Category Archives: What to pack

What’s in your bag?



Everyone has rituals or particular ways they do things to stay organized and keep the chaos of life at bay. One thing I like to keep organized and ready to use – whenever I can – is my travel carry-on. True, this is not something that I use every day or even every week, but when I do need it, I want the little things done so I only have to think about the big things, like, which shoes should I wear with this outfit?
So, how do I keep my travel carry-on organized and what are the little things, you ask? I am so glad you did!
To start with – I always keep my toiletry bag in my carry-on full of TSA-approved bottles and accessories. There are the basics, such as toothbrush; toothpaste; floss picks (because when you have killer BBQ ribs that are just to die for, it is inevitable that some will get stuck in your teeth!); razor; hairbrush; deodorant; Q-tips; lotion; simple inexpensive costume jewelry for dress (see below) and Shine eye makeup remover cloths from Younique which also doubles as a face cleanser with sunflower, olive, vitamin E, and just a hint of rosemary. You can purchase them here from Haley Ragsdale.  Don’t leave home without it!


Additionaly, I also have a fragrance lotion; hair gel or mousse; a duplicate set of my makeup; shampoo and conditioner – because you never know if there will be some waiting for you at your destination, also, if you get bumped and have to hang-out in the airport for more than 10 hours, it is nice to freshen up in the bathroom… just sayin’. Speaking of having to freshen up in the airport, I also keep a pack of non-fragranced baby wipes in a sandwich Ziploc bag. ‘Yeah, we all do that, duh’, you say? Well, do you also add some of your favorite perfume or cologne to the wipes? Give it a try!
First off, let’s cover the carry-on luggage its self. My favorite carry-on has lots of pockets – little ones, big ones – you really can’t have to many. Also, must haves for a carry-on is a strong telescoping-handle and 360-degree turning wheels. I just hate it when I am running to catch a flight and my bag does not make the turn when I do and then tips on its side and slides outta control and wipes out the person next to me. That is so annoying and embarrassing!
Ok, so now onto what I keep in there. First off, I will put a few unused dryer sheets in the bottom of the carry-on so my clothes will not get that stale smell. Then I will keep a pair of very comfy flats; a ‘waddable, wrinkle-free’ dress that I can dress up or down; a tank top and pair of shorts that are multi-use (PJ’s, work-out clothes, or wearing out on a warm day – I love multi-use items!); swimsuit; a cover-up (yup, multi-use – one that I can use as a cover-up, layer with the tank top and pants, casual dress, you get the idea.); and a light-weight jacket. Speaking of my love for multi-use items, I came across an amazing item of clothing that will have a permanent home in my carry-on! It is called a Cameleon – like the lizard that changes colors to adapt. This one article of clothing can be a sundress; jumpsuit; cape; poncho; pants; laundry bag; or a light sleeping bag and it folds into its own pocket to take minimal space in your bag! It is mind boggling!

I am never too far from food. So last but not least, I keep a few protein bars in one of the pockets. Something that will have a shelf life of at least a year, will not squish, melt, or need to be refrigerated. When you land at an airport at 2 am and your internal clock is so outta whack that it thinks you should be eating lunch and everything is shut down, you will be glad you tucked them in a pocket! They won’t be as fabulous as a juicy burger from Humpy’s (Alaska reference) or a grande plate of nachos from La Mex that you washed down with a blue margarita (another Alaska reference) but it will keep you from eyeing the leather on your shoes.
Well, that is about what I keep in my carry-on. I keep the pre-packed clothes light because I will have to mix it up once in a while depending where I am going.
What do you keep in your bag?

Tata for now! Donna


How to walk a new city without getting lost!

There are so many apps these days for all of our gadgets. There are apps for everything imaginable, some very helpful such as those that help you keep track of your daily life, pictures, passwords, accounts, inventory and such. Then there are those that have no other value other than for the pure entertainment of it. I am about to tell you about an extremely handy travel app that every traveler, regardless if you are embarking on your first journey or you have been around the globe several times, should have in their digital arsenal.

I have to admit when I first came across this travel app I was not expecting much. I thought that it would be like so many other apps that claim they have all these fabulous functions that you can’t travel without, the typical “all that and a bag of chips” line. But I did agree to try out the app, so I took it for a test drive so to speak on a recent trip to New Orleans (check out the adventure here). Wow, was I surprised! I was so pleased with the functions, the ease of the app and how fun it was to use that I decided to tell you all about it!


GPSmyCity was so fun and easy to use! It is chock full of interesting ideas of where to go, what to see and do! I used the New Orleans guide, but there is an impressive over 470 cities (click here for a complete list) around the world that are mapped out with walking tours to attractions that are sure to appeal to just about all interests. There are three main categories for the walking tours – Sightseeing  Walks, Custom Walks where you choose your own attractions that interest you, and then the Saved Tracks.



If you are like me, you just kinda wander where ever your eyes and heart lead you, not really following a clear or set path, which was very evident when I used the Saved Tracks option! It tracked my every step and wow, did my path zig-zag all over the place!  No wonder I was so tired at the end of the day! One of the features that I really liked about the Saved Tracks option was that I could drop a pin on the map in the app and enter the name of a location such as the store where I found that cute pair of shoes but was not quite ready buy yet or the restaurant that I wanted to go back to because there were just too many things on their menu to try in one sitting, but of course I could not remember just where they were located because I had zig-zagged all over the city!



With GPSmyCity all I had to do was to go back to my Saved Tracks and look at the pins I dropped, find the location I was looking for, and then I could see where it was and how to get there. Very easy! That particular function was also very helpful after the trip because I could look back at where I had been and then write about it. Very handy for us travel writers and bloggers! Not only can you drop a pin, you can also save a picture or two of the location, or in my case, the shoes that I wanted! Who does not love a simple, functional, and fun app!



The Sightseeing Walk category has pre-entered attractions grouped together by themes such as City Orientation, Architechual Splendors, Prominent Shopping Areas, Nightlife, Churches, Museums and such. Of course, each city has themes that are unique to that city. New Orleans for example, has a Voodoo Tour and a French Quarter Tour. Within each theme, there will be a list of what to see, why to see it, a brief history of the attraction, hours, and a map of where it is located.



As an extra bonus, you can also share your walks on Twitter and Facebook, if you choose to do so, with all your friends and family so they can follow your adventures around the world.