August 10, 2017

Travel Tips – must haves from my trip to London, Normandy and Paris

International traveling can be tough. The airports, hours spent on an airplane, navigating a new city where all the street signs are in another language… After each trip I like to do a quick review of what went well and what could be improved.  If you are looking for honeymoon travel tips, these 7 items made my “must-have” list for this trip.


  1. North Face Dryzzle Rain Jacket – After more than ten years and many adventures my Arcteryx hard shell needed repairing.  The average warranty repair is running 8 weeks and I knew that I would want a rain jacket to visit London so I turned to REI to find a reasonably priced alternative for the trip.  This North Face jacket had a slim fit, which I liked, and did a great job keeping me dry in the London drizzle without making me feel clammy. I didn’t even have to open the air zips. The hot pink color was a plus.
  2. Kattee Men’s Canvas Leather DSLR SLR Vintage Camera Messenger Bag – I did not bring my “big” camera on this vacation so you might be wondering why I brought a camera bag.  As it turns out, this is the perfect carry on bag.  The adjustable dividers allowed me to have separate spaces for my water bottle, snacks, and wallet while leaving room in front and behind for papers and my iPad in their own operate areas and a zippered inside pocket for my passport and money.  This kept my carry on nice and organized so I didn’t have to fumble for my wallet at the front of a checkout line.  It also has two front pockets that close with snaps for my phone and sunglasses and two side pockets that close with buckles for miscellaneous items like hand sanitizer and charging cords.  Then, when I reached my destination the divider pops out and I have a nice sized shoulder bag to carry around with me on our adventures big enough to stash a jacket, scarf, or flip flops.

  3. Large Scarf – I was really pleased with my airport attire for this trip.  I wore leggings from Hot Asana, a Lululemon tank top, my Fellraisers from Salomon (which are very easy to slip on and off in security but can be tightened up to move through the airport), and this scarf.  The scarf was great in case I got a little chilly but didn’t feel like carrying around a jacket.  I used this a lot on this trip.
  4. Rose Quartz and Amethyst Mala – I am not the most patient person and I tend to get a little cranky when I am frustrated so I figured I would throw this mama in my bag.  The gemstones are supposed to open your heart chakra and encourage loving kindness so I figured it couldn’t hurt 🙂
  5. Zippered pouch – My good friend Wendy made this pouch for me and it was so useful while traveling to give all the small things in my bag – dramamine, nail clippers, hair ties, receipts – a place to live that was contained and controlled rather than having them rattle around at the bottom of my suitcase where they are impossible to find.
  6. Ultra HD iPhone Lens, 180° Fisheye + 0.63X Wide Angle Lens + 15X Macro + 3X Telephoto 4 in 1 Optic Cell Phone Lens Kit for Iphone 7 6s Plus Samsung Galaxy S6 S7 Edge LG, Black – As I mentioned, I chose not to bring a camera with me on this trip so all of my photos were taken with my iPhone.  Don’t get me wrong, London and Paris would have both been beautiful places to take photos, but the point of this trip was to spend quality time with my husband and I am not able to do that when I am focused on taking the perfect photo 😉 I did, however, want to add a little bit of functionality to the iPhone camera so I picked up this lens set on Amazon right before we left for our trip.  I liked that they were small, inexpensive, could be used even if your phone was in a case and came in a hard case with a carabiner that I could clip to my belt loop.  The quality was not the greatest and I did notice that some of the photos looked a little soft (especially around the edges) but for $30 I was happy with them and I did end up using all of the lenses at least a couple times.

  7. Cabeau Evolution Memory Foam Travel Pillow – I picked up this pillow in the airport, shockingly for the same price that you can buy it on Amazon.  Aside from the fact that the included earplugs are pretty unremarkable this was a great buy.  On both of my long flights over to Europe (5hr + 3hr) I slept like a baby using this pillow which never happens for me on planes.  Next time I would bring better earplugs, but this pillow will be traveling with me from now on.

Happy Travels!



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