By the GNI Team
Sharing travel tips has become kind of a ritual around here every time someone gets back from a wedding, a vacation, or even just a small trip. The morning they get back, we usually huddle around and ask them what they did, who they saw, what they learned, and what they’ll do next time. It’s in these informal roundtables that we’ve often found ourselves spilling our favorite travel tricks and tips (like the apps we used to book them, the pricey swimsuit we will NOT be buying again, or the thing that kept us calm through turbulence. So we decided to write them down for you for next adventure.
While this list isn’t comprehensive, it IS full of all of our favorites – the things that have saved us when we’re on the go, in a pinch, up in the air, or all of the above.
Google Sheets are my best packing tip. Worried you’ll forget to pack your cozy joggers, or that you’ll leave your moisturizer in the hotel bathroom? Make yourself a packing list that you can use to pack before your trip, and check before you check out. We shared this Google sheet for group planning, but it’s great to adapt for a busy solo trip too!
The Hopper app is great for tracking flight costs and booking when they’re at their lowest.
Traveling on a budget? Not every weekend trip is a splurge moment, and sticking to a budget is tough when you’re in a new city, or having fun with friends. Use Splitwise to keep up with your spending, split costs between friends and make sure your weekend away doesn’t leave you scrambling when you get home.
I absolutely love my Everlane weekender. It’s the perfect size for a weekend plus a day or two. I’ve had mine for years and it’s held up so well. And the straps are the perfect length for shoulder carrying. - Euni
My favorite weekend bag ever is the Lo & Sons Catalina Deluxe. With its bottom pocket, its spacious enough to pack for a long weekend. I use my Lo & Sons backpack everyday, but especially love it for traveling because of the suitcase strap.
For longer trips I love my away suitcase and recommend the Bigger Carryon size. - Olivia
Running from the subway to the train station or getting through airport security provides endless opportunities to drop your ID, throw your ticket to the bottom of your tote bag, or lose your headphones. Solution: a fanny pack! Keep your essentials together and right in front you.
Cubes & Pouches
Packing cubes are the travel hack we never knew we needed, and an absolute must if you’re sharing a suitcase.
I love my amazon travel hand steamer. Everything is always all crunchy out of a suitcase and being able to smooth things out and be a presentable human is great. If I do group travel everyone tries to get in on my steamer so it also makes you a hero. Be a hero and bring your mini steamer.
Even when I use a spreadsheet to pack, items can get misplaced. Last month I split my toiletries up between multiple bags because not all my products fit, and forgot my entire makeup at home. Keep your toiletries together and all in one place with a dopp kit that can hold all your necessities like the Lululemon Out On Top Kit or this hanging LLBean Organizer. - Katrina
If you tend to leave your keys behind or leave your wallet in the car, getting a Tile is the move! It works like a keychain or a slim card to fit in your wallet and can help you track it down. It’ll also notify you if you’ve left the house without it!
Skincare + Toiletries:
There’s nothing worse than having to abandon the skin care routine you’ve worked hard to perfect because you can bring your whole bathroom cabinet with you. These are some of team GNI’s best skincare pics, but mini!
Another great and budget friendly option is to bring what you already own in mini reusable bottles, just make sure you label them.
Garnier’s mini Micellar Water is a great makeup-remover option on the go.
If you’re spending your vacation outdoors or going camping for a night, Juniper Ridge makes a mini version of their all natural and biodegradable soap that is good for people and the planet! - Olivia
I bring my Bliss Cream to Water moisturizer with me on all flights and long trips. Airplanes and be so drying, and this moisturizer is light enough I can reapply midday without looking too dewey. This mini Mario Badescu Facial Spray is a nice refresher whether you’re stuck in a bus terminal or getting off a long flight. - Katrina
For hair care, finding the shampoo set you love in a travel version is tough. Living Proof has a mini kit for each of their product lines.
I can’t travel without mini dry shampoo, or I have to make an emergency trip to CVS. My hair just feels too oily after traveling all day. Batiste is my go-to travel pick. - Tyler
On a Flight:
Long bus, train, and plane trips bring out the worst in people. Drown out their loud phone calls and even louder chewing with noise-cancelling headphones. Team GNI loves Urban Ears (peep the GNI-green hue)
Sleeping in the car or on a plane isn’t easy, but we think this Casper travel pillow might make it a whole lot easier. It’s great to have just incase you’re crashing on a friend’s couch for weekend too.
I will now always bring a sleeping mask for the plane. It helps me fall asleep, especially if you’re on a long haul flight that isn’t “overnight” ie they won’t dim the cabin lights. This set might look funny but the contoured part means it won’t feel like your eyes are suffocating lol. - Alisha
Apparently it’s “rude” to bring your full gravity blanket on a plane ¯_(ツ)_/¯. This Gravity Eye Mask might be the next best thing.
Anyone else get travel-stress sweats? Freshen up a bit whether you’re commuting to work mid-August, or sitting in a crowded train with these carry-on friendly Antiperspirant Wipes from La Fresh.
Tatcha Oil Blotting Papers are a great touch-up tool before meeting up with family because they want to see you the minute you land.
“I have many travel rituals, but my absolute favorite is slapping on these gold eye masks right before take off. They leave me feeling refreshed and hydrated during long flights!” - Olivia
These colorful silicon straws from Food52 come with a flexible case that fits right into your tote, and you can pack an extra straw for a friend you meet along the way.
We recommend always having water handy when you’re on a trip, and S’well has these mini bottles that might be better to bring on the road than the 20oz version you have at home.
Already have a S’well? Then you might want to consider this LIFE CHANGING sport cap that team GNI loves.
If you’re on a trip, chances are you might pick up a few new things, bring a reusable bag with you just incase.
Do you dress to impress at the airport, or care more about a comfy travel day?
Compression Socks are officially the hottest new travel accessory. We all get puffy during travel, and it’s not a great look! Team member Jameson recs Lily Trotters high socks for their cute colors.
If compression socks aren’t a fit for you, packing good quality socks could be the difference between a memorable day full of traveling and exploring or a night of treating blister and achey feet.
If I don’t have a chance to change after a trip, I’ll wear something loose that I know won’t wrinkle but is appropriate to wear out. I’ve worn this Everlane dress so many times this summer that I bought it in a second color. The midi length is key incase I can’t adjust the A/C, but it’s breezy enough to wear power walking my way from the metro to happy hour too. If I don’t have anywhere to be, I definitely wearing a pair of Outdoor Voices leggings or simple black joggers I can be comfy in. Layering is key, so a good T-shirt and light jacket are a must in my travel bag.
Comfortable travel shoes are no joke, and suitcase space is limited so your picks are that much more important.
We shared this piece on the shoe style that our whole team loves in our We Fully Endorse Series. While you’re checking out the TREADs, look at these soft leather sandals that don’t need any breaking in.
Traveling with a Buddy:
Traveling with friends or family can be the best, but also the worst when things go awry. Packing a little extra for others can help.
Make your trip a celebration with airline-approved cocktail kits. Just add nips and it’s like happy hour on the plane!
Gone are the days of using headphone splitters on your ipod – or so we thought! This cute little disc acts as a bluetooth signal splitter so you can pair multiple sets of headphones to share a Spotify playlist, watch Netflix or whatever it is millennials do on planes these days.
Make memories and keep them too! Instant cameras are cute, but a nightmare to travel with. All the print paper and bulky vintage look isn’t exactly sleek. This Polaroid Snap is a little more subtle, and travel-friendly.
Traveling with kids means you’re already carrying way more equipment than you planned, but you’ll want to make space for a just-in-case first aid kit, ya know because kids.
Keep them entertained with their favorite crayons, stickers, and little toys, but keep yourself organized with a caddy they travel with.
Traveling with Pets:
“GNI pup Otis rides in style in his Wild One Carrier. We love it for planes and trains. We also just bought Otis a K9 Sport Sack for extra long days exploring the city, taking the subway, or hikes. He seems comfortable and likes being able to see around him instead of being in a fully-zipped carrier. Plus, it’s much easier to carry around.” - Katrina
GNIpup Bowie loves Bocce’s line of Dog treats to stay busy too!
What tips and tricks do you have for seasons of travel? Let us know in the comments and we may round them up in a future post!
Image via Carl Maynard.