Packing & Prep

Travel Apps :: PackPoint

[trip style = any]

It was only in Seattle, on the morning of my flight to Sweden, that I realized I'd failed to pack a single pair of socks for two weeks in Scandinavia. This is how I ended up with a pair of $10 socks from the airport newsstand and several more styles from the Gothenburg supermarket. #travelfail

Even when I write out lists and pack and repack my bags, it seems like I always forget somethingsocks, pajamas, toothpaste, charger—which is why I was so excited to find an app that takes the guesswork out of packing.

PackPoint helps you organize what you need to pack based on destination, date and length of trip, weather, type of trip {business or leisure}, activities and gender. It even asks you whether you'll have laundry facilities. In seconds it creates a packing list that even a veteran traveler can appreciate.

It would be nice if the app had an option to select mode of travel {plane, car, ship, etc.} and size of luggage {carry-on, checked bag}, and I noticed a few flaws in the list {no footwear other than sandals and hiking shoes for Palm Springs}, but you can add and subtract from your list and even save it for later. The best part? It's free. If you want to add custom activities, you can upgrade in-app for 99 cents.

Sample trip #1: Long weekend in Palm Springs

What to pack: swimsuit, coverup, sandals, hiking clothes & shoes, dress, skirt, casual pants, 2 casual shirts, 4 pairs of socks, 4 pairs of underwear, pajamas, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, water bottle, camera, cell phone & charger, boarding pass & itinerary, ear plugs, book, assorted toiletries, makeup, hand sanitizer, lip balm

Sample trip #2: 10 days in Barcelona

What to pack: passport, medical insurance card, foreign currency, power adapter, swimsuit, coverup, sandals, towel, dress, dress shoes, jewelry, light jacket, cardigan, sweater, 9 pairs of socks, 9 pairs of underwear, 5 casual shirts, 3 casual pants, skirt, pajamas, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, water bottle, camera, cell phone & charger, boarding pass & itinerary, ear plugs, book, assorted toiletries, hair products, makeup, hand sanitizer, lip balm, umbrella

Sample trip #3: 5 days in Whistler

What to pack: snow jacket, snow pants, toque, sunglasses, gloves, long underwear, heavy jacket, dress, 4 pairs of socks, 4 pairs of underwear, 2 casual shirts, casual pants, pajamas, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, water bottle, camera, cell phone & charger, boarding pass & itinerary, ear plugs, book, assorted toiletries, makeup, hand sanitizer, lip balm

This post is written by Trip Styler's Assistant Wayfarer/Editor Heather.

Packing 3.0 - List It!
Fitting 50 Garments into 1 Carry-On
Packing Pointers with Shaun

[photos via @heatherlovesit & packpoint except whistler by mitch wonton/]

Genius Pack Hack

[trip style = weekend getaway]

Editor's Note: We just added a new member to the TS flight crew: Baby Styler! More details to come shortly.

Packing light is not for every traveler and trip, but with many US carriers charging for checked bags, and now Canadian carriers following suitI'm looking at you Air Canada and WestJettraveling with a carry-on LITERALLY makes "cents." 

In addition to saving an average of $25 per bag, bringing a carry-on also simplifies packing and unpacking, reduces airport time and guards against the dreaded moment when your bags don't arrive on the carousel. 

Enter the "pillbox packing" method, found online by Nicole, a TS reader and contributor. Used by The Army and a slew of savvy packers worldwide, this one-minute pack hack eliminates anything unnecessary. {Use this method right, and your efficient packing can still be en vogue!}. 

I'm not suggesting you only pack a T-shirt, underwear, toothbrush and sox for your next one- or two-night getaway; however, I was totally inspired by the simplicity of this method, and have decided a few small modifications {ie: bringing a small toiletries case with make-up and skincare essentials, and wrapping a belt, sweater, skirt, tank top or necklace into the bundle} could take this pack hack from wishful thinking to workable, and still allow me to toss it into my tote. See top and bottom photos for the before and after.   

PS - Find the skirt pictured above in the Trip Styler Store!

Overnight {Without the Baggage}

[photos by @tripstyler]

Beach Reads

[trip style = beach + sun + weekend getaway]

When I wasn't busy biking to the corner store for 5-cent candies, running under sprinklers, or choreographing dances to Ace of Base's "The Sign" and Boyz II Men's "Motown Philly", I spent my childhood summers checking out books to earn as many stickers as possible from the public library's annual summer reading club. Fast forward 20 years and I'm still spending my summers wading through stacks of unread books.

Since nothing complements a beach trip like a page-turner, here are three hilarious memoirs you'll want to pack in your beach bag this summer. They're funny, not too serious, entertaining, self deprecating and witty. Everything I want in a summer relationship—with reading. Just don't forget to pack some extra SPF because these books will have you sobbing through your sunscreen with tears of laughter.

Uganda Be Kidding Me
Chelsea Handler's comical collection of travel stories is by far and wide the most irreverent and belly-busting memoir I've ever read. While reading it, I may have peed my pants from the pressure of heaving laughter, skipped the gym because my abs got such a workout, and drawn way too much attention to myself when I burst out crying from sustained giggling because of scenes like Chelsea's sudden urge to deal with a bout of post-Africa constipation in a kayak in the Bahamas. To give you an idea of how much I loved this book, I ordered every single one of her books from Amazon before I'd even finished this one.  –Recommended by Trish

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
Mindy Kaling kicks off her book with a list of alternate titles that include: So You've Just Finished Chelsea Handler's Book, Now What? and Harry Potter Secret Book #8. I was either the best or worst beach buddy while reading this book, depending on whether you liked to be interrupted and read to whenever I came across something hilarious I had to share, which was basically all the time. Whether it was her stories about growing up as a "timid chubster" in Massachusetts or her thoughts on best friend rights and responsibilities, she had me laughing the whole time and wishing she was my best friend, even if that means getting punched in the nose. Read the book to find out how that happens—and how it involves Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. –Recommended by Heather

Everything Is Perfect When You're a Liar
If you've never heard of Kelly Oxford, you're probably not on Twitter, where she reigns as queen with her irreverent, observational tweets. Once a Calgary stay-at-home mother of three, she's now moved her family to Los Angeles, where she hangs out with her celebrity best friends and works as a screenwriter. No topics are off limits in her first memoir, where she shares her most embarrassing stories about mall modeling, teenage drinking, flying to LA to make Leonardo DiCaprio her boyfriend, and cancelling on brunch with David Copperfield in Vegas after a crazy night at the Hustler Club. I think Lena Dunham describes Kelly best on the book jacket: "Kelly Oxford is like your cool babysitter who teaches you about sex and sarcasm in an un-creepy way." –Recommended by Heather

I'm next in line for Uganda Be Kidding Me after Mr. Trip Styler finishes it, and after lending it to at least three people, I finally plan on reading Tina Fey's Bossy Pants next month or whenever I make it to the beach.

This post is written by Trip Styler's Assistant Wayfarer/Editor Heather.

[collage by @heatherlovesit, beach basket by jadetribe]

Homeward Bound :: Weekender Bags

[trip style = weekend getaway]

This post is written by Trip Styler fashion and lifestyle blogger Heather.

Weekenders are the Goldilocks of the bag world, sitting pretty between totes and carry-ons. They're juuust right for quick jaunts home for the holidays, cozy mountain retreats, or sunny escapes.

A good weekender bag is roomy enough for a few costume changes and rugged enough for a beating in the trunk or overhead compartment. Look for features like handles AND detachable shoulder strap, plenty of interior pockets and zipper closure. Bonus points for water-repellant fabric, dark colors to hide dirt and leather that gets better with age.

Travel in style this winter with any of the eight durable and design-forward weekend bags shown above at price points you'll love ... and love to hate.

top row: Stephen Kenn encounter collection travel duffle, WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie hartsfield weekender tote, Filson small duffle bag middle row: JADEtribe maroc traveler, Lo & Sons the catalina, Baggu weekend bag bottom row: Joshu + Vela xl boat tote, Clare Vivier leather weekender

[graphics by @heatherlovesit]

Carry-on Creature Comforts

carry-on comfort essentials[trip style = any]

While flying the skies at 40,000 feet---from where I pen this---I'm reminded of a few simple things that can change your personal flight path from turbulent to terrific. I call these travel creature comforts, and I cart them whether I'm flying in econo or biz class. While lie-flat seats and first class pods do come with extra travel doodads like moisturizing eye masks {thanks JAL}, seats-slash-massage chairs {thanks Emirates} or down comforters {thanks Virgin Atlantic}, nothing can replace---not even a flute of Dom---the things you love and need. Here's what I swear by in the sky!

Trip Styler Tip :: Always keep a carry-on comfort kit packed so it's ready to go when you're frazzled with last-minute trip prep!

1/ Non-scented hand cream I coat my hands and arms pre- and mid-flight and dab a touch beside my eyes when my skin starts to feel crunchy and dry. Ultra-moisturizing, high-quality hand cream can mean the difference between sapped and supple inflight skin {read: plane soap and cabin air are uber-drying}. Trip Styler loves: Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Moisturizing Hand Treatment {$15}

2/ Earplugs or noise-cancelling earbuds For those times when you just want to doze off or drown out the noise around you... I can't tell you how often I slip in my earplugs or buds; they're often the make-or-break item between a peaceful and frenzied flight. Trip Styler loves: 3M Foam Earplugs {$1}

3/ Scarf or shawl Airplanes' heating and cooling systems often operate in extremes: frigid or hot. Personally, I get cold on every single flight---it's like the Arctic up there. Instead of schlepping a down parka on the plane, I bring one or two pashminas or shawls, which double as blankets, hats or neck warmers to keep my temperature regulated. Trip Styler loves: Nordstrom Cashmere-Blend Wrap {$80}. Note: I also suggest traveling with a cheaper wrap---one you can throw around and not fret if it gets snagged or dirty.

4/ Water bottle I was just on a four-hour flight and was offered a glass of water ONCE. Dearest airlines: we're people, not camels! To ensure I have enough H2O, I always bring a collapsible water bottle to rehydrate inflight. Once I drink it dry, it takes up zero space in my bag. Trip Styler loves: Vapur Travel Anti-Bottle {$10}

5/ Toothbrush Whether you have cat-tongue from not drinking or eating for a few hours, or just noshed a plate of mystery airplane food, brushing your teeth before landing is the 40,000-ft equivalent of a shower. Trip Styler loves: Colgate Wisp Mini-Brush with Freshening Bead {$5 for 16}

6/ Mints It helps to follow up the aforementioned toothbrush with a mint for long-lasting fresh breath. Trip Styler loves: Altoids Curiously Strong Mints, Cinnamon - Pack of 12 {$20}

7/ Sox 'n' slippers For any flight over four hours, I bring socks and washable slippers to keep my feet warm. Don't go to the lavatory barefoot or only wearing socks -- slippers or shoes are a must! Trip Styler loves: Hotel slippers---wash after use and air dry! {free}

8/ Eye drops To keep my peepers full of pep, I throw in eye drops at the flight's end to combat the dry and red-rimmed effects of flying. Trip Styler loves: Visine Maximum Redness Relief {$6.60}

9/ Eye brightener My makeup artist friend told me I had to get a MAC nude eye pencil to rim the inside of my eyes -- the waterline -- so I look human {vs alien} after a long flight or jet lag. Trip Styler loves: MAC Chromagraphic {Nude} Pencil in NW20 {$29}

Honorable Mentions Hand sanitizer, eye mask or sunglasses, dry shampoo

/\/\/\/\/\ What are your inflight musts? /\/\/\/\/\

[graphic by @tripstyler; photos sourced online]