Good Morning Coffee Talkers! I am so very excited to be accompanying my husband on his trip to California this week. He will be attending a church conference focused on how to grow church community online, how technology can benefit our church, and how to create an online presence that draws people into our community. I am so excited to see how God uses this trip for my husband and to see what kind of things we can take back to apply to our own church, which is Lighthouse Church in Glen Burnie, MD.
Because I am unable to attend the conference, I am just tagging along for the experience (and because we haven’t spent a night apart since we got married and I was not ready to be apart for three nights just yet). While I am in Anaheim, and Evan is busy at the conference, I am excited to explore all the local coffee shops and dig into some writing. What I would love to do is knock out some posts for you and to make some progress on my book. My goal is to have that written by the end of this year so that I can start the publishing process.
I’M NO EXPERT BUT HERE’S HOW I DO
A few days ago I asked what you were interested in hearing about on the blog and many of you were interested in hearing about packing and traveling essentials. I am no expert traveler, but I am a fairly decent packer. There are definitely other things out there to help you when packing as well. Apps such as the Pack App, lists found online, etc, they can absolutely be beneficial when trying to pack your bags.
Some things to consider before packing your bagsClick To TweetSome things to consider before packing your bags would be making sure your home and pets are taken care of in your absence.
When it comes to leaving your pets behind, choose someone you trust and that you know will take care of your pet and love them in your absence. We are leaving our cat, Princess, with my sister-in-law because she loves our cat probably as much as I do, so I know she is in good hands. Be sure to give them keys that work (make sure you tested them first–we had to learn this the hard way) and have them get your mail for you. You can also contact your local post office to get them to hold your mail for you if you don’t want your pet sitter to be grabbing your mail. It is important to make sure they know where to find the food/water, litter (if necessary), stain remover, and that they have your phone numbers in case they have any other questions.
PREPARING YOUR HOME
To prepare your home for your absence, make sure that you clean it. I mean it. This is solid advice. Coming home after any trip, whether that be a quick getaway, vacation, business trip, etc. there is simply nothing worse than walking into a dirty and messy home. Make sure you pick up the clutter, make your bed, and clean and put away any dishes. It is also important to get rid of any food that will expire while you are gone and make sure the trash goes out before you leave. Having your stinky trash can filled with trash permeate throughout your house is straight nasty. You’ll thank me for this one. Some other things to remember is to turn off EVERYTHING. Make sure all lights are off, appliances are unplugged, and that you turn down the air. Your heat or AC does not need to run while you are away. Keep it at a comfortable (lesser) setting for your pet, and be sure to turn down your hot water heater as well.
HOW TO PACK YOUR BAGS
I always try to pack my bag 3-7 days in advance. I do this mostly because I don’t want to “outfit repeat” or forget to pack an item that I really wanted to wear on my trip because somehow it didn’t get washed in time. My husband on the other hand is the “night before” or “morning of” type of packer. It’s safe to say I have officially taken over the packing in our house. All he has to do is approve of the things I picked and then in the suitcase it goes.
This time we are taking one (BIG) checked bag, 2 carry ons, and 2 personal bags. Here is a look inside our bags to see WHAT we packed, and WHERE we packed them:
WHAT TO WEAR
Choosing what you will wear to the airport/on the plane can be just as tricky and packing your bags. You want to make sure you choose an outfit that it cute, comfy, and functional. What I am wearing today is gray jeggings with a red tunic, a black and white cozy sweater, and flats. I chose this because I want to wear something that I will be comfortable sitting in for a long amount of time. Our flights are approximately 5 hours each, so that’s a long time to be sitting down. You definitely want to be comfortable. I wanted something that had layers because you never know how hot or cold the temperature will be on the plane. There have been many times that I thought I would be warm and ended up freezing. And other times that I thought I would be cold and wore too thick of a sweater. Flats are great because you have to take your shoes off when you’re going through security. There is nothing more annoying than the time it takes to retie your tennis shoes or lace up an intricate boot.Choosing what you will wear to the airport/on the plane can be just as tricky and packing your bagsClick To Tweet
What I wasn’t expecting today was how sparkles would affect the body scanner. But hey, lesson learned. If you are ever thinking of wearing a sparkly top to the airport, I would advise against this in the future if you don’t want to be thoroughly padded down. I would also remember to keep all food and liquid items in your checked bag because if they make it into your carry on, you will have to have your bag searched which just slows down the security process.
HOW WILL YOU GET THERE?
Before you get to the airport, make sure you research and decide HOW you will get to and from the airport. This time, we will be driving ourselves and leaving our car at the airport simply for convenience. Because we are leaving early in the morning and we won’t be getting back until late Friday night, this seemed to make the most sense for us this time. Another great thing to do would be to take an Uber, Lyft, or Taxi. This way you don’t have to worry about paying for parking and your car will be home for you when you get back. If you’re hoping to save a few dollars here, most of the time a family member or good friend would be willing to take you to or pick you up from the airport. Be sure to ask them in advance and show your gratitude for them going out of their way to help you!
EXTRA THINGS TO REMEMBER
When it comes to packing your money and important documents make sure that you are only bringing the cards you plan to use while you are away. Leave the rest at home in a safe place. Make sure you are carrying at least some cash and, if you are traveling out of the country, foreign currency. You want to make sure you have all itineraries, tickets, boarding passes, and forms of identification easily accessible. If you are traveling outside the country you will need a passport. Often times you can find a nice passport wallet which can hold all of your important documents.
I don’t typically take a blanket or travel pillow but if you are a sleeper when you travel, I would highly recommend it. Nodding off against the window would feel much better if you have a pillow to lean on. If traveling makes you nervous, I recommend taking any anxiety or sleeping medications about 15-20 minutes before departure. This way the medicine will kick in at just the right time.
Traveling alone can be fun, but traveling together is always betterClick To TweetTraveling alone can be fun, but traveling together is always better. It’s definitely fun to sit next to your spouse or your friend because it makes the flight a little more exciting. Some things to remember for your flight entertainment are a deck of cards, books/magazines, and some apps on your phone. If you’re into the games, I would definitely make sure you don’t need wifi to play them. Some other apps worth downloading are Kindle, Audible, and the YouVersion Bible App. You can easily read (or listen to) a book or two on your flight, and what better to spend some time in God’s word that in the air?
I have some must do’s whenever I go to the airport, and that is to get a coffee. My husband and I disagree on which coffee is better so thankfully when we go to BWI, we can get both. He prefers the dark roast and Starbucks, and I prefer a simple Dunkin Donuts with almond milk. This morning, because our flight was so early and we didn’t give ourselves enough time, we settled for coffee and breakfast from Chick-Fil-A. The food was delicious, the coffee was… well, adequate. We will have a layover in AZ and one in TN during our travels, each between approximately 45 minutes to an hour, and I am hoping to be able to get coffee at each of these airports as well. Especially today cause I could absolutely use another cup.
WE FLY SOUTHWEST
We typically like to fly with Southwest Airlines. They have so many things I like about flying with them including the Early Bird Check in, A list boarding, 1 free carry on, 1 personal bag, and 1 free checked bag. Evan and I are able to take more than enough with us and not have to pay any extra for our luggage. Do be careful of the weight of your checked bag though as if it is overweight, they will charge you a little extra. It’s truly a wonderful experience though. I also love that they have Rapid Rewards that add up whenever you purchase a flight with them which allows you to potentially purchase a flight for free with just your rewards in the future.
I am crazy excited for all the adventures that California is going to bring and I plan to be spending a lot of my time in the local coffee shops. Keep an eye out on my social media to see where I am, what I’m drinking, and what I’m working on!
And on that note, I will check in with you later coffee talkers!
CayleePacking and Traveling EssentialsClick To Tweet