Hand Luggage Only

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When going away on a city break, travelling with just hand luggage can save time and money. Not only does having no hold luggage help keep your costs to a minimum, there’s no need to check in baggage or wait for it on the other side either, taking out some of the stress which is associated with travelling.

I’m heading to Paris this week for a couple of days and have hand luggage only so thought I would share with you the essentials that are coming along for the ride.

With carry on luggage its important to be organised. Before you start to pack you should know your restrictions, have a list of what you will need during your stay and be prepared to be ruthless. As I’m only there for a couple of days Im planning on taking the minimum.

When it comes to clothes it’s hard to decide what to take and what to leave behind. With the risk of over packing I’m going to try and pack a capsule wardrobe – things that can be co-ordinated to produce numerous outfits. I’ve being waiting for the right time to break out both my new A.P.C ‘Oh L’amour’ shirt and Common Projects so Paris seems like the perfect opportunity to wear them. The Common Projects are great for that smart-casual look. With the heavier items such as coats and jackets, I will be travelling in them to save space. The pockets can also be used to store items such as your documents and devices in so that they are on hand and don’t take up any extra space or weight in your case either.

With toiletries it’s important to stick to the 100ml rule whilst travelling or risk these being disposed of at security. All toilettires should fit in one plastic pouch so its important to take only what you need. There a number of good quality travel kits out there, the ones from Aēsop are always my go to’s, but you can also pick a few bits up in the airport should you not want to pack anything.

Other things I don’t travel without are my Mulberry passport holder wallet. This has multiple pockets and a zipped back to keep all my documents and tickets safe and finally a good guide book.  Flying can provide a good time to plan your trip and what you want to get out of it and these Cereal Guides are a great source of inspiration.

I don’t have massive plans for my short trip yet but I’m quite excited to just take to as it comes.

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Do you have any recommendations for Paris?

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In-Flight Grooming tips

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Traveling can be long and stressful. Not just physically, flying can be a huge stress on our skin. Whilst many people shy away from grooming on long haul flights, there are a number of ways in which we can prepare ourselves in order to step off the plane feeling like an international jetsetter.

There are a variety of travel-sized toiletries on the market out there, from budget buys to premium skincare. Packing a carefully picked selection will ensure you have everything to hand that you might need to keep you looking good and feeling refreshed.

Skin

Keeping your skin hydrated mid-flight can be a challenge. With all that filtered air being pumped around the cabin, your skin can quickly become dry and lifeless.

By packing a flannel or some face wipes in your carry on, when you do start to feel sluggish, you will be able to freshen up immediately, whether it be in your seat or in toilet cubicles. By applying a good moisturiser afterwards, it will not only give you that added boost, but it will also help to lock in any moisture and re-hydrate your skin.

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Aesop Jet Set Kit 

Eyes

Keeping yourself bright eyed and fresh is something that many men don’t think of whilst flying. Packing a travel mask in your carry on can be a godsend if you are travelling long haul or catching the red-eye home. It not only blocks out light helping you to sleep but also gives your eyes time to rest.

If you don’t get that time to sleep (for various reasons!)  having eyes drops on hand can also be a godsend.  For one, your eyes will be thankful for their new lease of life and secondly they will feel rehydrated from whatever moisture the dry plane air may have taken out. 

Mouth

If you have a particularly long flight the next item is an essential. After your in-flight meals and prior to departure, good dental hygiene is essential, not only for you but for the people around you.

Packing a travel toothbrush, a travel-sized toothpaste and some dental floss in your carry on will take up next to no room but can be a real life-saver in the confines of an airplane. After several cups of coffee and that tasty airplane food which is still stuck in your teeth, your mouth will not be feeling great. Using floss to remove any debris of food will prevent it from causing any unnecessary odour and will leave your teeth feeling fresh. Follow this with a full clean of your mouth with your toothbrush and toothpaste and your mouth will feel refreshed and clean again.

If that all sounds like too much effort, packing a travel mouthwash will get you through your flight.

Hair

If you are one of the lucky ones that can sleep when flying, packing a foldaway comb and your favourite pomade will help tame that bed head post nap.

Housekeeping

Theres no escape from germs when you’re in the air. Being confined in such a small space with loads of strangers can be a bit daunting. Packing some anti-bacterial wipes will allow you to sanitise the area around you. Giving a quick wipe of your arm rests, drop-down tray and touch screen TV will not only help keep germs at bay, but it can make you feel a lot more comfortable in your new surroundings, despite how many weird looks you may get!

For that extra protection using a sanitising hand gel before and after meals, and when ever you go to the toilet will help give that extra bit of peace.

Stress

Arriving at your destination feeling upset and anxious is the last thing you want. Not only is it a bad start to any holiday, but by the time you finally start to relax, it’s time to come home.

If you hate flying or are a nervous flyer, there are a number of products available that can help get you through the stress associated with flying. Herbal medication such as Kalms can help aid with stress and anxiety ahead of flying. You can also purchase herbal calming sprays and roll-ons, which when applied to pressure points across the body, can help alleviate stress.

If you do hate flying that much there is medical treatment available. Not only will your GP recommend ways to cope with the journey, in severe cases they can prescribe you  with the medication needed.


These in-flight grooming tips are designed to make long journeys more bearable. With just a little bit of preparation and some well elected travel toiletries, theres no exception to not arrive at your destination looking good and feeling refreshed.

What are your travel grooming tips?

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Top 10 Travel Planning Tips

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I can’t believe it’s been over a year since my New York trip already. Looking back at my post I realised the lack of travel-related posts recently, despite travel being a passion of mine.

Although at present I only have one trip in the pipeline; Thailand at the end of Summer, it doesn’t mean that in the meantime I can’t get myself prepared.

The planning stage of any trip can help determine how successful it will be and is an enjoyable part of the experience itself. There is a world of options and plenty to consider when planning. Building on an older post, I have given you an updated list of my top travel tips when planning a trip:


Prior to Booking:


1. Check your Passport. 

Probably the most important thing to consider when considering a trip overseas is whether your passport is still valid or not. It’s important to check the expiry date on your passport as some country’s require a certain period of time left on your passport to enter the country. Obtaining a new passport can also be a lengthy process so the sooner you get the ball rolling the better.

2. Use Social Media

More and more companies are using social media platforms to announce deals and updates, and respond to customer questions.
If you’re looking for the best last minute deals or special offers sign up to various airline and hotel mailing lists..  Not only may you bag a bargain but when an airline announces its summer or winter timetable, the quicker you book, the cheaper the seats tend to be.

 

3. Set yourself a budget. 

This next tip falls hand in hand with finding the best deal. If you are on a tight budget, make sure you stick too it. Set yourself clear, realistic expectations of what your budget will be able to get you. Budget holidays and package deals are great if your on a tight budget. If you’re looking for a tailor-made trip, expect to pay more.

4. Time your trip right.

When choosing a destination make sure you have researched when the peak and off peak times are and when the weather is best suited for you. Other things to consider are public holidays and celebrations which may delay or restrict your plans.

5. Choosing the right Hotel & Airline.

When choosing a hotel there are a number of variables to consider. The first is quality. The more ‘star’gradings a hotel has the better the features are. If a hotel doesn’t have a certain amount of stars, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is bad, or not up to standard. Star gradings include location and hotel amenities such as the pool, gym and restaurants.

Another point to note is when searching using a comparison site, be careful of the ‘top picks’ or ‘user verified’ hotels as these are not always the better hotels and can be paid advertisements.

If you’re looking for something a bit more unique, you could always book accommodation through AirBnB, and ‘live like a local’. (It tends to be a lot cheaper than staying in a hotel too).

Just like hotels, the price of airline tickets can vary site to site. Most times cutting out the middle man and booking directly with the vendor, will help keep costs down. Other things to consider when booking a flight is what the price includes? Budget airlines tend to charge extra for services such as meals and baggage so make sure your price includes everything you want.


After Booking


6. Check Visa Restrictions / Vaccinations

Now you’ve booked your hotel and flight, it’s time to start the holiday prep. A good place to start is to check what vaccinations you may need to enter/protect yourself in particular countries. The more remote the destination, the more chances you will need some sort of vaccination.

For my trip to Thailand I am booked in for 8 weeks before so it’s good to check.

7. Research. 

It’s important to do your research before you arrive. Tailor your trip to suit you. Create a inspiration board over on Pinterest, like my one below, to pin all the things you want to see and do, and for places to eat or stay. Use it as your personal travel guide!

If you prefer a travel guide in book form, I would recommend the Cereal Travel Guides or the Wallpaper City Guides by Phaidon. They are full of useful information, are beautifully presented and are a great reference for discovering new places.

8. Get your documents together.

– Whenever you travel you should always do so with insurance. Not only will it be there if any health issues were to occur but if anything was to happen to make you miss a flight, or your baggage gets lost, it’s one less thing to have to worry about knowing you are covered. Having a printed copy is always handy if you need quick access to those emergency numbers.

It’s also recommended to take photocopies of your tickets, ID and passport incase they were to be misplaced.

– When changing currency don’t order on a whim, wait until you can find the best rate. The exchange rate changes daily and it also varies on where you purchase it from. Or if you don’t like the idea of carrying a lot of money I would recommend speaking to your bank about the cheapest and safest way to use a credit or debit card abroad. I bank with Halifax who offer the fixed rate ‘Clarity Card’ which will not incur fees on any international transactions. Also make sure your bank is aware that you will be leaving the country as they tend to put a hold on your card for any suspicious transactions.

Investing in a travel wallet will help keep all your documents safe and in one place. My Mulberry Passport Cover Wallet has been used on many trips to secure all my information I need to hand.

9. Packing

Packing; some people love it and some people hate it. I personally quite like it as it feels like the start of the trip. When packing it’s quite easy to overpack. Wherever you’re going make sure you pack appropriately and be realistic. A good starting point is to find an online packing checklist to get you started, which will cover all the essentials.

and finally…

10. Make the most of your trip.

Be safe, have fun and make loads of memories.

Travel can be stressful, the key is organisation. What are your key travel tips?

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48hrs in Copenhagen | Where to Stay

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Hotel SP34
Sankt Peders Stræde 34
1453 Copenhagen C
T: +45 3313 3000

Checked in: 20/07/15

We stayed at SP34, a 4+ boutique hotel located on Sankt Peders Stræde in Copenhagen’s old Latin Quarter. The 118 room hotel is a twenty-five minute journey form the airport at a cost of 275DKK (£27), but is about a ten minute walk from Nørreport Station if you decide to get the train.

Check-in time for the hotel is at 3pm but we arrived at around 11am expecting to drop our bags off and they had a room ready for us, which was ideal. On arrival, the staff were extremely friendly and welcoming, answering any questions we had and inviting us to join them between 5pm and 6pm for the hotels daily wine hour for complimentary wine. The lounge and lobby area has a really relaxed positive vibe, which is perfect for enjoying a glass or two after a day of exploring. The hotel itself is very chic, blending Scandinavian style with influences of art and modern comforts.

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Our room was on the 5th floor and was clean and comfortable and spacious enough for two. Once again the decor is similar, you can’t really go wrong with grey walls, white linen and wood accents can you? The bathroom however featured a waterfall shower and was stocked with Ren toiletries, adding to the luxurious feel.

In terms of amenities, the hotel offers a gym, high speed internet access, a private cinema and three a la carte Restaurants with an adjoining roof terrace on the first floor. The location makes it ideal, with quick transportation links and many attractions such as Trivoli and the Rundetaarn within walking distance. I would stay here again without a doubt and recommend it to anyone looking to stay somewhere a little different. For more information and to book visit: http://www.brochner-hotels.dk/our-hotels/sp34/

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The next post in this series will explore ‘Where to Eat’ so be sure to check back!

Have you visited Copenhagen before, where did you stay? Does Hotel SP34 appeal to you?

LPU | June

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(Photo credit: gloryfades.co)

It’s been a while since I last did a post featuring any new products I have recently picked up or have been using so here’s a quick update.

I know, another Aēsop haul, but, it was much needed. Starting with Shine, this product is a lightweight hair oil designed to hydrate dry, frizzy hair. This product is perfect for me as my hair is quite thick and course so it just gives that extra bit of nourishment, post shampoo. The screw on lid comes complete with a pipette so it’s easy to control the amount of product you use, and with only 2 to 3 drops recommend per use, this product should last a long time. Although it is marketed as a hair oil there is nothing stopping you rubbing some through your beard to give it that extra shine. My second pick up was the Fine Fabric Care solution in collaboration with A.P.C. I ended up buying this from the Prince Street store in New York after a disaster with a bottle of coke during my visit to the Statue of Liberty! I wouldn’t really hand wash anything usually (as it’s too much effort), however I’m planning to decant some of this into a travel-sized container for future trips incase I ever need it again! Lastly, I have recently swapped my Amazing Face Cleanser for the Fabulous Face Cleanser as its designed for more sensitive skin and I prefer the scent for the summer.

I have started using Marvis Whitening Mint toothpaste in place of my usual Colgate. I was first introduced to Marvis a few years ago when I received a sample of the Strong Mint variety and was immediately attracted to the vintage-style design. At the end of the day, toothpaste is toothpaste, and aslong as it contains fluoride and keeps my teeth clean and fresh, I’m happy, so this is a bit of a unnecessary purchase. However Mankind offer a value triple pack which will keep your teeth sparkling for a few months. At the same time as purchasing the toothpaste I also picked up this handy Marvis toothbrush with bristle cover which I plan to take to Copenhagen with me mid-July, as I only have hand-luggage so will be leaving my electric one at safely at home.

The P.F Candle Co Teakwood & Tabacco soy candle was also a New York purchase and looks great sat alongside the brown glass apothecary style bottles from Aēsop in my bathroom. (The scent is amazing too).


Aēsop Shine, Aēsop Fabulous Face Cleanser and Marvis Whitening Mint Toothpaste are available now at Mankind where you can earn ‘Man Points’ to spend against future purchases. Don’t forget to use my Referral Code: MK22832326.


Have you tried any new products you would recommend lately?