Keep Calm & Carry-On: 10 must haves for Traveling Cheaper (Don’t check those bags!)

Recently I traveled to Sin City  – 1st time ever! I was absolutely in awe. Bright lights and shiny things – had my typical squirrel moments in overdrive. I was like a kid in a candy store! The heat was something to be feared, and the nights blurred into mornings.

In any case, being a first timer, I over-packed soooo many unnecessary things and found myself making a couple of trips to the local Walmart for others. Since the airline I traveled on (not saying any names, cough, Allegiant, totally sucked and nickle and dimed us for every little thing; we refused to check luggage even though we were traveling for a whole week. So I personally crammed every last toiletry and piece of jewelry into my carry on luggage. It barely fit into the overhead bin, and the smarmy flight attendant said, “your gonna probably just have to check that.” No attempt to even help put the luggage in the bin. She’s lucky I was saving all my energy up for late night festivities or she might of gotten an ear full. After 30, you conserve the little bit of energy you have. Thankfully the sweet, kind, elderly gentleman in row 24G assisted me in securing my luggage in the bin. If your a plus size traveler you know what I’m talking about. Trying to shimmy to the back of the plane in the aisle as you sweat like a pig in a bacon factory. No words. Thank you, kind sir.

Needless to say, all of this got me to thinking about traveling and how hectic it can sometimes be. What I should have never left home without, how to be a more strategic packer, and little things that can really make the difference when taking carry on luggage only. Or as I sometimes like to call it, Ballin’ on a Budget.

Drumroll please…

Here’s my list of things you don’t want to forget:

  1. Several of 3 oz. size plastic toiletry bottles. *You can fill up as many as you need that can fit into a quart size bag, but don’t you dare tote that $25 Redken conditioner in your carry on. Anything over 3.4 oz. is getting confiscated by Beulah the Airport Security guard who has nappy split ends and a mad case of RBF.
  2. Groupon Printouts & any reservation info. *I spent a lot of time rummaging through emails trying to find ticket information for shows and events while standing in line. The internet service was sketchy at best, and it was a pain having to waste time looking for info, when I could have just had a paper copy. Plus I could have spent more time sucking down that amazing slush from Evening Call – Adult Slushie Heaven!
  3. A hat of some sort.. I wish I had taken one, my albino epidermis burnt to a crisp in about 10 minutes in the Vegas sun. Holy Chimichanga! Who knew the Desert was so relentless.
  4. Super comfortable walking shoes. No freaking joke. I bought some Teva sandals that I thought would be perfect. They might have been for a stroll around town, but we literally walked probably 5-7 miles a day. This ain’t no  fashion show for tourists. I swear those girls in 4 inch heels have callouses of steel built up. Next time, it’s you and me Dr. Scholl’s.
  5. Health Insurance Card. No joke. Our hotel room had a kick ass jacuzzi tub that I visited on the daily. Let’s just say I like a LOT of bubbles. I don’t play around with my Dr. Teals Coconut Foam Bath and I don’t skimp on product. I was pouring one out for every homie from AZ to NY, and maybe “tripped” into the tub. Gracefully of course. Righttttt.
  6. Phone Charger. These aren’t cheap, and you certainly don’t want your phone to die amidst all the great photo opps. Sure they have charging stations in virtually every casino, but paying to charge your phone? I don’t know about you, but I got better ways to spend my cold hard cash.
  7. Neck Pillow. Plane rides are brutal, and without one of these guys you are going find yourself like I did, nodding off every few minutes and waking up with drool on your face. I wish I was kidding.. If you want to be hip you can snag yourself one of these trendy leopard travel pillows.
  8. Noise Cancelling Earbuds. There is only so much of screamin’ teethin’ baby Leonard a meer 3 rows behind you that you will be able to handle. I don’t care if you’re name is Octomom, this kid has windpipes like Edda Moser and he doesn’t want his “binkie” for the 50th time, Mom….
  9. Room for Souvenirs. Something I definitely forgot to do, so my apologies to those of you who received the standard, “My friend went to Vegas, and all I got was this lousy ….” (Magnet, keychain, bottle opener, etc.) 
  10. Bail Money. You never know when someone will forget to take their chill pill before they decide to get on the party bus. So when “Tina” decides to get her big girl panties in a wad and throw her Vodka-Cran all over you’re girl’s brand new white dress, you have a back up plan. Thank heavens I took my chill pill that day, or who knows what could of happened! (I’m classy on my good days)                                                                                                                                                                               ***Never forget, what happens in Vegas, does NOT always stay there. Especially if it’s a criminal record.

Safe travels,lipsters!



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