Normally when I travel, I overpack. I love to bring all of my full sized beauty products, various clothes to suit my moods and multiple pairs of shoes. This time around, we were leaving on Monday and flying home on Friday and I figured I’d just bring a carry on bag and only take the essentials. Easier said than done! I have a big camera and several lenses too. I placed the camera body and lenses in my Jo totes purse/bag into a backpack and used that as my other carry on bag. I slipped some Luna bars and my kindle in there along with a bag of medicine ie Excedrin, motion sickness pills, band-aids,  etc. into the front pocket. I like to have all bases covered and tend to get headaches when I travel- probably due to an upset in my routine, eating habits and sleep schedule.

Having done a lot of travel in the past, I knew the most important thing I could pack was good shoes. If you plan on walking a lot, which in a big city, you will do, its essential to invest in really good shoes. No strutting around in stilettos or flat shoes with no arch support, you just can’t do it and be comfortable. I learned this in New York city when I ended up with lots of blisters and aching feet from wearing ballet flats.

I looked everywhere for shoes with good support and let me tell you, they are hard to find. Cute shoes, not sneakers, that are stylish but will cradle your foot? Like finding a needle in a haystack! There are tons of super ugly but well made shoes that offer great support but how about cute, fashionable shoes that support the foot?

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I finally found these on Zappos.com  (mine are black) and were worth every penny. I wore them to the airport and to walk around the city and my feet didn’t suffer a single blister or feel any pain.  I stopped a girl at the airport to ask about her shoes- they were patent leather Dankso clogs which I will probably buy for my next trip. I  brought along sneakers. The Nike Free sneaks are like wearing the lightest slippers and are so comfortable, they were also light to pack.

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These New Balance walking sneakers can’t be beat for lots of walking and standing. They cradle the heel and give excellent arch support yet aren’t bulky. I happen to be a huge New Balance fan and most often buy this brand when I need new sneakers. I wear these for taking long walks and feel like my back and hips are also supported- very important! These particular ones just came out this month and I highly recommend them.

Because I was obsessively looking at the tempatures in New Orleans, I knew the weather could be chilly and perhaps rainy too. I found a very light, but warm Miss Sixty down jacket with a hood (in case it rained). I like to be prepared for any kind of weather so I also brought along a cardigan, blazer and two sweaters!

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Three pairs of jeans, several tee shirts and a scarf rounded out my clothing options. I think I used every spare inch of my carry on bag, rolling up my socks and shoving them in my sneakers. I like to bring jewelry but because of the length of this trip, I only wore simple earrings and a single ring.

Now onto makeup and hair! I found a fantastic Josie Maran Travel kit that included a cleansing oil, argan oil (for skin and hair) and makeup wipes (Sephora, used my beauty points) and a Bare Escentuals travel kit that included a blush plus brush, travel mascara and powder. I followed the TSA directions and put everything in a clear bag for airport security. I also shoved in there an AnnMarie Gianni face oil sample (can’t say enough good things about this brand!), shampoo and conditioner, tiny hairspray and eye cream. I took  my smallest curling iron and hair brush, and brought  as many sample size products as possible! Check out the travel kits available at Sephora here. I tend to save any samples I get through out the year and use for travel!

When I go to the airport, I usually wear my heaviest clothes- sweater plus jacket and a scarf and boots. I always have a hat in my backpack because I am very vain and hate having bad hair, also have lots of bobby pins and hair ties! I keep a couple of lipstick/glosses and powder in my makeup bag for quick touch ups.

We were on a tour with a couple who were clearly experts in travel, decked out in their matching canvas hats, cargo pants, button down shirts with multiple pockets and Teva shoes. I can’t go there. I have feel like I look nice but I really want to be comfortable too!  My suggestions for travel:

jeans- they go with everything! I brought along dark jeans, a pair of lighter jeans and black jeans. Jeans match with everything! I have a pair of skinny black GAP pants that I have just about worn out, they are my staple where ever I travel.

sneakers- keep your feet happy if you plan on doing a lot of walking.

boots- the ones I bought are waterproof and rather sturdy, the black color matches everything

sweaters- I like cardigans, dress in layers and I try to stay with a single color palette so everything can be mixed and matched.

tee shirts- these are easy to roll up and shove in corners of a suitcase and carry on.

a down jacket- mine is feather-light and was a cinch to pack! Look for a hood and pockets.

scarf- I like a big scarf that I can use for a blanket or to keep warm, perfect for the airplane.

umbrella- I always bring one no matter where I go, I won’t allow bad weather to ruin my plans.

I had bought a pair of black TOMS but ended up leaving them home. This is a great shoe for travel, they are so easy to pack and surpringly have good support, look good with jeans and match with tee shirts and sweatshirts. I knew that I’d be walking A LOT so I left them home. Birkenstocks, although not the prettiest of shoes, have ideal support for feet and I will bring them with me when I travel during the summer months.