Photos by Tara
Let’s talk travel hacks! Over the past year, since going full-time with Retro Flame, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to travel more & more and in that time, I’ve picked up LOTS of tricks to make the whole process as easy as possible. Because let’s be honest, travel is the absolute best, but can also come with quite the bit of stress. Remember that time I lost my passport at Coachella!? *Hand over eyes monkey face*.
A lot of you send me DM’s when I’m travelling asking for my top tips, so after a busy month of travels in July (Toronto, Chicago, Ireland), I figured it was the perfect time to share them. With the nature of my job, travel is always going to be a huge part of my life. So that’s why I was determined to find tips & tricks to make my life a MILLION times easier when on-the-go. A lot of times on trips, time isn’t always on your side, so the more ready & organized you are, the better. Below are the tips I SWEAR BY when traveling and the ones that honestly always make my life so much easier & less stressful. So whether you’re off on a weekend trip, a 2-week tropical getaway or you’re off to travel the world, I hope they can help you too…
1. Put ACTUAL effort into your packing.
Yes, I know – such a pain but it is always SO worth it. I’m definitely one to leave it go til the very last minute (I know I’m not alone here) but even if I’m packing at 2am the night before, I still have my ‘system’. The same system that works EVERY time. The three things I always do when packing are:
a) Plan my outfits – Day & Night – for every day I’ll be away. I try my best to bring as many things as possible that can be incorporated into the same outfits (e.g. white shorts, black bag, etc) and I always bring my most classic shoes. Planning outfits will not only make sure that you don’t overpack, but it will also save you so much time when you get to your destination. No outfit scrambling or ‘nothing to wear’ moments which is ALWAYS a plus.
b) Create Sections. So put all your makeup & accessories in tidy/organized bags (I love my Mon Purse ones) and always bring a seperate bag for washing. As bad as packing is, unpacking is even worse, so you’ll be so happy you have this ready to go as soon as you get home from your travels. A small thing, but makes a difference.
c) Leave extra space. You just KNOW you’re going to pick up a thing or two on your travels (it’s honestly inevitable) so save yourself the stress of being over-weight coming back by leaving some extra room in that case.
….ANYTHING to avoid stress.
2. ALWAYS travel with a Steamer
This is honestly my holy-grail when it comes to travelling. Seriously. I’m going to be honest with you and tell you that I literally NEVER iron. I know my Mom is going to be horrified when she’s reading this (Queen of ironing herself – even irons underwear. True story). But it’s just not for me. I’m impatient and it just takes up too much time. But I also HATE wrinkled clothes, so something had to give. Enter: My Travel Steamer. BEST. THING. EVER. I had a different one before this which just wasn’t cutting it to be honest (hard to find good ones) but this new Rowenta Steam ‘N Press I got a few weeks ago is the Bee’s Knee’s! It’s been my life-saver since getting back to New York (3 weeks worth of wrinkled clothes made easy) so I can’t recommend it enough.
And if you ARE someone that doesn’t mind ironing, you’ll be delighted to know that as well as being a steamer, it’s actually an iron too. Personally, I just use it for steaming but Kaelin has tried out the ironing feature and was really impressed. So say good-bye to wrinkles (and boyfriends giving out to you for being late) – this is about to be your new travel-best-friend. Oh and it’s also super reasonably-priced which makes it even better. Here is the link!
3. Nip Jetlag in the Bud
I already mentioned that I’m crazy impatient, so as you can imagine, jet-leg can just never be on my agenda. I swear, nothing annoys me more than being stuck to the bed when I arrive somewhere I’ve never been before. There’s too much to do/see, so I needed to find ways to ensure it doesn’t happen. I’m still finding new tricks all the time, but so far, there is one main one that just never fails me: working out the very first chance I get after getting off the plane. This is insanely effective.
Now I know it’s not exactly what you want to be doing, but it just seems to get my body in line every time. I remember when I went to Vegas last year for work, my flight home to New York got delayed meaning I went straight from the plane into a fitness event I was working at. I literally changed in the bathrooms at JFK, arrived into Barry’s Bootcamp with my suitcase and went straight onto the treadmill. At the time, I felt delirious, but wow, I literally couldn’t believe how good I felt the next day. Even after a jam-packed trip, with long-work days and very little sleep (+ a 3 hour time difference), I woke up the next morning in New York at my usual time feeling absolutely perfect.
Since then, I’ve been doing it on every trip (this time, I went straight into a workout at Equinox) and I’m telling you, it works every single time. After sitting on a plane for hours, your body needs some movement. So make use of the hotel gym, find a hotel-room workout on youtube or just go for a walk around the hotel/resort/city you’re staying in. I promise, you’ll wake up the next day feeling 110%.
4. Make Skincare a Priority
Probably the toughest lesson I’ve learned throughout my days of travelling – if you don’t look after your skin while flying, it will make your life VERY stressful. Personally, I have quite sensitive skin which breaks out very easily, so I have to really mind it when I’m on the go. I try to wear no makeup on the plane (besides mascara/brows sometimes) and always apply a serum & eye cream when I’m in the air. Two of my travel favourites are Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair (apparently air hostesses swear by this) and my IMAGE Vital C Eye Gel. And then as soon as I get to my hotel/apartment – I cleanse STRAIGHT AWAY. Just doing these few steps have helped so much!
5. Be Early
Ok if you follow Kaelin on Snapchat (@Kaelin_Fox), you’ll have seen a little (panicked) chat that her & Mom were having the day before our recent flight to Ireland. Mom was more or less begging Kaelin to make sure I didn’t miss the flight, haha! We had a family wedding the day after we landed, so I get it. I’m the ‘always-late’ one in the family and they’ve started to lose all hope. I’m a disaster with time!! I think it does come back to the fact that I’m really impatient and hate wasting time waiting around, but wow, it does get me into some pretty stressful situations. I always seem to cut travel-time to airports WAY too tight (and have even missed flights because of it) so something had to change. I’ve made a new pact with myself to leave extra time going forward (not just in relation to getting to/from airports but also for getting ready in the mornings while away) and I already know it’s going to make a difference. Kaelin had me at the airport over 3 hours early for our last few flights and as much as I hate to admit it, life WAS easier. So stay tuned for a new & improved, ‘on-time’ Retro ;)
…and there is everything! My tried & tested tips & tricks to make travelling a MILLION times easier. I love sharing lessons learned so I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and picked up some hacks. As I said, anything to make things more stress-free.
Definitely let me know if you have some tips too? I’m always over on Instagram (@retroflame) and Snapchat (@retroflame1). Would love for you to say hi!
Have a great Wednesday!
*Big thank you to ROWENTA for sponsoring this post.
Nothing makes me happier than getting to work with brands I truly use & love.
Hey… loved your blog on hacks for travel.. tried to order the steamer, but Target does not ship to Ireland.. any other suggestions?
Thanks so much for reading!
Unfortunately the steamer is target exclusive right now but An post have a new service called address pal where you can get things that usually only ship to America shipped to Ireland – I would recommend looking into that!