Elinor Coleman and the staff of Vintage Mirage wish for you an easy travel packing and departing process, so we are creating some guidelines, suggestions and ideas for you to review and utilize for yourself and your family as you get ready to travel and explore.
Travelling for a weekend or a week for pleasure or for work can make some of us sweat with anxiety as to how to choose our wardrobe, what accessories to include and how to go through security with ease. Now with security lines getting longer and tougher, here are some suggestions for ease and safe travel.
In addition, in response to the concern about security in an unknown location or country, please note that we have suggested no name logo, school, or group insignias on clothing nor bags. No real or fake large gold jewelry. And no backpacks.
Tip #1: Apply for Pre TSA and Global Entry for you and your family.
The process is somewhat time consuming, and there is paperwork, photos and interview process. But as a regular traveler for work, these two pre-approved identity security passes, along with the customary passport, have saved me and my husband hours of time and reduced the stress level immeasurably! Both of these special ID groups are good for several years
The most wonderful part of the Pre TSA and Global Entry is that the laptops can stay in the bag and you do not have to take off your shoes! In some cases, you will have to take off sweater or jacket. In international travel there is a specially designated flow through line for Global Entry travelers.
This will allow for packing ease and more importantly, to create a regular form/flow to pack and keep track of your items for easy access. Especially travelling with others, keep the routine constant and do a bag count before leaving each stage of hotel, taxi, bus, rental car, check in counter, plane departing, restaurant, etc. All bags with the exception of the purse should have multi location business card identifications, plus the trusty ribbons or tags which distinguish your bags as individually yours. One tag on the handle, one tag on the side in the slot of the suitcase.
Cross body purse – this purse is important since cross body purses are hands free. The purse should have no large logo and generally be large enough to fit all of your itinerary, boarding passes, personal ID, maps, wallet, keys, important drugs, contact lenses, eye glasses, sunglasses. Also add a baseball cap and handkerchief. Zipper closure is best. The cross body rests on your front and side.
No back packs – they sit on your back and are unguarded.
Large carrier bag/roller bag – remember the rule is now two items per person as carryon for a plane. When thinking of this rule, you can also have smaller bags within this large carrier to separate out lunch, reading materials, scarf, long sleeve wrap or hooded sweater or light jacket, headphones, laptop etc.
When travelling, I have additional fabric/plastic carry bags for food and beverages- when I get to the destination I use the same bags for shopping and walking around- my camera stays in my purse at all times, not around my neck or shoulder.
I prefer expandable 360 degree roller bags which have pockets on the outside front, I also have 2 different sized roller bags which nest inside (small overhead compartment size and medium sized for checking) if I know I will need an additional bag.
Yes my checked roller bag is for clothing and shopping finds. I have yet to reduce my clothing or shoes contents to all fit in my carrier roller bag for the plane. My laptop and my hypoallergenic pillow with these other items fill the overhead. However, when on a buying trip for the store, I have requested that the shop ship my purchases, or better yet, I have an account with UPS and Fed Ex for shipping my purchases home to Alexandria- so my bags are always just the items I have counted on. There are UPS and FedEx offices everywhere, so this is a very convenient way of not amassing a heavy bag with fashion magazines, books, CD’s and unexpected fabulous items like boots.
Now to the wardrobe!
- Cross body purse – accent color or black
- Clutch purse with chain for evening – optional
- Shoes – match the color of the purse chosen
- Belts and Scarves – add accent colors and patterns to the wardrobe
So I am suggesting the Red cross body purse by Carol Miller with tons of pockets!
Or the 3 in 1 bag by Carol Miller- in blue, tan or black. This allows for the clutch purse with the chain
so an evening outfit already has the clutch to go along with it and dresses up the outfit.
I take limited jewelry with me travelling- only costume jewelry, except for my wedding rings. All of the jewelry fits into the zipper bag which lives in my carry case or purse. This bag also fits into the hotel safe in the room when I am out.
In Europe, I carry an additional wallet for the country currency, my passport, plus my designated credit card to be used on the trip, leaving the US money and additional credit cards wallet in the room safe.
Envelope/see thru zipper bag – all receipts go into this envelope
So later, when exiting the country if there is a tax refund, all of the purchases and receipts refer to the one credit card plus all the receipts are there in the see thru zipper bag/ envelope. Imagine you are at the airport and with luggage and lines after checking in, your purchases are in your carry case, the receipts are in this zipper bag – time consuming and detail oriented as you fill out the form there and they always ask to see the items!
It is smoother and efficient to have all of this ready and easy to retrieve. The reason for jewelry, valuables, laptop, camera, plugs, clocks, scissors etc kept in zip lock and carry-ons: we have all experienced TSA inspections in luggage and these items do disappear. The rule is keep all important items on you or in the room safe. Also note that the purses get placed flat for the x-ray machine, so a zipper closed purses a must- and be able to zip close your purse!
Travel Attire for Plane or Train
My travel wardrobe for plane or train is always the same – black is the color, cotton and washable material, stretchy, multi layered items and comfort is the rule. Plain material. No jewelry except for my wedding rings. Follow this mantra and generally you will get through the security line fast and efficiently.
- Short sleeve shirt/ blouse
- Stretchy pants, capris length or long length
- Comfortable shoes, socks
- Hooded long sleeve wrap sweater with pockets
- Baseball cap
- Long scarf and leather gloves
Since I often get cold and want to sleep or nap while traveling, I can use the wrap hood sweater, long scarf, or baseball cap to cover my arms, using the hood or baseball cap to shut out light or noise with earphones. The leather gloves help my hands feel secure when rolling the suitcases
When I know I will be arriving at a hot sunny destination, I add shorts, short sleeve top and sandals to the outside pocket of my roller bag and slip these items on in the bathroom at the airport. So my outfit can change quickly and easily once I have arrived and the colder temperature items can fit back in the pocket or in the interior of the roller bag. Same idea if I must also travel with a leather jacket.
As I mentioned earlier, I wear no jewelry but carry costume jewelry items in a zipper bag which is kept in my carryon. Since I am again focusing on easy going through security process – the mantra is less is easier. Also since I nap on the plane, I find that no earrings remove any possibility of snagging and losing an earring on the plane or train. It is so uncomfortable to try to find a fallen item under or to the side of a seat!
As for my husband, who must wear a belt with his blue jeans to keep his jeans on, when we get into the security line, he removes his belt, watch, takes out all coins/ change, cell phone, and keys putting them all in a large zip lock bag in his carry on bag. So he can easily put these items back on after security, If you do not have TSA pre-approval, yes you must take off shoes, so slip a shoe horn into your carryon!
My usual costume jewelry can change according to the planned events and location, but generally I pack in zipper lined bag-
- Several pairs of crystal earrings, some large, some small
- Several bangles of plastic and resin
- Watch – large face, easily time altering, usually mens’ watch style
- One large geometric statement necklace
So the outfits are basic but with belts, scarf, hooded wrap sweater, jewelry there are variations.
The outfits seem fun and transitionable – daytime to nighttime. Again the theme is no insignias, no flashy gold looking jewelry, no school or group logos, and finally each and every item must serve several purposes in order to make the limited items expand into fashionable combinations. So you do not get bored.
My Total Wardrobe (including the plane outfit)
- 3 pair long stretchy pants, black
- 1 sleeveless stretchy dress, usually lacey
- 4 short sleeve blouses, black
- Swim suit- top, shorts
- Swim cap, goggles, flip flops
- Sleep lounge- top, pant
- Work Out attire– 2 yoga tops, 2 mid length yoga pants
- Cotton dress or wrap for over swimsuit or for going to breakfast
- Sneakers, socks
- Sandals, evening rubber soled shoes, rubber soled walking shoes
- Extra underwear, long slip, extra socks
- Leather gloves
- 2 belts
- Wrap long sleeve sweater
- Black leather jacket (if needed for warmth)
- Cross body purse
- Small evening clutch purse with chain- optional
- Jewelry bag in carryon
- Laptop, batteries, plugs, mouse- kept in large zip lock bag in carryon
- Hypoallergenic pillow with pillow slip, travels in lg plastic bag in carryon
- Flashlight, travel clock, phone charger, camera & charger, small scissors-all kept in zip lock bag in carryon
- Toiletries- including various emergency medicines, creams etc. all kept in double zip lock bags.
- (Cortisone cream, saline solution eye drops, Advil, Excedrin, bacitracin crème, arniflora arnica gel, vitamins, make up and cremes for hands and sun) – all of these items are put into checked bag.
- Special prescription medicine – in carryon bag or purse in zip lock
- Washcloth – in zip lock bag
- Extra ziplock bags, all sizes, good for wet clothes, toiletries, receipts you name it
Yes I suppose you may think that I got way too detailed about this concept of travel attire. But then again so many of you have been asking me for specific advice, and once that I started thinking about all of the various parts of travel I decided to just go ahead and list all of my ideas.
So please look through this blog, pack and enjoy your travels!
Yes the staff of Vintage Mirage would be very happy to assist you personally with your own list of Jewelry, Clothing & Accessories you might need for your itinerary or event!
Have fun and be safe!
Elinor Coleman and Staff of Vintage Mirage