Saturday, June 8, 2013

Packing for an International Trip

Hubby and I will be going on holiday soon so I wanted to share with you all how I will be packing for this trip.  Based on previous travel experiences, we will be traveling with two suit cases: (1) a large one that will be checked in and (2) a carry on.  Traveling with too much luggage will announce our tourist status - which makes us more vulnerable to being pick pocketed.

Carry On Luggage
We fortunately have never experienced delayed or lost luggage (knocking on wood!).  However, it's always better to be safe than sorry.  In the event our checked in luggage goes MIA, we at least will have a carry on that will contain the following: a set of pajamas for each of us, under garments, and 1-2 clean outfits to change into.  It will also contain our toiletries (ahem, my makeup and skincare products).

Carry on Liquids:
TSA mandates the 3-1-1 Rule: 3.4 oz (100mL) bottle or less (by volume), 1 quart-sized clear plastic zip-top bag, 1 bag per passenger placed in the screening bin.  Exceptions to the rule: medications, baby formula and food, and breast milk may exceed 3.4 oz so long as they are in reasonable amounts.  They are also not required to be contained in a zip-top bag.

The liquids I pack for my carry on:

Top (left to right): Sensodyne tooth paste (an extra tube is also packed in the checked in luggage), Paul Mitchell leave-in conditioner, Nioxin conditioner, RevitaLens contact lens solution, Bumble and Bumble thickening hair spray, and Josie Maran's Infinity Cream (which I use for eye cream, face and body moisturizer, lip balm, and lip gloss).

Bottom (left to right): Fresh Soy Face cleanser, Josie Maran's Argan Oil cleanser, Primavera toner, Dr. Jart's Black Label Detox BB Cream, Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet + foundation, Benefit's the POREfessional, Urban Decay's Eye Primer Potion, DUO false lash glue, and Jo Malone London sample size perfume.

All of these products fit into my 1 quart sized plastic zip-top bag:

Since I will be traveling with my husband, I will have him carry a second batch of liquids as HIS carry on that will include hand sanitizer, Downey's wrinkle releaser, mouth wash, makeup brush cleanser spray, and anything else that we think of from now until the day we leave.

Packing Cubes - the Organized Traveler's Best Friend

Packing cubes are cube shaped bags that are used to pack clothes and shoes.  Designed to fit neatly into your luggage, these cubes keep your clothes organized, prevent your clothes from wrinkling, and fit more clothing in each piece of luggage.  I purchased 3 big packing cubes (the blue cubes beneath my brown and white striped Henri Bendel Large Hanging Weekender bag), 3 medium packing cubes (the pink cubes), and 2 shoe packing cubes from eBags off of Amazon.

The eBag packing cubes are made of a very light solid fabric, similar to the material parachutes are made of, on the sides and bottom.  This lends to a sturdy product.  The top portion of the cube is mesh, which allows you to see inside the cube.  This is a big deal because if security randomly chooses your luggage for an inspection, they will be able to see what's inside without turning your entire luggage upside down.

These cubes are also very lightweight.  Thus, there is little to no concern with it affecting your luggage weight limit.

I packed one set of pj's, one day dress, one blouse, under garments, and leggings for my carry on and it has only filled 1/3 of the pink medium packing cube.  The remainder of the space may not even be taken up even after we stuff my husband's carry on clothing items.

This leaves our carry on with PLENTY of room for my travel sized blow dryer, the X5 Superlite 1600W Dual Voltage Ceramic - Ionic Travel Dryer, my Hot Tools ceramic 1.5 inch curling iron, and my ceramic flat iron (gift from a gal pal).  This means we can also pack neck pillows for comfort during the flight as well as umbrellas should it rain at our holiday destination.

Money belt
During our trip to Italy a few years ago, my purse was slashed by a pick pocket.  Fortunately, I had done a ton of research before my trip and knew pick pockets was a problem.  As a result, I used one of my cheaper purses while abroad that was solely used to store water bottles, an extra scarf, an extra set of mittens, and our travel guide book (Rick Steves!).  We stored our passports and money in a money belt.

Having this silk money belt underneath our clothes made us feel more secure.  It especially increased our peace of mind after discovering my purse was slashed.  As you can see from the photo above, a money belt is a zippered pouch that lays flat against your body and is completely hidden underneath your clothes.  Rest assure it was completely comfortable to wear.  We will not be storing all of our money in this belt.  The plan is to store a day's worth of cash in our pockets, divided between my husband and I.  In the event that one of us runs into a problem, at least the other has some cash.  The money belt will store our passports, credit cards, rail passes, and the remainder of our cash.

All phone chargers.  All tablet and iPad chargers.  My iPad will also have new books to read on my Kindle app for the long flights.

If you all recall in an earlier blog post (click HERE!), I use the Henri Bendel Brown and White Stripe Large Hanging Weekender bag to store our toiletries and my makeup.  This bag also fits neatly into our carry on and will be conveniently affixed in the hotel bathroom as it has a hook to hang.  I'm bringing the same makeup brushes as I previously blogged.  Here's an update as to the makeup I will be bringing:

Top (left to right):
Make Up For Ever Duo Mat Powder Foundation
MAC eyeshadow palette (my own selection of eye shadows)
YSL Touche Eclat in 1.5
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Brunette
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Perversion

Bottom (left to right):
Velour Lashes in Doll Me Up
MAC paint pot in Painterly
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Dollface
MAC blush in Harmony

Some of my other cosmetics are listed above with my liquids:
Dr. Jart's Black Label Detox BB Cream
Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet + foundation
Benefit's the POREfessional
Urban Decay's Eye Primer Potion
DUO false lash glue

In my purse will be the following lip products:

MAC lipstick in Dubonnet (for those nights I need to vamp up with a red lip stick)
Lancome Rouge in Love in Lasting Kiss (nude pink lipstick)
MAC Pink Plaid
Revlon lip gloss in Orchid (shimmery pale pink)
Revlon Color Stay Lip Liner in Nude
Revlon Color Stay Lip Liner in Plum

Additional Tips
1. Leave a copy of your passport with your in-case-of-emergency person back at home.  In the event you lose your passport abroad, your copy at home will be able to make its way to you via fax.
2. ALWAYS make sure you find out where the closest US embassy is to your hotel.
3. Call your credit card and debit card companies to let them know you will be abroad so they don't lock your account for suspected fraud.
4. Pack locks to lock up your luggage at the hotel.  Better safe than sorry.
5. To conquer jet lag, leave home well rested.  At your destination, stay awake until an early local bedtime.
6. If you plan on traveling by train to any destination while abroad, keep your money belt on and remember to use a lock on your luggage.
7. Pack Band Aid's Friction Block and Moleskin.  Your feet will thank you.
8. Make sure you look into roaming fees if you plan on bringing your cell phone with you abroad.
9. Confirm the price of taxi travel from the airport to your hotel ahead of hand to avoid a taxi scam.
10. Check the weather to pack appropriately.

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