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Traveling 101


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As summer comes to a close, we can all reminisce on those warm, breezy days spent on the sand, margaritas with too much tequila but just the right amount of salt, longer days and shorter nights, and extended periods of relaxation spent with friends and family. While many individuals choose to take their vacations during the sweltering summer months, the East Coast Contessas live for fall – the changing of the leaves, the cool breeze, hot cider, and the sights and scenes of the great outdoors.

This weekend, we are in Denver, Colorado and the surrounding suburbs of Loveland and Fort Collins to take in the fall air and the glorious view of the Rocky Mountains!


Before we get to the fun stuff later on, we thought this would be a good opportunity to talk traveling light. Yes our fellow high-maintenance ladies (and gents): traveling light!

As first time fliers of Frontier Airlines, we were a bit skeptical of the additional costs for carry-ons, but the low fares certainly helped synched the win. We chose to take one purse and pay for one additional carry-on (only one additional carry on!?) We know it can be stressful trying to maneuver your favorite fall sweaters, boots, flats, vests, cigarette pants (and if you are anything like us, hats) into a small 18′ by 12′ inch tote bag. But do not fear! We have you covered.

1. Make a list of everything you need! Pick out the luggage you are going to use at least a day in advance. Make sure the piece fits the airline’s standard size for carry-ons. If it does not, you have time to purchase one! (We highly recommend checking out the totes at TJ Maxx or Marshalls!)
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2. Lay out the clothes you will wear the night before. We recommend picking versatile pieces that can be worn numerous ways (for example, a black pair of cigarette or tuxedo pants, a plain black skirt, or leggings). You can mix up the tops a bit of course! Here’s what we chose:

4. Roll up the clothes in balls if you can. This saves room for other things, and in our opinion, saves wrinkles.

5. Make sure all electronics (laptops, both for work or personal, as well as iPads and cell phones are fully charged before leaving for the airport! Airports usually have charging stations but if you’re flying during a busy time- there won’t be any outlets available. Better safe than sorry!

6. Pack extra undergarments such as panty hose, underwear, boxers, or bras. (Trust us on this one).

7. Put all medications in sealed plastic baggies along with any medical liquids and place in your purse, not your carry on, just in case it gets thrown under the plane.

8. Always make sure to get to the airport AT LEAST two hours before your flight takes off. Take into account that planes usually board about 15-30 minutes before your scheduled take off time. If you’re traveling during a busy time then going through security can be a nightmare so give yourself ample time to get to your assigned gate.

9. Bring a new book (the excitement of reading a new book will help you forget about long travel times). See our choice below.

10. Make sure you keep your passport and ID in a secure place *together* as most TSA officials ask for both when going through security.

11. Grab a light breakfast and power up on fluids (we prefer coffee, OJ, or Fiji water) at the terminal after you pass security – this will help with travel fatigue and changes in elevation.
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Most importantly: HAVE FUN!


  1. Natalie says

    Great tips! There’s nothing worse than showing up too late for your flight–unless it’s running out of undies mid-way through the trip! 🙂

  2. The Southern Thing says

    Great tips! I recently started rolling my clothes and it takes up a lot less space!

  3. Clare Speer says

    Wonderful tips… many of us have learned the “hard way” and this certainly helps for future trips!

  4. Lakisha says

    Great travel tips. This just got me super excited for my Thanksgiving vacation.

    1. Karen Hopkins says

      Wonderful! Glad we could help 🙂

  5. Claire'scomfycorner says

    Really good tips for travelling light. I find it so difficult! I will try on my next trip 🙂 x

    1. Karen Hopkins says

      That’s what we like to hear!

  6. Laura says

    Great tips! Now I want to go somewhere!

    1. Karen Hopkins says

      Thanks! Hopefully this inspired you to book a trip! Let us know if this helpful when you travel somewhere!

  7. Fatima Ali says

    Great travel tips! I love travelling and visiting the US is up next!

    1. Karen Hopkins says

      Thanks! If you come to NYC or DC then let us know and we can suggest all kinds of fun things to do!

  8. Kristina Cameron says

    I loved this post! I seriously get some much anxiety before traveling… even if it’s just a weekend trip, haha. But I loved all your tips especially laying out your clothes! That’s a great idea! 🙂

    1. Karen Hopkins says

      Aw that’s great! I’m glad we could help! Keep following us for more great posts!!

  9. Molly says

    These are some great tips! I will also add wearing shoes that are easy to take on and off to get through security faster. Packing versatile clothes helps a lot!

    1. Karen Hopkins says

      Thanks so much! That’s a GREAT tip about the shoes. We will add that in there!

  10. Ramona says

    This is a great post. All your suggestions are spot-on. I love your iPad stand! Thanks for sharing your story.

  11. dominika says

    Very good points! I totally agree with all of them! Making a list before travelling is a must- last time I didnt make it and flew to Brazil with winter shoes only haha!


    1. Karen Hopkins says

      Glad you enjoyed the post! Keep up with us for more great travel tips!

  12. Nusrat (@CoffeeandSweats) says

    I am a big fan of travelling light! Not so easy with two young kiddos but it can be done! Thanks for the great tips.

  13. DT says

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing.. I always make lists but I could do a little better on other things..
    — DT | Here I Scribble

  14. Vianca says

    I have only done little traveling, and your tips are completely on point! My biggest issue is the folding the clothes, but my mom does it just like that & she is able to fit so much!

  15. Mar says

    Very helpful! Do you know how long passports take to get/process? Your blog has inspired me to travel!

    1. Karen Hopkins says

      Hi Mar,

      It takes about 4-6 weeks to get your passport. I would make sure to get it at least 2 or 3 months before you travel though just incase! Thanks for the support! keep on following us 🙂

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