Smart Solutions To Make Travel Less Terrifying.

There is something very calming about being efficiently packed and organized when traveling. It makes me feel slightly smug when I can confidently stroll through the airport, knowing what is where amongst my belongings. Instead of frantically rifling through my bags that I forgot this or dropped that- I hold my head high, and pretend that, just if even for the duration of my walk from security to the gate, I am that girl who totally has my sh*t together. 

In all honesty, the rigamarole to get from point A to point B is often enough to keep me from ever leaving the house- especially with my kids. Because I don't enjoy feeling like a hot mess.

So- here are a few finds that I came across putting together the Travel Innovations segment I shared this morning on TODAY. And since live TV has limited time- plus the constant chance of the unexpected, which is part of the fun- some of these things I didn't get to fully show on air. Sooooo, consider it bonus exclusive blog reader content- see, it's all about how you spin it, right? ;)

AWAY Travel: Top quality, reasonable prices, thoughtful details- this brand makes the actual act of buying a suitcase feel fun. Instead of navigating through a sea of overpriced black suitcases that all look the same piled up in a poorly designed department store, AWAY created minimalist, well-designed rolling suitcases in on-trend colors with RELEVANT benefits (built in USB charger, unbreakable shell exterior, colors that you can actually IDENTIFY on a luggage carousel, TSA friendly- but not thief friendly- lock, interior compartments that maximize space, a snap-in laundry bag, well-built wheels, etc.) for purchase online. For a family of travelers, the genius is that the bags nest inside each other- so you don't waste valuable storage space! Not only is this a huge benefit at home- but also when traveling, between 4 of us, I often feel like half of our room gets taken over by empty luggage laying around taunting us... Use THIS link to check out all the offerings- and it will also entitle you to $20 off your purchase! SCORE!

Smart Birdy: The most glam piece of luggage ever, without a doubt. I mean- can you even handle how freaking cute this brand is? Details like rose gold hardware and an optional bluetooth speaker (because, according to the founder, when she and her friends get ready to go out on a girls trip, music is essential- she SO gets it, right?!) are just the icing on the cake. See, you can pack 60 outfits in this puppy (see how HERE)- including 4 pairs of shoes. It also has the charger element, and other fun extras- but all that aside- this bag makes every trip instantly feel fabulous.  

Barracuda: It collapses down to just 4" deep- meaning you can store in under a low couch or bed, or even hang it in a closet (it comes inside a carrying bag with a hanger affixed to make it super simple.) And if you like to work on the go- the built in laptop desk is gonna be your best friend. The height is adjustable too- so you can make your temporary in-transit work station customized for your comfort. There is a removable charger- and, perhaps the element that I least expected to love most but alas, find to be a HUGE benefit- the handle swivels 360 degrees so you don't strain your wrist. 

1 Voice Weekender Garment/Duffel: When I was in the "wedding travel every weekend" phase of my early adult life, I remember lugging a hanging bag for my dress and then a second bag for all the other stuff. Such an unnecessary pain! This starts as a garment bag- zip in a dress, suit, etc.- place your shoes in the side pockets (FYI- I was able to fit a pair of heels in each pocket- yay for small feet and shoes more delicate than a men's loafer I guess), and then zip around the perimeter to magically turn said garment bag into a roomy duffel, ready to be filled with everything else you could possibly need for a 2-3 night trip. OH- and this week the company is offering 50% off with promo code 50Off...GET ON IT!

Lo & Sons Hanover Backpack: I am going to use this backpack every single day for the rest of my life. Not only is the minimalist design very cool, but the memory foam straps make the fit incredible. It is so lightweight, has just the right number of compartments to organize instead of confuse, and the back has a sleeve so you can affix it to the handle of a rolling suitcase. I featured the brand's O.G. carry-all tote in a segment when they launched, and fell in love with the smart way Lo & Sons thinks about how real people travel. Check out the site, and I highly recommend promptly replacing every bag you own with a similar Lo & Sons version - because trust me, the version they make is SO much better. Every damn time.