So next week I’m taking off to NYC with the famjam and it got me thinking about my packing practices. Of course, what I pack for New York is completely different from what I’d bring to an island paradise but there are certain key items I always bring along and the way I pack them generally always lines up. So today I am focusing what I keep in my purse, in my suitcase, and what I transfer to my safe when vacationing.
When going on vacation I usually swap my larger wallet for a smaller version leaving behind the cards (and receipts) I know I will have no use for to limit the bulk. I bring my 1) Driver’s License, 2) Debit/Credit Card, 3) Health Card, and 4) at least $50 cash. Why do I always carry at least some cash? Because if ever I were to get myself in a pickle or experience fraud on my bank cards and thus rendered useless, I have that buffer money to at least get me back to my hotel or to a bank… or to, you know… finish that transaction on that really cute shirt I was eyeing and still want regardless of my current predicament – haha… half joking.
After switching wallets I put my passport straight into my purse within the inner zip up pocket accompanied by a pen for any customs cards and such that I need to sign during my journey. One too many times have I been that person begging for someone to let me borrow their pen. I’ve vowed I would no longer be that person.
For me, my purse is also my mini first aid/ emergency kit. I carry a small bottle of Advil Extra Strength along with a couple band aids, hand sanitizer, throat lozenges, and – of course – an emergency tampon and panty liner. A couple of months ago, I picked up a portable battery charger from Aldo which I now keep in my purse at all times. As someone who consistently drains her battery power, it has proven itself as a saving grace several times over.
Now for the fun stuff… makeup and accessories! I ALWAYS carry mascara, lip balm, hand cream, eye liner, a teasing comb, and most importantly for me, a travel size bottle of aerosol hairspray. Now I am going to stress this travel size bottle of aerosol hairspray for two reasons…. Firstly, because I alwaaaaays touch up my hair throughout the day and pretty much go through too many bottles of hair spray in a month than I am proud to admit, but also because it can be used as a safety precaution. How you may ask? Much like pepper spray, but to a lesser degree, the aerosol can shoots the spray out from it at an accelerated pace and at a force that when aimed at an attacker’s eyes can distract them for long enough for you to make a safe getaway. Hopefully you never have to try this safety tip out, but always good to be over prepared then under. Also, fun fact, the point of a high heel can also be used as a weapon in dire circumstances!
MY SUITCASE & CARRY ON:
I am oh so guilty of over packing for every adventure I go on. I am proud to say I have mastered the art of stuffing my suitcase. There are a couple of things I ensure are packed regardless of where I am going. I find it good practice to carry a photocopy of my passport along with the real one. On the off chance that anything were to happen to my passport, having the photocopy can be an absolute lifesaver for crossing the border back home. I keep this copy in my suitcase’s front pocket and leave it there always.
I bring along a pair of flip flops to wear around the hotel room. This pair of flip flops generally also always stays in my suitcase even when in storage since I know I will always need them when going away. I have about 10 pairs kicking around my house so leaving one in my suitcase saves me the hassle of having to remember to pack them.
When deciding what to pack in my carry-on versus my suitcase, I always carry with me onto the plane my valuables (anything expensive and anything precious to me that I could not fathom being lost like my cameras), breakables (makeup pallets), and anything I may require on the plane (including books, headphones, and a sweater or blanket scarf). Reminder that any liquids, creams, and hairspray bottles over 100ML need to go into the suitcase per TSA guidelines.
SAFETY VAULT SWITCH
I travel with a lot of expensive photography gear so if I know a certain night will not require a specific device I leave it behind in the lock up. This goes for all valuable possessions: jewelry, spare cash, camera lens, etc. I also tend to put away all my chargers, either in the safe or stowed out of sight in my suitcase, so that anyone who enters the room would not immediately know what devices I brought on my trip.
I heavily suggest leaving your passport locked up as well rather than carrying it in your purse since the risk of losing it via theft or misplacement is much greater when it is on you. Even though I have the backup photocopy in my suitcase, replacing a passport is a hassle and a half, so avoiding that predicament is a top priority… also there’s the whole… I’d rather not up my chances of having my identity stolen – it’s not fun, TRUST, I’ve heard and lived horror stories!
Stay tuned for a NYC vlog!
Safe travels and stay caffeinated!