For better or for worse, I have accumulated a vast amount of experience with all modes of travel. Planes, trains, automobiles, international, domestic cross-country and puddle hoppers alike. With felines and solo trips. So I’ve decided to put my hard-won expertise to some good use and start a “Natural Born Traveler” series- tips, tricks and secrets for avoiding all the holiday travel hassle and getting to your destination in one piece…while looking fabulous of course!
First up: Accessories. We all know how much I capital-L LOVE accessories. However, there is one mode of stylish life where ex-cessories, as I call them in any other capacity, fall under the “less is more” file. That is when traveling.
Whether you’re taking to the skies, the rail or just hopping in your trusty four-wheeled friend to take you where you want to go this holiday season, it’s important to think about your accessories. We’ve already established how important it is to appear well-dressed and sophisticated during a voyage, but this is NOT the time to try out your newest bauble or highest heels.
Airport security is a total, utter nightmare. Without fail. Especially around the holidays and other busy travel times, it seems that TSA agents get surlier and ruder every day. Don’t give anyone any opportunity to hassle you about your hoop earrings getting caught in that adorable Hermes scarf- best to save anything too flashy or eye-catching for that fabulous party you’re jetting off to. Dangly earrings, anything too glitzy, a bevy of bangles clanging against each other or even anything too “serious” (I’m talking to you, 4 carat diamonds!) can draw unwanted attention. Not just the TSA guy showing extra attention to your lingerie in your carryon. Thieves, pickpockets and other evil sorts have a field day at airport security! Especially in this vulnerable, maybe even frazzled state of shoe-less panic, you do NOT want to be worried about your emerald necklace or Rolex watch sitting in one of those yucky, grey plastic bins.
Even once you’re on the plane (or train, if you’re smart enough to avoid subjecting yourself to the scrutiny of those metal detectors that always seem to freak out about your bra wire or belt buckle) accessories can slow you down. Gracefully throwing your stuffed-to-the-brim Longchamp or Louis Vuitton carryon suitcase into the tiny overhead compartment is stressful enough, without having to worry about snagging that lovely statement necklace on the way down. Always go for the bare minimum of costume jewelry or anything loose when you need to be on the go. Unless you could live without that fabulous silver cuff if it slips off when you fall asleep against the window, tuck it away in your packed luggage and wait until you arrive at your destination to show it off.
If you’re driving, there is nothing worse than getting a gorgeous, dangling charm bracelet caught in your clothes while you’re reaching down for your trusty Cappucino or Diet Cherry Coke to keep you awake. Just do yourself a favor for safety and peace of mind, and keep your hands and wrists totally clear. You can go crazy with the ear and neck adornments, as long as nothing interferes with your vision or ability to turn your head to check all those blind spots. This doesn’t mean dress like a total slob during long car rides- always dress as if you were going to meet someone you’d like to impress one day. Accessories can always be thrown on quickly to jazz up your black knit pants and comfortable sweater!
I always wear just the basics when traveling, to keep myself organized, together and efficient. Everyone wants to look stylish, so select maybe just one piece to keep you company during the long journey- a pair of stud earrings, if you don’t mind the post stabbing you when you try to sleep. I usually opt for just the rings I wear all day, every day (which are difficult enough to get off that I can rest assured they aren’t goinganywhere) and a few little beaded bracelets that don’t carry enough metal to set off the metal detector, or with enough sparkle to blind my neighbor when the sunlight streams though the plexi-glass window. Costume jewely is great- but wear your lightest accessories (also a good idea to keep them on the cheap side) to ensure a smooth travel experience.
One accessory I can never have enough of when traveling? That would be my friend, the scarf. Whether you prefer Hermes, Burberry or a trusty old Pashmina, you can never go wrong with throwing an extra in your carry-on. They become pillows so your skin doesn’t touch the yucky window, they can keep you warm during a layover or an outside train stop, and they are so lightweight that if you desperately need to make your bulky bag slimmer (for stuffing purposes in aforementioned bin spaces) just slip out your scarf and throw it around your neck. Sometimes I even bring two or three- use it to protect anything super fragile in your carry-on to shelter it from blows of fellow passengers’ swinging satchels. I even wrap mine around my Louboutin dust bags, just for some added cushion.
One final warning about traveling with accessories and anything else valuable: never, EVER check something irreplaceable. I hate to say this, but my vast experience with checked luggage proves that you have to be willing to replace Every. Single. Thing. In that checked bag. So keep your beloved baubles and treasured trinkets out of sight, nestled at the bottom of your carry-on, and keep it within your sight at all times. Remember to act the part of First Class (even if you’re toughing it out in the middle seat in coach)- you are fabulous enough to be jetting off to somewhere, so count your blessings, and have a safe trip! Bon voyage, mes amis!
first photo courtesy of protocol411.com
second photo courtesy of askville.amazon.com
third photo courtesy of bauergriffinonline.co
fourth photo courtesy of thestylishconfessions.com
fifth photo courtesy of thefiercediaries.com
sixth photo courtesy of bluelinerny.com
seventh photo courtesy of travel-security-and-safety.com
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