TRAVEL SMARTER WITH AWAY

Away_SuitcaseIt’s been hardly two months since I got back home from Vancouver and I am already thinking about how this trip was different than any other trip we have been on. For starters, I remember every time I would check in to the airport lounge or wait by my gate I would always scurry over to whatever chair was close to the power outlet. Literally! I cannot recall a time when I wasn’t hunting for a power outlet to re-charge my devices.

So what made this trip different? For starters, I replaced my usual carry-on with a brand new one that is sleek, roomy, four-wheeled and with a chargeable battery pack! One single charge allows me to charge my devices five times!!! It’s the ultimate carry-on for any traveler, and a must have for anyone who cannot survive without their phone. Best part, there are two ports so you can charge two devices at once.

Most of you know my background is in electrical and software engineering, what you don’t know is that I spend an average of thirty minutes a day scouring the web keeping up with the latest and greatest in tech. I love to know how the tech space is evolving and what direction it’s going. But what gets me really excited is when I hear women taking an active role in tech by creating products that have been on many travelers wish list. That’s what Jen Rubio and Sephanie Korey, co-founders of AWAY, did. They created the ultimate carry-on that’s easy to maneuver around the terminal (so handy when I was running to my connecting flight), lots of compartments to help separate your dirty laundry from everything else, and super light (must have if you need every pound to pack your travel essentials).

Before we were expecting, I would travel on average every month. There was my once a month trip to Seattle to catch up with my workmates, topped with my quarterly vacations the hubs and I would take. I learned how to travel and pack efficiently when I was working at Microsoft for the Skype Merger & Acquisition project. After my first trip, let’s just say I was know in my team to have everything and anything you could possibly need….right down to the emergency first aid kit! How? I have list in my phone containing my travel essentials and always refer to it for all my trips.

So what is my packing advice and travel essentials?

Step 1. It’s all about packing versatile pieces, not quantity. 
I love looking polished and well put-together wherever I go, and I never expect this to change when I travel. So when it comes to packing, I try and add pieces that are versatile and can be put together in a variety of combinations to alter my look without giving the appearance that I’m repeating. What about shoes?
Don’t pack more than 3 pairs of shoes. Shoes tend to take up a lot of space so if you are going on a long vacation, don’t pack more than 3 pairs. All you really need is your basic 3 – sneakers, sandals and a pair of heels.

Step 2. Make every space you have in your suit-case count
As a frequent traveler, I challenge myself to pack as light as possible. I put my outfits together beforehand and take pictures of them so I don’t forget it. I also plan when I will wear each outfit to save time in figuring out what I will wear. To save space, I roll my socks, undergarments,  and swimsuits in my shoes; this also helps keep their shape. Another trick I learned is to always roll my clothes instead of folding them to save space AND help keep them wrinkle free! 

Step 3. Keep your dirty clothes separate
One of my biggest secrets in packing is that I always pack laundry bags for my dirty clothes. This helps me separate my dirty clothes from the rest of my things. The only drawback here is that I need to pack multiple bags to avoid having all my dirty laundry in one big ball (and taking up a lot of space). With AWAY’s patent pending laundry and compression system, I can leave the laundry bags at home place my dirty laundry in small zipper pouches and separate them so they don’t end up in a huge ball and take up a lot of space.

Step 4. Pouches are your best friend
I love pouches; they are essential in helping me stay organized. I have a pouch for my makeup, toiletries, hair products, jewelry and even travel documents.  Needless to say, thanks to my pouches it’s easy to find what I am looking for in my suitcase without hunting for them.

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