In this post I will share a few tips on how to prepare for your first hot air balloon ride. I consider myself an expert now that I have been up in one exactly one time! Lol
Ok so I am not an expert, but I can share a few tips, here we go!
Hot Air Balloon Fashion
The perfect way to ruin your ballooning experience is to show up dresses improperly. Chances are you’ll have to be onsite before dawn; make certain you’re warm enough to get you through till sunrise. We had a few in our group who were cold and cranky before we even got off the ground. I was happy we didn’t end up in their balloon.
The trick is to dress in layers, I had a t-shirt, my trusty black turtle neck and a light fleece like zip jacket. I threw a pair of light gloves in my cross body purse before leaving the house and I actually wore them before lift off. It gets cold in the desert before sunrise.
You also need sneakers; sandals and flip flops are a no, no. And make sure you are wearing socks. When you are in the air, your bottom half can get cold, while your top half gets hot; the big burners that heat the balloon air give off a lot of heat.
You also have to climb into the balloon basket, like literally climb, straddle the side and get yourself inside, so make sure your pants will accommodate this movement. I wore jeans with stretch.
If you have long hair tie it up or wear a hat, you don’t want your hair getting caught up in the burners.
What Should You Bring With You?
The views are absolutely spectacular, so make certain your phone is charged, you’ll want to take a lot of pics. My friend brought his camera and small case; I had a cross body purse that I use when I travel. There isn’t much room in the balloon basket so just bring a small bag.
The air is cool the higher you go, so I packed tissues and my sunglasses in my bag. They provided us with a bottle of water.
You will have to sign a waiver, we had to sign two. The captain will go over the safety rules and will make you practice a rough landing position, aka a crash landing. I obviously knew there isn’t landing gear on these things, but I never really put much thought into how they landed. They can hit pretty hard, bounce and drag before they come to a full stop…oh and the basket can tip over…with you in it.
We had a smooth landing, but I was ready! My knees were slightly bent and I was facing in the direction that the captain had instructed us to face. I took these rules very seriously; I may or may not have “bossed” other passengers to turn around and face the other way??? I can’t really recall for sure in all the excitement, but that could have happened?? Lol
What I found a bit surprising is that the balloon basket is sub divided into sections. So there isn’t a lot of room to move around. This is so you don’t bounce around in the event of a rough landing.
I am not really scared of heights, but I am scared of falling to my death. The basket sides are high, I am 5’7, the side of the basket was mid boob height on me, lol. This made me feel secure; you aren’t dangling over the edge, you are pretty contained.
Enjoy the Ride!
It was such a cool feeling to float, we reached a maximum speed of 12 miles per hour. It was very peaceful and serene. I would highly recommend a balloon ride to anyone visiting, who is feeling adventurous; and to locals who want to see Vegas from above. It was $140, tax included, so not crazy expensive.
The colorful balloons against the blue sky were so pretty it almost looked fake.
Vegas Hot Air, Sin City Balloon Rides, is the company we went with; they had three balloons in the air that morning. There were a few other balloons from different companies in the air when we ventured out. They look deceivingly small in the air.
We got a great view of the strip in the distance, but the view of the mountains that surround Vegas was spectacular. I am fairly certain most tourist that stay on the strip aren’t even aware that Las Vegas is in a valley. You don’t see the mountains when on the strip.
What Goes Up, Must Come Down.
I think we were in the air for over an hour ish? Time flew bye, pun intended.
It’s a balloon tradition to have champagne after each ride. Captain Mike was awesome, all the staff were friendly and made it fun. Side note, captain Mike had the nicest teeth, lol. I felt, I needed to add that completely irrelevant detail… you are welcome!! 😜
I highly recommend Vegas Hot Air Sin City Balloon Rides, tell them Liette sent you. They will have absolutely no idea who the heck I am, lol.
Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have any ballooning questions!
Montréal in February isn’t for the faint of heart; but it is a beautiful and vibrant city no matter what time of the year…but maybe just a bit more vibrant in the spring, summer and fall?? Lol
If you do decide to come here in February, you will need a few essential items; like a tuque (it’s a beanie for my American friends), mittens, they will keep your hands warmer than gloves; and winter boots. And by winter boots, I mean boots with grips, a fur lining is a plus too.
In this post, I tried a new hotel, visited a Nordic spa, did a bit of shopping and ate on the run; oh and I ducked into a historic church.
I was here for a quick work trip and tried to squeeze as much as I could in the short time I was here. Here are my suggestions if you find yourself in Montréal and are wondering what to do…in February.
I love trying new hotels and one of the advantages of traveling off season, February is off season, is that you can get really great rates. This trip we decided to try Le Saint Sulpice Hôtel Montréal, it’s a chic hotel in the heart of old Montréal.
The hotel is located on rue Saint Sulpice, which is located right behind Notre Dame Basilica; now I am not a huge church person, but this one is impressive.
Above is what it looks like during the day; below is a night view, if you are in the area, you may as well peek inside, it’s really pretty.
When checking into the hotel, we lucked out and got upgraded to suites, which is another perk of traveling off season. Always be nice and chatty with the front desk people…always!!
My room had a large seating area with a stone wall.
It overlooked rue Saint Sulpice with a great view of the cobblestone roads, there are cobblestones under the snow, I promise, lol.
But my favorite part of my room and the hotel was the bathroom! More specifically the tub!
This is my dream bathroom; not only did it have a big shower, it also had a big tub! I love baths!!!
They also had L’Occidane bath products, which are super fancy!! I brought all my leftover bottles home.
We flew in on Sunday and by the time we checked into the hotel it was early evening. The temperature was -12 Celsius, which for some of my readers doesn’t sound that cold, but because Montréal is on the water, it’s a damp cold, so it feels colder. What could be more fabulous than a Nordic Spa on a wintry Sunday night?? Nothing!
Scandinave Spa Vieux-Montréal is located just down the street from our hotel. We asked the concierge at the hotel for the address, he said take a right, you’ll see and smell the eucalyptus steam.
If you haven’t been to a Nordic Spa, they have hot baths and saunas with cold dipping pools and cold showers. So you go from the hot sauna to the cold shower to the hot pool, followed by the cold dipping pool; and then you repeat.
I did the hot bath and the cold dipping pool. It’s so cold it picks your skin; the trick is to dip quickly and go back to the hot pool. It’s supposed to be good for you; it was surprisingly invigorating. I don’t like saunas and the cold shower just seemed like a dumb idea, lol, so I skipped those. They also have relaxation areas where people go to to relax and nap.
I get bored “relaxing” for too long, I did sit there and people watched before moving on. The one thing that I don’t love about Nordic spas is that you aren’t allowed to talk. I guess that may be the reason why some people go? But I am chatty.
After I soaked, dipped, relaxed while silent; I went for a massage. And wow! It was one of the best massages I have ever had!! My masseuse’s name was Nicholas, he was from France; if you go, you should ask for him. He was awesome and his Parisian accent was dreamy, ok, I actually don’t know if he was from Paris, but his French accent was very different than the accent Québécois and Acadiens. Not that it was better…ok, it may have been a little better? But just because it sounded more exotic to me. No offense to the Quebecers or my fellow Acadians…ok, enough about accents, moving on, lol.
I walked back to the hotel so relaxed I didn’t even feel the cold, I realized that this was the perfect way to spend a Sunday night in Montréal…in February.
Next time I am in town I am going to try Bota Bota Spa-sure-l’eau; it’s a spa on a boat, it looks really cool! Let me know if any of you have been there, if so what did you think??
Montréal is probably one of the chicest cities in North America; top three for sure! So it goes without saying that the shopping here is amazing!
Here are my fav stores.
You should start in and around rue St Catherine; there you will find the Hudson Bay and the Eaton’s Center.
For my American friends, The Bay is a huge high end department store. It was a fur trading company founded in 1670 and is the oldest incorporated joint-stock merchandising company in the English-speaking world. All that to say, it’s a big part of the history of Canada and a great place to shop; it’s similar to Sasks Fith Avenue Department Store.
The Eaton’s Center is a huge mall, located in the middle of downtown. Montréal has an extensive underground walkway, you can get in and around The Bay to the Eaton’s Center without having to go outside; which comes in handy on cold winter days. I braved the cold and walked outside, living in Las Vegas for a few years now, I felt that walking in the cold may help me get my Canadian street cred back?
Rudsak is a Canadian company; it’s described as a luxury fashion company. It’s on the pricey side, but their items will last forever!! Almost every item in their store was black or gray, so my kind of place. It’s my bff’s, Guylaine’s, fav store.
They had everything you need to survive a Montréal winter in style! They also had beautiful purses. I felt butterflies in my stomach as soon as I saw them, but walked away before I fell in love; as I walked away I repeated in my head: you do not need another purse…you do not need another purse!!! Ouff, that was a close call.
They have a few locations, I went to the one inside Eaton’s Center.
Aritzia is another Canadian company; it was founded in Vancouver. They focus on individual style and quality garments. They also have a store in the Eaton’s Center; if you haven’t shopped there, check them out. Their clothes are more affordable than Rudsak. They remind me a bit of Zara.
COS is my current fav store; it’s a Swedish company with locations scattered in key chic cities around the world. I’ve been to the store in Toronto and Paris; they also have a store on rue St. Catherine here in Montréal. I didn’t make it there on this trip, partly because I didn’t know they had a store when I was downtown and partly because I didn’t want to know for fear of buying something. My bag is already over weight, I’ve been gone three weeks, so I needed a lot of stuff and winter stuff is heavier; but I will visit on my next trip for sure.
One thing that I will say about COS, is that if you check them out online, you may think they are very boring, the clothes on their site look boring, but their stores are super chic in person. They offer classic pieces that will never go out of style. They also have cool hip pieces that are sure to become classics. They have great quality stuff, so I don’t mind paying a little bit more; but prices aren’t super crazy. My friend Aline first introduced me to this store…thank you!
I am giving a shout out to the Banana Republic on St Catherine just because it’s one of the bigger Banana stores that I have been in and the building is historic and funky. I bought a blouse!! It’s light weight so shouldn’t add any weight to my suitcase, in case you are worried about me, lol.
Montréal is a foodies dream, so many amazingly yummy places. It’s fun to discover hidden gems as you walk through the city. Montréal is know for their smoke meat sandwiches and their bagels, personally I prefer Montreal bagels to New York’s.
I would recommend making friends with your hotels concierge; they will know all the best places to eat.
Because this trip was super short, we didn’t have time for a fancy meal. We did grab a pizza before our spa night. Pizzeria Bros is almost across the street from Notre Dame; you can create your own pizza, each pizza is cooked in its own red pizza oven, super cute and yummy, easy on the budget too.
Montréal has a definite Euro vibes, there is literally a coffee and/or pastry shop on every corner, especially in old Montréal. While walking back from my meetings, I stopped into Olive and Gourmando; I had heard so many good things about this place, I needed to see what all the talk was about.
It was packed!!! I didn’t have the patience to wait in line in the cold doorway, so I got a few things to go. My fave was the blueberry tart. It’s obviously the “it” place to meet with friends, but if you are looking for a quiet place to catch up, this isn’t the place, lol. It’s more of a see and be seen place.
Even though my time in this beautiful city was short, and cold, I tried to soak in as much as I could. There is so much to do and see, 24hrs is a joke, but it’s better than nothing. There was a winter festival happening the week after I left, the locals are not afraid of a little cold; so there is lots to do in the winter; but there is something magical about the city in the summer.
My next trip back is planned for July, I will do a follow up post at that time that showcases the summer vibe. So what’s your favorite thing to do in Montréal?
Seeing Red! Finding the Perfect Shade of Lipstick.
It won’t be a shock to anyone to hear that I have a thing for red lipsticks. Ok, it may be a minor obsession? I am always on the hunt for that perfect shade of red. When I am stressed or feeling blah, a new lipstick perks me up and makes me feel fancy!
Here are a few of my personal favs that are versatile and will probably look good on you too. I also recruited my BFF and her daughter for their favorite brands and shades.
If you are looking for a creamy, full coverage lipstick that stays on, try the line Bite. I asked my best friend and her 18 year old daughter to show me their top two red lipsticks. All three of us had a Bite shade listed as our favorite.
Guylaine, my bff, recommends Tannin, it’s a deep red with blue undertone; I may need to add it to my collection? Gaspacho is my newest red, it’s a nice bright cheery red. Sour Cherry was Emma’s pick, it’s a pinkish red; I also love Sour Cherry; it’s the color I am wearing it in my feature image above.
Oh and this brand smells and tastes yummy, it’s very “citrusssy”! Guylaine is forever licking hers off, lol.
Emma’s other fav is M.A.C.’s Russian Red, which made me laugh because her mother and I were wearing this shade when she was a baby. I’d like to think that I’ve been a positive lipstick role model for her growing up?
Guylaine and I have been friends since we were 14; we grew up with moms who would give us the once over before we left the house: “tu sort pas de la maison sans rouge à lèvres? » Translation, you aren’t leaving the house without lipstick are you?
Russian Red is an “I am not messing around shade”; it’s definitely Acadian mother approved! It’s also super versatile, it’s flattering on fair skin tones like me and also super flattering on darker complexions like the photo above.
I also love and always have the shade Moxie in my purse, also by M.A.C. If you want a beginner red, please try this one; it goes on a pretty sheer, so don’t be intimidated when you see the tube. Try it!
Also if you are trying red for the first time, put it on and then dab it off. So it won’t be so “BAM”! A lot of people tell me, I can’t wear red; which is bullshit, lol. You just need to find your shade and get used to the power that comes with red. Baby steps…
I gave my friend Mary a lip makeover and got her turned on to reds. We were in Montreal when she said she wanted to get away from the brown shades she had been wearing. I am not even joking, we were in a M.A.C. within 10 minutes and were out the door with matching Moxie shades not long after. I loved this color so much, I have bought it three times without realizing I already had it.
Kat Von D
I have a few Kat Von D lipsticks in my makeup bag. I recently wanted to buy a new Bachelorette, which was also universally pretty on everyone; fair, medium and dark skin tones. I think it’s been discontinued, which is a bummer; I was told that Outlaw is their new best red seller. I haven’t tried it yet; we’ll see if it’s as versatile as Bachelorette?
What Shade is Right for You?
If you are fair, look for reds with blue undertones, if you aren’t sure what colors have a blue undertone? Just ask the makeup artists onsite. Lighter skin tones can also wear a red with coral or pink undertones. I am fair, but I stay away from corals because they don’t work on me; pinks are all good though!
If your skin tone is more on the olive side, then stick with reds that have corals or orange undertones.
If you have a dark complexion, a deep red with blue undertones will be the most flattering on you!
I recommend going to Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart, or wherever it is you shop and ask for help. Ask them for recommendations on a few red options for you. BTW it may take you a few wears to get used to seeing red on you, just don’t give up! No one likes a quitter, lol.
I hope you enjoyed this post; with Valentines Day right around the corner, I think you should treat yourself to a new lipstick!! And then find someone to kiss and mess it all up!!
Click on like below if you like it, share it on Facebook if you loved it!! As for comments; do you wear red lipstick? If not? What’s holding you back??
(for my subscribers, if you are reading from your email, click on the title, it will make everything look fancier).
Lots of cities have Chinatown’s; New York, San Diego, Vancouver are just a few that come to mind, but did you know that Las Vegas has it’s very own Chinatown? Neither did I until I moved here. It’s just two miles from the strip, along Spring Mountain Road.
Anyone who has been to Las Vegas in the past few years is painfully aware that it has become a very expensive city; especially if you are staying and eating on the strip. I encourage you to take a super short Uber ride over to Chinatown. It’s by far the best bang for your buck! And what a yummy bang it is, lol.
I am not a Dim Sum expert by any means…like really not. I am just a French Canadian girl trying new things and sharing my experiences. So let’s get started; and by started, I mean let’s eat!
The first advice I was given about Dim Sum, was not to fill up on rice or noodles; so what were the first two items we got? Yup, rice and noodles, lol. The second advice was don’t order coffee, because they serve tea. So what was the second thing we did? You guessed it, my friend ordered coffee; we were off to a great start!
Dim Sum is traditionally served for breakfast, but in the US and Canada, it’s more of a brunch thing.
If you have never been to a Dim Sum, here’s how it works; they roll out carts of food and you select which small plates you want, no menus needed. It’s perfect for sharing, so bring a few friends.
The carts come out in random order and they keep coming, so take your time. You can let a cart go, it will come back; I promise!
Chinatown has an abundance of restaurants; we went to Honk Kong Garden, there are two of them, this one serves Dim Sum, see above.
There are so many hidden gems in Chinatown, we have visited a few so far. We used Yelp for a bit of guidance; all have been fantastic and cheap!!!
The top left dish was shrimp and top right was pork, sorry I didn’t get the official names, the carts were just coming at me so fast I couldn’t keep up, lol.
We ate a lot!! You will leave full, but please save some room for desert.
Hong Kong Garden is my friend, Michael’s fav restaurant, even though you can eat desert first, he advised against it. So I did wait to eat one of these custard filled rolls until after I was done dim suming (yes, I know it’s not a real word); and omg, it was so good! It was still warm, crusty sugar on top and a gooey custard in the center.
So here is my hard hitting question for you; how adventurous are you? Would you have tried the chicken feet? I passed, but I did try a few new things and like them.
Chinese New Year is quickly approaching, it’s Feb 5th; so Happy Year! This year is year of the Pig, in case you were wondering…you’re welcome.
Is it possible to pack for ten days with just a carry on suitcase? Yes! Do I do it often? No! Lol, but I can, I just chose not to most of the time.
I recently went to Paris with one carry on; here’s how and what I packed.
The key to having a chic wardrobe is to stick with one main color; my uniform is black, but my frequent flyer and anti-bag checker friend Cindy, prefers navy to black. Do you boo!
The trick is that everything needs to go with everything; when traveling light you need to be focused and plan things out.
My number one item of clothing that I couldn’t live or travel without is a black turtleneck, not in summer, obviously.
I bought this black turtleneck in Toronto in August. #1. I wore it in Moncton, Canada, in November. #2. Paris in October, #3. Christmas Eve, again in Canada; I wore with faux leather leggings and boots, in case you were wondering; and finally #4. January in Las Vegas, yes it does get cool enough.
My point here is that I have been wearing it for months and I don’t think anyone has really noticed how often I have been repeating it…I guess until now, lol. I paid close to $200, which seemed pricey at the time, but some things are worth paying more for. Go for quality over quantity.
What’s in my suitcase
1 black turtleneck
2 pairs of black jeans, 1 pair of blue jeans, 1 pair of black faux leather leggings and one black pair of yoga pants. If sharing a room, it’s good to lounge in your yoga pants.
2 black t-shirts, 1 black and white blouse.
1 black blazer, I worn mine to dinner, it made me feel dressed up and polished.
1 large scarf, mine is leopard. 1 hat and 1 pair of sunglasses, don’t forget your sunglasses!
I do all black underwear, my rule is if I am gone 7 days, I pack 9 pairs of panties. 1 black bra, 1 one piece bodysuit, 2 black tank tops and black socks.
1 travel tote bag for the plane, in my previous post, I shared my tips on what to carry in your tote bag, if you haven’t read that post, go read it now…we will wait for you to finish.
I travel with a black leather cross body, it’s a men’s Coach bag, I love it!! A cross body bag is a must for travel; make sure it crosses in front of you when in pickpocket areas. I also pack a second smaller leather cross body; I use it for nights out when I just need my wallet and lipstick. I pack makeup in it in my carry on so it is serving a purpose and not just taking up space.
1 black light weight puffy jacket, depending on where I am going. I didn’t pack for Paris, but did for Canada. The beauty of this jacket is that it balls up into a small pouch that can be used as a travel pillow. The scarf goes in my red tote bag and can be used as a blanket on the plane; planes get cold!!
Black leather ankle booties, black sneakers, mine are Nike and I brought a pair of black knee high suede boots that took up a lot of space; did I need them? No, did I only wear them once? Yes.
Pack it up!
I rolled up my blue jeans, black jeans, leather leggings and yoga pants. Rolling your stuff does save on space. I do a combo roll and fold; I folded one of my black t-shirts and my blouse. My go to travel outfit lately is a pair of black jeans, black t-shirt and my turtleneck. I always layer up! I also like wearing my Nike sneakers, just in case I need to run to make my connection.
In the picture above, I added my freezer Ziploc with my underwear and socks; and my bag with my toiletries, no liquids!!! Keep your baggie of creams and liquids in your tote bag. You don’t want to have to open your suitcase while going through security, that would be a rookie mistake!! Lol
I folded my blazer on top and locked and loaded everything in…ok I clicked them in, locked and loaded sounded cooler, lol.
I have my booties and knee high boots in the other side. I stuffed my hair straightener and other stuff in the boots. Side note, if traveling internationally, make sure you have the proper outlet converter.
My suitcase expands, but make sure you can fit everything in it without expanding, so that if you buy things on your trip…ok, when you buy things, you have some room to…well to expand lol.
The picture above is what I carry in my tote, again, for more details check out my Flying High post.
In addition to what is pictured above, when I am flying with a carry on suitcase, I add more stuff in my tote bag.
In the bottom of the tote is my jacket, yup it fits!! I also add my larger leather cross body purse. I zip my passport and my iPad in my purse, so this purse in a bag serves as extra compartments. And the very last thing I add is my small baggie with my creams and liquids so that I can take it out quickly when going through security. Please don’t be that person who acts all stunned when it’s your turn to put your stuff in the binds in security….PLEASE!!!
You need to focus or others will hate you!! Joking, a little; put your suitcase on the belt, put your tote bag in a bin, take your liquids baggie out of the tote, lay it beside the tote and take your iPad or computer out too. Take your shoes off and move along!
Yes, I realize my tote bag is almost as big as my suitcase, but you are allowed two bags. The suitcase goes in the overhead compartment and the tote bag with everything you will need during your flight goes under the seat in front of you. It all works!!!
Do you have any packing tips? If so, please share!
Thank you for reading, like and share if you are feeling generous.
Nuts for DoNuts! In search of Las Vegas’ best donuts.
Now in the spirit of the new year and in honor of our collective resolutions to eat better…to be better; I am going to take one for the team and taste test one of Vegas’ best doughnut shops…you are welcome!
We will be taste testing donuts from Las Vegas Donut Bar. They are hugely popular in San Diego and now making waves in Las Vegas. They have great social media buzz; we are going to see what all the buzz is about and we’ll let you know if you should spend the calories and your hard earned cash there.
They are located at 124 S 6th St. #140, which is in the heart of downtown. Having been told that they open early and stay open until they run out of donuts, we made sure to get there early. We arrived and were busy eating before the crowds showed up, so yay us!
My brave volunteers tasters today are Lynn and Olivia.
Today’s special was a French toast donut and a grilled cheese donut. I am a lover of grilled cheeses, so I am currently kicking myself for not trying it, but it’s because I was swayed by the pretty colors and sprinkles of the other donuts.
(OK side note!! Canadians spell doughnut like this, not like “donut” this, lol. I am using the American spelling because I thought “DoNuts” in my title was cute and Las Vegas Donut Bar spell it “donut”. Now we can continue, just needed that out of the way, lol.)
The staff were super friendly and welcoming; we chose three donuts and Olivia got one free, she’s just that cute.
We chose the unicorn donut…how could we not??? The strawberry shortcake and the crème brûlée, that’s the smaller one in bottom left, in the image above. BTW the crème brûlée donut is not baby sized, the strawberry shortcakes and unicorn donuts are just extra big. Olivia got the purple spider.
The reason why I didn’t get the grilled cheese donut was because I thought it would be too sweet. But their actual donut isn’t sweet, it’s very light and fluffy. Even though this donut was massive it didn’t feel heavy, the cream was light, the powdered sugar on top was really the only sweet thing. It was yummy! I should have tried the grilled cheese one though, not doing so is clearly a donut mistake! But the strawberry was delish, will just need to go back to try the grilled cheese.
Lynn’s crème brûlée donut had a hard sugar coating on top and a beautiful custard inside, mmm!
Olivia’s purple spider donut was a hit too. Her white shirt wasn’t so white when done, lol.
Being the team player that I am, I gave the unicorn a taste even though I was already full and found it fresh, light, fluffy and yummy!
We are giving Las Vegas Donut Bar, 4 Timbits out of 5! Which is an amazing score, my Canadian friends will get the reference, lol. Their store was clean, staff friendly and the donuts looked and tasted expensive and bougie, but we’re very reasonably priced.
If you are a local, give them a try; if visiting from away, check them out!! They would probably be great after a festive night of out…if you know what I mean?
If anyone knows of another donut hot spots in Vegas that I should try, let me know! And let me know what your favorite flavor is?
Thanks for reading!! Be sweet and share or like…do you!! lol
Since I fly the “friendly” skies…a lot; I thought I would share some of the things I have discovered over the years that make flying a bit more enjoyable. I am also friends with a lot of frequent flyers and have added some of their helpful hints in this post too.
Full disclosure, I usually check my suitcase because I hate lugging too many things around. And my #1 traveling pet peeve are those people who try to shove their too big carry on suitcases in the overhead compartment….you know who you are!! But I did recently go to Paris for a week with just a carry on. I will share my carry on suitcase packing tips in a future post.
Here’s what I pack in my bag.
I have spent a small fortune so far in search of the perfect carry on bag. Some come close, but none are perfect; I feel that I could probably design the perfect carry on bag at this point.
The most important thing I look for are enough pockets and dividers…oh and it needs to have a zipper! You don’t want to lose your stuff under the seat in front of you, trust me.
This is my latest bag, it’s stylish and pretty functional. One thing that is missing is a slit on the back that you can slide over the handle of your suitcase. I have found bags with such a slit, but they didn’t have all the compartments and zippers I like. So it’s not perfect, but it comes pretty close…for now.
Oh fun fact, I bought a super duper expensive red designer leather tote bag that I thought would be so chic for flying; it turned out to be the worst!! This red canvas bag above was $49; so the cost of the bag doesn’t always reflect its level of functionality.
My secret weapon
It’s super important that your bag is organized. Unless you fly first class, you will find that there is zero room for error in the limited leg room space available to you. My secret to keeping my bag organized is Ziploc bags!!
I use the bigger freezer bags and sandwich sized bags; you can buy fancy bags, but really why would you? Lol
Baby It’s Cold On Board!
I dress in layers, because I guarantee that you will be hot and then cold at some point during your flight.
I keep a pair of fuzzy socks and a wrap in my bag.
Here is a helpful hint; don’t wear flip flops on a plane, even in the summer! Your feet will freeze once you get in the air, especially if you have the window seat. Having cold feet is the worst, that’s why I keep a pair of comfy socks in my bag.
For really long flights, I take my shoes off and put my extra pair of socks on. The floors in airplanes are filthy BTW, so if you do put your socks on during the flight. Zip them back up in your baggie and wash them when you get home.
And if you go to the washroom, put your shoes back on!! One of my flight attendant friends shared, that if the floor is wet it isn’t water!!!!
Here is another helpful hint from another flight attendant friend; if you would wear an outfit to a club, then it’s not a good flying outfit!! I now live in Las Vegas and I see so many people boarding flights to Vegas in shorts and tank tops. It gets cold at 42,000 feet in the air, put some clothes on!!
I always, always travel with a stylish wrap that I use as a blanket. And guess what, if you get cold in your short shorts, I’m not sharing my blanket!! Sorry…not sorry.
Let me entertain you!
Don’t count on the airlines to keep you entertained, I have been on flights where the entertainment systems are down. Here are my go to items:
iPad or tablet and make certain to download your new fav Netflix shows or e-books
charger, for long flights you may need to juice up your phone or tablet. Some flights don’t have charging plugs on board…Air Canada Rouge I am talking to you; so I bring my own charger (not to self, make sure your charger is charged!)
headphones, I keep a pair in my bag at all times. I once spent $38 at the airport for ear buds because I forgot mine.
Book or magazine, sometimes it’s good to kick it old school. You never know if you are going to be delayed or stuck on the runway for hours. Having a low tech options is a smart idea.
In case of emergencies
My emergency stash is kept in a surprise, surprise, plastic baggie, lol. Having things in clear bags helps when you need to find something.
You really don’t want to have to buy stuff at the airport, it’s so expensive. Customize your items accordingly. I keep my emergency baggie in my travel bag at all times, I don’t unpack it; just remember to re-stock after each trip if needed.
band aids: I keep a variety of different sizes
lady things: tampons & pads
pills, pills, pills: Ibuprofen, something for cold and flu, a decongestant, Imodium and Benadryl are part of my stash.
Don’t get me hangry!
I always bring my own snacks, not that those buttery mini pretzels aren’t amazing! lol. Here is what I normally carry:
Water, I buy a bottle once through security. I don’t drink the water on the plane if I can help it. On bigger planes the water comes from a big holding tank. I actually don’t drink anything once on board except for my bottled water.
Something sweet and something salty is a must.
My new thing is brie, grapes and crackers, so yummy.
You’re So Vain
My vanity in a baggie includes a lip gloss, lipstick, hand cream and pressed powder. Keep in mind that the air on airplanes is very dry, so lotion up! Pack these in an easy access pocket so you can whip them out quickly when you go through security. Anything in a liquid form needs to fit in a small see through bag and be taken out of your carry on when you go through security…still.
I saved the most important for last. Don’t forget your Passport/ID! You won’t get far without them. You need a cute holder that can hold your passport and your travel loyalty cards. Keep your passport holder in it’s very own special zipper pocket!!
I make certain to zip them back up as soon as I am done flashing them. You don’t want them free balling around in your bag. And trust me, there is nothing that will make you freak out faster than not being able to find your passport in your bag.
My #1 Fav Thing!
This is my #1 favorite find that I don’t leave home without; it’s a 10’ charger cord. Why? Because when your phone is charging at night and you are in bed and want to be on your phone surfing, you can, even if the plug is like 8′ away! Hey small things make me happy, what can I say? Oh and it’s rose gold; functional and pretty.
I am working on a funny post called Airport Chic or Airport Shock; I will have pictures of cute airport outfits and not so cute get ups. Stay tuned for that one.
Thanks for reading all the way to the end. Is there anything that you always travel with that I didn’t mention? Do you have any personal pet traveling peeves? Please share!