Travel Tips: Pack a swimsuit in your carry-on

topshop_swimsuit

topshop_swimsuit

Do you enjoy shopping for swimsuits? I am going to guess that most women will state that swimsuit shopping is one of their least favorite activities. Since I certainly do not want to miss a day at the beach, I always pack a swimsuit in my carry-on bag.

This ensures that I arrive at my destination ready to swim, even if my luggage is delayed or missing. In a pinch I can wear spa shoes for a day, or find a t-shirt to use as a cover up. No swimsuit? There truly is no alternative.

What is one item that you always pack in your carry-on?

 

Travel Gear: Briggs & Riley BRX Collection

Explore 22

Briggs & Riley Explore 22

I recently purchased the Briggs & Riley Explore 22 Upright [affiliate link] and Excursion Backpack [affiliate link]. I am a chronic over packer and I needed a suitcase that was larger than my 21″ carry on and smaller than my 25″ checked bag. I have taken them on three trips so far and I couldn’t be happier with their functionality and quality. I even took them on a four day business trip to New York City to attend a conference (at The Plaza!) and had plenty of room for multiple outfits per day, my laptop, iPad, file folders, assorted chargers, winter weather accessories  – and that was without expanding the suitcase!

The look of the backpack is not high fashion, but it is extremely comfortable. You can either wear it or attach it to the clips on the suitcase. I used to carry a laptop bag, but I have finally given in to the fact that they are heavy, awkward, and uncomfortable. Travel can be hard enough at times, why suffer with a bag that works against you?

I love the tall handle on the suitcase and the fact that it is on the outside. My other favorite feature is the pocket on the outside front of the bag that is perfect for quickly stowing a newspaper or magazine. I also like the two inside compartments as they have functioned well for me to store dirty clothes or small items likes scarves or belts that I don’t want to get lost in the roomy main compartment.

If you pack like me this bag combo is perfect for three to five day trips, especially if you are driving or plan on checking your bag. It will hold more than the basics and allow you to bring workout clothes, your hairdryer, an optional outfit, and even multiple pairs of shoes. Of course, the backpack can accommodate plenty of work supplies and will fit in the overhead or under your seat.

This is not inexpensive luggage, but the company offers a lifetime guarantee. I have had only one slight issue with my Briggs & Riley 21″ inch carry on since purchasing it six years ago, and I was able to fix it myself (Trust me, I am not handy!) with a washer that I found in our toolbox. You couldn’t do that with most brands of  inexpensive luggage because they are meant to be discarded; not fixed.

Do you have a favorite suitcase or luggage brand? Share with us in the comments!

Travel Tips: Packing List

discarded suitcases

Have you ever been on the way to the airport and had the sinking feeling that you have forgotten to pack something? Has your checked bag ever not arrived at your destination? If you use a packing list you can rid yourself of that sinking feeling and help ensure that you arrive at your destination with the essentials.

I created my first packing list two years ago and it makes leaving home much simpler and more stress free. I typically print it out the weekend before my trip and leave it on the kitchen counter. Throughout the week as I am getting organized I cross the items off that I have packed or completed. I may also add new items to the blank cells because every trip is somewhat unique.

There are two worksheets (or tabs) on the spreadsheet. The first is for beach trips and the second is for work trips. The columns for each worksheet are organized by bag and the last column contains my To Do list. I find that it’s quite helpful to think of your packing by bag, instead of by category. This is especially true when you are flying and must remember to separate out liquids in your carry on.

When possible, your carry on should contain those items that it would be difficult or impossible to purchase at your destination. For me, this includes my swimsuit and all of my electronics and their associated chargers. Of course, you’ll also want to include any other valuables (e.g. jewelry) as well as all prescription medications. It will likely make your carry on cumbersome, but if your checked bag gets lost in transit it will help ensure you have what you need in the meantime.

Please feel free to download the spreadsheet (click here to view and download via Google Docs) and edit it to meet your own personal packing needs. Hope it helps to make your next trip a little more stress free. Happy packing!

Do you have any packing tips to share? Let us know in the comments!