I recently made the trek over to China for a business trip and let me tell you – traveling to the other side of the world is exhausting (even when you’re not the one driving). But my excitement overrode the exhaustion and I had an absolute blast touring Tianjin!
| Our hotel was insanely gorgeous! |
My favorite part about traveling (specifically internationally) is living and eating like the locals do. I ate fried rice for breakfast 4 days in row, consumed a few too many dumplings and I’m still dreaming about the Pad Thai and coconut soup I had at YY Beer House. Talk about carb overload.
My second favorite thing about traveling is the shopping preparation beforehand. I was absolutely one of those kids who loved every minute of shopping for school supplies at the beginning of August and that excitement has only transformed to getting giddy over loading up on toiletries before a trip.
So per usual, I over packed and over prepared. Days leading up to my departure, I was making impulse purchases left and right. I probably went to Target four times in two days buying lord knows what. Let’s just say my carry-on to China was much heavier than my carry-on back.
I ordered the Large Metro tote from MZ Wallace the week before I left and I couldn’t be more satisfied with my purchase. It fits everything – laptop, a box of tissues, bag of caramel popcorn – everything. My favorite feature – three detachable, multi-sized zipper pouches for easy organization, along with pockets lining the inside.
Though I don’t regret any of my purchases, I definitely lightened up my bag before catching the flight back home. Once I realized I’m not going to read my heavy hardcover (watched like 7 movies instead), nor do I need an entire pharmacy of allergy pills, it was easy to make cuts to my packing list. So in hopes of helping you trim down your baggage, here are my must-pack travel essentials:
The flight from Atlanta to Seattle was only 5 hours, but the flight from Seattle to Beijing was 11. Ya’ll, 16 hours airborne is not a good look for me. Which is why a mid-flight refresh was a must. After dinner service (and The Martian), I removed my make-up, took out my contacts, brushed my teeth and applied an under eye mask. (I was #blessed on the way to China with not having anyone seated next to me but I definitely felt a little awkward borderline bathing while a sweet older gentleman sat 4 inches to my right on the way back.)
*Not pictured: my laptop, large stash of Lara Bars & beef jerky, phone charger and sleeping pills – all of which I would be miserable without.
For any of my light-packing friends, please teach me your ways. For my friends, who love to over-pack, let’s get together and go shopping before our next trip! 😉