What's in my carry-on?

by Tiffany Paul

What's in my carry-on?

Anytime you’ve ever boarding a flight, after you’ve checked your baggage, you must have felt that familiar sense of worry. What if you make it there, but your bags don’t? Well, you can save yourself that panic-inducing notion by packing your carry-on like a boss. After many years of traveling, both for business & leisure, I’m proud to say that I’ve gotten to know what my absolute carry-on essentials are.



You can click through the collage above & read on below to see why this is what’s in my carry-on.



  • My Sleeper Scarf. I never travel without my Sleeper Scarf & this means I always arrive to my destinations well-rested. Also, it’s an absolutely lifesaver on chilly flights. After I have touched ground, it’s easy to just take the air out of the pillow and wear it as a scarf.


  • Headphones; a great pair of headphones will never go unappreciated. Your Frends headphones will be your best friends when you need to escape into your own world.


  • An extra outfit; keeping an extra outfit in your carry-on will save you in the case that your luggage does get lost.


  • A healthy snack; pack a healthy snack for the plane or your hotel room.


  • Two reading materials. It is always best to take two reading materials just in case your mood should change from wanting to be inspired to wanting to know Hollywood gossip.


  • Olay facial cloths. These Olay facial cloths work magic to wipe away the makeup after the long day & will clean up any mess.


  • MAC pressed powder. This MAC pressed powder will keep your shine at bay & it is great to freshen up just before landing.


  • Sugar Lip Treatment. It is very easy to dehydrate your skin on a flight & your lips are  no exception. Make sure to keep them nourished and exfoliated with this lip treatment.


  • 3D Lash Mascara. When you’re in a pinch applying some mascara will instantly help make you look awake until you can truly sleep off the jet lag.


  • Eye Mask. Studies have shown that we are more likely to go to sleep in darkness; an eye mask will help you get whatever shut eye you can on any flight.


  • Notebook & Pen. Inspiration has been to known to strike at the oddest of hours; never be unprepared to jot down that million dollar idea or your itinerary down.


  • Wrinkle Releaser. Downy’s wrinkle releaser is my secret weapon for any wrinkle I need to fight on the go & just before any corporate meeting.



    What are some of your carry-on musts?


Best Travel Treats for the Airplane

by Tiffany Paul

Since you can't always count on in-flight food to satisfy your hunger or provide you with the healthiest options for meals and snacks, I like to bring my own food while traveling. Not only does this ensure you receive the energy-rich nutrients you need while on-the-go, it also guarantees you will enjoy the food, since it was hand selected by none other than yourself!

I used to always eat the airplane food because I thought hey, if I paid for this plane ticket, I want to get every dollar out of the airline I can! However, over time I realized that in-flight food selections were not always the tastiest or healthiest options. Sure, there are a few items I enjoy, but you never know when they’ll change up the menu or sell out of your favorite item. You also never know when your flight will be delayed, leaving you hungry in the airport terminal, or even stranded on the tarmac without food and beverage service.

Here are some quick, easy and healthy options to consider packing on your next trip:

Trail Mix

Creating your own trail mix is a great way to arm yourself with a satisfying snack that keeps you energized as you make your long journey. Making it yourself allows you to avoid the airport upcharge for pre-made mixes and tailor your trail mix to your taste. My trail mix always includes peanuts, cashews, dried cranberries, raisins, and pieces of dark chocolate or M&Ms.

Cheese and Crackers

Sliced cheese and a stack of crackers is a super satisfying snack and may I add pairs perfectly should you decide to order up a glass of wine aboard your flight. While you'll probably want to avoid smellier cheeses that could cause you to make enemies on the plane, a mild cheese will certainly be fine to take aboard. Make the crackers whole wheat and add in some sliced salami and the combination of fiber and protein will help you stay full longer.


A carry-on bag filled with fresh fruit will allow you to snack all flight long without tons of calories or fat. Healthy and easy to eat fruits like bananas, apples, grapes and berries nourish your body and enhance your health. Be sure to wash fruit before you leave home so they'll be ready to snack on during your travels. If you’re bringing sliced fruit, toss with fresh or bottled lemon juice and store in an airtight bag or container to prevent the fruit from going brown.

Granola Bars

This is a great snack to keep on hand because it’s super easy to toss into your purse or carry on. I also like bringing granola bars because not only do they make good in-flight snacks, they’re also good for a quick and cheap breakfast option while you’re traveling. Feel free to bring along a couple different varieties and flavors to keep snacking fun.


“Pop” on an in-flight movie and pull out some pre-popped popcorn from home and you’ll feel like you’re at the movies, rather than a cramped airplane! Movies are also a great way to make the time "fly" by, just don’t forget to bring your headphones. Choose whatever popcorn variety you prefer, plain, buttered or kettle corn and transport in a gallon sized plastic baggie. Popcorn is high in fiber, so will help keep you full. Just go easy on the butter for health reasons and to avoid buttery fingers in-flight.

Bonus Tip: Bring an empty nalgene bottle to fill up with water once you get past security. This will save you the cost of a high priced water from the airport and ensure you have something to drink while waiting for your plane or in between beverage service. Spice up your water by adding some fruit. Slice ahead of time and add to the nalgene bottle or invest in one of these cool Fruit Infuser Water Bottles below. Try strawberries, raspberries, cucumbers, oranges or even adding mint. Add lemon juice to any sliced fruit to keep from browning and add the flavor.

What’s your favorite snack to bring aboard? 

Tips to Survive the Dreaded Red-Eye

by Tiffany Paul

If you are a busy traveler that doesn’t have a day to waste traveling, the red-eye flight is a great option for you! The red-eye, which soars through the skies in the dark of night, usually has less people on it than a daytime flight, so you have more seating options and less chatterers. Chances are good that parents won’t choose an overnight torture session for themselves or their kids, so crying babies and seat kickers are scarce. And if you are a sound sleeper that’s able to sleep in any position, you’ll be able to sleep soundly the whole way to your destination!

While this flight is a dream for natural-born red-eye passengers, for others, it can be a dreaded necessity. For those that don’t function well without a goodnights’ rest, the red-eye can be brutal if you have a meeting or event to attend the day you arrive. It can also be problematic if you’re a light sleeper, leaving you waking up to the slightest turbulence or noise from fellow passengers and flight attendants.  Not to mention your body probably won’t be thanking you for the awkward, upright sleeping position you’re limited to. And if you’re one of the unlucky few who forgot a neck pillow, chances of waking up to a head nod or stiff neck are strong.  

With that said, here are a few tips and travel products to help make your next red-eye as effortless and enjoyable as possible.  


Plan an outfit with comfort in mind.

If you’ve booked a red-eye flight, choose your traveling outfit wisely. Think business pajamas. Wear breathable fabrics, loose-fitting clothing and comfortable shoes. Build your outfit around comfort and you’ll feel better than you would trying to wear clothes that pinch, pull or squeeze (even if they look amazing). You can still accessorize with practical items like your Sleeper Scarf, which will support your neck and help you stay comfortable and snug (even if you end up in the middle seat!). If you’re headed straight to a meeting or event from your flight, pack a change of clothes in your carry-on and take some time once you land to change and freshen up.

Transform your seat into a sleep haven

Gather items that will transform your seat on the plane into an environment that’s comfortable to sleep in. If you usually get cold on a flight, pack a scarf, small blanket and some comfortable socks. Use ear plugs or noise-canceling headphones so you won’t hear people chatting or babies crying while you’re trying to get some beauty sleep. Pack an eye mask to block out the cabin lights or the glow of your night owl neighbor on their iphone or computer.

If your plane has the option to upgrade to a seat with more leg room or cushier seats like Delta’s Economy Comfort seats or United Airlines Economy Plus seats, definitely consider it. If not, consider the Exit Row which naturally offers more leg room, just make sure you don’t pick an Exit Row marked as limited recline (Typically called out with an asterisk on the seat map).

Once you’ve created your sleep haven, a glass of wine or a cup of tea can be the perfect complement to any red-eye. Just remember to limit your fluids if you want to sleep through your flight. Also, don’t forget to match any glass of alcohol with water to stay hydrated since both flying and drinking alcohol can dehydrate you.

Pack your carry-on wisely

Never is your carry-on more important than during a red-eye. It needs to contain essentials for not only getting a goodnight’s rest, but also freshening up once you land. Heading straight to a meeting or event as soon as you get off the plane? Pack a second change of clothes in your carry-on for a quick wardrobe change. If you don’t have much time to freshen up once you land, set an alarm on your cell phone for thirty minutes before landing. Freshen up in the airplane bathroom and no one will be able to tell you were catching Z’s on the plane.

Here are 6 things I always bring when I’m taking a red-eye flight:

1.      Sleeper Scarf (www.sleeperscarf.com). This is my go-to for a comfortable flight, day or night! It offers great neck support while I sleep and keeps me warm by doubling as a blanket or shawl around my shoulders and arms as I sleep. Not to mention I don’t have to worry about carrying around those bulky neck pillows.

2.      Eye Mask (Lilac Dot Sleep Mask, www.nordstrom.com). Once I finish my glass of wine, on goes my eye mask and I am out like a light. I fall asleep so much quicker and stay asleep longer when I travel with my eye mask. It’s a crucial accessory if I want to get some good rest on any red-eye.

3.      Warm socks or slippers (Nufoot Barefoot Mary Jane Slippers, www.footsmart.com). Surviving a red-eye flight is all about comfort. That’s why I kick off my shoes and relax with something that will keep my feet warm (and safe from the airplane floor).  

4.      iPod (16 gb iPod Nano, www.apple.com).  I upload my favorite songs to drown out any noise from neighboring passengers or white noise from the plane, and I even keep a few relaxing meditation soundtracks for when I’m having trouble de-stressing on the plane.

5.      Olay face cloths (www.target.com). It is never recommended to sleep in your make up, but if you don’t feel like traveling through the airport with a bare naked face, slip a pack of these in your purse and use them to remove any makeup once you get to your seat (or excuse yourself to the bathroom before taking off).  Then use them again when you land to freshen up. You will feel and look ready to take on the day ahead.

6.      Convenient size mouth wash (Scope Outlast To Go, www.target.com). If you’re not up to brushing your teeth in the airport bathroom, try packing a convenience size mouthwash. I love packing the Scope To Go individuals because they’re small enough that I can take it through security in my purse or carry-on, and I can just toss the mini bottle once I’m done. 

Travel More, Spend Less: 6 Tips for Traveling on a Budget

by Tiffany Paul

Sure, the memories made and experiences had while traveling are said to be priceless, but let’s be honest, travel can become expensive. That’s why this month I wanted to share six easy travel tips to help plan your next getaway without emptying your wallet. From eating smart to packing light, here are a few easy suggestions for traveling on a budget.

Create a Budget

Before you even set foot on a plane, dip a toe in the ocean or take a sip of a pina colada, the most important part of traveling on a budget is understanding exactly how much you can afford to spend. Establish a reasonable budget before you spend a dime. Flight and hotel are usually the first two things to come out of this budget, so once those are booked, allocate the remaining to food, entertainment and shopping. With a budget in mind, you can make smarter decisions every step of the way.

Be Flexible

As you start to look for airfare, it can be a great money saver if you’re willing to be flexible in the dates you travel. Tuesday and Thursday departures and arrivals are considered the cheapest travel days. You might also consider traveling during the offseason. Although the Caribbean makes a great winter escape, it will always be cheaper to visit during the spring and summer. And while popular destinations like Paris, London and Rome are packed during spring and summer months, consider visiting in the fall or winter.

Limit the Length

When you’re spending good money on a plane ticket, it’s common to want to get your money’s worth and stay at your destination for as long as possible. However, cutting your week long vacation to 5 days, or your 10 day vacation to a week can have significant savings. Not only will it save on hotel, it eliminates the cost of eating out and entertainment for those extra days. If your budget included $200 a night for hotel, $100 a day for food and $75 for entertainment, that’s a savings of $750 if you reduce your trip by two days.

Pack Light

Most airlines charge for checked bags, so an easy way to save money is by packing light and avoiding or limiting your checked luggage. Packing light is all about preparation. Make a list so you know exactly what you need and stick to the list. Take the time before you depart for your getaway, to learn about the local climate. Follow the weather forecast for the week leading up to your trip so you can get a better idea of the recent weather patterns and therefore a better idea of what type of clothing to pack. Favor pieces that can be worn with multiple outfits or multiple ways. When it comes to accessories, stick to black OR brown, gold OR silver. Lastly, shoes are often a huge space hog, so try to limit the number of shoes whenever possible. Wear your larger shoes like sneakers or boots on the plane to save room and pack smaller shoes like flats and flip flops in your carry on.

Self Guided Tours

If your budget doesn't allow for pricey guided tours, then consider grabbing a guide book or downloading an audio tour instead. The best way to experience a city is by visiting the local landmarks, parks, museums, and beaches and they all have a story. Spend your plane or car ride to your destination reading up on the history and fun facts before arriving. Not only will you know the hot spots to visit prior to your arrival, you will be able to appreciate it more, knowing the back story. Rick Steves is always my go-to for guidebooks and he also offers free audio tours on his app.

Bonus Tip: If the places you want to visit are a bit too far on foot, renting a bike is often an affordable and fun way to get around. You can also try public transportation in lieu of renting a car or taking a taxi.

Eat Smart

If you want to travel on a budget, you need to eat smart. Food represents a large portion of your travel budget, so without proper planning, your food budget can quickly get away from you. The easiest way to take control of your food budget is by visiting the local market for snacks and meal items. Not only is this budget friendly, it’s also a great way to immerse yourself in the culture and see how the locals live. Stock snacks in your hotel room as well as your purse or bag for when you’re on-the-go. For a meal, bring your food to a local park or city center and enjoy a nice picnic, along with some people watching. Try alternating meals between the market and dining out and you’re sure to save significantly. When dining out, remember that lunchtime meals are going to be more affordable. For dinner, you might consider splitting an entree to keep costs down.

Bonus Tip: Guided food tours double as a meal and entertainment. Often 3+ hours long, food tours are my favorite way to learn about the city I’m visiting, while also trying the local cuisine. Tour guides will often take you off the beaten path which allows you to see a part of the city, you might not have otherwise. Since tour guides are all locals and have a passion for good food, be sure to ask your tour guide for affordable restaurant recommendations before you leave. They’ll often point you in the direction of hidden neighborhood gems v.s. tourist traps.

It is possible to travel the world without breaking the bank or accruing unnecessary debt. Whether you’re traveling on a budget or not, following these tips will ensure your hard earned dollar does not go to waste. What tips do you have to save money while traveling?