I have these terrible stress dreams every so often in which I'm traveling somewhere but I can't find my passport or my boarding pass. I had one in particular where my boarding pass went missing, so I was stranded at an airport in Texas only to be rescued by Sean and Catherine Lowe from The Bachelor (?) who took me in for the day.
Last night, I had one of these dreams and woke up in the morning to immediately search the internet for travel organization ideas. I was surprised to find a lack of resources on this topic, or at least a lack of resources for anyone who isn't a mom or a rugged backpacker. So, I set out to develop/refine my own system, finding a few luxe organization pieces along the way.
Store essential travel documents in a sturdy travel wallet.
First things first, make your essential travel documents top priority by investing in a sturdy (and beautiful) travel wallet. A travel wallet should have designated pockets for your passport (if it isn't already in its own case), ID, tickets, boarding pass, and cash. With a designated travel wallet, you will have all of the important documents in one, easy-to-grab accessory. This way, you won't forget anything and you won't have to go digging around in your immaculately organized bag in the middle of the security queue. Be sure to place the fully stocked travel wallet into your bag the night before you travel.
Organize non-essential travel documents in a lightweight folio.
For all of the non-essential travel documents, consider a lightweight folio in a pretty color or pattern. You can find plain, clear ones at any office supply store but choosing one with a bit of personality---in the words of Elle Woods---gives it a little something extra, don't you think? Non-essential documents may include things like itineraries, directions, destination packets, hotel confirmations, and event tickets.
Create a destination packet for each leg of your trip.
I like to create little guides for each location that I plan to visit and place them separately in the document folio. If you are traveling to London, Amsterdam, and Paris you would create three packets---one for each city. Each packet should include accommodation confirmation, itinerary, and a good list of places you'd like to try out (restaurants, shops, galleries, etc). This kind of list is a great way to keep in mind the places that interest you without having to plan every minute of each day. If you're in the St. Germain area and you're ready for lunch, you will be able to refer to your guide and pop into that cafe you read about somewhere.
Photocopy important documents.
A great tip is to scan your important documents (passport, IDs, hotel confirmations, etc.) and place the images in a password protected document then send to yourself in an email. If you lose something, you will have an easy way to access the necessities. Another suggestion is to email copies of certain documents to a close family member so that someone else is able to have your back.
Be smart when packing your carry-on personal item.
Investing in a good travel bag can go a long way. Most importantly, look for one that either has plenty of pockets. Lo & Sons makes sleek, functional travel bags with tons of pockets plus cool features such as a pocket that slides over the handle of your rolling luggage. Once you have the right bag, organize your necessities into individual pouches like the ones from Kate Spade or Bendel's. With everything else tucked away in your travel wallet and folio, you can easily organize the rest of your things into two pouches--one for cosmetics and one for tech accessories. Reserve your carry-on cosmetics pouch only for the things you will need while traveling to your destination. Store your makeup, hair products, and full skincare routine in your checked baggage or your sealed carry-on luggage. All you need for your purse is lip balm, a good facial mist, travel sized moisturizer, a packet of Colgate wisps, and hand cream. For your tech accessories, you can use just about any travel pouch but an even more advantageous option is a pouch with Everpurse technology. This one from Kate Spade has a discreet charging dock inside for your phone! You should also use this tech pouch to store chargers and headphones.
Once all of your modules are packed, arrange them all neatly in your carry-on purse. A complete checklist includes:
- Travel Wallet
- Reading material (books, magazines)
- Cosmetic essentials pouch
- Tech pouch
- Plastic baggie of snacks
- Water bottle
- A brand new pair of socks
What are your favorite travel organization methods?