Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Packing to Travel? Splendid!

I'm fortunate enough to get to travel quite a bit this year, especially in the next couple weeks.  As I write this, I'm sitting in the Atlanta airport on my way to Orlando for a conference, followed by a day of supremely nerdy behavior with a couple friends at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios before a roadtrip home.  For years now, anytime I'm away from home for more than two days, I prepare a packing spreadsheet to help me make sure I have everything I need.

This really started in 2010 when I was going from a week-long work trip to Memphis straight to a long weekend in Chicago and Milwaukee.  I decided to pack two suitcases - one that would travel to Memphis with me, and another that would meet me in Chicago with my boyfriend.  Since the long weekend included two non-consecutive days at Summerfest, a wedding, and a Cubs/White Sox game, I didn't really need the same kind of apparel appropriate for the work trip.  In order to make sure I have everything I needed for both legs of the trip, I started listing exactly what was going into each bag.  Eventually I turned the list into a spreadsheet (my preferred way of sorting data), and I've never looked back.  

My packing spreadsheet includes each day/date of my trip, a one or two word description of that day's activities (travel or Harry Potter), a detailed account of what I plan to wear, including possible wardrobe changes.  I color coordinate my clothing to cut down on the number of shoes and accessories I need to bring.  My carry-on bag is no different in terms of organization, though it doesn't always necessitate a section of the spreadsheet.  I check and double check that I have everything I need.  This time around everything I need includes the following:

First we have, of course, my wallet.  I purchased this wallet in Florence, Italy a few years ago, and I have yet to find one I like better.  In addition to my ID, money, and various cards, I also carry single pack wet wipes, a couple Advil, and some oil blotting papers.

I can't go anywhere without my iPhone.  On this trip, I was able to send my boarding pass directly to my phone, which was great.  I'm usually super paranoid that I'm going to lose my boarding pass somewhere between security and the gate, and this alleviates that part of my travel stress.

I've been in love with my purple wayfarers since I bought them at Target last summer.  Their bright frames make me feel very summery.  Possibly the best $15 I've ever spent.

I try really hard on trips to pare down what makeup I bring while still having everything I use on a regular basis.  Thank goodness for sample sizes from some of my favorite brands!
Here's what I brought with me for the week:
Benefit Pore-fessional primer
Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard
Benefit Erase Paste in Medium
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Original
Bare Minerals Matte Foundation in Medium Beige
Ulta Mineral Blush in Flush
Benefit Hoola Bronzer
Benefit Watts Up Highlighter
L'Oreal Infallible Eyeliner in Brown
Maybelline Color Tattoo Metal Cream Eyeshadow in Barely Branded
Urban Decay Naked Basics Eyeshadow Palette
Maybelline Mega Plush Volum' Express Waterproof Mascara in Brownish Black
Revlon Kissable Balm Stain in Honey
Benefit Coralista Lip Gloss
and to top it all off, literally, Urban Decay All Nighter Make Up Setting Spray
Also in this bag, are my contact re-wetting drops and my eyelash curler.

To apply all that makeup (which seems like a lot more once I've typed it out), I need my brushes, which also fly in my carry-on.  Like with everything else, I try to limit what I bring.
This is what I have with me now:
Real Techniques Buffing Brush for foundation
Bare Escentuals Heavenly Blush Brush for, you know, blush
Real Techniques Contour Brush for bronzer
Real Techniques Flat Shader Brushes (2 - one for matte shadows, one for shimmery shadows)
Real Techniques Accent Brush to line lower lashes using eyeshadow
Urban Decay Dual-sided Eyeshadow Brush (from Naked 2 palette) for blending crease color

I never manage to eat proper meals on the days when I travel.  Either I'm flying over lunch or dinner time (never breakfast - let's be honest here), and until I'm seated at my gate, I can't focus on anything.  I like to pack a couple snacks in my bag in case I don't have time to eat in the airport during layovers.  (Once I had 35 minutes to make it through the Atlanta airport and had to make the choice between using the bathroom and eating.  I chose the bathroom, and made it to my gate as we were starting to board.)  Pre-packaged snacks are obviously the easiest, and the Clif Bar will be substantial enough to keep me from getting hangry.  I'm mostly just addicted to the breath mints, and I'm paranoid that I'm going to run out of them on the trip, so I just brought essentially a whole package.

And speaking of addictions and paranoia,  I can't go anywhere for more than a day without bringing multiple tubes of Chapstick with me.  If I happen to lose a tube (more than likely), I don't want to be without a backup... or two....

When I travel, I like to keep all the cords and chargers and dongles for my electronics together in a little pouch.  I've got my iPhone/iPad charger, my earbuds, my Fitbit charger and dongle all ready to go.

I'm also bringing my iPad Mini, but that's what I used to take all these photos, so it's not pictured.  I love that my Mini is small enough that I can hold it comfortably in one hand.  Since I know I'll spend the majority of my day reading on it, this is a big concern.  I love to travel with it, because it doesn't take up as much room as a book, and I know I'll always be able to download another book or re-read one of mine if I finish whatever I'm working on at the beginning of the trip.

If you've made it to the end of this post, congratulations!  You must be a teacher on summer vacation.  Kidding!  I don't know if anyone will find this remotely interesting, but I know that I find myself watching countless "What's in My Bag" videos on YouTube.  Maybe that's more of a comment on my life, though...  Anyway, we've fast forwarded a few days, and my conference is going to wrap up tomorrow.  The expo at this conference was great, and I picked up a lot of goodies.  So if you've made it this far, leave a comment telling me what's one thing you can't travel without.  I really am interested!

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