Friday, December 30, 2011

Packing for Maui

This trip, I'm sharing a bigger luggage bag (my Brics xtravel spinner) with my baby sister and bringing my Sanaa Hyder carry on. We managed to fit 7 days worth of clothing for two people, plus bathing suits (multiple sets for each of us), snorkels, and shoes in that one bag. I think that's pretty impressive. We used the rolling technique (saves so much space!) and packed thin, light clothing (which makes sense for our destination).

For Christmas, my sister got me a Michael Kors crossbody bag (it's tiny and amazing) and all of my essentials fit neatly inside. I'm really not a purse person - I prefer to be minimal and carry just my wallet, phone, and car keys in my jacket pockets - but of course for travel, it's important to keep all of your stuff contained (pickpockets!).

I'm pretty much done packing everything up but I made myself a list of last minute items I need to remember (things I use regularly like my glasses, phone charger, and wallet that I can't pack away ahead of time) and I just have to do a final run through.

And of course, tomorrow morning I'll be up bright and early to check everyone into their flights so that we have good seats. **TIP! When you're booking your flights initially, even if you can't find seats next to your travel cohorts or your only options are horrible ones adjacent to the lavatories, when you check into your flight, there's a good chance that you'll have the ability to get better seats. Just check in as early as possible (24 hours before the flight is standard but may differ by airline) to see which seats might've opened up. It's kind of a first come, first serve thing because people cancel or miss the plane, etc.

Two days!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Homemade Guidebooks

Frommer's and Lonely Planet are my two favorite guidebook people. That being said, I'm not always inclined to buy a guidebook for every destination I visit because it's costly.

However, I am completely unopposed to making my own guidebook at home. I've found that as far as online information availability, Frommer's offers quite a bit more than Lonely Planet but everyone's travel guide needs are different so to each his/her own.

Using Frommer's, I made myself a little packet of information for Maui. I copy and pasted all the information I thought we might need (best beaches, great dining spots, etc.) and made one thick booklet and then made a smaller booklet for the Road to Hana, which will be an all day expedition for us. Making your own guidebook means that all of the information is personalized and you can cut out anything that is irrelevant to your trip. Guidebooks can be heavy and take up a lot of precious room. Plus, with these homemade ones, I won't worry too much if I damage or lose it (and if I am worried about that, I can always print out a backup copy).
These do look a little plain right now but that's part of the fun as well - decorating them!

And then I pack everything I need away in a cute little plastic sleeve. I put in the guidebooks, our boarding passes, and directions to and from the airport. Don't mind those weird sticker things. I used picnik to edit the photo and cover up the confirmation #s, just for security reasons.


Three days!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Neck Support

Thank you, Ikea, for carrying super cheap, super functional travel pillows! I bought a bunch of neck pillows from Ikea last week at $3.99 a piece (normally $4.99, but $1 off with the Ikea family card - free to sign up). The UPPTÄCKA travel series has a bunch of fun stuff - rolling backpacks, totes, and neck pillows. For some reason, the U.S. Ikea site doesn't have the neck pillows but I did manage to find them at the Baltimore Ikea (which is conveniently located right across from my hotel).

The pillow comes in a nice little mesh drawstring pouch and it's pretty tiny. I'd compare it to a little 1 pt water bottle.
Inside there's a little inflatable cushion (which I tested out and you have to squeeze the mouthpiece to let the air out, makes for easy inflating) and a soft, quilted cover. You have to put the cover on before you blow it up, otherwise it's difficult to put inside.
Here's a better shot of the quilted cover. It's really soft and looks pretty durable.
My sister and I are starting to stress a bit about being on a plane for 10+ hours and I think these pillows are offering a bit of relief. We're also packing anti-nausea medication in our tiny first aid kit.

And here's just a little look into my weird packing habits. I like to make a pile of everything I might want to bring and then a few days before departure, I'll try it all on and do a bit of fine tuning. It's always a bit of a treat to pack for warm/tropical destinations because everything is so tiny and light and thin so I don't have to worry so much about space. I can pack a few more things, guilt-free.
13 days! :):)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I think I've found it!

I believe I have found my perfect carry-on bag. I'm not sure yet because I only just ordered it so I'm still waiting for it to arrive in the mail.
This is the "Charlie the Dino Print Daytime Tote" from the zh collection by Sanaa Hyder. I was able to snag one from Hautelook for $65 (50ish% off).

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Hawaiian Shirts

Here's the result of yesterday's boredom:





















I started to plan outfits for Maui. I love making lists and pictorial lists are just as fun.

January weather fluctuates between 65 and 85 degrees so I need to plan for slightly cooler weather (in the evenings and early morning) and for days spent snorkeling and lounging on the beach in the hot hot sun. We're also going to watch the sunrise over Haleakala (I'm really excited for this) and it's going to be 40 degrees on top of the mountain so I plan on wearing the warm weather garb I'll be sporting to Newark Airport. Plus, my cousin's having a little on-the-beach wedding ceremony along with a dinner at the Lahaina Luau that same evening so I'm going to need something kind of fancy (because I want to look good in photos).

Oh gosh. 25 days.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Adventure

Recently, I walked around New York City to get macarons from Laduree and I ended up at Chanel.
I couldn't justify buying anything lambskin but I did settle for a lipstick. The shade, which is light pink, is called Aventure, which is French for "Adventure." I think it's so appropriate.

I'd love to return to a time where people dressed up to go to the airport and this lipstick makes me feel so grownup and fancy, it inspires me.
Dressing up is reserved for special occasions so getting fancy to go on holiday makes it feel extra special.

26 days until Maui and I'm itching to hop on that plane, maybe not in my Sunday best but definitely wearing something special.

Friday, December 02, 2011

The Braid

I don't know about you, but riding on a plane, train, or bus for hours always leaves me feeling a little greasy and grimy. I think it has to do with the recycled air and the fact that the chair I'm sitting on has been used by millions of people before me. I find that the easiest way to feel fresh and not horribly disgusting when I arrive at my destination is to make sure I've done something with my hair.

My favorite thing to do is braid!

1. I like to pull my bangs back with a small braid along my hairline with the rest of my hair down. It's a half french braid, meaning I pull and incorporate bits of hair only from the hair closer to my face. For me, this works best when my hair is wet; results in the least amount of flyaways and stray hairs poking out all over the place.

I like this because it keeps the hair out of my face but it looks really polished. I'll do this when I want to leave my hair down.

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