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Travel Hiccups: When Plans Go Awry & How to Preserve the Vacation Vibes

July 27, 2023

I can often be found in the dance studio (or my kitchen) working on my bachata form or creating with my kids and husband, who inspire me daily and are the "why" behind what I do. An avid baker, I am often making a new bread recipe, baking homemade cinnamon rolls, or desperately trying to drink the rest of my coffee while it's hot. My mission? To help others create and cultivate a home that they love!

I'm Catherine

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Travel Hiccups: When Plans Go Awry & How to Preserve the Vacation Vibes

We recently had quite the experience during a recent trip as a family, prompting some additional discoveries that would be great to have in your back pocket when the undesirable events of traveling occur. During our trip, I knew I’d want to share about our travel hiccups and how to preserve your vacation. 

Today, I’m here with my best tips and tricks for smooth travel, whether you’re traveling solo or with little (or not so little aymore) ones in tow. Ready? Let’s go! Are you new here? Be sure to check out Part One here.

I’m sharing all my favorite discoveries for traveling light, and keeping the vibe going when you miss your flight due to delays, or *gasp* the airline cancels your connecting flight. I hope you find these helpful for your next trip!

Travel Hiccups & Preserve Your Vacation Vibes |Packing Essentials:

I cannot emphasize the use of packing cubes enough. They are the first item I reach for whenever I travel and would only travel with them. I can easily break down each type of clothing and see at a glance what I have packed and what is still needed. Not to mention, once I arrive at my destination, I can stay organized, and everything has its place, even if I’m living out of a suitcase. It makes traveling light a breeze, and the kids can even help too! Do you know someone who likes to pack? By making it easy, it makes it effortless, and that’s essential for creating a habit we continue to use. 

When packing for my kids, all the little shirts and pants are packed together, with pajamas and underclothes packed separately for convenience. This method makes it easy to pack a spare outfit for your packable backpack when you’re planning to be out and about all day, away from your home base. Packing cubes are a handy plus when you have to take an unexpected stay in a hotel after missing a flight (or being stranded at the airport overnight). 

Travel Hiccups & Preserve Your Vacation Vibes |Mind Your Luggage:

Last but not least, try to select a suitcase or luggage system that’s lightweight. I can tell you, from doing Farmer’s carry with my bag, and my daughters’ bug up and down ridiculously perilous looking escalators, all I wanted to do was strap something on my back so that I had both hands free. Now, I am no expert on the best in luggage, but you might want to check out “Pack Hackers” on YouTube. Their advice and honest reviews are gold and you’ll learn a lot from their exploration of various features inherent in the products they review.

During this trip, I opted to use my Monos bag and leather backpack – while this would be excellent for my solo trips, I found it to be too much after covering the airport multiple times while walking around in efforts to keep the kids engaged and entertained during longer waiting times.

Our favorite packing cubes (also grab my favorite sling bag) are these, which are available on Amazon:



Travel Hiccups | Health & Beauty Essential Items:

I scoured the internet in search of the most cost-effective and easily-packed items. While my husband and son don’t have to do much with their hair, that is not the case for my daughter and me. While they make adorable containers that pack beautifully, I am not trying to go out of my way to make my luggage look beautiful. 

In my search, I found these perfectly packable and stashable shampoo and conditioner bars.  I’m able to coordinate shampoo and conditioner for several sweaty days in a tropical climate makes getting ready a breeze, and we left space in our luggage for coffee and trinkets! Grab these lovelies from L’Occitane for a little travel luxury escape.

Another practice that improved my travel experience, was keeping a face cleansing wipe in my personal item carry-on (I always keep these separate in the event we need to check our carry-on bags). I was able to refresh myself after a super-late night in the hotel and was completely zapped of energy. Taking a few minutes for self-care and applying facial moisturizer was exactly what I needed. Keeping all of my liquids and gels together in one easy-to-access pack, allowed me to quickly grab what I needed.

Travel Mishaps | The Travel Conundrum:

Allow me to give you the short version of our travel fiasco and how I arrived on these discoveries:

There was a ground stop for our flight from Norfolk to Newark, and when we actually arrived in Newark (roughly six hours later than planned), we landed in terminal A and needed to be in terminal C. While on the bus to get to that terminal, our flight took off and the next one was not until the following day. Color me toast. It had been a good twelve hours since we ate. We secured a hotel room for that night (well after midnight) and then caught the flight the next evening.

Whew! On the way back, as we were boarding to leave Aguadilla, we discovered that our flight from Newark to Norfolk had been canceled so after we landed in NJ, we were able to rebook a flight to Norfolk from JFK but to get there required an adventure. We had to take a taxi and that was very interesting…and I’m checking that one off of my bucket list now!

Preserve The Vacation Vibes | Favorite Travel Clothing:

Traveling in the early morning requires quite a bit of grace, along with lots of snacks and a sizeable amount of coffee. Reaching for my best travel pants, I packed an extra set of clothes in the backpack of my suitcase and opted to deal with whatever may spill on my pants – since they would dry quickly and easily. I purchased them in 2020, and they still look brand new. Simple and elevated jogger pants with snazzy gold zippers at the hem make them a classic option if I need to dress up quickly while maintaining comfort on a long plane ride and wait in the airport. Washing and drying them in a tropical climate? Not a problem. Basically, any type of jogger here in a synthetic fabric is going to come in clutch here. 

You can grab the pants here.

Regain Control of Your Vacation | Favorite Resources:

The travel lounges! After we returned, I discovered many credit cards offer a form of travel benefits – like coverage for TSA pre-check and/or lounge access. Be sure to research these for your destination airports and any surrounding airports just in case you find yourself in need of one! This could be a welcome respite from travel upset and allow you a place to get food without emptying your wallet or dipping into your travel funds.

What are your go-to items and/or suggestions for travel? Sound off in the comments!

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