My Eight Carry-On Essentials for Long-Haul Flights

My carry-on bag for those long cross-Atlantic flights has been perfected! I currently don’t work many international flights (due to my base & seniority mostly), but I do fly a lot of red-eyes and try to take as many weekend trips to Europe that I can fit in. Now with more of a routine in place, it makes those 8+ hours feel less intimidating.

Long Haul Essentials

Here is how I prepared for a red-eye or flight across the Atlantic, to say Brussels :). 

Step One::: Before I head to the airport, I shower and put my hair in a braid (using Essential #5, an EMI-JAY hair tie).

Step Two::: Confirm I have my passport, and that all the essentials above are in my carry-on! I also try to pack an empty water bottle to fill at the airport.

Step 3::: Once onboard and settled, I usually like to watch one movie and then after sleep for the next 4 or 5 hours. Ask for a cup of hot water and add the Zarbee’s Night Time Drink (Essential #1). It will not only protect your throat but ease you into a nice peaceful sleep.

[ I usually struggle to get to sleep and then if I do sleep, wake with a dry and sore throat. In a perfect world, I would not sleep with my mouth open…bahaha. Luckily, I finally found something that solves my problem >>ZARBEE’S!! They also have vitamin-filled or immune support supplements! AND with great ingredients!]

Step 4::: I find it necessary to have a sleep mask (Essential #2, accompanied by eye drops). If you are near a galley or bathroom there will always be a light on, and the mask solves that dilemma.

Step 5:::  Flights arrive into Europe in the morning, so I like to hit the ground running, no time to waste! Once I wake up, I go into the restroom and take out my braid, finger comb and fluff (maybe even apply some dry-shampoo, it can be hard to find in travel size). My hair was contained in the braid for my sleep and now can be let down with a nice wave.

Step 6::: I wipe down my face with a refreshing YestoCucumbers Face Wipes (Essential #4) and reapply makeup if I’m feeling ambitious.

Step 7::: And then of course brush my teeth and use some mouthwash (Essentials #7), that always helps with waking up too. After, apply some Burt’s Bees lip balm (Essential #3, the only chapstick that I use).

Step 8::: Finally hands need some EOS hand lotion (Essential #8).

ALSO:: Drink LOTS of water! Ricola drops (Essential #6) are a soothing treat too. Lemon mint is my favorite flavor :).

Long Haul Flight Essentials

Would always love to hear your travel tips or routines!

Happy travels!


ROME – Honeymoon (part one)

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This is my iPhone’s account of our Rome excursion.

We were only in Rome a few hours which was too quick, but I’m glad we were able to see some of the historic city. We had plans to take a train to Milan later in the afternoon, so we luggage checked our bags at the Roma Termini (main train station) then hit the town for a few hours! The luggage check (it’s called “left luggage” in the station) was about 6 Euros for 4 hours per bag.  Pretty good deal to be hands free while exploring Rome!

Getting into Rome in the morning, after flying through the night, makes you pretty hungry. Jake and I both had food on the mind right when we touched down into Italy. Pizza or pasta preferably ;).  Come to find out they don’t really start opening restaurants until 1pm –and sometimes they are closed midday and return later around 5pm for dinner. Definitely not a breakfast town. More of a cigarettes and espresso for the morning start type of people. We love a great cup of espresso, so cappuccinos and pastries it was.  We stumbled upon La Bottega del Caffe later, where we got ourselves a salad and pizza…and more espresso.

Then off to the Colosseum! What a site. Rome is a very walkable city…it felt like we just looked up and there is was…when it felt like we had so much longer to go. It is transportation friendly too. We had no problem going from the airport to the train station to the Colosseum and later to Milan.

Random Travel Tip:::When purchasing your tickets for RailEurope or any other train line from a self-service machine, if someone comes up to help they are not just being friendly or work for the train station, but will ask you for money after they have finished helping. So either go in knowing not to accept any help at the machines or go to someone at the windows selling tickets (where the lines are usually longer).


Happy adventures!


Travel Ready Totes – For the Men!

Hey fellas — I didn’t forget you! 

( Ladies for your Travel Ready Totes click HERE )

Jacob’s bag just recently acquired broken straps, so this is also the beginning of my search for his replacement! I have to say it is a little harder for the guys…or maybe it was my searching skills.

Here are some weekenders, bowling bags, and vintage carry-ons to accompany you along your journey.


men's tote

ONE:::’hipster’::: Bradley Mountain, created this bag by hand from heavyweight waterproof Martexin Duck Canvas. It not only has great craftsmanship but looks like it can withstand a hike through the mountains. (The Scout model, $150)

TWO:::’stylin’::: Zara is not just a women’s store, they have great items for men, this bowling bag included! It has a nice quilted exterior with the leather finishes. This bag would be great for a weekend getaway. ($99.90)

THREE:::’vintage’:::Green Canyon Trading is selling this 1970’s traveler for some looking to turn heads in the right direction. I absolutely love the carpeted panels. Seventies all the way. Looks to be in great condition! (On Etsy for $74)

FOUR:::’sporty’:::PEASANTSandTRAVELERS’ bag is good to go! It has the waterproof shoe compartment, great from swapping out business shoes for comfy shoes, or from trail blazing shoes to city strolling shoes. Comes also in a pine color! ($165)

FIVE:::’classy’:::J.Crew does it again with the amazing leather bags. This is a bag that will continue to look amazing even with wear…the brass hardware makes for great details. For $475, this can be the next bag you send through airport security. 🙂


Safe travels,


Travel Ready Totes

It’s not only the time to be searching for new swim gear, but also time to revamp your travel gear!

My travel tote is my most important piece of luggage and adventure add-on.  It stores all the ready to use items…the things I want accessible and by my side!

Why not have a little fun picking out your travel tote companion! There are many out there to choose from. They go from unique to practical to creative to just plain pretty. I picked five, hoping they have qualities you are looking for and would be great to have on your next adventure.

And don’t worry fellas–I will get to your carry-a-longs tomorrow. I mean, nothing looks better strapped across your shoulder then a great weekender!

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ONE:::‘hipster’:::  Archival Clothing  makes these great roll top bags from all waterproof materials! They are made in Portland, OR…of course…so they are perfect for exploring the Great Pacific Northwest! ($220 for this model)

TWO:::‘stylin’::: Kate Spade has some style! This is an incredible customizable weekender! The style above is one of there patterned versions, but you can totally recreate it to match your personal style. It also has a zippered compartment at the bottom for your shoes!!!! I am obsessed with this feature! (The Painted Floral bag is $112, but the customizable versions range from $200-$210)

THREE:::‘vintage’:::Luncheonette Vintage is an Etsy shop with great vintage items. Including this 1960’s American Tourister bag! It has little details that are just perfect! Example: the zipper clicks and locks into the side of the bag, the awesome floral print inside, etc… (AND it’s only $35!!!)

FOUR:::‘sporty’::: Patagonia knows how to make a bag. Get this–the lightweight foam back doubles as a seat cushion! That is genius!! It can be a shoulder bag, backpack or tote! Patagonia thinks of it all…it even balls into the key bag when not in use, like a sleeping bag! Love it. I want it in all colors. ($65…a little for a lot!)

FIVE:::‘classy’::: J.Crew  and their SLOW Bono Tote is pretty, practical and made with high quality leather. It also has a removable canvas interior for easy cleaning and care. This is a bag will be by your side for a long time. It’s timeless. ($355)


Hope you enjoy! And don’t be afraid to tell me about your favorite have-to-see-totes!