June 2010 Newsletter

Dear friend,

The days of summer beckon!  By all means, answer their call.  Escape to the beach, become lost in a great novel, BBQ every night, camp under the stars.  Summer is usually the time when most of us take a vacation.  Follow the travel tips below to make getting to your destination as stress-free as possible.  Read on...

Simply yours,

Summer Travel Tips:

Survive lost luggage, canceled planes, and rigorous airport security

Ralph Waldo Emerson famously said that life is a journey, not a destination (for those of you that prefer classic rock over classic poetry, Aerosmith also sang these words).  While I agree with their philosophy, it’s a difficult creed to follow when you’re planning your summer vacation.  When the destination is a sun-drenched tropical paradise, it’s easy to forget about the journey that must be traversed to get there.   If you’re like me, the journey often involves a shuttle, three layovers on a plane with too-small seats, a foul-smelling taxi, and a hotel room that is not ready yet.  The tips below are an attempt to make your journey just as fantastic as the destination itself.  The tips I’m sharing with you are from lifestyle expert Colin Cowie.  I also added some of my own that I learned while living out of one suitcase for four months while traveling to Africa. 

The following are his and my suggestions:

What to Wear
DO wear slip-on shoes with no buckles or metal on them.
DO wear thin cotton socks to avoid walking barefoot on the dirty airport floor.
DO wear wrinkle-free clothes.
DO layer your clothes.  Plane temperatures are impossible to predict so you want to be able to add or subtract a layer very easily.
DON’T wear pajamas.  You can be comfortable and not look like a slob.  If you land in New York and your bag is in Los Angeles, you still want to look presentable.
DON’T wear a belt.
DON’T wear excessive jewelry.

What to Eat
DO bring along your own healthy snacks.  High-protein, low-sugar snacks are the best.  The night before your flight pack some nuts, a piece of fruit, some cheese and deli meat in a Ziploc bag that can easily fit in your carry-on.  Remember, bottles of water or any other liquid will not make it through security.
DON’T rely on the airport’s fast-food pit stops or the plane providing any food (most flights no longer offer meals unless it’s a very long journey).

Carry-on Bag
DO pack what you cannot live without for 24 hours.
DO pack toiletries in the required one quart bag.  Sample size shampoos and soaps are ideal since they take up very little room
Cowie recommends packing the following:
     - Cables; iPod; and cell charger (in their own small bag)
     - Book you're reading
     - Plastic folder with your itinerary – here is one I use from The Container Store http://bit.ly/bTWLdK
     - Important phone numbers
     - Copy of your insurance, business cards and a note pad.
     - Cowie keeps $60 of $5s and $1s for tipping
     - Proof of ID
     - Copy of passport - make sure you keep separate from original
     - Disinfectant wipes to wipe down the seat on the plane
     - Purell antibacterial hand wash
     - Shout wipes in case you get something on your clothes
     - Lightweight blanket. A black pashmina can be used as neck roll or a blanket to keep warm
DO pack what I call my lifesavers – an eyemask, ear plugs, and motion sickness medicine. 

How to Pack
DO bring only a carry-on if possible.
DO pick one or two colors for all outfits so they can be mixed and matched.
DO check the weather prior to packing.
DO pack each outfit in its own bag.  The Container Store has great travel bags for clothes.  You can also use large Ziploc bags.
DO put tissue paper in your shoes so they keep their shape.
DO pack jersey dresses if possible, ladies, since they look fantastic and don’t wrinkle much.
DO put a towel on the hotel bed for your suitcase.  Remember, your suitcase has just been thrown around in the belly of a plane, rolled across who knows what, and you don’t want any of those germs where you’re about to lie down.
DO pack accessories and plenty of them so you can add personality to your outfits.   A jewelry roll keeps your jewelry safe and takes up very little space.
DO edit, edit, edit your bag before you leave!  Most of us pack way too much stuff!

Summer Reads
Two of Simplify’s recent newsletter contributors have published books that hit the shelves this summer.  I could not be more proud to share them with you.

"Magical Housekeeping" by feng shui expert Tess Whitehurst

"Unstuff Your Life!: Kick the Clutter Habit and Completely Organize Your Life for Good"
By Andrew Mellen