definitive guide to travel | fall travel diary recap

it’s been a great week over here on the blog.  thanks to you, travel week has been an absolute success.  we’ve had tens of thousands of views and an outpouring of support through comments and emails.  to conclude the week, i’ve put together what i’m calling the definitive international women’s travel guide.  

i’ve compiled tips, tricks and hacks for everything from luggage, travel credit cards, airport lounges, to passport & visa requirements for foreign countries.   i’ve also interspersed  my favorite outfits from my fall trips to New York City and France, many of which can be found in October’s top 5 fashion flash videos, compiled for you above. 

luggage 

there’s a tendency these days to try and fit all of our belongings into our carry on(s).  this is totally understandable, as most airlines now charge for checked bags.  as many of you who follow me regularly know, i’m an exception to the new norm.  i still check my bags. 

this is particularly true on international flights.  international luggage limits are based primarily on weight.  most airlines require your luggage to weigh 50lbs. or less.  however, this can vary depending on your departure city, so make sure you check with your airline prior to leaving.  (here’s a great resource for luggage dimension and weight limitations.)

for those of you that can afford to fly business class (or higher), many domestic airlines (and their international affiliates) like Delta offer will check up to 2 bags for free.  don’t be afraid to use that service!   

if you’re in the market for luggage, there are so many options these days. even companies like West Elm are in the luggage business now.   here’s a great compilation of luggage sets for women i’ve found for you.  but a couple of additional pieces of advice.  i) 3 piece luggage sets are investment pieces everyone should own; ii) most luggage sets look similar.  to save yourself time at the bag carousel, distinguish yours in some way.  whether you tie red ribbon to the handle or invest in a statement piece like this watercolor roller, find a way to make your bag identifiable.  

denim boilersuit sneakers | similar handbag similar Delsey underseat suitcase

passports & visas 

have you ever booked an international flight only to realize your passport expires prior to departure?  expediting passports can be an expensive nightmare.  obtaining them same day requires you to physically go to a passport agency and pay close to a $200 fee. 

even if your passport is valid, it can sometimes be difficult to return to your country of origin if that passport expires within, say, 3 months. US passports last for 10 years.  here’s a good rule of thumb: check your passport right now.  if it is going to expire within 1 year, start the renewal process now.  you’ll save time, money, and a massive headache.  here’s a great resource for passports and renewals.

did you know that travel to Australia requires a visa?  if you’re traveling internationally, many unexpected countries require you to either obtain a visa prior to entry.  make sure you know whether the countries you’re traveling to require a visa.  here’s a list of such countries.

much of the above advice seems obvious, but i can’t tell you how many people i’ve known have found themselves in an unbelievable and expensive bind trying to obtain passports and visas last minute. 

denim | similar graphic tee here, here, & here blazer similar shoes | similar handbag | similar necklace | similar bracelets

travel credit cards 

we all have credit cards, and many of them with floating APRs which ultimately work against us.  make sure your credit card is working for, at least in part.  there are many credit cards out there geared toward the traveler.  i happen to use the Chase Sapphire Reserve.  it offers a 60,000 mile early use incentive plan, 2x points on travel and dining amongst other travel incentives.   here’s a great list of credit cards geared toward the traveler that will earn you points that you can put towards your next European vacation.  

red turtleneck | red turtleneck 2 | trench coat | trench coat 2 |  dark skinny jeans | boyfriend jeans | white loafer 

frequent flyer programs 

with the advent of flight aggregators like Expedia or Travelocity, it’s easy to shop for cheapest flight—airline loyalty be damned.  oftentimes that makes sense.  however, picking an airline, signing up for their frequent flyer program, and sticking with that program (and its affiliates) is worth it in the long run.   whether you get bumped to first class, priority boarding, or a free ticket, a few extra bucks today can save you money and headaches in the long run.   

i found this great article outlining various frequent flyer programs and their rewards.  a couple of additional pieces of advice.  know your domestic airlines international affiliates.  if you fly Delta domestically,  it’s good to know their partners include Air  France and Korean Air if you’re in Europe or Asia. 

picking a frequent flyer program is a totally personal thing.  i hear great (and horrible) things about all airlines.  just make sure to do your research and if you settle on Jet Blue, Alaska Airlines, or Delta—know their international affiliates so you can get points for your trips! 

red turtleneck | red turtleneck 2 | roaming tiger pants | white loafer | lavender blazer | lavender blazer 2 

TSA precheck, Clear & airport lounges

post 9/11 travel is stressful.  there’s no way around that.  security lines can be nightmares, airports overly crowded, and flights delayed.  a little pre-planning and investment can alleviate some of this misery.  

want to shortcut security lines?  apply for TSA precheck, Clear or both.  these services are most useful for domestic travel, but are still useful for international travel if your departure city is here in the US.  i’ve used both, and i give TSA pre a slight edge.  but if you travel at least 2 times a year, particularly through a major airport like Atlanta, enrolling in one of these programs is a must. 

many frequent flyer programs or credit cards like the ones mentioned above will give you access to select airport lounges around the world as part of their benefits.  but did you know that you can access many airport lounges for a fee? here’s a website i found outlining ways to score airport loung access. and let me tell you from personal experience, lounges are worth it.  once you’re in, they offer you free food and (alcoholic) drinks. and they’re generally less crowded than airport terminals and gates, alleviating some of the travel stress. 

cashmere turtleneck dress | blazer | similar turtleneck dress | boyfriend jean | skinny jean | low heeled booties | scarf

domestic layouts: New York

for those of you that follow me regularly, you know i’ve taken two big trips this fall.  New York City in September, and France this October.  in case you missed my New York travel diaries, you can catch them here and here.  below, i’ve compiled the outfits i took on my domestic trip that lasted from a Friday to a Sunday.  i want to contrast them with what i packed for my roughly weeklong trip in France.

outfit 1 

denim | similar tunic here, here & here | similar shoes similar handbag | similar necklace | similar bracelets

outfit 2

similar joggers tee | denim jacket shoes similar handbag | similar necklace similar bracelets

outfit 3

denim | similar graphic tee here, here, & here blazer similar shoes | similar handbag | similar necklace | similar bracelets

international layouts: France layouts

in case you missed this week’s travel diaries, you can see them here, here, and here.  contrast what i took domestically versus internationally, taking into consideration that i spent roughly 6 more days in France than New York.  if you’re looking for more packing tips, suggestions, and ideas, make sure to catch my YouTube video posted here.

jackets 

trench coat | trench coat 2 | black blazer | black blazer 2 | black blazer 3 | leather jacket | leather jacket 2 | lavender blazer | lavender blazer 2 | lavender blazer 3 | white jacket

shirts

tie neck blouse | tie neck blouse 2 | similar zebra shirt | similar denim shirt | similar white shirt

dresses

similar black turtlneck dress | similar flower print dress

sweaters 

fisherman sweater | fisherman sweater 2 | grey turtlneck | red turtlneck | mockneck | crewneck | black sweater | similar stripe sweater

shoes & accessories 

coach bag | white loafer | booties | sneakers | scarf | pumps

sleepwear 

pjs | robe | similar hoodie | similar joggers | similar slippers

pants

roaming tiger pants | glen plaid pants | leather leggings | similar chinos | similar black trousers | dark skinny jeans | boyfriend jeans

that’s a wrap gang.  i hope you enjoyed this definitive international women’s travel guide, as well as my travel diaries from France.  let me know what you think in the comments below.  did i miss anything?  do you have further suggestions?  as always, i love to hear from you. 

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9 Comments

  1. Linda Osborne wrote:

    I admire you so much! Thanks for all your info. I look forward to reading everyday!

    Posted 10.31.19 Reply
  2. Kari wrote:

    Hi Beth, I’m wondering what phone plan you use when traveling out of the country?

    Posted 10.31.19 Reply
  3. Lots of concise good info. Another point to note regarding credit cards – if you travel internationally, be sure to use a card with no foreign exchange fees, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve you mention. And when you’re asked if you want to pay in dollars or the local currency, ALWAYS choose local currency, or you’ll end up paying more due to a less favorable exchange rate. Happy travels!

    Posted 10.31.19 Reply
  4. Kathy wrote:

    Love seeing the NYC outfits all laid out together. Would love to see the France outfits the same way! Glad you are getting out and having fun.

    Posted 10.31.19 Reply
  5. Debra wrote:

    I am wondering what size suitcase you used for this trip? I’m heading over to France for 5 weeks next summer and will use this wardrobe as a starting point for my packing list, as it looked like you had all the bases covered with these items!

    Posted 10.31.19 Reply
  6. Penelope wrote:

    Loved the travel post. Please consider a tropical/warm weather version. We’re going to the Amazon and Caribbean for three weeks in the spring and I’d love some inspiration.

    Posted 10.31.19 Reply
  7. Lyn wrote:

    After a 2 week trip to Italy this summer I can add a couple of hints. First, we bought new passport books – they were a nuisance. I forgot how many times you had to keep pulling it out of your tote to get through customs and immigration. People were simply walking with their passports, etc. in their hands. I had to keep digging ours out. Secondly, the type of luggage you use is dictated by the type of trip you are taking. If you are staying in one location and not having to move from hotel, etc. to hotel you could use a larger case and check it. We used taxis, speed train, water taxis, etc. We stayed in two major cities in apartments, but also left the apartments for overnights which made us take our luggage with us. Also, the steep cobblestone streets in the Lake Como area were challenging enough with carry ons. Couldn’t do that with a 50 lb. suitcase. It was difficult enough with the carryons on wheels and a tote bag. If you do check your bags and you have a travel companion consider putting a few things of yours in his suitcase – just in case one of them gets lost in transit. That way you will at least have an extra outfit to fall back on. Also, not something that would work for everyone, but if you are traveling without having access to laundry, making you carry soiled undies with you isn’t fun. I have taken older undies with me and discretely disposed of them in small bags. Just a thought.

    Posted 11.1.19 Reply
  8. I love the blazer over the denium jumpsuit. Out for lunch with heels, and flats if you have to walk very far.

    Posted 11.2.19 Reply
  9. Cleonice wrote:

    Como faço para adquirir algumas peças ou vender?

    Posted 11.11.19 Reply
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