Monday, June 16, 2014

Elegant Summer Travel Tips - 2014 Edition

 I love clothes.  I love trips.  I love wearing snazzy clothes on trips.  With that being said, however, one thing remains that I don’t love:  lugging around tons of luggage, because traveling, while wonderful, can be a pain in the neck, so why add to the trouble by over packing? 
Unless one is taking a months-on-end extended holiday, one should never carry more than one suitcase and one travel-bag.  I’ve had the very good fortune to travel to many places world-wide, and did so each and every time with my belongings packed away in one mid-size case.
So, how did I do it, you may be asking yourself (or not).  I’m happy to share my elegant travel tips with you, Sweetie, provided you promise to abide by them:
1.      Go with separates, preferably in wrinkle-free fabric.  I spent ten days in Spain with only three pair of trousers and a small variety of tops and cardigans.  Mix and match, and take advantage of any laundry services your hotel provides.  If no service is available, or if you’re a tightwad, carry a small bottle of travel wash and rinse your things out in a sink if necessary.  Travel-size Febreeze is a God-send.
2.     I rarely pack shampoos/conditioners/lotions because hotels have these readily available.  If they don’t carry your brand, who cares?  You’ll be back to your tried-and-true products soon enough.  I once forgot to pack a toothbrush; hotels will gladly give you one just for the asking.  Same goes for razors, but not for restocking the mini-bar.   I learned that the hard way in Italy.
3.      This time of year, easy-breezy dresses are a must.  Rather than fold, roll and place them inside your suitcase.  This will leave you plenty of extra space for a couple of nice hats and a small accessory bag (mix and match your bling).
4.     When it comes to shoes, a couple of pair should do you.  Be sure to add a nice pair of heels in case you’re invited to a fabulous party.  I’m never invited to parties when I travel, but perhaps you’re more likeable than me. Or perhaps you just  give off a certain vibe.
5.     No need to pack a robe and slippers – your hotel will probably offer those, too.  Call ahead or check the hotel’s website before arriving in order to make sure. If not, take along one in the lightest of fabric, and substitute the slippers with the pair of flip-flops you’ve probably already packed.
6.     If you happen to be staying with friends, do take along travel-size essentials.  Nobody likes a mooch.  Don’t clutter the countertops with your toiletries, either.  Remain tidy if you want to be asked to return someday.
And while I’m on the subject, here’s a random sampling of other things you shouldn’t do when staying in someone else’s home:  complain, turn on the TV without asking, allow your hostess to clear your plate after dinner, point out the faults of your host’s home, not give them a gift at the end of the visit (preferably cash, if you’re staying with me), and nude napping.
So let’s move on to what not to do whilst staying in a hotel:  get drunk, get arrested, allow children to scream up and down the halls during ungodly hours of the morning, go out to the pool without a proper swimsuit cover-up, overindulge at the complimentary coffee bar (I’m guilty of this, so we'll take it case by case). Now that I think of it, these should also hold true if you’re staying with friends.
But the most important thing to remember is to never inundate your host or your hotel with every possession you own.  Lighten up when it comes to travel, Sweetie.  I think you’ll enjoy the trip so much more if you do.
Happy travels!

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