JetSetter Series – How [Not] to Pack

 

Travel and packing. The enduring conundrum we face with every new trip. Recently we shared with you some incredibly useful tips for creating the ultimate packing list courtesy of Mom’s Guide to Travel’s Tawanna Browne Smith. But what about the flip side – what NOT to pack? There is definitely an art to knowing what not to pack for trips short and long. Adventure Journal recently wrote about this side of the equation in their March 15th post “How [Not] to Pack for a Big Trip”. Inspired by their post we wanted to share with you our spin on ‘helpful’ tips on how not to pack for your next trip.

Pack at the very last minute:

You may have known about your upcoming trip for some time now. You may have even gotten all forms of reminders (email, text, snail mail, you name it!) about checking in for your flight, confirming your hotel reservation, or picking up your rental car. You might even have a very detailed itinerary lined up for your vacation. You’ve probably told anyone and everyone that will listen you’ll be out of the office from this date to that date. You may have even pulled your travel gear out the closet with the hopes of getting an early jump on packing. The stars are finally beginning to align for your much-needed break. But, with each day closer to your departure, you still haven’t packed a thing. It’s okay – nothing beats the thrill of a panic attack induced by last-minute packing. Nothing!

Pack things that are totally unnecessary:

You’re planning an exotic beach adventure and will most likely make time for crushing some waves, so you’ll definitely need your snowboard on the off chance it, well, snows. While you’re at it pack half of your winter wardrobe, just in case it gets chilly on the tropical island you’re visiting that has never been less than 85°F. You prefer reading on your tablet, but don’t want to risk losing power, so why not pack all five hard cover copies of those books you were planning to cross off your list while sunbathing. Surely, you won’t need the extra space in your travel bag for souvenirs.

Leave all the essentials at home:

“I don’t have my passport. And I think I forgot my credit cards. And my camera charger. And my I.N.O.X. watch. I know we’re about to pull up to the airport, but we need to turn around so I can grab everything I forgot at home.” Don’t you just love that feeling of adrenaline pumping through you at the thought you may miss your flight to the tropical destination you’ve been dreaming of for years? You enjoying living life on the edge – and you can always catch the next flight out tomorrow, right? And, your travel companions of course won’t mind.

When in doubt, overpack:

At this point, you’ve done just about everything right for your upcoming trip. Now, your Uber driver is calling incessantly to let you know they’re outside waiting, texts or calls from your travel companions are beginning to inundate your phone to ensure you’re on the way to the airport, and you’re still trying to zip up your travel gear. Your vacation couldn’t be off to a better start. It’s likely you’re doing just about everything to close your bag – including asking the Uber driver to sit on your bag to help it close – because just maybe you packed entirely too much ‘just in case’ stuff for your trip. Feeling success when you finally get the bag zipped – thanks Uber driver! – paying that $100 overweight bag fee at the check-in counter feels like a badge of honor.
Have a great trip!

JetSetter Series – Ronnie & Phoebe of Many Many Adventures (blog)

Google “traveling as a couple” and you will find article after article worth of recommendations on how best to avoid letting it “make or break” you as a couple. As a pair that’s traveled to more than 40 countries together, American Ronnie and Australian Phoebe of travel blog Many Many Adventures know a thing or two about how to avoid letting differences hinder their adventures. Read on for the couple’s top packing tips and recommendations on traveling together.

 V: Between the two of you, you’ve done your fair share of traveling. You guys must be pros at packing your bags by now?

P: I have to be honest: packing has been one of my biggest flaws as a traveler! I agonize over what to bring and what to leave, and then just shove everything in a bag. I always end up with too much of the wrong stuff, having left the essentials behind. To be fair, that does have a lot to do with the fact that my plans tend to change according to my latest whim, so I very rarely end up on the journey I thought I started.

For example, when I set off for my year overseas, I planned to “move” to one city and live there for a year, so I packed a backpack, a duffel bag, and a purse! In reality, I ended up ditching nearly everything I’d brought with me, buying a whole bag of new stuff and visiting ten different countries in eight months!

R: She’s still terrible at packing. I, on the other hand, have always been a very light packer. When Phoebe and I met in Costa Rica, I had somehow managed to fit everything I needed into a 20-liter backpack with room to spare!

P: It’s been a bit different since you discovered your abiding passion for camping equipment!

R: That’s true! Now we tend to pack together and try to take as little as possible… unless we are going camping. We have both been on enough budget airline flights to know it’s always better to fly with a bag that will fit under your seat and (if you can help it) no checked luggage. It’s certainly much easier to do this if you are going somewhere warm, otherwise, save your bulkier items to wear on the plane.

 Ronnie and Phoebe - On The Road Again

V: What are some of the different luggage combinations you’ve come up with for when you travel together?

P: If we are going away for the weekend we will just take a backpack for our clothes and a handbag or shoulder bag for our laptops, books and toiletries. It’s always a challenge to choose just one pair of shoes, but I usually go for something I can walk in without getting blisters!

R: Our favorite kind of traveling is going by van or by car, stopping for the night and waking up somewhere new every day. When we can take a little more, we like a bag that’s sturdy and spacious, so we can shove all our hiking and camping gear inside and throw it in the back.

P: Since my family lives in Australia and Ronnie’s family is in Washington, we often have to fly for longer trips, and for those trips I need something on wheels. I find airports to be the worst places in the world, and lugging an unwieldy bag around is tortuous!

 

V: Apart from going home to see family, what are some of the destinations you plan to visit in the near future?

R: It would be a shorter list if we tell you the places we don’t plan to visit! In the near future, as in the next two years, we will be based in Chicago, so we plan to explore more of the U.S.

P: Definitely camping and hiking in Colorado and Yosemite!

R: Definitely. But we are also really excited to make it back to Central America for some backpacking. We met in Costa Rica, so that part of the world is pretty special for us.

P: That will definitely be a packing-light trip!

 

V: Where did you travel last time you were in Central America? Where would you go next time?

P: We traveled together for a week or so, around northern Costa Rica, Santa Teresa, Mal Pais – beautiful little surf beaches. We both went down to Panama separately and stayed in Bocas Del Torro, which is very touristic, but amazing.

R: It’s basically a bunch of beach huts dotted around a series of tiny little islands – you have to go everywhere by boat; and the nightlife is very cool. Phoebe was only there for a few days but I stayed for nearly a month!

P: When we go back we really want to go to Guatemala and stay by the lake. We have a friend who worked in a hostel there for three months a few years ago, and the way she described it made it seem so tranquil and beautiful. I also really want to go to Antigua for a few weeks and take one of the Spanish immersion courses they do – they’re famous for them!

Enjoying a beautiful beach on their latest excursion

V: So you both started out traveling alone, and now you travel together most of the time – are there any funny stories you guys have about times when it’s been hard to work together or compromise?

P: We’ve been really lucky for the most part because we’re both pretty easy going, but there have definitely been times when we are both tired, and broke, and the weather is terrible or we get lost, and one or both of us has just had enough. Those are the times when we have to remind ourselves that no matter how well we pack, or how much research we have done, there will always be something we have forgotten or something that will go wrong.

R: One time, it almost ended our trip before it had begun! Last year we had planned this amazing three week excursion in New Zealand; we had hired a van, we got all this camping equipment together, we researched different hikes we could do and places to visit, and we both packed our backpacks according to a very particular little check list. Halfway down the road to get the bus to the airport, I turned to Phoebe and said: “Do I need a visa to get into New Zealand?”

P: It was just something that I hadn’t thought of because, as an Australian citizen, I didn’t need one. There was some very panicky Googling at the bus stop, and luckily, it was all fine…until I realized I had no bus pass and no cash!

R: Miraculously we made it, and it was such a great trip. We want to go back to do a longer version of it one day: six months, and all the major hiking trails! There are plenty of moments when things go wrong and you feel like the world is going to end, but that’s not just traveling, that’s life! Figuring that stuff out as you go along is how you learn to plan better (and pack smarter) for the next time.

 

To learn more and connect with Ronnie and Phoebe, visit ManyManyAdventures.com or follow them on Twitter and Instagram @ManyManyTravels and @ronnietravels, respectively.

 

 

JetSetter Series – Filmmaker and Author Joe Baur – Part II

Today we’re picking up where we left off last week with Victorinox JetSetter Joe Baur, an author, writer and filmmaker currently living in Costa Rica. Joe is all about sharing authentic experiences, and were lucky enough hes agreed to share some with us! Read on to hear more from Joe on his travel tales from Costa Rica to Switzerland.

Let’s talk gear and packing. What’s your preferred travel gear for longer trips? Duffels? Roller bags?

I prefer a duffel bag if I’m working my way through a crowded city. San José, for instance, is chaotic during the day with an interesting take on sidewalk construction. Rolling a bag just becomes a nuisance. In Europe, the design might be more logical, but a roller doesn’t do too well over cobblestones. If, however, I know I’m going someplace with a more modern layout, I’ll save myself the arm workout and go with a roller.

 VSA Travel Tip: Terrain demand a duffel? Try the CH-97 2.0 Alpineer Spacious Wheeled Duffel, which can also be wheeled, or the CH-97 2.0 Mountaineer Duffel Backpack, which converts into a backpack.

What are the top 3 items you always bring with you when you travel?

Video camera, my backpack and my sense of adventure! Just kidding on the last one. That’d be unbearably cliché. Let’s go with snacks.

Cleveland is very near and dear to you—what are some of your favorite things to do there?

Cycling and hiking around both the Cleveland Metroparks and Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Otherwise, I love taking the train to Ohio City or Shaker Square and hopping around various breweries. Cleveland, when you allow it, can be very walkable. So if nothing else, I’m a big fan of going on long walks around the neighborhoods—especially after I’ve inevitably downed a Happy Dog hotdog full of eggs and chorizo..

You’re an avid cyclist. How long have you been involved with that?

Really just about a year. I was fortunate enough to be the American winner of BMC Switzerland’s granfondo contest, which meant getting an incredible bike in early March of last year, and having one month to train for the 245-kilometer Ronde van Vlaanderen in Belgium. Ever since then, I’ve been hooked.

Joe Baur takes on the Ronde van Vlaanderen 5

When you set out on a long bike trip, how do you go about packing?

In Switzerland, we were spoiled enough to have a company shuttling our bags from city to city, so they were ready for us when we arrived. The same goes for the aforementioned Ronde. BMC Switzerland had a SAG wagon for us, so they held on to any extra clothing we needed to remove during the day.

As far as food goes, I’m a huge fan of Cliff Bars. If I’m hungry before riding, I’ll eat one and bring one or two more along for my ride depending on the distance.

What would be your dream path after you graduate this summer?

If Anthony Bourdain inexplicably gives me his job and ignores the millions of other people wishing for the same thing. Seriously though, I want to continue traveling the word and sharing those experiences with people. Right now I only have the budget to support creating videos that are basically travel-music-videos that give viewers a snapshot of the destination along with some music from a band local to the area or country featured. Hopefully such a day will come when a microphone can be added to the works in order to create something more like Modern Enlightenment where I shared my travel experience living with Tibetans in exile in Northern India, putting in a little humor when appropriate.

If I can [use a little humor to] help open up the world a bit more and make people less afraid of places that might be off the tourist trek—I’ll be a happy man. That, plus my face on a Switzerland unlimited transit ridership card.

To learn even more and connect with Joe, visit joebaur.com or follow him on Twitter and Instagram @BaurJoe

JetSetter Series – Filmmaker and Author Joe Baur – Part I

Our latest Victorinox JetSetter is Joe Baur, an author, writer and filmmaker currently living in Costa Rica. Joe is all about sharing authentic experiences, and were lucky enough hes agreed to share some with us! Read on for Joes travel tales from Costa Rica to Switzerland.

How long have you been living in Costa Rica? Can you tell us more about what you’re doing there?

I’ve been in Costa Rica since August 14, 2014—although with all of our travels outside of the country to El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, and back home for the holidays, we have probably lost a month in Costa Rica somewhere in the mix. However long it adds up to, our little apartment in Ciudad Colón feels like home now.

Costa Rica came about for a variety of reasons. My wife and I were looking to live abroad. Our first choice was Switzerland, but my brother recommended Costa Rica after having spent a semester living in Heredia during his college years. Improving our Spanish also struck us as a little more valuable. That’s no knock on German or French, though. I’m currently butchering my way through German with plans to decimate French in the future.

Another motivator to moving abroad was to expand my travel coverage. We wanted to be someplace where everything around us was new and I could create editorial and video travel content. Central America has been a perfect location to make this happen. We have worked our way through El Salvador, Guatemala, northern Panama, across Costa Rica, and I just hopped down to Panama City. I am also hoping to squeeze in a quick jaunt up to Nicaragua before I leave Costa Rica in June. The result has been a ton of new video and editorial content as well as the workings of a travel memoir that, if published, will hopefully give readers a better insight into this incredible region, with a few laughs at our expense along the way.

Now that you’re practically a local, what are some of your top travel stops in Costa Rica?

We still have northwestern Guanacaste, the Osa Peninsula, Braulio Carrillo, Monteverde and Tortuguero to explore over the next couple of months, but this list could very easily change in that time. Two days ago we returned from the La Fortuna, Arenal area, which was just fantastic. It’s probably the corner of Costa Rica I most want to return to, specifically for road cycling and for a drier day to take on hiking Cerro Chato. We were also pleasantly surprised by the Orosi Valley, which had similar adventure opportunities as Arenal, but without the tourism. A hotel manager took us on a great hike that he helped create to an incredible waterfall that was unlike anything we’ve done in Costa Rica. We didn’t see a single tourist the entire day. It was fantastic.

What is your most memorable travel experience; good and/or bad?

Switzerland and El Salvador. Switzerland was great because of how easily you could get around the entire country without a car. Everything was accessible from nature to the cities and small towns in between. It was the first time I thoroughly enjoyed the act of traveling within a country. It left quite an impression on me and I’m currently studying German in hopes of being welcomed there one day. Bitte!

El Salvador ranks up there because of how many people encouraged us not to go. Of course none of the people who told us not to go or strongly warned us against it had actually ever been. Our goal was to find a different side of the country, one that doesn’t come across in international news coverage. Yes, they have their problems, but we felt perfectly safe traveling throughout the country for a week. We met people eager to share their story about life in El Salvador. I can’t wait to go back and I hope others consider checking it out for themselves.

Do you have any documentaries in the works?

I’m constantly working on new travelogues that serve as short travel documentaries. We’re about to release El Salvador and Lake Atitlán. In the meantime, I’ll be working on Antigua, Lake Arenal, another from Switzerland, and inevitably a few more from our upcoming travels across Costa Rica. I’ll also be in Germany in early June covering the Berlin Wall bike trail, so that means another travelogue.

Once you wrap up in Costa Rica, where are you off to next?

I’ll be heading up to Minnesota to write a couple of books: Best Adventures Near Minneapolis and St. Paul and Best Hikes Near Minneapolis and St. Paul — both for Falcon Guides, whom I published Best Hikes Near Cleveland with. And yes, that was a shameless plug.

I’m particularly excited about Best Adventures. It’ll be the first in a new series of guidebooks, combining various adventures such as mountain and road cycling, paddling and hiking, with many destinations accessible by bike or public transit. The goal is to keep you out of a car as much as possible.

That should take place from August to September, after which I’ll have some assignments in North America to tend to, and—I hope I’m not jinxing it—another possible book opportunity that will take me back to my beloved Switzerland. I love Switzerland, if that wasn’t clear already.

Stay tuned for the second installment of Joe Baur’s JetSetter post same time next week where he shares his top 3 travel must-haves and his cycling journeys through Cleveland and Switzerland!

To learn more and connect with Joe, visit joebaur.com or follow him on Twitter and Instagram @BaurJoe

JetSetter Series – Dr. Jane Goodall, Part II

As a continuation of last week’s discussion with Dr. Jane Goodall, we’re back to hear about some of her most memorable travel experiences. For someone who has been actively traveling the world for more than 50 years, we were anxious to see what she had to say. Read on for Part II of Dr. Jane Goodall’s Jetsetter Series post. (Above photo courtesy of Anthony Collins / the Jane Goodall Institute.)

One of my most memorable travel experiences was a journey from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to the Ruaha National Park. I was with my late husband Derek and my son “Grub” when he was about 7 years old. We were in a four-seat Cessna plane and a small wisp of smoke curled up from the instrument panel for the last 45 minutes of the flight. Needless to say, we were all relieved when we finally made our descent.

However, our relief lasted only a few moments. A herd of zebras were grazing along the landing strip, blocking our touch-down. The pilot flew low to scare them off, but panicked and ended up among trees on the wrong side of the Ruaha River. Derek, a Second World War pilot, told me afterwards that had one wing tip not clipped a tree and slowed us down, we would have had a less fortunate outcome.

As it was, we got out safely – but on the far side of the crocodile-infested river. It was Grub who said “If God didn’t let us die in the crash, he won’t let us be eaten by crocodiles”. And so we carried on, crossing the river with water up to our chests, rather than wait for rescue by ferry and Land Rover.

Dr. Jane Goodall at sunset in Nebraska. (Photo courtesy of Thomas D. Mangelsen / Images by Nature.)
Dr. Jane Goodall at sunset in Nebraska. (Photo courtesy of Thomas D. Mangelsen / Images by Nature.)

Without a doubt the most significant journey I ever made was back in 1957. I had been working as a waitress to save up enough so I could get to Africa. My family came to London to see me board the Kenya Castle, an all-one class ship, and I was off. As we travelled to Africa, we stopped and went ashore briefly in the Canary Isles, Cape Town, Durban and what was then Lorenzo Marx. Those glimpses of new lands and cultures were fascinating to me, though the apartheid system in South Africa was utterly horrifying. There was beautiful scenery, marvelous animals and exotic fruits, but it was a horrible regime.

What I remember most from that journey is standing alone watching the sea; the grey water of Britain giving way to strikingly blue tropical waters. The first flying fish I saw and the dolphins that occasionally played around the boat were simply magic.

I was met in Nairobi by my school friend, whose invitation to stay had provided the opportunity to follow my dream. We drove to the Kinangop, an area of what was then known as the White Highlands. There, I saw my first wild giraffe up close, an aardvark cross the road in front of the car and, once at the farm where I was staying, I was shown the pugmark of a male leopard who had passed through that evening.

I knew then I had truly arrived in Africa.

For more information on Dr. Jane Goodall or the work of the Jane Goodall Institute please visit www.JaneGoodall.org and RootsandShoots.org.

Jane Goodall surveys the tundra from a mountainside in Denali National Park, Alaska.  (Photo courtesy of Thomas D. Mangelsen / Images by Nature.)
Jane Goodall surveys the tundra from a mountainside in Denali National Park, Alaska. (Photo courtesy of Thomas D. Mangelsen / Images by Nature.)

JetSetter Series: Molly Beauchemin (Part II)

Picking up where we left off last week with Molly Beauchemin – a fashion, food and culture critic always on the move. While she resides in Brooklyn, New York, her job requires frequent trips to report on culture – from local fare to up-and-coming bands at music festivals.

 This is Part II of Molly’s JetSetter Series post where she shares with us how she preps for her frequent weekend adventures and her technique for packing a bag that allows her to experience new cities without feeling weighed down.  As Molly puts it…

Packing is a game of aesthetic strategy, and over the years, I’ve gotten very good at it.

I’m particularly proud of one such situation a few years ago, when I was invited to a wedding at the King’s Garden in Copenhagen. My guest and I wanted to spend the morning up north at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, but we knew we wouldn’t have enough time to return to our house and change before the wedding. With a little ingenuity, we made it work. I invested in a wrinkle-resistant dress that slipped in my bag as we explored the coast of Nordsjælland. We caught a train back to the city just in time to change in the bathroom of a coffee house across the street from the castle grounds. I’ll never forget the look on the barista’s face after I walked into the bathroom looking like a disheveled backpacker and came out wearing three-inch heels and crimson-red lipstick (We arrived at the wedding dewy and breathless, but we made it.)

I didn’t know it at the time, but this moment was a small victory of packing. A savvy traveler can “do as the locals” without the giant suitcases that betray us as tourists.

I’ve learned with time that good luggage makes it easy to pack well. The train ride from New York City to Montreal is one of the top five train rides in the world, according to the people whose job it is to say so. It’s also one of my favorite places to write. You travel under bridges, around granite cliffs on the Hudson River, through gorgeous sailboat marinas, in and out of castle-filled islands, and past the sheltered farm towns of upstate New York (think apple orchards, horses, tractors and rusty barns).

JetSetter Molly Traveling the Montreal Countryside by Train

With so much to do and see just on the train, having the right bag was key. Like any writer, I like being able to access my laptop from an external pocket. I write about everything from music and fashion to travel and the environment, so I need hard-cased, water-resistant luggage so any accidents won’t ruin clothes I might have to wear to an event or interview. Mostly though, I’m neurotic – I want to have my luggage close. This is important because I’m constantly rummaging. On the train to Montreal, I found myself grabbing for my camera in moments of inspiration, working from my computer on and off and reaching for my sunglasses so I could take in the view.

Victorinox Travel Tip: Need a carry-on that combines durability with easy-access? Try the Victorinox Spectra 2.0 Dual-Access Global Carry-On. This sleek, break-resistant bag features a front-access door, making it easy to grab the things you need most while traveling.

Ultimately, it’s the ritual of packing that makes it a point of intrigue for me; there’s a sense of peace whenever I fold clothes for an adventure. Once I arrive in a new place I’m usually rushing around, but with the right mindset – and the right luggage – I can always make room for what’s important.

Molly Beauchemin
Molly Beauchemin

JetSetter Series: Stephanie Yoder of Twenty-SomethingTravel.com

Each day at Victorinox, we are surrounded by extraordinary women who inspire us. In celebration of the launch of Victoria – our first collection designed by women, for women; we’ve teamed up with some inspiring ladies who love to travel as much as we do.

Stephanie Yoder, author and writer of travel blog Twenty-SomethingTravel.com can’t sit still. Since 2010, she has traveled all over the world – living in some places, visiting others – and even met and fell in love with her husband along the way. Read on for Stephanie’s story, as well as her top travel tips.

 1. What sparked your travel itch?

My senior year of college, I studied abroad at University College London and just fell head over heels with the freedom and excitement of travel. I didn’t know what I wanted to do after graduation, but I knew I had to explore the world. I’ve pretty much been on the move ever since!

2. What makes a great travel partner? 

Compatibility is a really tricky thing. I think that the most important thing is being on the same page in terms of budget, travel style, itinerary etc. If one person wants to go out partying every night and the other one prefers to sit in and read, you’re going to have friction.

I also think it’s important to be able to give each other space and alone time when needed. Split up for the day or at least take a walk by yourself. My husband and I have become really talented at being alone, together.

3. What are some of the benefits of solo travel in your twenties? 

I really believe everyone should travel alone at least once in their twenties. It gives you such great insight into your own personal preferences and travel style. You have to really listen to your inner monologue and make your own decisions, which isn’t always easy if you are used to going along with someone else.

It’s important to get used to spending time alone. You can practice this when you’re not traveling by going out to dinner or the movies by yourself. It feels really strange at first, but with experience you start to feel more comfortable. All of a sudden a whole new world opens up.

4. How long do you typically spend at home in Washington DC? What are some of your favorite spots there?

It really varies a lot. Earlier this year my husband and I spent seven months in Mexico; before that we were in DC for almost six months uninterrupted. We are actually moving out of the area very soon and we’re not sure what our home/travel split will look like.

I grew up in the DC area so I have a lot of favorite spots, but one of my absolute favorite things to do is to visit the National Monuments at night. There are barely any tourists out after dark, the monuments are all lit up and it’s just beautiful.  

5. For someone who’s always on the go, what are some little conveniences that keep your life running smoothly? 

Thanks to travel, my most prized possession is my Kindle. I’m a huge (and fast) reader and I used to lug around two or three books in my suitcase at a time, which got really old really fast. I bought a Kindle and never looked back. It’s so great to have my entire library in my hands, no matter where I go.  

Victorinox Travel Tip: Protect and easily access eReaders and tablets in many of the new Victoria Collection pieces, including the Charisma, Sage, Divine and Harmony day bags and Brilliance wheeled carry-on, all of which feature padded pockets to guard tech gear on-the-go.

6. How do you keep yourself organized on the go?

I try to keep things simple: minimal make-up, clothing that matches and one or two comfortable all-purpose pairs of shoes. I try to pack light and make liberal use of space organizers like packing cubes and a toiletry bag with many compartments. Having everything in its place makes it easy to repeatedly pack and unpack.

My husband is more of the “throw everything into a suitcase and stir it up a bit” school of packing, and he can never find what he needs, so I like to think my way is better! 

Victorinox Travel Tip: Organize essentials with the Lifestyle Accessories 3.0 Packing Cube Set and hanging toiletry kit like the new Victoria Muse. The convenient detachable zippered pouch even allows you to take a few beauty items on the go. 

7. What are your top 5 travel essentials? 

  • My Kindle (naturally)
  • My Laptop – I am always working on the road so I can’t live without it!
  • Sunscreen – no matter where I’m headed
  • Comfy sweatpants – great for lounging around the hostel or hotel
  • Snacks – granola or crackers fend off low blood sugar bad moods

 

8. At Victorinox, we believe it’s important for every woman to have a little piece of luxury. What’s yours? 

Really good face moisturizer. I go back and forth on the brand, but I always have some in my suitcase. Travel can be terrible for your skin: changes in weather, dry air on planes and hours out in the sun. A good moisturizer feels so luxurious after a long day on the road.

9. Of all your travel experiences, why was “A Year Without Makeup” the most significant lesson learned? 

The title really encompasses an entire philosophy of life and style rather than in the literal sense. Yes, I didn’t wear makeup for a year, and I still usually don’t bother to put any on, unless I’m going out somewhere nice. The bigger lesson however, was that I learned that beauty standards are basically arbitrary, and that I can pick and choose the ones I want to prescribe to. That is very freeing.

So, while I still like to get dolled up on occasion, when I’m traveling I generally choose comfort over sex appeal. You will never catch me in heels. Being able to walk for hours through a new city is more important to me.

 10. Where are you off to next?

My next big adventure has been a secret for awhile: I’m actually moving cross country – to Seattle! I’ve never lived on the West Coast of the U.S. and am really excited for this big change in scenery and lifestyle. That doesn’t mean I’m done traveling though. I simply refuse to sit still.