Hi friends! I am currently in the midst of prepping for my next international trip. This weekend I leave for a two week trip to Shanghai, China and various cities in Japan. I haven’t been to Asia in many years so it’s pretty exciting but it’s also daunting. Any extended trip tends to make me anxious because there is a great deal of preparation that goes into them. There are certain things that help me feel more prepared before a trip that I like to do if I have the time. Here are some of my travel essentials that have been keeping me busy recently!
Prep your skin.
Traveling often means new climates, irregular routines, and sometimes unhealthy foods. I have very sensitive skin that’s acne prone so traveling tends to be challenging for my skin. To be proactive, I like to get a facial a week or two before a trip. This helps prep my skin for the upcoming changes as well as getting it in good shape so that I am starting off with a good base. I used to see facials as a pampering treatment only however skoah has helped me get in the mindset that it’s more a workout for your skin.
To prepare for my trip, I recently went to skoah to get a power facial. I live in Capitol Hill so I love the convenience of a short walk rather than driving out to a far away spa. Although it’s right in the middle of a busy street, you instantly feel like you’re in a soothing spa once you head into your private room. The power facial is perfect for people with packed schedules like myself. It’s a 45 minute facial so it’s quick, but packs in what is essentially a whole skin workout including a face mask and even extractions. My favorite skoah product is the klearity mask – it’s perfect for anyone who is combatting blemishes. I’m obsessed with massages (I get them every few weeks!) and the power facial also includes a head, neck, and shoulder massage. Amazing right?!
The power facial helps clear out my skin while giving me that fresh glow. It’s also so easy to fit into my crazy schedule. This particular day I finished work, walked to get my facial, then immediately after headed to a friend’s going away dinner. I know most of you have equally busy schedules so this is the best, efficient thing to add into your skincare routine. Power facials are regularly $90 however you can get a $50 certificate if you visit this link which means the facial will only be $40 if you book by August 31st! I’m also giving away a facialicious facial – which is 75 minutes and includes a head to toe massage. Head over to my Instagram to enter the giveaway :)
Plan your outfits.
Packing light is not my forte. Like, at all. The earlier I start planning what I want to wear on a trip the lighter I tend to pack. More time means I can evaluate each item and whether or not I really need to bring it. My key to packing for two weeks in one suitcase is bringing items that are versatile. For instance, I am foregoing striped flowy shorts because they don’t go with much. Instead, I am bringing a solid linen pair of shorts and a denim pair because they go with plain and printed tops. If you save packing for the last minute you end up bringing items that you probably won’t even wear either because you didn’t give the item much thought before throwing it in your suitcase.
Gather important travel documents.
Did you know you need a special visa to visit China? Researching the necessary travel documents, vaccines, etc. is obviously a really important step before traveling. If it’s your first time in a country I recommend researching the currency, how easy it is to navigate without speaking the local language, if you can easily get a SIM card for your phone or if there are data plans for visitors as well. If you need to show documentation that is online, you want to be sure that you can even get online. Also while this seems totally obvious, just triple check your passport’s expiration date. I know more than one person who has run into an expired passport right before they went on a trip. Biggest bummer ever.
Pick your entertainment beforehand.
Save data (or battery life) by downloading your entertainment before your travel. I like to download music, movies, and now podcasts to my phone. (Podcasts are my newest obsession! My favorite so far is Serial season 1.) If I happen to be traveling without wifi access, I can still keep myself entertained on the plane this way. Then just delete as you go through the entertainment so you free up space for your trip. This also forces you to potentially clear out some memory on your phone or devices. I find that this is a really good thing to do well in advance because the last thing you want is to run out of storage on your device while trying to take photos on a trip.
Pack an emergency kit.
I don’t go anywhere without some sort of “emergency” kit that I make myself. You do not need anything fancy for a kit and you can make one with things you have lying around your house. The first step is to obviously find some sort of pouch to put your kit in. Then, fill it with items that are your essentials as well as good to have basics. Some ideas for your emergency kit: bandages, alcohol wipes, hand sanitizer, pain reliever, tissues, feminine products, hair ties, lip balm, SPF, floss, mints, a pen, ear plugs, headphones, assorted medicine, some cash, nail clipper, safety pin. Most of these items are things that you could easily buy no matter where you’re traveling but it helps to have some backups with you before you need to go hunt something down. Plus, you never know how much money you might save by already packing it.
Cover your bases at home.
Before going on an extended trip, make sure you are also preparing your home base. If you live alone or are traveling with your roommate, you definitely want to make sure that you are careful with how you leave your home behind. The obvious things: turn off all electronics, blow out candles, lock the doors and windows, etc. Some less obvious things: setting a vacation notice for packages (I live in a building that can collect my packages for me), letting your neighbor know you’re going out of town so they can keep an eye on things, turning off your heat/AC if it’s on auto, and water your plants right before leaving. I would also make sure you have autopay on for bills or schedule payments ahead of time for rent, credit cards, etc.
I’m human and I don’t always get to these in advance, but I try my hardest to get to all of them up until I leave. While some are absolutely necessary, not all are. I recognize getting a facial before a trip, or ever, seems like a huge luxury but it really has a lot of benefits. Skin is the largest organ of the body so it’s really important to take care of it! skoah has a huge selection of skincare products as well that are worth checking out as well. I have used their products for several years and have often bought the travel sizes for my vacations. Remember to enter your email here for a $50 skoah gift certificate to use before August 31st!
Can’t wait to share my travels with you all!