Pack it up!

I recently took a trip to San Diego with the bf. It was my first time in San Diego and only my second time ever in California. We spent 5 nights and 4 days in Pacific Beach, a neighborhood of mostly new college grads and young professionals (read: party town!!). Although we didn't have great weather the whole time we stayed, I have to say that SoCal was everything I expected: beautiful beaches, palm trees, and surf boards everywhere! We hung out with some seals in La Jolla, went to a fully stocked brunch at the Hotel del Coranado, and made a pilgrimage to Orange County & Laguna Beach (very exciting for the Lauren Conrad fan in me). It was a perfect mini getaway.

Aside from California, I've taken a lot of mini trips and long weekends in the last year and I have to say I've gotten pretty good at packing (which is not to say I pack lightly, just that I know how to successfully pack enough clothes for a week's worth of outfits in one small carry-on). I need to stay organized when I travel since I wouldn't want to risk leaving anything behind when vacation time is over. Plus, having a go-to travel routine helps make sure I don't forget anything important. Here are some travel tips that will simplify your travel routine the next time you're off jet setting!

+ Toiletries bag: For anyone who travels often, it makes sense to have a toiletries bag stocked with all your everyday products. These days you can find almost every product in trial or travel size at your local Bed Bath & Beyond. If not, invest in a set of travel size bottles that you can fill with just enough product for the duration of your trip. I keep an extra cell phone charger in my toiletries bag as well so I don't have to worry about forgetting to pack one or losing my everyday charger.

+ Suitcase layout: This is a big one for me since I always over-pack. Shoes and bulky items are best on the bottom, and I like to roll the lighter items on top to save even more room (although if you can refrain from bringing 15 tops on a 3-day weekend, power to ya!). Jewelry and accessories should be stowed in a smaller compartment so they don't get lost in the shuffle. Also, here's a great jewelry travel tip from Pinterest. This one has saved me HOURS of painstakingly untangling necklaces.

+ Wardrobe: Pack basics that you can easily swap in and out for a couple different outfits. A good pair of dark skinny jeans that can be dressed up or down, white Ts, unique scarves/jewelry to accessorize; you get the idea. I like to bring a nicer outfit on the road too, just in case the weekend takes a turn for the fancy :). One last thing; always bring a jacket! Trust your Mom on this one, okay? She's right.

+ Getting there: Once you're packed and ready to go, make sure you give yourself enough time to get through security and to your gate. It's almost impossible to predict when the security lines are going to be a mess, so give yourself as much time as you can. Make sure you check-in to your flight the night before to cut out this step when you arrive at the airport (and depending on your airline, to snag a better seat on the flight!). You'll get an electronic boarding pass sent right to your phone. Most of the major airlines also have apps you can download to view your itinerary and get real-time flight updates.
Here's a few more pictures from our time in San Diego. We never did make it to Sea World or the zoo, which means there's always next time!

Dipped my toes into the Pacific :)

We stopped for a couple glasses of wine at this little marina on the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach
'The Original' Wahoo's Fish Tacos in Laguna. Highly recommend the Blackened Fish Taco & their amazing Guac! Wahoo!!!
A nice stretch of beach in Laguna.

Loved that everything is in bloom even in late October!

Just a little taste of Hotel del Coronado's INCREDIBLE brunch dessert bar.

Only one casualty at brunch...

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