Stylish Travel Essentials

I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again: Compared to many, I’m a travel novice. And when I say “many,” I mostly mean Audi. Audi of Fashion for Nerds is my personal idol when it comes to packing advice. Or, really, ANY advice about traveling. Start here:

Audi on packing clothing for travel
Part 1
Part 2

Audi on packing beauty products for travel
Part 1
Part 2

For further reading, Audi on making your travel dreams a reality
Part 1 – No More Excuses
Part 2 – Money Matters
Part 3 – Travel Tips for Families

All that said, I’ve been doing a lot more traveling recently, and have learned that without the following items in my suitcase, I’d be lost:

8-hour shoes

A few times in recent years, I’ve thought, “Oh, I won’t be doing much walking on this trip. I can pack my fancy shoes.” And then my feet have threatened to divorce me. It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling to Paris to sightsee or driving a few hours to visit your cousin. You WILL walk around more than you do in normal life. (Assuming you aren’t a mail carrier, or someone else who walks for a living.) So pack shoes accordingly. I now know to include shoes that can endure eight or more hours of walking, standing, and exploring. For me, it’s a pair of Tsubo ballet flats that are now discontinued. (Sad. The style is Elath if you want to stalk them on eBay.)

A stocked dopp kit

I realize that virtually all humans travel with products and toiletries. However, I’ve taken to keeping my dopp kit almost fully stocked and packed at all times. It REALLY cuts down on forgotten essentials. I keep at least five days of period supplies, a travel toothbrush and paste, tweezers, a comb, band-aids, travel bottles of my various lotions and potions, a lint roller, and my most-used over-the-counter medications in there. I’m yet to be organized enough to keep doubles of prescription medications, my razor, or my makeup, so those go in morning of … but it helps tremendously to have the majority of my needs socked away in that little case. (Mine is by Travelon and no longer available, the Victorinox version up top is similar.)

Multicolored scarves

I know, sounds about as far from “essential” as humanly possible, right? But here’s the thing: A great multicolored scarf can tie together and refine most outfits. Scarves are lightweight and don’t take up much room, but they can mean the difference between comfort and misery if the weather shifts. Scarves are also fantastic in transit, as they can keep you snug on a cold plane or double as an eye mask if you’re dying for some shut-eye.

A foolproof, backup outfit

I tend to pack in capsules for longer trips, and always try on every single outfit before packing it in my suitcase. But even though I choose my outfits fairly meticulously, I always pack a spare. Something comfy, cute, and versatile that I’ve worn many times before and just works. More often than not, this means a tunic, leggings, and flat boots.

Versatile jewelry

For me, jewelry is the last element to be added to an outfit and I’m pretty fickle about my jewelry choices. So I’ll pack the various earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and watches to complement my various outfits, but I’ll also throw in some versatile basics: CZ studs, silver chain necklaces, bangles, a watch, and other jewelry staples. This helps if I want to switch out something last-minute, or if I happen to buy something fabulous while on the road and need to accessorize on the fly.

Related posts:

What are YOUR stylish travel essentials? Anything surprising? Tell us!

Image courtesy Zappos.

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  • http://www.practicalparalegalism.com Lynne

    Eerily good advice. I visted Charleston with my mom last month, and am visiting Megan of MeganMaeDaily right now. A mix-and-match capsule wardrobe for me on the road includes interchangeable separates for a light suitcase, but several scarves and a stuffed little accessory box in case I change my mind :) I opted for walking flip-flips which work great when running for a dressing room when we are thrifting :)

  • Anna

    Another essential: A Swiss Army knife, full size.

    I even carry a mini version, smaller than a car key, on my key chain at all times. It has a blade, a screwdriver, scissors, a toothpick, and tweezers. The guys may laugh, but it has been endlessly useful.

    • http://www.alreadypretty.com Sal

      Ahh, but doesn’t pass TSA. I know. Mine got confiscated YEARS ago. Might be able to pack it in your checked luggage …

  • http://www.amandaesque.com Amanda

    I would totally love to hear other people’s recommendations for 8-hour shoes!

    • Linda

      I bought a pair of Dansko Kiera on the sale rack at my local shoe store. It isn’t as cloggish as typical Danskos: it has a lower footbed. This is an incredibly comfortable shoe which I have walked in for many hours. Also, the test of all tests for comfortable shoes: I have worked catering, walking and standing while carrying heavy trays of glasses and food for over 9 hours at a time.

      Kiera is last year’s but you can still get it on some websites.

      • http://pacificrain.blogspot.com sarah

        I had a pair of jeffrey campbell brogues, with two dr. scholl’s inserts in them (a regular arch-supporting insole, with an extra bonus-arch-support stuck on top. I have crazy high arches) that I could wear for 20+ miles/day of walking in Europe. We never took the metro ANYWHERE for 2.5 weeks! =)

        sadly, those bit the dust shortly after Europe; I’d had them for four years and resoled them twice already; they finally just fell apart. But they were great. I’m on the lookout for a great new pair of brogues before we head to Paris this month.

  • Natalie

    As someone who travels a LOT, and often on trips with diverse activities (hiking in remote locations, swimming, nice dinners out, sight-seeing in cities, and work conferences, all over the course of one 2-week trip), I can say you and Audi have given good advice. Here’s mine: pack items for multiple functions. I love shelf-bra tank tops. They can be layered under cardigans, dresses, and shawls for a dressy look. They’re great under button-up shirts. They can be worn solo while hiking in hot weather. They can be sleepwear. I tend to pack ~5 of these tanks in different colors when I travel. They can be washed in sinks and dry quickly, so wearing them as a base layer saves you from having to try to launder sweaters and blouses in a sink. I could go on about the wonders of layering tanks while traveling. They’re small, so pack easily. You may hate shelf-bra tanks, but you can find an equivalent that works with your style & travel needs, layers nicely, is versatile, and packs small: layering cotton t-shirts, stretchy long-sleeve undershirts, etc.

  • http://www.stylinstacy.com Stacy

    I am definitely a travel novice…I tend to overpack. I recently went to Vegas, and while trying to keep it to a black/white theme I still had too many shoes and several outfits I never wore. At least my friends had a place to go to for any accessories/shoes/purse needs they may have had! One thing I noted though, is many of my friends didn’t wear heels normally and their feet hurt so bad after the first few nights. If you normally don’t wear shoes that are high, and have to do a lot of standing and walking…you might want to reconsider packing them. Those Dr. Scholls shoe inserts are pretty good to have on hand, though. They definitely will give you a little more comfy time in your heels.

    Our next trip is going to be to Seattle and will be the first flight for my kids (7 & 8). Wish us luck! I will probably have to start packing 2 weeks early to make sure I don’t forget the stuff for me and the kids. The hubby is on his own…I can only do so much.

  • Anamarie

    I also have a fully-stocked dopp kit (old Clinique large makeup bag), with travel deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion, moisturizer, mini sunscreen, shower gel, razor, Tidestick, plastic magnification mirror with suction cups, shower scrubby gloves, nail file and travel sewing kit. There are probably a couple of other things in there too which I can’t remember.

    I recently discovered Me Too “Legend” flats – they are about $79 which is more than some people will spend on flats, but they are totally worth it. They have memory foam in the footbed and extra at the heel, and they are very comfortable. I can easily walk in those all day and have done so in Las Vegas and San Francisco. I have found them on Zappos.com. The other Me Too shoes don’t seem to have the same memory foam footbed. I’m not a flats girl, but I like the Legend flats for walking all day.

  • http://smiletexysmile.blogspot.com D

    I travel a decent amount, and I agree with your tips, especially the 8 hour shoes (mine are Tsubos too!). I almost always try to only have a carry on so I don’t have to deal with checking bags in, so I usually have the capsule wardrobe, plus maybe 2 pairs of shoes. I usually bring baking soda instead of shampoo to wash my hair, and that takes care of part of the liquids hassle. I like packing knits and other things that don’t wrinkle much- my knit maxi skirts travel especially well, and I can wear them through most weather.

    I don’t tend to bring much jewelry, because I am paranoid that I will lose it. So I usually wear the same simple studs and necklace the whole time.

    • spacegeek

      I don’t bring much jewelry either, because I *have* lost a few cherished pieces… how do people carry their jewelry?

      I pack around one color and one neutral family–either brown or black or navy so that I won’t have to bring double the shoes. I have challenged feet, and have discovered that the ability to wear different shoes on consecutive days makes a large difference in my comfort. So shoes that go with all outfits but can be substituted are important.

      The other thing I wonder about is a handbag. I usually have my work tote with computer, and a separate roll-aboard. What I find is that for those evenings out with colleagues, etc, a small handbag would be welcome for my phone, wallet, room key… but most of my at-home bags are larger-sized. Do folks bring a separate clutch or just use the work bag for evening? I haven’t found a good solution for this problem as most of my clutches are actually bright pops of color… maybe this is my “opportunity” to purchase (another) small bag of neutral color? :-)

      • Linda

        I have a roll up jewelry bag (the Container Store has similar ones). It has several zip up compartments and everything but really wide cuffs fit in there. It rolls up to the size of a small notebook so I can tuck it in my handbag or hide it between layers of clothing in my suitcase. I usually bring just one set of jewelry that will go with everything on the trip, and often pick up a couple pieces at my destination. The bag is mostly to store it while I sleep or go to the pool or gym and for the extras I shop for on the trip. They do make larges sizes if you need to carry a few different ensembles.

      • JB

        I travel a lot on business and have the same issue. I love my briefcase but it’s just not appropriate for dinners, etc. What I usually do is pack a purse in my suitcase – a purse that’s flexible enough to fold almost flat so it doesn’t take up a lot of space. The added bonus is that if you end up taking home more than you brought (ahem!), you can check the suitcase and carry on both the briefcase and purse.

  • Jenny

    I’m curious how you fit all this in a carry-on (especially the boots!) Or do you wear the bulkiest stuff on the plane? Last time I traveled on a conference, I wanted to bring boots and could not fit them in with all the other apparel for the life of me. I will be traveling to France for three weeks in the spring and would like to bring no more than a carry-on and a backpack. Boots should come with me, but how…?

    All the tips you gave are terrific, especially the jewelry and scarf ones.

    • http://www.alreadypretty.com Sal

      I definitely wear the bulkiest stuff on the plane, but with the ever-shrinking carry-on rules and the forthcoming carry-on charges, I’ve given up. For any trip longer than 2 days, I check my bags.

      For France, definitely wear those boots on the plane!

    • Tara

      Jenny,

      There’s always the tried-and-true backpacker way: tie your boots to the webbing on the outside of your backpack (assuming you’re talking about hiking boots).

      With respect to walking shoes, I’d also emphasize that you should TEST your shoes are comfortable for 8+ hours. A few years ago, I brought along a pair of Naturalizer flats for walking in Paris, figuring they were a sure bet. By late afternoon, my feet hurt from standing on hard museum floors and walking everywhere and by evening, those shoes found their way into the garbage can.

    • Molly

      Ah! Last month I was in Germany for three weeks, and I’ve taken other trips of similar lengths and also with just a carry-on-size bag and a day bag. This might be more than you want to know, but it answers your question and maybe some others as well.

      For Germany I packed one pair of boots, which I wore on the plane and during other travel, one pair of non-bulky shoes, and one pair of sandals. It was totally worth it to have a little variety there, by the way, because after walking all day in one pair, the next day my feet wanted a change. As for clothing, I had two pairs of nice jeans, a shorter skirt, a nicer skirt, three sweaters, a week+ worth of socks and underwear, and a couple bras. I packed only tanks, no other shirts, which works with my style and is flexible and compact. I also had one favorite scarf that kept me warm, stylish, and appropriate in cathedrals and such, and just a few earrings, as I’m not a big jewelry person. Oh, and some sleeping clothes for lounging and when we stayed with friends. All the tank lengths, sweaters, jeans colors, and so on worked with mostly everything else, and though my style is quite casual, it was all well-fitting and flattering, so I could walk down the street in any town and look minimally touristy.

      As for other stuff, I brought gotoobs (google it) for storing airplane-friendly amounts of certain toiletries, and I bought larger shampoo and body wash when I got there. On the off chance that you are (or some other reader is) planning to be stuck doing laundry in a hotel sink at some point: Bring at least a flat rubber drain plugger (they work in most sinks, though not all) and a slice of laundry soap (I bought Octagon at the grocery store) in a little plastic container (no having to deal with goopy soap residue in a plastic bag), and if you’re really going for it, a braided rubber clothesline.

      I don’t know what activities or weather you’ll be dealing with, but for me, this whole packing scheme has worked very well for me several times. It’s not the most varied or exciting wardrobe, but that’s a low priority for me during those trips anyway. I fit in almost everywhere–I was nice looking but not afraid to kneel to talk to small cousins or walk into a decent restaurant or go out with people of various ages–and I always felt like myself in my clothes.

      • Jenny

        Thank you, Molly! Those are great travel tips, ones that I will pass on to the students I’m leading on the trip.

  • http://corpgoth.blogspot.com/ Trystan (the CorpGoth)

    I *LOVE* to travel, & my husband & I have set foot on every continent including Antarctica. I’m a chronic under-packer! But that just means I buy interesting accessories & clothes in my travels that make great souvenirs :-)

    Both my hubbi & I swear by the Eagle Creek Wallaby toiletries bag, as do several of my travel-hound friends. It holds every possible item you’ll need. I keep it stocked year-round, which makes me feel like, hey, I could go to Paris at the drop of a hat (not that I do, but still).

    I know it’s heresy these days, but I plan to check my luggage. Just budget in the fee as needed (so far, most international airlines don’t charge for 1 bag). Why check a bag? Bec. I want to plan for picnics — you’ll save money & enjoy life more if you can shop locally for wine, bread, & cheese, so pack a swiss-army-type knife with a corkscrew. Also, you’ll need a small sewing kit for repairs on the road, & while there are certain types of scissors the TSA won’t confiscate, not all agents are clear on that rule & they make take any scissor (been there, had that taken away). The security hassles are greater than the hassle of checking a bag, imnsho.

    But back to fashion: also pack a travel laundry kit for any trip over 1 week. Then you can wash socks, hose, & undies in the hotel sink, meaning you only need to pack 1 week’s worth. Handy for any accidents too. Add a tiny bottle of Febreeze so you can un-stink garments that get sweaty after a long day or smoky in a club or pub.

    More of my travel packing tips are in a post from a 2-week trip to Spain last year: http://corpgoth.blogspot.com/2011/11/corpgoth-travel-wardrobe.html

  • Mrs.M in MI

    My hard-and-fast packing rule, no matter what, is to only bring three pairs of shoes. It forces me to pare the rest of my wardrobe down and keep everything coordinated. And if you’re going away for a weekend, that’s still one pair of shoes per day!

    I also have a fully-stocked toiletries and emergency kit ready to go. I make sure not to forget everything by putting the bag by the sink the night before and the morning of my departure, and putting everything I use in there as I use it. I also have a massive generic packing list in Word, and every trip I go on I cut it down to what I need so I’m sure not forget anything.

    I find that the easiest way to pack is to plan out and write down every outfit I will wear for every day/activity, including undergarments and accessories. They don’t necessarily have to make a capsule, as long as I keep to my three pairs of shoes, and for longer trips I just recycle outfits. I check everything off the list as I pack it, and keep the list in my suitcase so I remember what to wear each day.

    I take a lot of weekend trips (I was gone every weekend in May) and this system allows me to quickly and easily pack and re-pack.

    My next packing challenge is a week-long trip to a resort in the Adirondacks at the end of July – so that means I need clothes for the beach, boating, hiking, sports, dining hall, chapel; hot, cold, and rainy weather. I think I’m about to break all the rules and pack like a Bachelor contestant.

  • Linda

    thanks for the great post, Sal.

  • http://goinggulia.wordpress.com Julia H. @ Going Gulia

    1,000 times YES to the 8-hour shoe mention. I studied abroad this past semester & wanted to pack very light for my spring break travels (a few different countries in Europe), so I only packed 1 pair of shoes….and they were not a good pair of shoes. About halfway into the trip, my feet were blistered and literally swollen from all the walking I was doing on a not-so-great pair of shoes. I even had trouble walking barefoot one night in the hostel because they hurt so bad! SHOES ARE IMPORTANT!

  • Julia

    I HATE flying with a passion so I avoid at all costs. Sad but the way they treat you nowadays is unpardonable. I wish everyone would go on strike and take boats and do road trips instead for a few months–that would show the horrible airlines who is boss! sigh.

    Anyway, it depends on the length of the trip–a week or less, I CAN and do manage with a carryon plus tote bag. The best thing that helps is picking a color scheme and sticking with it, and wearing anything bulkier–if there’s metal in my boots/shoes, well whatevva, so I take ‘em off and let the idiots poke at them. I still get to keep them, lol. I tuck a lightweight purse of some kind–as pretty as possible–into my carryon. (No gorgeous, weighty leather shoulder bags, much as I love them…they’re not practical for lots of walking anyway, you wanna lighten your load in every way.)

    Even if airlines begin charging for carryons I would still go that route as much as possible, because I WILL not allow those jerks to steal from me. Now that we cannot lock our bags, everything you can imagine has been stolen from my suitcases while traveling by air in the last few years. No more. I will only take a suitcase if I absolutely must–like a longer trip to multiple climates. And then I only put NEW (with tags on) underwear in it and big, basic clothing items that thieves do not want. Nothing “personal”–see what I mean? Because there are creepy pervs out there working for airlines as well as typical thieves.

    In my tote or carryon goes ALL my basic makeup (everything permissible), my cameras and phones and chargers, my laptop, my meds (especially anything that WILL get taken like perscrip. painkillers), and of course my jewelry. The jewelry roll is indeed a terrific way to carry it, or you can wrap pieces in lightweight scarves or kleenex and carry in a pretty little zip bag. I take lots of jewelry because it is small! and helps alleviate the boredom of a limited wardrobe.

    I also just buy a lot when I reach my destination. I save up for this and get small bottles of all sorts of things–heavy stuff like shampoo, cream, conditioner. Why carry such things? unless you’re going somewhere good brands are literally unavailable.

    I prefer road trips. :-) I take everything but the kitchen sink, no creeps touch my stuff, I am happy as a clam. Heck I may get to the point where I only fly under exigent circs–otherwise I take a ship and rent a car or use trains, etc., when I get overseas! But yeah, if I had to fly for business I would pare it down to the absolute minimum and just go shopping at my destination. Point to ponder: most anything can either be shipped home, donated to a good cause before you leave, or at worst you can pick up a cheap bag in a thrift/op/charity shop and check a bag in.

  • http://pacificrain.blogspot.com sarah

    okay, speaking of novice…what the heck is a “dopp” kit? What does “dopp” mean? Is it short for something? I feel kinda dumb asking, but I want to know!! =)

    Like the CorpGoth, I do laundry in hotel sinks. Shampoo can double as laundry soap if you use something gentle (we prefer Avalon), so that takes up even less space. And like Mrs. M in MI, I only ever bring 3 pairs of shoes – even overseas. Two, if I can manage it.

    This might sound crazy, but one thing I do bring that takes up a lot of space is a hand-held steamer. Then I can wash clothes, hang them to dry, AND get the wrinkles out afterward (so I pack less, overall). Plus, it doesn’t matter if my bag gets a little mashed – I can get the wrinkles out of clothes and don’t have to worry about fiber content (as in, linen can be packed!) when I plan for the trip.

    • http://www.alreadypretty.com Sal

      It must be an antiquated term, but it’s what my dad always called his travel toiletry kit. I call mine that, too, though it’s more commonly applied to men’s kits: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dopp_kit

      • http://pacificrain.blogspot.com sarah

        thanks, Sal! I learned something new today!! =)

  • Lydia

    We travel often (mostly to Europe, and a combo of city/ country type destinations). I think they key item for travel that involves lots of walking is:
    three pairs of shoes — usually funky walking shoes — privos, funky sketchers, maybe clarks– these double up in the rain, and boots are bulky (I travel mostly in summer, so even when it rains, it is usually humid).
    A comfortable flat that can work day or night — I will wear the sketchers of privos with longer lightweight bootcut jeans for summer, while I will will wear clarks flats with dresses and skirts for day, and evening.
    I take the clarks unstructured sandal (it slides, does not have a back). This is great for hotter days, and also dresses up for going out in the evening. If you are walking it is key to switch out shoes, and your feet expand on the plane, so I wear the bulkiest shoe (sketchers) without laces on the plane, and then slide in and out of them.

    Another must for me is a lightweight hoodie style jacket — it rolls up, folds into my bag, and is comfy, has a zipper and is warm — this I wear on the plane and out in evenings.

    I always take a dress from jersey material — very versatile for day and night, and I wear short leggings underneath, so I can hike, or even walk all day in the dress with chaffing, and with modesty for hiking up castle stairs!

    Last but not least, I take a large purse as carry on, and then use it as a day bag at my destination. I actually take a synthetic pleather bag, as planes and stations are dirty, and I wash my bag with hand sanitizer at various intervals. I make sure I have a bag with lots of compartments, but not too many, as you want to avoid pickpockets at stations, and have everything zipped and snapped up.

    Oh, one more thing — again, many people experience bloating on planes, so I recommend stretchy jeggings, or yoga style jeans or pants. No matter what magazines say about glamourous ‘travel’ ideas — I have travelled lots on business and economy class, and it is best to be comfortable — I cannot stand a zipper and button pressing my stomach when I travel, so I do jeggings, a tunic, and a tunic hoodie jacket. Also, I recommend lavender oil, advil, hand sanitizer, and hand/face cream and LOTS of extra water (can be purchased after you clear security). You will not regret taking these on the plane. Sorry for the long comment, but I learned the hard way!

  • Mary

    I don’t get to travel much, but when I do, I love it! I tell the boyfriend, “I love hanging out in other people’s backyards” – even though this is not meant literally. It’s more that I try to appreciate how different things are for those who live there … their mailboxes are shaped differently! The cars on the streets are unfamiliar! I don’t recognize the brand names in the stores! … All of this is exciting to me.

    Like most others, I keep a toiletry bag ready to go with stuff like a brush, makeup wipes, my hair goop (not easily found in drugstores), toothbrush & paste, deodorant, and a spare pair of contacts. Makeup goes in the morning of travel, and I usually buy shampoo etc at my destination.

    For plane wear and making my way from the airport to wherever while carrying (ie steering) a suitcase, I always opt for my nice stretchy jeans that keep their shape amazingly well even when I’ve been sitting for twelve hours. A few layers of knit tops, a cardigan, slide-off short boots, and a large scarf always do it for me no matter if the a/c is pumping or if I end up sitting in hot sun for an hour

    I do try to wear bulky stuff on the plane – unless I’m away for a long while and am planning to buy souvenirs. In that case, I pack the foofy sweater and chunky boots on the way there, so I can wear them on the way back and make extra room for souvenirs in my case.

    What also facilitates making room on the way back, which others above have suggested, is bringing along clothes and shoes that are on their way out – a stack of underwear that has been on its last legs, a worn-out pair of khakis, anything you can bring that you can discard before you pack up and head home.

    That last one I have a hard time with because I dislike not looking sharp – I’d much rather wear my good stuff all the time when traveling. And I know sweatpants are comfy for the plane, and sneakers and a windbreaker are practical for walking around a city, but it is my goal – and my challenge – to look put together every moment I’m out in the great big world. I do believe there are ways to dress practically (ready to be on foot for eight hours, ready to jump on a ferry or walk through a huge park or queue for a museum) and still keep one’s look sharp and unique.

  • http://thelonelyisle.wordpress.com/ Joelle

    A small thing…but extra backs for your earrings. Too many times have lost ONE back and then fortunately havent lost an earring yet (while traveling that is, day to day life- all. the. time.) But then I end up going the rest of the trip without wearing earrings, which are my favorite accessory.

  • Quin

    I can second the scarf! I carry one of those super wide/large ones that look more like a small blanket when spread out. Pashminas, I think they’re called? Anyway, I have half my family in Germany, a sister in Boston, and my boyfriend lives in Alaska with his family during the summers (we’re both still in college). So I do a lot of plane hopping, especially during the summer, and scarves like that save my life on the plane. It’s pretty damn cold on those things! Like great flying meat lockers, hurdling through the sky.

    I also always pack a couple of hoodies. I know, not exactly a fashion essential or whatever, but I’m not talking like, the ratty oversized kind that everyone complains about but everyone has. Though they will always have a spot in my heart, to be sure. No, I mean a nice, fairly fitted, classy-casual number in a solid color. If there even is such a thing as classy-casual (there is). I have one in black from Target that I absolutely adore. Plus the hood makes your tiredness feel justified – earned, even – and hides inevitable greasy travel hair! BAM. Who’s winning the fashion-travel-comfort game now? You, baby. It’s you.

    Anyway, nothing is better during a long day of traveling than being able to throw a soft hood over your head and hope that the TSA doesn’t think you’re a terrorist.

  • Susan

    I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned this, but dopp kit is a term used for man’s bag of toiletries.

    • http://www.alreadypretty.com Sal

      Yes, did mention that. I’m perfectly happy co-opting it for my own toiletry kit, though. ;)

  • Melissa

    Thanks for this blog post! I’m a little behind in catching up, so I know this is an “old” (relatively speaking) post, but I am leaving on a 15-day trip out to the east coast with an itinerary that includes NYC, DC, Boston, and Rhode Island. While I am NOT a travel novice, my sister is and I am forward your post as well as the links to Audi’s tips. Thanks so much!

  • Christine in Portland

    Just got back from two weeks in Italy, so feet are on my mind. I took two pairs of sandals (Clark’s, Born) on the theory that I would want to alternate, and one pair of sturdier shoes for hiking in ruins. I also packed an extensive kit of blister treatments (bandaids of various sizes, and the magical http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/pedifix-sorespot-blister-%26-skin-protection-bandages/ID=prod6107199-product blister bandages, as well as a soothing spray a 90+ year old travel veteran at the shoe store told me about) and kept it in my purse. Thus, when inevitably a spot would start to get sore, I could treat it right away rather than waiting to get back to the hotel. That was the best travel prep money I have ever spent.

    One thing I didn’t realize was how much my feet would swell with all of the walking and heat. In retrospect, the Clarks sandals, which had a fairly stiff leather and didn’t give much, were much less comfortable than the softer Born sandals. The Clarks cut into my feet as they swelled every day. For the last week, I pretty much stuck to the Borns, which were very flexible and comfortable. The style I had was the Aberlin (http://www.bornshoes.com/Product.aspx?ProductID=7110).