To stay organized, well-rested (and smelling good)
While I normally talk about leadership, I’m taking a break from the normally scheduled programming to talk about the gadgets I am packing for strategy days in Europe this summer.
Things that help me stay organized, well-rested, and (smelling good) stoke the confidence I need to lead once I’m on the ground.
I broke this post down into tips for
Before the flight
During the flight
After the flight
Before the flight
Packing cubes. I could nerd out on organizers forever. Buy a whole mess of these cubes and pack for each trip in advance. I pack by outfit, based on the temperature, activities, and the fashion at the destination. I’m currently fan-girling over the Away Luggage set of 4 in varying sizes. If items overlap for trips, put a Post-it on the bag reminding you of the missing item.
Trello board. I keep a running list of things that come on every trip on a Trello board. I copy the list over for each trip and run through it, checking things off.
Toiletry bag. I used to carry a ton of little makeup bags. My mom got them by the boatload working at the beauty counter at a department store. Then I’m rummaging through them all, looking for a pair of scissors. The cloth got wet if product decided to explode midflight. So I’ve recently traded the cloth bags (Sorry mom) in for these Truffle Clarity Jetset cases in “Standard” size. They zip open from the top. No rummaging. The leather trim also wipes easier.
Air tags. I got one as a Christmas gift and tucked it into the zippered compartment in my Away luggage. The “Find My network” app on my Iphone helps track down my AirTag, and by default, my suitcase.
Backpack I used to have a smart backpack from Coach. I loved the look of it, but the leather was too darn heavy. Today, I’m all about light light light. Dagne Dover makes this ultra light puffy backpack from recycled plastic bottles. Compartments for laptop, water bottle, kindle, pens, and wallet make it an attractive ‘traveling office.’
Power Bank. I take alot of video and photos for my Instastories. ALOT. There is something beautiful about documenting the journey, and watching the clips stitched together. It also means I’m burning through a lot of battery power on my phone. I carry this PowerCore 10000 Portable Charger from Anker both at home in NYC — - and on travels.
International Travel Plug Adapter. I used to carry multiple little adapters for each country. This adapter from Epicka is universal and can be used in every country.
Extension cord. Sometimes — -just sometimes — - the mirror is ill-placed in the hotel room (or boat). It’s too far from the mirror. I bring this extension cord, also from Anker to bridge any inconvenient gaps.
Step down voltage converter. When I plug in my American hairdryer, it runs super hot in Paris. The voltage doesn’t change and it could ruin appliances if traveling for an extended period of time internationally, esp for appliances that are not dual voltage. This step down voltage converter will serve me well in the City of Lights for 4 weeks.
While on the flight
Water bottle. I used to be a big fan of a glass of red wine and sleep gummies before an overnight flight. But I’ve given up hootch. I’m getting older and every sip shows up on my face. I’m choosing to hydrate instead and settled on this collapsible water bottle from Nomader. Advantage? It packs small when empty. It’s leak proof too.
Airborne. I pound these Airborne Vitamin C effervescent tablets before, during and after a flight. Flights can be a closed eco-system of germs.
Melatonin. Max Lugavere wrote one of the most impactful books I’ve ever read on the topic of sleep. Melatonin is the hormone your body emits when its winding down. It signals, “time to go to sleep.” Lugavere recommends taking three to five milligrams of melatonin, 30 minutes before you want to go to sleep. Added tip: Taking it in the morning tricks your brain into believing you slept longer.
Eye mask. My home in Brooklyn features beautiful floor to ceiling windows. My bedroom also looks right out onto the Federal Courthouse, lit up like a Christmas tree until midnight. This silk eye mask from Amazon is a life-saver, both on planes and at home. I spritz this 1 oz travel-sized lavender oil spray from Neom on my pillow to help wind down.
Scarf. Airports, airplanes are alternatively stuffy or drafty. I’m packing this lightweight linen travel scarf for a summer trip to Turkey. I’ll need to cover my head and shoulders at the mosque in 100 degree heat. For the other seasons, (and not 100 degrees) I have an Epice scarf from Paris. This White + Warren Cashmere Travel Wrap is a good stand-in for it.
Compression socks These have 70,000 reviews on Amazon. These are popular for keeping your feet and legs from swelling on those long haul flights.
Bose Noise Cancelling Wireless headphones. It drowns out that young baby or loud adult talkers.
After the flight
Shower sheets. I read an article in Travel and Leisure, citing research from WebMD. A quick hack for shaking off jetlag is a cold shower. It boosts circulation. BUT, if you arrive on a morning flight in Europe, and check in isn’t until 3pm GMT, these on-the-go shower sheets from YUNI Beauty are a good alternative.
Hair Brush. Being the travel junkie, I consume organization tips from other travel junkies as well. Meghan Donovan of the blog “Whit and Whimsy” carries this pocket sized hair brush from the British company Mason Pearson.
White noise machine. When I first moved to New York City, I lived on 2nd Avenue. In the dead of night, its the main thoroughfare for every truck making a delivery to Manhattan. If quality sleep is important while traveling, do what any good therapist does and get this 3.5″ white noise machine for travel by Yogasleep to drown out trucks, snoring. Whatever.
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