So the past couple of weeks I've been traveling the east coast with my boyfriend, and being away for a few weeks has reminded me how hard it can be to pack. Keep some of these tips in mind to avoid taking multiple or extremely heavy bags.
- See if your hotel has washers and dryers- I've totally never thought about it until I saw them in my hotel on this vacation. If your hotel has a washer/dryer (most are just the coin operated type) this is awesome, and you can plan to bring less clothes and spend just a couple bucks to wash them and therefore get more wear out of fewer items!
- Only bring essential makeup products- I brought my foundation, powder, two types of eyeshadow palettes, mascara, eyeliner, two lipsticks and bronzer. YOU DON'T NEED THIS MUCH. Even though I thought these were all "essentials" I honestly only used the mascara and eyeshadow on a daily basis, and the other eyeshadow and lipstick on a special night out. Think about what you will be doing and if you're going to actually spend the time getting ready. Also remember, many makeup items can be used in different ways; mascara and a small brush can make eyeliner, lip tint can also be cheek tint, etc.
- Have a mini first aid kit- While some days of my adventure I stayed with family, they (and certainly hotels) may not have all the meds you need but don't think about. For example I brought the basics; Advil, Aleve, Tums, but also some items you might not realize could be important like nose spray, extra contact cases and solution, Gas-X, and nasal decongestant. When traveling (especially in the spring and summer) you can encounter different environments and get worse allergies than you usually would at home. Also include some bandaids and chapstick!
- Plan your budget and time (but be flexible)- My boyfriend and I planned each and every day pretty much exactly as it would happen and it kept us from spending a lot of money. We knew we had to save some more money to splurge on a cool museum but didn't have to waste money on food since we bought sandwich materials at a nearby grocery. At the same time we had to be flexible, one day it rained when we were planning on going to the beach so instead we switched that days plans with the next day and did a museum. With money, too, there will be unexpected costs, fees, taxes, souvenirs, etc.
- Try to enjoy it all- As much as you will be concerned about getting to every event on time and spending the right amount of money and fitting every bit of the vacation in, be sure to sit back and enjoy all your planning and money well spent. Sometimes it's worth it to go out to that fancy restaurant and order whatever you feel like, regardless of price. It's about enjoying the area you are in, learning about the people and culture and perhaps more about you and whoever you're with.
If you liked this post and would like to hear some tips for traveling to Europe, please let me know in the comments, I just got back from a 5 week trip across the pond and would love to share what I learned from it!