TRAVEL TIP: PACKING LIGHT

Packing Light for Woman

 

Ok! You have your trip all planned and you’re super excited! But you sit back and think “How the heck am I going to fit 7 days in a carry-on in order to avoid having to pay for my checked bag and do I really want to lug a huge bag around during my trip?” No, you don’t! Especially, if your trip is to Europe or to a adventurous country like Costa Rica- where the streets are cobbled or dirt. Trust me, the less you bring the better! Planning your days and outfits are the key to becoming an expert packer. Here are some of my travel tips for packing light…

 

1. Plan Plan Plan: make a list of the amount of days you’ll be on your trip and what you’ll be doing on those days, so that you plan outfits accordingly. I make sure to try my best to color coordinate in order to pack less. So for example:

  • Outerwear: I’ll bring a sweater or jacket, but make sure that I can wear it during the day or at night with multiple outfits. I could dress it up or down. I like to bring one black blazer if it’s during that time of year where it’s a little breezy at night or when I get sun on vacations I tend to get cold in restaurants at night and like to have something that matches it all.
  • Shoes: I bring two pairs of heels usually black & beige and plan my night outfits to match those shoes. I bring two dress sandals that match the dresses and outfits I brought, one pair of beach sandals that are comfortable and one pair of tennis shoes.
  • Clothes: I love to pack dresses on beach vacations, because their light weight and its hot! You’ll have sunblock on during the day and bug spray on at night. So sticky works best with loose clothing. It makes for lighter packing and folding a dress takes up less space than jeans.
  • Shorts, Pants, Skirt: I bring two pairs of shorts that are causal and 1 pair of dress shorts. 1 pair of jeans that can be dressy or casual. I bring one long maxi that I use on the first day in and let it air out (or wash it if I need to in the sink) and wear that same skirt on the way home.
  • Bags: I love cross-body satchels on vacations for many reasons…security, comfort while walking, dancing, drinking and taking pictures. So, I bring a day cross-body. I love my Tumi Nylon Crossbody bag! I’ve had it for some time now and it still looks brand new. It’s great incase it rains, I can fit my Nikon and it has tons of pockets for storage! For at night I bring a dressy one in black, so it matches it all.     I bring one beach bag that I can also use as a travel bag, so if I bring a back pack I’d use that at the beach or if I bring a beach tote I’d use that to travel with. I like to make my travel/beach bag a dark color, so that it doesn’t look dirty throughout the trip. I put my day bag in my travel bag on travel days.
  • Undergarments: I know that I’ll need a black bra and a beige bra & have one of those be a convertible strapless. For a 7 day trip I’d bring 12 pairs of underwear.
  • Bathing Suits: 3 bathing suits.
  • Jewelry: I like to lay all of my outfits out on the bed and plan necklaces/earrings to mix and match with the shirts and dresses I’m bringing and limit my self to two dressy necklaces, and my everyday necklace, pack 5 earrings to match. I love stud eating on vacation as they take up less space. Bracelets that aren’t bulky and go with the necklaces as well.
  • Cosmetics Bag: Bring shampoo and conditioner in a small 3 oz bottle, perfume in a sample size or a roll on tube to save space, face wash and moisturizer in a small 3 oz or less, travel size deodorant, tooth-brush, travel tooth paste, q-tips in a small zip lock bag, 2 travel size SPF’s, travel size bug spray.

I’m going to use a 7 day trip to the Caribbean as an example. I separate my days into: Day and Night outfits, so I know that I’m planning on having two outfits a day.

Friday

  • Travel outfit during the day- Long Maxi Skirt, Tank top, Jean Jacket or Sweater and flip-flops that are comfortable that can also be used to wear at night dressed up.
  • Night- Casual Dress, with dress sandals or heels (one of the heels I brought that would match all outfits)

Saturday

  • Day- (Lets say you have an Excursion/Tour this day) Work out shorts or Capri workout Pants with a tank or a T-shirt (beach shirt) and tennis shoes
  • Night- Nice Dress, with heels or dress sandals

Sunday

  • Day- Sundress and beach flip-flops
  • Night- Dress Shorts, Nice top, heels and blazer if it’s chilly

Monday

  • Day- Shorts, with a tank and beach flip-flops
  • Night- jeans, comfortable shirt and sandals

I think you get the idea with these four days as an example. So here’s the total list of what you’re bringing:

  • 1 Sweater or Jean Jacket & 1 Blazer
  • 2 Pairs of Heels, 2 Dressy Sandals & 1 Pair of beach flip-flops
  • 1 Pair of Jeans, 2 Causal Shorts & 1 Pair of dress shorts
  • 1 Pair of work out shorts & 1 pair of Capri workout pants
  • 3 Casual dresses, 2 Dressy dresses & 3 Sun dresses
  • 2 Portofino style shirts, 3 Dress shirts, 3 Tank tops & 2 Shirts to go with workout outfits
  • 1 pair of pajama pants, 1 pair of sleeping shorts & 2 Sleeping shirts
  • 2 Bras, 14 Pairs of underwear (they’re small, so I rather over pack than under pack these) & 2 Pairs of socks
  • 2 Cross-body purses & 1 Beach/travel tote or a light weight back pack
  • 1 Small makeup bag (I love the small ones from Vera Bradley) & 1 Large Cosmetics bag (Vera Bradley)
  • 1 Flat brush and 1 rolling brush
  • 1 Small travel size flat-iron

Lay it all out on your bed, so that you can make sure you have it all before you pack and to also make it easier to plan your jewelry with your outfits. Here’s an example:

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2. Jeans tip if you’re not going to wear them on your travel day, then try this below: if you can fold them in half and they fit on the bottom of your suit case perfect. Pack all of your clothes on top of them. If they don’t fit along the bottom folded once then I recommend rolling them and place them in corner where there are space gaps.

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3. Divide your carry-on right down the middle, so you have two sections. Fold all of your dresses neatly the same way, so they fold the same size and then place that stack all the way to the right. Place all of your beach cover ups on top of your nicer dresses. Put all of shorts neatly to the left. On top of the shorts place all of the dress shirts. Then I put the Pj’s in last to the left (so if you get in late at night it’s onto for easier access).

 

 

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4. Buy shower caps or big zip locks and put your heels and shoes in them to protect your clothes from dirt and germs. Place those shoes towards the front of your bag just like how you’d get them right of the shoe box from the store to save space. Do your heels as the first layer in front of your stacked clothes pile and your sneakers on top. I put my sandals in the front zipper pocket to save space. 5. Also, to save space put your socks inside your tennis shoes.

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6. Ok ladies you must make some sacrifices and your hair appliances is where you’ll have to start. Call your hotel and make sure they have hair dryers in the rooms, they usually do, so you can leave that bulky heavy hair dryer at home. Now, decide whats more important your straightener or your curling iron? When I’m at the beach I prefer bringing my straightener, because with the salt water and the ocean breeze your curls will end up loosing up anyways. To save even more space go on Amazon and order yourself a cute little travel size straightener. You might have space to bring your regular sized one, but if you want even more space that’s a great option.

7. Visit the Container Store! I”m obsessed with their new travel section and their travel organizational products. Some must have’s are:  Shoe-Ins, velvet jewelry roll, Laundry bag, travel sleep mask,

8. I love Vera Bradley for my cosmetics bags, because they are durable and light weight. I have a Medium for make-up and a Large for all of my liquids and cosmetics. They do have a new 3-1-1 Cosmetics bag to fly throughout airport security, but I can honestly say I don’t remember the last time I had to take my liquids bag out of my carry-on. I just make sure that the 3 oz bottles are in a quart bag inside my large cosmetics bag just incase the make me take it out and, so that nothing spills inside my bag. I place those on top of everything when I’m done packing.

9. This is easier said than done, but I’d suggest to just bring one cross body purse that can go with everything if you’re very limited on space. I’d go with a brown color, so that it can match everything and still keep your style (Of course still bring you beach/travel bag).

10. Leave packing your blazer or very nice dresses for very last and place those onto of everything laid flat. So this is Everything:

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11. Don’t forget to put your list of outfits on a note in your phone, so you can go back to it and lay it all out on the bed before you start to get ready! This will save you some time as well.

12. Put your camera, all of your camera chargers, phone chargers, and any electronic’s in your travel tote and not in your carry-on. I also like to put my makeup in my travel tote to save space sometimes if needed. Also, if you’re leaving early in the morning you can go with minimal makeup and then just add a little more before you land to freshen up. Leave it all ready to go for your travel day!

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These are just some of my tips, I’ll keep more coming on a regular basis! I hope this helps simplify your travels!!! Trust me, once you get a hang of it you’ll thank me for all the time you’ll save while on your vacation!!

Happy Travels my Friends!

BEACHFRONT: ALL-INCLUSIVE

Montego Bay, Jamaica

In a secluded enclave 15 mintues from Montego Bay, sits the Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall, a fabulous Resort and Spa winner of the World’s Top Ten Travelers’ Choice® Awards. Belonging to Iberostar’s elite adults-only, all-inclusive Grand Collection. Getting to this fantastic resort from the US is painless, as there are plenty of nonstop flights from MCO, FLL, MIA straight to Montego Bay- flight time is aprox an hour and 40mins. This is the perfect place to go to for those who enjoy having everything in one resort and not having to leave the premises, as there’s plenty to choose from including an outdoor pool with a swim-up bar, 5 other premium liquor bars, 6 dinning options, an outstanding Golf course and plenty of water activites. They go over and beyond at the Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall with their unmatched customized services which consists of personal butler service who go to the extent of setting a rose petal bath for you and having it ready for when you arrive back from dinner and drinks, to a special welcome at check-in with champagne and a cold, wet towel; there is a sheet menu; mini-bar stocked with your favorite drinks; evening cocktail’s; newspaper delivery; shoeshine; pool and beach towels; sun products; and reading materials. They’ve got it all covered!

From visiting the property I saw that there are plenty of outdoor and indoor event spaces to choose from. This is the perfect place to have a small and intimate wedding, corporatte retreat or social event. Hosting an event here will be extremely easy as they have an onsite event planning team to help plan your every last detail. The Iberostar offers 3 different wedding packages to choose from and one of the great things about this resort is they have a one event per day policy to make it your special day only. The service is immaculate at the Grand and the staff is beyond courteous and friendly. This is truly the perfect place for a group to gather and have it all taken care of!

When it comes to food some may have that misconception of all inclusive resorts having ok food, because the majority of them do have ok food. But the term you get what you pay for is what determines the difference. No need to worry about the food at any of these three resorts. Trust me if I’m mentioning them it’s because the food is outstanding! The Grand Hotel Rose Hall’s culinary offerings include four specialty restaurants and two buffets. Taste a wide variety of international food, such as regional Jamaican recipes, Japanese teppanyaki, Italian cuisine, and gourmet fare, or relax with an informal lunch at the beach. Enjoy this idyllic spot on the Caribbean this superb island known as Jamaica: the cradle of reggae, exuberance, passion and no problems!!

 

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Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

The Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic is beyond words! Getting here is simple. From MIA its only a 2 ½ hr direct flight and a 25min drive from the PUJ airport. There is absolutely no reason to leave this resort. You have everything you can imagine in one outstanding facility. Sometimes, you can truly have it all. The resort covers every sun-soaked moment of delectable dining, glamorous entertainment, thrilling entertainment, exciting on-site recreation, even fine wine and top shelf liquor and that’s right. It’s all included! Here is some of what’s included: Dining in ‘9 fantastic restaurants’, delicious snacks and poolside dinning services, 24/7 in-room service (where if you don’t order the ‘burger’ at 3am you’re missing out), land sport rentals, and an outstanding fitness center. They offer daily and nightly entertainment, which include theme parties, shows, contests, concerts and live performances to add to your all-inclusive fun.

Bring your guest in and host an all Inclusive shindig that will go down as one of the all-time greatest. Good thing you’ve got access to nearly 65,000 square feet of space, enough room for 3,960 All Star guests, and intimate breakout rooms that feel more like a backstage than a boardroom. There’s the dedicated crew of event staff, unlimited dining, 15 pools, non-stop cocktails, and all taxes and gratuity included. Getting married? Enjoy having an onsite personal wedding specialist, choose from 4 private wedding locations and your day can now be styled by Celebrity Event Designer, Colin Cowie where you can choose from any of the 9 new Colin Cowie weddings Collection to make your day truly special.  For more information regarding the packages they offer visit http://www.hardrockhotelpuntacana.com/weddings.htm and explore all the options.

Now lets get down to one of the best parts! Have a day off from your corporate retreat or it’s the day before the wedding you’re attending? Imagine waking up, walking over to the largest sports book in the Caribbean, putting in your bets for the day, and then heading to the beach for some fun in the sun, cocktails and lunch. When you’ve had enough make your way back to watch the rest of your games and pick up your winnings. Yup, you don’t get that just anywhere! The Hard Rock Punta Cana is home to the Dominican Republic’s largest Sports Book. The 5000 square-foot venue was designed with technology in mind. The 5-star Sports Book offers wagering on all major sporting events with five betting windows and an inviting players lounge for a winning experience. The lounge area features comfy leather seats and cocktail service throughout. Also, turn it up with the hottest casino in the Dominican Republic. Home to the best action in the Caribbean, the 45,000-square-foot Casino features legendary playing at 40 unique tables and more than 450 of your favorite slots. Enjoy the pulsating energy of Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Baccarat and a private Poker room.

As if that wasn’t enough! When the sun goes down, The Hard Rock brings out our inner rock star! Continuing the brand’s legacy, open air venues in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana are the playgrounds for great music, theme parties and entertaining shows. Located inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana, is ORO Nightclub which is modeled to rival Las Vegas and Miami’s finest night clubs. The ORO Nightclub has become the gem of the Caribbean where you’ll be sure to forget what time it is. Visit www.oronightclub.com for more information on celebrity guest DJ’s and artist line ups.

You certainly won’t go wrong in choosing the Hard Rock Punta Cana for you next event!!!

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Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

The Secrets Vallarta Bay in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico is an outstanding new all inclusive resort part of the AMResorts collection. Getting here from MIA is about 7 hours of travel time with one layover which is usually in Mexico City. Once you arrive it’s Ideally located on the Pacific coast on Banderas Bay, one of the largest bays in the world, Secrets Vallarta Bay is just 15 minutes from the airport and 5 minutes from downtown Puerto Vallarta and romantic zone of Old Town and Cuale River walking shore. There is plenty to do in and outside of the resort. A trip the Malecon is a must with tons fo restaurants and bars to explore. Secrets Vallarta Bay is offering Unlimited-Luxury® with luxurious accommodations that are equipped with ultimate gadgets and sophisticated decoration while overlooking the Pacific Blue waters and relaxing beach. Secrets provides the ultimate escape to an adults-only resorts where grown-ups get to play.  Indulge yourself in the resort’s gourmet dining options and find countless daytime and nighttime activities including water sports, lounges and live entertainment right at your fingertips. Hold your next meeting or special event in a state-of-the-art meeting facility. Meeting rooms are located just steps from their secluded, sandy beaches. So you can get more done and still have time for fun in the sun. Imbedded within the beauty and their elegance the Secrets Vallarta Bay in Puerto Vallarta has more than 6,900 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting facilities. They offer a dedicated group of event planners that are there to help you find the perfect balance between work and play. Some spaces include a ballroom with a theater seating that seats up to 870 guests and a banquet area that seats up to 450 guests. They offer flexible meeting rooms, boardrooms and private terraces with ocean views that are sure to make your next meeting or event unforgettable. Getting Married? Well, the Secrets Vallarta bay has 3 different wedding packages to choose from and plenty of indoor and outdoor options for your ceremony and reception. For a closer look at their packages visit http://www.secretsresorts.com/vallarta-bay-puerto-vallarta/weddings/packages for more information. The Secrets Vallarta Bay is bound to make a wonderful longlasting impression on you!!

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