packing

Travel in Style With a Carry-On Suitcase

When traveling with only a carry-on suitcase the main goal is to try and pack as much as possible while still having enough room to shop while you are on the trip...or just buy a new suitcase for all your shopping and check one bag on your way back! As kids, we remember packing for two week trips using the biggest suitcase we could find, and even then they were never quite large enough for all the clothes we wanted to wear. Now that we're older, and travel on our own, we like to keep our luggage to a minimum (carrying/rolling around big suitcases inside trains/airports and buses just gets exhausting and annoying).

Traveling with a carry-on suitcase can be a daunting task. How do you to decide what to bring and what to leave at home?! We get it, and still struggle with this issue. The biggest thing to think about is trying to pick items that you can wear with multiple outfits, ie. jeans which you can wear with a basic white t-shirt and sandals or dress up with heels and a cute silk tank top. Scarves and statement jewelry don't take up much room and can transform an outfit. Being strategic about what you can wear multiple ways is key. Our saving grace for this packing "mission" is the Ziploc Space Bags! All you have to do is slip your clothes into the bag, seal the bag, and roll/press the air out! It shrinks the clothes to half the size they originally took up. Brilliant!  Also keep in mind that all your liquids have to fit in a small Ziploc baggie and you can't bring liquids larger than 3oz. Here is a list of things we typically bring on our holidays....

Ivy's Beauty Essentials:

  • Aquafor
  • CeraVe face wash and PM cream
  • Foundation
  • Makeup removing wipes
  • Eyeliner
  • Eyeshadow pallet
  • Mascara
  • Favorite red lipstick (Keep It Red)
  • Travel toothbrush
  • Deodorant 
  • Hairbrush

Lexie's Beauty Essentials:

  • Foundation
  • Face powder
  • Eyeliner
  • Eyeshadow pallet
  • Contouring/blush pallet (ISH Contour kit)
  • Mascara
  • Makeup brushes (eye shadow, blush, contour)
  • Deodorant
  • Travel toothbrush
  • Rollerball Parfum
  • 1-2 lip glosses/ lip sticks
  • Hairbrush

Things We Share:

  • Toothpaste/Floss
  • Sunscreen 
  • Medication (Advil, Advil cold and sinus, Emergen-C) Being sick on a trip is the worst! We pack only essential incase of emergencies. These are essential since in america we are given the luxury to have off the shelf drugs that actually work! We swear the drugs on European super markets shelves are just sugar. 

Here is what we recommend for packing a carry-on suitcase: 

  • (2-3) Pairs of pants 
  • (5) Shirts
  • (2-4) Dresses, rompers, skirts
  • (1) Shorts (if needed)
  • (3) Shoes (one pair of sandals, one good walking shoe, and one pair of heels)
  • (2) Bras
  • (10) Undies
  • (5) Socks
  • (1) Swimsuit (always bring one just in case!)
  • (1) PJ's
  • (2) Jackets (One jacket for warmth and one rain coat incase it rains)
  • Jewelry- bring a few items that can be layered together or go alone
  • (1) Sunglasses 
  • (1) Umbrella
  • Chargers & International Converter if necessary
  • Makeup/Beauty Bag
  • (1-2) purses (one everyday and one fancier)

Keep in mind this is our recommended list for a trip similar to ours spanning 20 days or less. We will be doing our laundry abroad. 

Remember to check with your airline to confirm your bag meets the required size limitations, and to make sure you can bring another "personal item". Ivy will be using a backpack to put her camera bag inside, laptop, and her airplane essentials this trip. While Eve uses a tote bag. Make sure to wear your heaviest/bulkiest clothes on the flight to limit the weight and save room in your bag for souvenirs.

We hope this helps you next time you have a weekend getaway or an extended vacation!

xxx Ivy & Eve

Travel Tips, Tricks, and Secrets!

We have been traveling since before we can remember. Our mom use to take us back to the east coast to see family when Ivy was as little as three months old. With all our experience in traveling here in the USA and abroad we have learned some travel tips and tricks you can use on your next adventure! 

Our upcoming trip is going to start with 6 fabulous nights in Paris. We plan to eat a lot of bread, cheese, macarons and of course drink LOTS of champagne! While we are there we will be taking a day trip to Reims, the champagne region of France and are looking forward to getting the chance to tour some of our favorite champagne houses!  We are also traveling to Versailles - somewhere we've always wanted to go. After Paris, we will head off to London to visit some of our good friends before heading to Manchester for the remainder of our stay. While Manchester will be our "home base" we plan to take many day trips around England. We are so excited to be off on another adventure and we hope you check back often, as we will be posting updates while we are away!

xxx Ivy & Eve

 

Booking Ahead:

Its always a good idea to book ahead. You usually can get better seats, deals, and options all together. Yes, waiting till the last minute could save you money once in a while, but you are running the risk of paying more, not getting the flight you really wanted, and having to sit in a dreaded middle seat. We recommend always booking ahead because the worst thing that can happen is you have more time to pack and repack your suitcase! Here are a few of our travel tips for booking ahead...

StudentUniverse: So not everyone can use this service but its really awesome for youth, students, and teachers. Its a travel booking service that gives those groups great deals on flights, tours, and hotels. We both used this a ton during school. 

Gilt Travel: We just recently started using this site and its amazing! It gives you great discounts on some of the worlds most luxurious hotels and resorts around the world. All the hotels listed are 4 to 5 stars and unique to any other hotel where you have stayed. They have hotels from across the globe - from Mexico to Monaco. We cant wait to utilize this site more!

Gilt City: This is another great site to use when you are traveling (USA only). It is like a high-end Groupon where you can purchase deals for spas, restaurants, tours, shops, etc. We always check this out for deals before we head to San Francisco (or any city in the USA).

Picking Seats: Now this can apply to planes, trains, and ships. If you travel as a couple or like us with your BFF, pick one seat by the aisle and one by the window (leaving the middle seat open). Most likely, no one will book to be between you and if they do you can always ask if one of you can take their middle seat...and lets be honest no one ever wants the middle seat. We do this all the time and practically always get an extra seat between us!

Train Tickets- When traveling by train in Europe and the UK, always look into travel discount cards before you book. In the UK, if you are traveling a lot by train, there are several options for discounts. If you are a student or under 25, you can get a student rail card which will give you 33% off the regular ticket prices. They also have rail cards with the same discount for seniors, disabled people, people traveling with children, and people who always travel together (two-together card). Each of these cards are £30 and are valid for 1 year. If you are planning on traveling by train more than once, you will most likely save over £30 on your first round trip!

Virgin East Coast Rail: These are our favorite UK trains. These trains are beautiful, super fast, and have THE MOST AMAZING FIRST CLASS. First class includes cushy seats and tables, at least one meal, unlimited snacks (such as fruit, cakes, and crisps) and water, tea, and coffee. On weekdays, when you travel first class, they serve unlimited alcoholic beverages. You also get free wifi! They also have amazing First Class lounges at most train stations along the route. Many times, the cost of an upgrade to first class is less than the cost of a typical sandwich and drink on the standard class meal trolley. Definitely look into first class before booking!

 Apps Worth Having:

MiFlight- This is awesome especially with all the crazy lines lately for security at the airports. This app gets its information in real-time from other users and tells you which security checkpoint has the shortest line so you don't have to guess and stress! 

Uber- You probably know this one already, but now its available internationally! Its great because you don't have to worry about having enough change in your wallet for taxis, but be careful of surge prices (these are prices that can be drastically more depending on various reasons like - its a really busy time of day, or if their is an event going on) before booking a pickup.

Citymapper- This is a great app for travelers everywhere. It helps you navigate subways, trains, and busses so you don't have to do it on your own. Simply type in the destination and it will show you a few ways to get there. This is really helpful for navigating the metro in Paris or the tube in London. If you get any travel app, GET THIS ONE!!!

Phone Plans- When traveling to Europe, most people either decide to not use their cell phones or purchase an added international roaming plan for the time they are traveling. While this is good to use for emergencies and short trips, We recommend going to any mobile phone store when you land and purchasing a sim card and pay-as-you-go plan. These typically cost around $20 and you get data which you can use for looking things up online, iMessaging, etc. You can also top-up your phone plan at almost any ATM.  And you can feel super cool having your own European phone number! When Eve lived in the UK, she used Virgin Mobile which has a great phone and data plan.

Other Tips:

Google Street View- One thing we hate when we go to a new place is to not know where anything is! We recommend once you have booked your hotel, hop on Google maps (in street view) and take a look at what the surrounding block or two looks like. It only takes a few minutes but you will feel like you already know your way around before you even get there! Ivy has already saved locations of a bunch of patisseries around our neighborhood in Paris to visit...yummy!

    Wallet- Yes, we know you were going to pack one but make sure to have one with a large coin pocket, or bring a separate coin purse with you because you will gather a ton of coins in Europe! (we recommend using your extra coins at self checkouts in markets and at the airport on your way home so you keep the weight down in your purse/wallet and you don't have to count them out in front of the cashier..just dump them in the change slot and voila!) 

      Copies of Passport & Itinerary- Make sure to have copies of your passport and even save a photo on your phone if you want, also have copies of your hotels and flights incase you do not have internet access.

      Tipping the waiters- While in the USA, we always tip for meals out. In Europe, a lot of the times the waters are paid higher so you don't have to tip them as a consumer- however in the UK, we we tend to tip about 10% when dining out and round up to the nearest pound/euro when ordering drinks at the bar. In France, it is normal to tip a few euros at a casual restaurant, and 5% at fancier places. 

      Airplane Essentials

      We are currently planning a trip to Europe in June for two and a half weeks! Dealing with checking a bag, keeping it within the weight requirement, and having to pay ridiculous amounts to do it is just not worth it for us for such a short trip. So we decided this trip to only bring carry-on bags. We will share all the details about our trip with you as we plan. First off, we are sharing our airplane essentials. These items are some of our must-haves while we fly. 

      xxx Ivy & Eve

      Travel Bag | Sleeping Mask | Aquaphor | Kate Spade Travel Wallet | Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes | Marble Macbook CaseRX Bar | Delicious Days in Paris Book | Earbuds 

      Ivy packs her laptop to work on illustrations and photo editing. She also brings her Aquaphor chapstick that she literally cannot leave the house without. For a snack she has a RX Bar in her favorite flavor, mint chocolate. Her book of choice is a travel food guide, because thats her number one priority while visiting any destination...eating good food! 

      Travel Bag | Cashmere Wrap | Harry Potter Complete 8-Film Collection | Sacré Blue Book | Earbuds | Epic Bar | Kate Spade Mini Ipad Case | Beauty Flash Balm |  S'well Water Bottle 

      Eve packs her comfiest cashmere wrap to keep warm yet stylish while flying. She also loads all 8 Harry Potter films onto her iPad Mini incase she gets sick of the in-flight entertainment. Eve's skin gets really dry during travel so she makes sure to pack her Clarins Beauty Flash Balm and drinks loads of water to keep hydrated. Her book of choice for this trip is Sacré Blue, a hilarious tale of the Impressionist painters of Paris and their dangerous obsession with the color blue...