I always bring a roomy carryall in a fun color or pattern. My current bag of choice is the J. Crew Newsstand Tote in leopard suede.
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It's basically a fabric-covered board that has a bunch of stretchy bands crisscrossing one side. You can wedge all of your cords, chargers, and other loose travel items into it, keeping them all in place where you can find them, without having to dig around the bottom of your bag or the various pockets of your suitcase. No more knots -- hurrah!
Everyone has their own phone preference, but for me, the iPhone is the greatest invention for travel EVER, with the iPad a close second. Having all of my books and email in the palm of my hand in the form of my iPhone makes waiting in line seem like a pleasure, instead of a chore. And I've found that the iPad is so much better than traveling with a laptop: it's smaller, you don't have to remove it from your bag to run it through security, and it makes lugging books, magazines, music, or movies around in your bag obsolete.
Once I'm on the plane, I love being able to watch a movie or catch up on my embarrasingly lowbrow television shows. I have the original iPad, so no fancy self-stowing case/stand for me. I bring this little contraption to prop up my screen for my viewing pleasure (and when I'm not using it, it fits neatly in my Grid-It).
I tend to freeze on planes, so to stay warm, I have two lines of defense:
First, since I usually wear ballet flats of some sort when I travel, I bring a pair of squishy socks to keep my feet warm. I panic purchased a pair of these at the Lacoste store in the Charlotte airport a few months ago when I found myself facing a ten-hour flight without socks, and they're the best! They're nice and warm, but since they're ankle socks, they don't take up much room in my bag.
Second, I never fly without a big scarf. My favorites are from Nordstrom, come in every color imaginable, and feel like a million bucks. These scarves are great for travel because they're big enough to use blankie-style, but thin enough to wear around your neck throughout your travels. Treat yourself -- they're the best!
I've gotten into knitting recently, so I'll be working away attempting to create a cowl just like this one:
Using yarn that looks like this:
For any of you knitters out there, I'm using this pattern from Ravelry (I'm "TallandSalty" -- say hi!), and Twinkle by Classic Elite Baby Chunky yarn in Dove. (For any non-knitters, Ravelry is the "Facebook for Knitting." It's pretty amazing how organized it is. Or not...I mean, we are talking about knitters here.) This is a great plane activity, because you can do it at the same time as you're watching a movie, listening to a book, or chatting with a charming seatmate.
Add a nice slender bottle of SmartWater (there's just something about how much better that bottle fits in my bag!) and perhaps an Us Weekly for takeoff and landing, and I am happy as can be.
Anyone else traveling this weekend? Safe travels!