December 15, 2011

A Very Travel Bug Christmas

Hello travel bugs! I know it's been ages since I've posted a legitimate update, but I've been a very busy bee. I wanted to get in a special post about Christmas ideas for the travelers in your life, though, before the holidays were out. Plus, starting tomorrow, my life will be going non-stop until the new year, so I won't have any time for posting (but I will be racking up - hopefully - some exciting travel stories to share!).

For those who've followed my earlier posts, you know my family is traveling to Europe in a few months. So when it came time to pick out Christmas gifts for them, I wanted something they could use/wear/enjoy while we were traveling. After brainstorming with some of the wise travelers in my life, I was sent to The Container Store - aka an organizer's paradise. If money were no object, I probably would have bought out their entire travel section. Call me a geek, but I'm a sucker for cute cosmetic organizers.

After perusing each and every item The Container Store has to offer, I decided to create my own unique set of travel essentials for my family (and one for me too of course). Each set includes two packing organizers, shoe protectors, and the perfect carry-on, TSA friendly toiletry bag.

Here's why I'm (dorkily) already so excited about putting these travel essentials to use:

Larger Packing Cube - While I thought it would be a bit bigger, it's still great for keeping your suitcase organized. I don't know that it neccessarily gives you any more space, but it definitely makes for more efficient packing. I tested it out, and you can get about four good sized sweaters in the cube. Best of all, they'll stay nicely rolled and won't get squashed. The cube is about the width of a standard, large rolling suitcase, so it will fit nicely and stay put (assuming the rest of your bag is full of course).

Smaller Packing Cube
- At first this cube baffled me, as I was disappointed and put off by its small size. Surely I wouldn't be able to fit much beyond some socks and maybe a tank or two. But then I realized my thinking was too limited. I was only thinking about clothes, when we all know far more goes into your suitcase than just clothes. And this cube is perfect for those other odds and ends, like a cell phone charger, camera, a hair brush, etc. Anything you normally throw with wild abandon into your suitcase can now be neatly stowed away with this helpful little cube. 

Shoe Covers
- The picture makes it look as though high-heels will fit with ease into these bags, but unless they're kitten heels, I think you'll have to do a bit more stretching. My taller heels do fit, but the bags look pretty warped. But their purpose isn't to look pretty, it's to protect your shoes, and that they do. Perfect for keeping dress shoes safe from scuffs or scratches or protecting the other things in your suitcase from any crud that may be on your shoe soles. The bags are big enough for someone with little feet like me to squeeze a complete pair of flats or flip flops into one bag, but people with larger feet may have to do some shoving to get their shoes in.

Travel Pack - Anyone who's flown at some point in the last 10 years knows the TSA is doing its best to make getting through security a hassle and a half. This travel pack will at least cut down on one of those hassles. The pouch is made of super tough plastic, so it's way better than the standard Zip-loc bag. The travel sized bottles are also a life saver. No more relying on the hotel shampoo and soap, you can bring your own! The jars are great too for medicine, mints, or even jewelry. You get to label the bottles yourself and one label is even left blank for you to write in. Best of all, the pack has already by approved by the TSA!

So there you have it, a sneak preview of what will be under the tree at my house this Christmas. Of course there are a thousand different directions I could have taken the travel inspiration when thinking of gifts - clothing, books, technology. I went the luggage/organization route, but what are some other travel essentials that you think would make good gifts?

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