May: Packing Tips & Travel Favorites and What’s Coming Up!

As we round the corner from Easter and the beginning of spring into summer my calendar is full! I can hardly believe I’m wrapping up our 18th year of home education! We’re about to graduate our second child and send him off to college. Our first grand-daughter is 7 months old and the most adorable drop of sunshine ever! And after a spring spent decluttering our home from top to bottom (phew!! glad that’s done!) there is renewed inspiration with fresh spaces! It’s time to wrap up some work and prepare for summer and the year ahead! With so much going on, and lots of plans for a May FULL of posts, I thought it might be fun to give you a little heads up and a peek into my travel plans and what I’ve got planned around here.

GO Wild Planners Conference

For the second year in a row, I was invited to attend the GO Wild Planners Conference. This year the conference is in Las Vegas and promises some exciting inspiration and sharing! I’ll be gone from May 1 – 5. We’ll talk planners, of course, but also time management, goal setting, paper tools, pens (be still my heart!) and enjoy lots of encouragement surrounding planning and living the seasons of life that play out on the pages of our planners.

I love the diversity of planners and people within this group – so much inspiration to draw from! I’ll be sharing lots of pictures and inspiration on my Instagram account! If you are going, come find me and say hello! And if you aren’t going, follow along with me on Instagram for a taste of the fun!!

I LOVE traveling! I usually speak at several conferences each summer and (geek alert) I love reading people’s packing lists…and I have no idea why! LOL! So…here’s my traveling-across-the-country-for-several-days-and-only-bringing-a-carry-on tips and list:

  • If you fly at all, it is so worth it to go through the TSA pre-check process! Skip the long lines, the shoe and jacket removal, and the juggling of liquids! Best traveling investment I’ve ever made!
  • I love traveling with my TUMI backpack! I have the Voyageur Carson in mink (the style from 2 years ago with a slip pocket on the front which is now updated to be a zipper pocket), but there are lots of different styles and colors available. It has been all over the country with me and never fails me! I love the hands free option of a backpack if I need it while traveling, and the chic look of TUMI. There are lots of amazing pockets to organize earbuds, snacks and water, wallet and travel necessities, reading material and a spacious and protective laptop compartment. (Budget tip: these backpacks are pricey, but a good investment as a travel or work bag! Watch for gently used budget friendly options on ebay and poshmark!). In my TUMI backpack:
    • iphone X – and since we’re on that topic:
      • spend a day organizing your phone travel apps so that you have everything you need on the front page. I have a folder labeled travel and keep everything travel related in there for easy access on my front page.
      • use your notes app to create checklists for each day – you can drop in schedules for the day, vendor links, outfits, morning/evening routines you don’t want to forget. I use the notes app for so much while I’m traveling!
      • save addresses to places you know you’ll be traveling in maps (under favorites).
      • screenshot your connecting airport terminal map so that you can pull up your map as you’re about to make your connection (because you’ll need to review it before the chaos of landing and racing for your connection…and you won’t have wifi during that time, thus the screenshot)!
      • grab any local apps for your travel destination.
      • check your weather app BEFORE you pack!
      • set up some fun playlists for music and be sure to download it so you can listen while you’re on the plane when you won’t have wifi.
    • portable phone battery – this option is heavy and bulky, but I can charge my iphone X and my ipad 3 times from it and it is reliable and so handy to have when you travel! I keep it in a pouch with all my tech – chargers, cords, etc. – and recharge it each night.
    • lip balm, powder, eye drops (my eyes get so dry on planes and I love Lumify eyedrops for adding moisture and clearing redness from irritation), glasses, sunglasses, gum and mints, ibuprofen, tissues. (These are all a perfect fit in the side zipper pockets on my TUMI – easy access!)
    • Well-Kept wipes – (more design options at Amazon and ALL the options at Stay Well Kept) these are utterly indispensable when traveling! Wipe the tray in front of your seat, the window (ew!), your hands, your phone, and anything else questionable with these wipes!
    • Wallet and any travel papers
    • Pens and my planner – um, naturally!
    • My laptop – I don’t always bring my laptop, but I always bring at least an ipad for in-flight reading.. I use a 13″ Apple Macbook Air and it fits perfectly with room to spare in the padded back pocket of the TUMI. (TIP: download your favorite magazine subscriptions onto your ipad/ibooks app from your subscription provider or itunes! It beats schlepping 5 big magazines through the airport!)
    • Water bottle and protein bars. I don’t stress about eating when I’m traveling and as long as I’ve got a few good protein bars and some water, I can go a long way without having to worry! My favorite protein bars are Luna Protein Bars (chocolate salted caramel is my fav).
    • A light sweater or scarf that doubles as a travel pillow if I need it.
    • My liquids bag.

  • I have a TravelPro CarryOn and it has been fantastic for several years. It’s expandable, super strong nylon, and has no wobble when it rolls, and I like the fold out suit-garment for the times I’m traveling with something dressier. I love that it has handles on all sides (makes it easy to grab from the overhead compartment when it’s on its side).
  • Clothes: I roll everything I pack and that makes the space use efficient and prevents wrinkling. (TIP: if you have a nice shirt that you really want to protect from wrinkling, roll it with tissue paper! It works!) I’m probably the only person on the planet that doesn’t use travel cubes. I find that they take up extra room and I could never get the hang of using them well! But I love the idea! I hang items once I get to the hotel. I love using packing lists to plan outfits ahead of time. My favorite for organizing my travel items and outfits is the snap-in travel dashboard from Erin Condren.
  • Shoes are my downfall. Hee-hee. There is always something comfortable that I’m usually wearing, usually my Tieks or another versatile flat, and I try to coordinate around one accent color in my clothing choices so that I can bring one statement shoe that will work with anything I have…ya know…just in case there’s a fab event!! 😉 Or at least…that’s the goal!
  • Hygiene and Beauty
    • Makeup – pare down to your basics! I always bring a really great concealer (Shape Tape by Tarte is so versatile and is my fav!). I like to bring my favorite foundation powder (Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation Powder), blush, eye makeup, and some really good lip balm! (This is crazy, but I’ve been using Avon Dew Kiss as my lip balm for over 20 years and I’ve never found anything I like better! P.S. I just order in bulk from Amazon!).
    • I transfer my facial cleanser, lotions, and sunscreen into small silicone travel size bottles.
  • Hair stuff! I usually only bring a flat iron, but for this trip I’m actually considering trying to pack my hairdryer. If you have great hair, save room in your bag and use the hairdryer provided by the hotel! I, however, have naturally wavy/frizzy hair and it does best with my hair dryer that is powered by a small jet engine to provide hurricane force winds of hell blow-drying power. My fingers are crossed that I can make it fit! Which brings me to another point – embrace the natural state of your hair (ahem…advice I seem unwilling to take). I always bring my minimum of products to work with the curl if it’s clear that’s my only option – Deva Curl products to the rescue!

Those are my favorite tips and ideas for packing! As I’ve already mentioned I LOVE travel and packing tips so share yours with me below in the comments!

Alright…here’s a little peek into what’s coming up in May!

It’s planner season!

May is a HUGE planner launch month! And I’m excited to share my favorites with you! Here’s a quick run down (I am sworn to secrecy on some planner launch dates and info. so I’ll share what I can and the rest you’ll just have to watch for! There will be sneak peeks on my Instagram all month long so…follow along!

  • April brought the new Simplified Planner launch and my full review post with links and coupon codes is right here in case you missed it!
  • May 1 (at 7:00 pm Eastern), Simplified Planner launches their first ever Teacher Planner (pictured above) and collection. I have it in my hands and it is beautiful! It’s a very functional planner without sacrificing simplicity or beauty, and I’m a big fan of the prep pages. I’m working on that blog post as we speak and hope to have it up for you very soon!
  • May 8 the Erin Condren LifePlanners launch! The LifePlanner fleet has undergone some really pretty design changes this year and (shhh!!!) there might be a new member of the LifePlanner gang! (Anybody remember when there was only one – a coil bound vertical LP?? EC, you’ve come a long way, baby!) I’ll be able to share all of my photos and review of the LifePlanner on May 1, before the launch, so you’ll be able to see and make a decision before launch day! (I’m seriously scrambling to get my act together so I can get not one, but two posts out for you…and still pack for GO Wild! Should be fun!! Fingers crossed!!)
  • May (official date: TBA) the Erin Condren Teacher Planner launches! I’ll have early access so that I can photograph and share all the details with you! This is the Teacher Planner I’ve used for homeschooling for years now and it’s a workhorse of a planner! I’ve planned preschool to high school in this planner! If you just can’t wait you can see lots of detail by reading last year’s EC teacher planner review and watching how I set it up for our homeschool in my video.
  • And…there might be another project for you, but I can’t say yet. So. Hint. Hint. 😉
  • AND…giveaways. There will be some! Just not sure what and when yet, but oh yes, I’m giving some planner goodness away!

May is going to be busy! I’m committed and so excited to share these paper planner tools with you so you can consider what YOUR best fit is, and I’ll be doing that while also graduating our son (wahoo!!!) and wrapping up a school year! There will be no small amount of coffee this month! LOL! Send up a prayer or two for me, would ya?

After the month-of-planners, we’ll get back to some homeschool basics posts around here as I shift myself into home education freshening | organizing | planning for our upcoming year (I’ll have a 9th grader, a 6th grader, and a 1st grader next year {and two graduates}).

So…get ready! Planner-fest-at-wildflowers-and-marbles — here we go! I’m so glad to have you all along!

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  1. I’m also one of those people who can’t go a day without my hairdryer. Recently, mine broke and I tried replacing it with the same model, but they must have redesigned it to be less powerful and less hot, so now I’m on the hunt for a good hairdryer. Which one do you use?

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