Carry On Essentials (So you don't hate your life if you lose your luggage)

Me in Mexico living my best life

Me in Mexico living my best life

I recently went on a trip to Mexico and this was the first time I actually sat down and carefully packed a carry on bag.

Typically my “carry on” is just a purse. Rookie. Move.

Here’s the thing. Since you can bring both a purse and a personal piece of luggage on a plane, why the hell not?!

Before I went on my trip, a good girlfriend of mine went to Costa Rica and they lost her luggage for four days.

FOUR.

She had a couple of items in a carry on, but really struggled to find items in Costa Rica that could tide her over until she got her full luggage back. This inspired me to make sure that the next time I travelled I would be prepared with a solid carry on just in case of emergency.

*she was going to send me a picture of the really ugly bathing suit she had to buy while waiting for hers but she didn’t document it because it was too ugly. Thanks for ruining my content, Britt.

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First things first, my recommendation is to invest in a solid carry on bag. Something easy to carry, that’s large enough and has any components that are important to you (for example, extra pockets, a long strap, wheels, etc.)

I purchased this Mat + Nat bag a couple of years ago, and it’s been my go to weekender bag for sleepovers, weekends at the lake, etc. It’s a great size, light to carry, and comes with a shoulder strap.

For another amazing weekender option that I have my eye on, click here. For the Mat + Nat bag - click here.

The essentials

These are things you seriously cannot go a day without. For me - these items include:

  • Dry shampoo

  • Lipchap

  • Make up remover of some variety

  • Moisturizer

  • If I have my period, tampons.

  • Phone charger

  • Head phones

  • Some kind of snack (on a plane it’s usually Welches Fruit Snacks because I’m a 5 Y/O)

  • Ipad

  • Water Bottle (empty reusable one, it’s 2019 people let’s save the planet)

These are just my basic, cannot live without items. Typically, I’ll go to Dollarama and buy the little travel sized round containers and separate a small amount of my hand cream, face cream, etc. into them to bring onto the plane. This is also where I will buy my fruit snacks.

You’re in this for a few days…

Next come the items that if, god forbid, your luggage gets lost, you’re glad you have. This will A. Depend on your destination and B. Depend on how extra you are. For me, these items include:

  • Underwear (if you go commando obviously ignore this…)

  • Facial routine products (separated into small containers and labeled)

  • If you’re going to a hot destination, body sunscreen, sandals, and a couple small sundresses that you can fold up Marie Kondo style

  • If you’re going somewhere cool, extra socks, a pair of sweats, a couple smaller sweaters, all folded up Marie Kondo style

  • Tooth brush, deodorant, etc (whatever toiletries are most important to you basically)

  • Make up/hair ties

Again, this stuff honestly depends on what is the most important to you every day. Things that if you didn’t have your luggage for three or four days your trip may be in shambles or your wallet may be crying.

If you’re extra

These are some additional items that I make sure I have on the plane because I am a tiny bit of a psycho!

  • Face masks (sheet masks typically, this also includes a lip mask)

  • A small travel sized blanket (this depends how far I’m going, but I’m always cold on planes so I’d say it comes with me about 99% of the time)

  • Sanitization wipes (NO ONE WANTS TO GET SICK!)

  • A bag full of medications

    • Typically these medications include advil, gravol, BC, anything random for random illnesses that may occur

    • NO ONE WANTS TO GET SICK! pt 2.

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So, cheers to your next vacation, enjoying your time, and (hopefully) never being without your daily essentials!

Trips on Trips on Trips

aaaaand we're back!

Spent this past weekend celebrating the babe in the middle!

Spent this past weekend celebrating the babe in the middle!

Holy man, these last couple weeks have been crazy town. Like I mentioned in my previous post, I was recently away for work in Edmonton and then a couple days later jumped right into vacation mode. First with a girls trip to Chicago (again, in the previous post), was home for a single day, and then was off to Ottawa to visit with one of my besties Nicole, her husband Dan, and their new adorable addition baby girl Adeline. At the end of the week we drove to Montreal to join an amazing crew to celebrate our friend Sam at her bachelorette party!

Sam's Babelorette Crew

Sam's Babelorette Crew

Needless to say, I have zero voice, am exhausted, and am really not ready to get out of vacation mode. These last couple trips have been so so fun, and honestly it makes me feel really lucky to have such solid and fantastic girl friends.

Montreal was wild...there were strippers, drag queens, more alcohol and food then I can even talk about without being embarrassed, and honestly I don't know if I have laughed that hard, well, ever. We had such a solid group on this trip (19 of us actually!), and I already feel weird being alone back in my apartment (if any of you are reading this, feel free to come over, I miss you all!)

Getting away to go on trips like this as exhausting as they are really recharge me. I find that when I have the chance to get away and spend some quality time with some of my favourite people it gives me a chance to unwind from everyday stresses that I usually work myself up over and just relax my mind a bit. 

Now it's back to reality, and man, I honestly feel like I shouldn't leave my apartment again for about a week. I also may need to sell my soul on the black market after all these trips because this has not been easy on the wallet (or my dignity). SO WORTH IT THOUGH.

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These are memories that will last forever, and as much as sometimes it can be stressful to leave responsibility behind and spend the money the older we get, the more I think about it this is 100% the time to be doing these things. Before kids, before needing to be responsible for anyone but myself, before my metabolism really hits rock bottom.

So, if you're ever in the boat of wondering "oh man can I really afford this trip" "should I take the vacation time?" the answer is YES. DO IT YES! Worry about the rest later, and pour yourself another glass of wine (or 9 a.m. travel coffee cup of gin but hey your choice).

Sam's getting married, so we got drunk.

Sam's getting married, so we got drunk.

Travel Diaries: Chicago

This past couple weeks has been crazy busy and it's only about to get busier. I was away for work in Edmonton only to come back for three days and then head out to Chicago for a girls trip with some of my besties from high school to visit our friend Kendra who is going to school there.

We had such an amazing time. If you haven't been, Chicago is absolutely beautiful. The architecture there is insane, and there is tons of fun stuff to do and lots of amazing food to eat. 

We happened to be there over Pride weekend so the vibe in the city was fun and busy. There was a ton going on, especially at night, so we had no problem finding great nightlife. Plus, our girlfriend had amazing restaurants planned. 

Every trip has a downside, mine was getting my phone stolen out of my purse at the bar. We were at this awesome dueling piano bar called Howl at the Moon. One second I looked down and my purse was closed and five minutes later it was wide open, and the phone was gone. It was shitty, (really shitty) but I wanted to try hard to not let it ruin my last night in Chicago with some of my faves. 

However, this one small downside didn't really matter in the end because we had SO MANY upsides to this vacay. I thought I'd list a couple of my favourite things we did incase you're ever in Chicago and need a little inspiration. 

Love these ladies - missing Emma BC!

Love these ladies - missing Emma BC!

I think my top thing we did was kayaking down the river in the middle of downtown. It was an amazing view, and such a beautiful day. We did a private tour with the six of us (heads up - to do a private tour you need a minimum of 6 people and it is the same price as going with the big group so this was perfect for us!) for an hour which was just enough time for us. We had an amazing guide who helped us - thank god no one tipped cause I was sure I was going to and almost didn't breathe for the first few minutes. If you're ever looking for something a little different to do in Chicago, this is an absolute must. 

Pre kayaking 

Pre kayaking 

Post Kayaking - super happy we didn't tip!

Post Kayaking - super happy we didn't tip!

We also did a lot of walking around and checking out shops, one great area was Wicker Park. We went to a cute brunch place called Mindy's Hot Chocolate, which serves more then just hot chocolate btw, and then walked around going into lots of vintage shops and tasting locally made ice cream (salted caramel in a waffle cone...SO GOOD.)

We checked out a lot of cute patios and restaurants, but two stand outs to me were Cindy's Rooftop and Frontera Grill. 

Could my friend Stella be more gorgeous?!

Could my friend Stella be more gorgeous?!

Cindy's Rooftop is located at the top of this really cool old building called the Chicago Athletic Club. It was basically a really fancy gym back in it's day and now it's transformed into a hotel and it's super beautiful inside. You take the elevator up to the rooftop and it opens onto a stunning green house vibey patio and restaurant. You can go outside and overlook Millennium Park having a glass of wine, and trust me it's worth it.

Cindy's Rooftop

Cindy's Rooftop

Amazing room that used to be a pool in the Athletic Club

Amazing room that used to be a pool in the Athletic Club

Frontera Grill is a Mexican spot located right in the centre of a bunch of night life so it's a great spot to go to before going out. The champagne margaritas are no joke insanely good. Four of us split four appetizers and they were all amazing, but this place is really really busy so if it is something you want to try in Chicago I'd recommend getting a reservation far in advance. 

So these are some of my peaks of the trip. It was so nice to get away with these ladies. Tomorrow I head out to Ottawa to see one of my besties Nicole and her new daughter who is my newest bestie! Then we drive up to Montreal at the end of the week for a Bachelorette! Can't wait to report when I'm back - cheers to the next adventure!