What to take with you:
Cross Body Bag: I rarely carry a shoulder bag or tote when I travel internationally. I walk way too much and having a shoulder bag that could potentially fall off my shoulders everytime someone bumps into me is quite annoying. It's also a safety issue as it's a lot less harder for people who are going to try to steal your purse to steal a cross body bag (something that I am always aware of when I travel abroad. When I was in Spain I saw a lady get her purse snatched out from under her arm.)
Credit Card Holder: I never take my full wallet. It's just too bulky and there's really no need for me to bring all my credit cards that I usually carry. I always just bring my license and two credit cards that work internationally (and check with the credit card company on what their foreign transaction fee is before you go so you take the ones that have the smallest percentage) Good place to put your hotel room key in too.
Wristlet: I carry my cash and coins in a wristlet so it's easy to get to. Another tip, always keep some of your cash separate. I put half of the cash that I take with me in a separate envelope and keep that in my carry on bag and keep the other half in my handbag. That way if something does happen and you lose your bag or it gets stolen, at least you'll have some cash on hand. (Just don't lose both!)
Cosmetics bag: chapstick, solid perfume, hand sanitizer, hand lotion and lipgloss. Of course the liquid-y things will have to go in a separate plastic bag and remember to keep that bag within easy reach so when you reach the screening area you are not digging through your bag to find it!
Passport and passport holder: duh. :)
iPhone/cell phone: It's nice that a lot of airports now have wifi so you can surf the 'net when you are waiting for your flight! cell phone tip: If you are on AT&T, you can change your plan right on your account online to give you access to international calls and texts. It's $5.99/month for international voice and $9.99 for texts but if you add it and then cancel it later, they will pro-rate the fee and you get better text/calls rate. I don't like to make too many calls on my cell abroad but it's good to have for a "just in case" thing. If you have an iPhone, make sure to turn off the international data roaming! It will be a very expensive surprise if you don't. You can turn it off right on the phone under "settings"
Makeup remover towelettes: I hate how I feel when I'm on the plane too long. You know, skin starts to get dry and itchy and just stagnant. These towlettes not only remove my makeup but help me feel refreshed too.
Itinerary: I always print out a paper copy even though I have all the info stored in my iPhone as well. The important thing to do is to have your travel agent's info or your airline info on it so that you can contact them if anything goes wrong. When my flight gets delayed or canceled, instead of standing in line with all the angry, grumpy customers at the airline desk, I just call up the airline or my travel agent and have them look for a better flight or change my flight over the phone. It works so much better and you don't have to deal with the angry mob and the poor frustrated/stressed airline people that have to deal with everyone in person.
Socks: I mentioned before how I hate wearing socks so I never wear them to the airport but when I get to the screening area and have to take off my shoes I always keep a pair in my carry on and put them on when walking through. Because stepping barefoot on the airport floor is gross. It also comes in handy when your feet are cold on the plane.
Eyemask and earplugs: I can sleep on 10 hours on a 12 hour flight. How? These two things single handedly put me out. I love it because I can't hear or see a thing so even when they turn on the lights I have no clue and sleep peacefully. My husband and I joke that I sleep better on a plane better than I do at home because at home I get 5-6 hours of sleep max. I have trouble sleeping when I'm at home because my mind is always going. I always have a million things going on in my head and when I sleep I can't think and my mind hates that. I am always thinking. However when I get on the plane, I know that there is nothing that I can do (mainly I can't work) so it just shuts off and with the combo of the eyemask/ear plugs then I can ignore the entire world.
iPod: Before you go, load up on lots of fun podcasts so when you get sick of listening to music you can watch your podcasts! I especially love the runway shows and the beauty how-tos. I download podcasts from Fashion Network, Fashion Television Daily, Ford Models how to and Vogue.TV. Who What Wear used to have a great podcast but they stopped making them which makes me sad, I love them, they need to bring them back! Anyway, all the ones I mentioned are free and you can download them right from iTunes.
Nook: my newest "toy". I read books every chance I get and my bookcase is ridiculous. It has way too many books in it and I've cleaned it out and donated books but because of how much I read and the speed I read (I read super fast) I always have too many books. My quick review of the Nook is that it is nothing but FABULOUS. I love it and will only buy e-books now (well, unless something comes out that I need to have the hardback of). It is perfect for reading on airplanes, I was so happy to have it with me on this trip.
Bobby pins and hair tie: sometimes I just get annoyed with my hair so always nice to have this stuff handy to pull it out of my face.
Tissues: You never know when you'll need it and when you do, you'll be so grateful that you have them. (Not all bathrooms in Asia have toilet paper!)
So those are my essentials that I always make sure to carry with me, hope that it will help give you some ideas for your next trip and make your plane ride go as smoothly as possible!
Any other requests for the travel series?
P.S. Tomorrow night, my lovely friend Yvonne and I will be at the Swinkheart event hosted by Alix Rose and Swink Style Bar. We are both getting blow outs so I'm excited for some fabulous hair! If you are in the area, hope you stop by! We will also be stopping by the Seattle Fashion Week (R)evolution Launch Party. Hope to see some of my favorite Seattle fashion bloggers there!