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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Getting Your Fave Products in Miniature

It has been a really long time since I've traveled with a full-size health or beauty product that I brought from home. (I've had to purchase a few things along the way.) I know I don't need a giant bottle of shampoo for two weeks, so why pack it and have to pay to check my bag when I don't have to? When you travel, you need to learn to be a little bit flexible, and that extends to the products you bring. Instead of seeing the TSA rules as an obstacle, I think of it as a way to help me pack light and more efficiently. When someone says "You can't fit everything you need into a quart bag!" I respond with "Challenge accepted!" You know why? Because when you're creative, you can get everything you need into that little bag. 

There are lots of places you can find small sizes of your favorite products that will make your travel bag lighter and will allow you to fit everything you need into you 3-1-1 liquids bag.
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The Makeup Counter
If you shop the makeup counter for your beauty products, make sure to plan your visit when there's a free gift (Clinique and other large beauty companies advertise these several times a year). This is when you'll end up with trial sizes of some of the products you already use. Pop them in your travel bag and leave your large sizes at home. I find that most trial sizes, even if they are really small, still have enough for a week or two. 

Sephora always offers minis when you spend a specific amount (whether you shop online or in-store). Become a Beauty Insider (if you aren't already) and accrue points for purchases that you can trade in for deluxe samples. Before you get to the check-out, you can find tiny versions of some of their popular products, which might also be items you use everyday. This might be a dangerous way to shop while you're waiting in line, but it can also be useful.

I go to Target all the time, but maybe you frequent Rite Aid or CVS or Walgreens. They all have a travel size aisle. I find these the best place to find deodorant, bottles, toothpaste, contact solution and other generic minis. If you use regular shampoo brands found in drugstores, you can often find travel sizes of these, too, like Loreal, Pantene and Garnier. 
Looking for more upscale brands? 3floz specializes in these, but in sizes that specifically fit into your travel bag. Whether you need a small packet of facial wipes, a fancy eye cream or makeup remover, you can find them on this site that ranges from selling natural brands like Yes To... to more expensive products from Dr. Dennis. You can pack a miniature spa in your carry-on to help you feel at home and pampered wherever you go.
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So, there are lots of products you can't find at a drugstore even though they exist. You are almost guaranteed to find them at Minimus. Not only can you find a huge range of beauty products here, but you can also find health items (aspirin, antibacterial cream, anti-diarrheal chews, vitamins) and even food products (single-serving snacks, salad dressings, condiments).  I have bought quite a few things from Minimus, including a variety of useful medicine cabinet necessities to put together an emergency kit for when my sister-in-law went off to college.

I have a collection of travel bottles, spray bottles and jars. If I can't find a travel size of my fave product, I decant. And sometimes you just don't need all that much of something, like moisturizer where a little goes a long way, so you don't need a large jar of it, so you can downsize even further by putting it a contact case or something similar.

With these tips, you can easily fit everything you absolutely need in your 3-1-1 bag and toiletry bag to help you go carry-on only. What's your favorite way to stock your travel bag with minis?

My next newsletter is only a few days away. It'll have tips on where to travel in April & May that are budget-friendly. Don't forget to sign up for it, as this won't be available on the blog. (Find the short form right underneath my social media buttons at the top of this post.)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Get More Vacation By Avoiding Jet Lag

Jet lag. Is there anything worse? Well, probably. Getting robbed or attacked by a bear or losing your passport. Those are all worse actually. There's a really low chance of most of those things happening to you, but jet lag is really common...and annoying. You can lose hours or days of your trip because of it, which is kind of like being robbed, because you're paying for vacation you don't get to use. Going west to east is worse than going east to west, but it depends on how many time zones you're crossing. The best way to avoid jet lag is to start combating it before you even leave home. Here are some tips:
Adjust Your Schedule
The sooner you can get on your new schedule, the better. If you can do so before you leave home, that's optimal, but if you have to work and can't really do that, then start on your plane ride. Immediately set your watch to what the local time will be and do what you normally do at that time. If it's time to sleep, then sleep, but if it's not, make yourself stay awake as much as possible. I take a quick nap, but occupy myself reading, watching a movie, playing a game or coming up with new post ideas (maybe you journal instead). If you are traveling with someone, break out a card game and make them play with you. In other words, keep your brain busy. When you get to your destination, stay on schedule. If it's daytime, do some sightseeing. If it's nighttime, then go to bed. Simple! And don't forget to eat on time. Have problems getting on a new schedule? Try an app like this one!

Stay Hydrated
Not getting enough liquids in your body can cause you to be sluggish. Bring a big bottle of water with you on the plane, avoid dehydrating drinks like soda and alcohol, and continue drinking extra of water for the first couple of days of your trip. This can also keep you from getting sick.

Eat Light and Healthy
Eating is really important, but you don't want to eat a huge meal before getting on the plane. You also don't want to eat fried and junk food. Find something light and healthy (or as much as possible) to eat before your flight that'll keep your going, but not weigh you down and make you sleepy. You'll also want to bring snacks. Protein-packed, healthy foods like nuts or fruit are great options. 

Need more advice? Check out this informative infographic that gives you eve more ideas on how to stay awake and on course on your vacation.

If you want to know more about a jet lag "diet", see my post here. I didn't try it like I meant to, but I found that getting on schedule ASAP worked really well. I was really tired that first evening, but after a good night's sleep, I was good to go and made the most of all my vacation days.

Have you ever been a victim of jet lag?
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