like through all of my experiences I’ve become somewhat of a pro traveler. Whether it’s an international vacation or spontaneous road trip, I’ve learned conscious packing can be an art form. As someone who has transformed from the intense over packer to the intentional traveler, I’ve rounded up 5 Essentials that have made my travels easier (and a lot lighter!) and sharing my secrets to make the most of your own travel experiences!

1. QUALITY LUGGAGE

I’ve gone through my fair share of suitcases throughout my many trips, but my #1 travel investment thus far has been quality luggage. For me quality begins with functionality. Never again will I roll a suitcase that doesn’t have 4 wheels. There’s nothing worse than parading your bags around the airport breaking up a sweat before you even arrive at your destination. With a 4 wheel suitcase, I’ve been able to easily board planes, trains, and automobiles, and even walk a mile to the train station. Not only are 4 wheeled suitcases great for minimizing heavy lifting, they also act as a transportation device to wheel around your other travel items.

Unfortunately, all 4 wheeled bags don’t pass the travel test. I personally have tried my share of “bargain bags” and while they work great for a few flights or road trips, I suggest something of durable quality if you’re even a semi serious traveler.

My all time favorite luggage brand is Rimowa. Although an investment, it includes a lifetime warranty and you’ll certainly appreciate both the functionality and aesthetic when hopping from destination to destination. I started my collection with the 29″ Salsa Deluxe Multiwheel, an all around travel conscious suitcase that, when full, always weighs just under the maximum weight limit. Before my move to London, I expanded my Rimowa collection, adding this matching 21″ Salsa  carry-on suitcase— my #1 favorite travel investment to date.

If you’re looking for a something both functional and stylish, but not ready to take the full plunge, I recommend something like this Diane Von Furstenberg luggage, starting at $149.

2. TRAVEL WALLET

If you’re fortunate enough to travel often, you’ll accumulate quite the collection of travel documents. To avoid being “that girl” that holds up the line while searing for her boarding pass, ID and credit card, I recommend investing in a convenient travel wallet to keep all of your travel essentials together, especially when traveling abroad. My personal favorite is this classic style by Cuyana, but there are plenty of options out there depending on what suits your tastes.

3. TRAVEL SIZED COSMETIC CASES

Airlines are cracking down on carry-on cosmetics, especially here in Europe. So to avoid being held up by TSA I recommend investing in a travel sized cosmetic case. Not only will a small beauty case keep your cosmetic size in check, but only packing your absolute essentials clears up a lot of space in your suitcase. I have travel sizes for all of my skincare and beauty essentials + traveling is the best opportunity to use all of those random samples. Have any shampoo or face wash packets that you’ve acquired over the years from your favorite beauty stores? Slide several of these into your small cosmetic case and leave the bulky bottles at home.

4. CONSOLIDATED CARRY ON

I’m all for cheating the system however feasibly possible. If an airline allows one carry on bag, that doesn’t mean you can’t bring several as long as they fit inside each other! For me, shoes and accessories are not up for negotiation, so I’ll pack bags inside bags to make the most of my luggage. No free space goes unnoticed, especially when traveling with just a carry-on. To maximize your travel space, line up your accessories from big to small and strategically pack smaller items inside the larger. Once you have all of your items consolidated as much as humanly possible, pack them inside an airline approved tote! (My top pick is this personalized style by Cuyana or this weekend bag if you want something a bit bigger) If traveling by plane, be sure to plan ahead. You’ll have to take off your shoes and remove your laptop, so always pack an extra pair of socks in your carry on and leave your laptop on top!

5. PACK AN INTENTIONAL WARDROBE

This has taken me many many years to perfect, but the more I map out a trip, the better suited my baggage becomes. Maybe it’s because I run a blog, maybe it’s just the way my mind works, but when prepping for a trip I think in outfits. I no longer look at my closet mindlessly grabbing items that I think I might need “just in case”. I check the weather, consider my activities, think of the culture and factor in my color scheme. Yes, it might be a little overboard, but mapping out my entire outfit from bra to blouse to shoes and earrings is the best way to avoid over packing. If I’m going on an extensive trip I’ll even go as far as taking a quick iPhone photo of each days’ outfit and store them in a travel folder along with screenshots of my “must see” destinations. That way, you can already picture your outfit in the element and once everything is airtight in your suitcase, you can refer back to your pre planning to know exactly what you need to fish out. Not to mention you’ll have much more time to enjoying your days’ activities once you get there!

Do you have any travel hacks you absolutely cannot live without? Let me know in the comments below!

xx Erica

*Images via Erie Nick & Pinterest

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