Maria Menounos

Travel Like a Pro With These Rules That Maria Menounos Swears By

Maria Menounos on Travel Rules

If you’re someone like me who has traveled all around the world countless times, you’ve probably grown to become somewhat of an expert, unless of course you’re more of a casual civilian traveler. Regardless, there’s bound to be some level of struggle here and there, so preparation matters. From the travel outfit you wear to organizing your luggage, all the little travel rules come to matter in order to avoid stress. Without further ado, here’s my travel must-dos!

1. Mesh Packing Bags

This should be on the top of everyone’s list of travel essentials. Seriously, these see-through packets are an instant, easy organizer and you can have multiple for different categories of items. For instance, I have one dedicated for all things tech related — chargers, wires, headphones. Then there’s another pouch with hand lotion, sanitizer, lip balm, all of that type of stuff on hand. It’s also useful for keeping track of supplements and medications. The easy accessibility to grab these bags even on the plane is game changing. 

2. Master Kit for Toiletries

I absolutely love this one tote kit I have stocked with all the toiletries, makeup, and hair stuff I need. At the end of each trip, I make a little note of what needs replacing or refills so that when I unpack at home, I do it right then and there. This makes everything preplanned and good to go for the next trip so that you’re not constantly worrying about toiletries. It’s a bit of an investment, but totally worth it for someone who travels a lot in order to avoid repacking.

Read about my must have travel kit here! 

3. Ziploc Bags

Ziploc bags allow you to compress small amounts of items that you may not need the whole container. This comes in handy particularly for my supplements instead of having them in big bottles. Packing trays become too bulky, whereas ziplocs are so flat and easy to slip in. It’s always a great idea to have them handy and stock up on large supplies, you never know when you’ll need one, and I use plenty when I travel. 

4. Travel Outfit 

Now, this may not seem like the biggest part of planning for a trip, but having a good travel outfit is necessary in order to be comfortable. As someone whose dad trained me to always look my best whenever I’m out, you can do this while also looking cute and fashionable. I always say you always want to look presentable, you never know who you’re going to bump into. There’s a few different airport go-to outfits of mine, usually involving a hoodie, warm clothing items, and something loose by the knees. If you’re claustrophobic like me, you’ll want to be able to move around in what you wear, so nice casualwear always comes in handy. My Lululemon leggings in particular have been a long time staple, as well as my Bombas socks. Comfy socks and sneakers are super important because of how much walking around you’re going to do, and you need to be prepared to make a run for it. They also have to be easy to get on and off for security purposes. 

5. Limit Your Packing

It’s so crucial to pick and choose what you bring on your trip since you can’t bring all of your amazing things in your wardrobe. Think to yourself “What can I sacrifice so I’m not having to put 10 people standing on my suitcase to close it?” Limit yourself to one solid pair of jeans that can work day to night, a few tops, and something to wear to sleep (if you do). Boots are challenging to travel with due to comfortability and maneuverability, plus they take up so much suitcase space. You really have to play out what’s the best for the specific trip you are making. Once you start overfilling your bags, that can lead to suffering and stress because you may not be able to get it all back on the way home. If you’re using a carry on bag, it should ideally have a sleeve to fit over your suitcase handles. Don’t go through unnecessary physical exertion and only take what you can fit and pull on top of your suitcase.

Read more about my packing tips here!

6. Don’t Pack Too Early

This is a key for helping to remember what you need and making sure you don’t forget stuff — and even if you do, have empathy for yourself as we’re all doing the best we can. If you pack too early, then you’re like “Oh, did I put this in? Let me throw another white t-shirt in,” constantly adding things. To help keep track, create a master list of things you absolutely need to have at all times, and add a side column for any extras you may need for a longer trip. Packing protocol lists leave little room for error, and this is where separating things into multiple mesh bags comes into play. Using these, my stuff is already prepacked in a travel drawer so I can just grab it and put it into whatever bag I’m using. For lighter travel, I’ll put it in my purse, and for something a little heavier, I’ll use my backpack. This preparation makes such a difference.

Read more about my packing tips here!

7. Sign Up for TSA Precheck & Global Entry

Take advantage of these types of programs to make your travel easier. If you don’t travel much, an expense like Clear may not be worth it. But if you do, having it at your disposal is so handy, you don’t even need to use your ID or anything — instead, they photograph your eyes and biometrics, taking you to the front of the security line. As for TSA precheck, lines can be a little longer than regular ones, but you don’t have to take off shoes or your belts, making it run so much smoother without any hang ups. And when you enter the country after international travel, Global Entry is so easy and helpful to use: there’s a line you go to with kiosks, you put your passport in the kiosk, it spits out a little paper for you, and you’re off. Don’t waste time waiting for two to three hours on lines. Trust me, it’s so much better for punctual travel.

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