This is not a blog post where I recommend where to go… although someday I may do that too! This is my recommendation on how to get it right, so you get what you need from your travels and you set realistic expectations.
What to Expect:
First of all, there are two different types of travel (excluding work travel). One is called a trip. One is called a vacation. Don’t confuse a trip with a vacation or you will likely be very disappointed. A trip is when you’re with your kids or possibly with your extended family or people you are required, expected to go somewhere with. That doesn’t mean it won’t be fun or relaxing, but you need to know it will also be work. A vacation is when you’re alone, with your close friends or with your partner. This is where it’s about relaxing, staying true to what your needs are and the only thing expected of you is what you want to do.
Where To Stay:
Regardless of whether it’s a “trip” or a “vacation,” I can’t recommend Airbnb enough. This is a lifesaver for me when I travel. I absolutely adore this site. Yes, I like the fancy hotel amenities, but that’s for a special vacation with special people when it’s worth the extra to get very pampered. You get more space, a home away from home, and usually for way less than a hotel. You also can save a lot of money by having your breakfast and coffee at home. A refrigerator for snacks (and wine!) and if you need more than one bedroom it’s hugely cost efficient. If you haven’t tried Airbnb do it now. You can get $35 travel credit if you sign in with this link. Look for something clean and modern. Read the reviews- you’ll learn a lot whether it’s good for you or not. While abroad, make sure it’s next to public transportation and not up 4 flights of stairs without an elevator (oh yes, I have a great story about that with three kids in Paris!)
What To Pack:
I travel a lot and this has been a huge learning curve for me. First of all stick to a color scheme (black usually the best because it doesn’t show the dirt) and take LESS than you think you need, not more. Plan your outfits. Try them on before you leave and know what you need for each event. Know that 2 jackets is fine – you don’t need 4. One pair of black workout pants is all you need- unless you’re working out more than 3-4 times. Mix it up with two or three different tops. Remember that only the people traveling with you will see you every day, so if you wear the same thing multiple times it doesn’t matter. Just take what you love, is comfortable and makes you feel good. Take hats (to protect your gorgeous face). I usually take 2 or three. Pack all your lingerie in the hat and place in the bag and pack your shoes around them. They’ll stay in perfect condition. Minimize on shoes, only take comfortable ones – or one pair that goes with everything dressy for your nights out. Wear your biggest ones on the plane…sneakers in summer and boots in winter. You want to look good while you travel, so invest in a great mini hair dryer or whatever styling tool you use. I love my nano-titanium by babybliss dryer. It weighs NOTHING and does the same quality job as my salon quality dryer. When you’re with the kids, make them pack their backpacks and CARRY them. They can only bring what they’re willing to have on their back for extras. AND if you stay in an Airbnb you can usually do a load of wash to keep some of the items less.
What To Do:
Let yourself flow. Which might mean physically ebb and flow. I just went to Europe for 16 days. (I know I’m lucky, thank you my beautiful sister Kelly Dailey for living in Paris and Burgundy and allowing me this opportunity!) While there, I only took a total of 4 classes. 1 in Paris, 2 in London and 1 Dailey Method streaming video. This is WAY less than my normal routine. But I allow myself to be okay with it. I get my movement by walking everywhere (rule of thumb if it’s less than 45 minutes where I’m going – I walk). You get to see and experience so much more of the culture of where you are by walking (thank you GPS). I also allow myself to enjoy the cultural food differences. Croissants in Paris? Sure! Wine at lunch with friends? Sure! Guacamole and chips 3 meals a day in Mexico? Sure! I don’t necessarily gain weight when I travel because I do MOVE so much more, but I do soften. And I allow that. It’s a different scenery. A different life. A different time. Allow yourself to be there and enjoy being out of your element. You’ll get back to where you want to be when you’re back in your everyday. Allow yourself to ebb and flow.
I would love to hear your travel tips!