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Traveling has given me a healthy appreciation for being comfortable, simple and chic at the same time.
I always cringe when I see girls in their leggings, a shirt that barely covers their bum or stomach, and/or wearing these awful boots with 50 straps that they take forever to remove at the security checkpoints.
Even wearing heels at the airport is not a good idea.
When I go straight to the airport from a client’s site, I take the time to at least change my trousers and my footwear, but I never try to wear heels when I’m at the airport, lugging my carryon and (perhaps) having to sprint for the gate.
Men aren’t so much better in terms of being able to be comfortable and organized either, with their laced boots and not understanding that “EMPTY YOUR POCKETS” is not an idle request made on a whim.
Here’s my go-to travel outfit:
Comfort is key. I don’t like wearing anything too tight, too loose, or too short.
I also want to look somewhat chic, because you’d be surprised how many people I run into at the airport when I least expect to see them.
Besides, looking nice should always be a bare minimum requirement before you leave your home!!
Other Tips for Traveling:
- If I wear jewellery, I always remove it & store it while I am in line for the security check
- I wear layers, so I can remove one when it gets too warm or add one if it gets cold
- I always put my liquids in the sealed bag before I get to the airport
- …and the liquids in the sealed bag are in an easy to reach pocket, or in my purse
- My laptop is also in my purse, not packed away (iPad doesn’t need to be removed)
- I try not to wear my winter coat — I pack it away instead & rely on the cashmere wrap
- I never check in any bags unless I absolutely have to; carry-ons only!
If you want some celebrity inspiration, WhoWhatWear had a few travel outfits featured.
I picked out my favourite:
Ashley Olsen’s look is the closest to my ‘ideal’ traveling outfit. Flat shoes, a warm comfortable coat, and a big enough bag to hold your in-flight entertainment.
One thing I will point out is that they all seem to have sunglasses on. This is to hide their tired, red eyes that everyone gets when they travel.
What do you wear when you travel?
WHAT I LIKE TO CARRY WHEN I TRAVEL
As little as possible so I adhere pretty strictly to the rules of the airline:
- 1 carryon
- 1 purse or camera bag (I bring the camera bag because it’s what I use)
I love packing lightly because:
- I don’t have to check anything in
- I don’t have to carry a lot
- I can wheel all of it
- I have to really consider the space in my suitcase before buying anything mindlessly
When I am traveling, I turn into the kind of girl who can live for a month without changing her outfit constantly, and I turn into one of those extreme minimalists.
When I am at home, I feel the urge to change twice a day if I am going out twice (afternoon & night).
Don’t ask me why, but wearing different clothes gives me a serious high especially if I have to come home and go back out again.
HOW I NORMALLY GET TO AIRPORTS AND ALL AROUND THE CITY
I take the subway, bus and metro.
No taxicabs AT ALL.
It would be even easier if I took cabs because I’d just cab to the airport and back, no need to stand outside in the cold to wait for any bus, although I’d probably wear the same amount of clothing/layers.
However if you want to go cheap and cheerful like I do (saving money, and I just don’t like cabs), this is how I do it when going in between temperatures.
GOING ON A TRIP WITH MULTIPLE TEMPERATURES
The problem with traveling in between temperatures is that either you pack for the temperature you are departing from, the temperature you are going to, and/or the temperature you are supposed to return to.
All of this can be one big fat headache if you are going from winter to summer, and back again.
Photo I took in Montreal, Canada
Before I left for Hong Kong, it was starting to get cold in Canada. We’re talking a light jacket and some boots would be acceptable, but upon my return, it would be snowing lightly and at least 0 degrees Celsius.
However in Hong Kong, I knew it would be hotter, and I wouldn’t need a winter jacket or boots, in fact, skirts, sandals, and a t-shirt would be the kind of weather I’d be facing.
What did I do?
I packed stuff that I would use in the hotel room anyway that could do double-duty.
I’ve used everything below, and although I was a bit cold, I am always cold even when bundled up, and I could take it for the short period of time (waiting outside for the bus at the airport terminal), and walking home.
KEY DOUBLE-DUTY ITEMS TO BRING
Disclaimer: The following will be warm enough to make it through the cold from the airport to the bus stop, walking through the streets for a short period of time (half an hour to an hour), but not to stay out for a long time, and especially not in very cold, freezing temperatures like let’s say the Arctic.
Please dress warmly if you are going to the Arctic. Don’t skimp, and bring a bigger suitcase.
Also, don’t try and do anything silly by wearing only this in the winter to save money, or to dress lightly.
- T-Shirts – First layer of the substitute winter jacket
- Cashmere sweater – Second layer of the substitute winter jacket
- Massive cashmere pashmina wrap – Third layer wrap of the substitute winter jacket
- Lightweight windbreaker – Last layer of substitute winter jacket
- Tights – First layer of substitute winter bottoms
- Jersey Leggings – Second layer of substitute winter bottoms
- Long lightweight pants – Third layer of the substitute winter bottoms
- Wool socks
1. LAYER #1: T-SHIRTS
They’re practical and multi-functional. Great for layering underneath for colder weathers, or wearing alone in hotter ones.
DIFFERENT TEMPERATURE USE:
I use these as the base of my winter layer by wearing all of them underneath.
2. LAYER #2: A CASHMERE SWEATER
I am continually surprised at how comfortable, soft, and lightweight these sweaters are. Compared to a cotton or a wool sweater, cashmere in colder weather beats out everyone and everything.
It would be great if you could find this in a cashmere hoodie that is super thick and warm. Alas, I am still looking, because all the options I’ve found so far, are too thin and meant for fashion.
Good quality cashmere is hard to find. I wish I could tell you that you can spend hundreds of dollars and be guaranteed a great sweater, but this is not the case.
My best cashmere finds have been in thrift stores, because I am able to try them on and feel them on my bare skin.
I have eczema, so the slightest bit of itch makes my skin inflamed and crazy, which is why I cannot buy anything cashmere online without knowing what it feels like on my skin beforehand.
GOOD CASHMERE IS HARD TO FIND:
White and Warren is a great brand for pashminas and scarves, but when I bought a sweater of theirs, it was just the tiniest bit too itchy, which made me extremely disappointed.
J. Crew sweaters were also a bit too itchy, no matter what they say about “quality Italian cashmere” as their material — it simply isn’t itch-free enough for me.
Surprisingly, my favourite consignment cashmere sweaters have been brands from these retailers:
- Neiman Marcus
- Lord & Taylor (2-ply cashmere)
- Ralph Lauren
But I’ve also tried on those house brands in other consignment sweaters and felt they were itchy. It is truly a HIT and MISS.
Otherwise, I tend to stay away from any other kind of retailer that sells cashmere:
- Ann Taylor (not for sweaters)
- J. Crew (I think for their scarves they are fine, but not for sweaters)
- White & Warren (great for pashminas and scarves, not for sweaters)
- Uniqlo (cheap, but not warm enough or thick enough)
- Kirkland (Costco brand)
DIFFERENT TEMPERATURE USE:
This is worn over my shirts, and with a cashmere pashmina shawl wrapped around me, it is just as warm as a wool winter coat.
As I mentioned, it’s great if you could find this in a super thick and warm cashmere hoodie, but I am still looking for this. All the cashmere hoodies I’ve found are very light and thin.
3. LAYER #3: A MASSIVE CASHMERE PASHMINA WRAP
I bought this wrap from White & Warren for a lot of money, even though I scored it on sale.
Because I can’t find this in secondhand stores (who in their right mind would give this thing up for sale?), and it is the best quality cashmere in a pashmina that I’ve felt for the price.
It’s surprisingly lightweight, cosy and very comfortable.
Not itchy at all; I own a White & Warren scarf as well which is of the same quality, but oddly enough their sweaters are a teeny bit itchy.
I use it every time I travel as:
- A blanket on the plane
- A blanket in the hotel room
- Scarf when the temperature dips unexpectedly
- A jacket for in between temperatures
I can’t tell you how many times this wrap has saved me from a freezing cold, drafty hotel room (this pashmina used as a blanket underneath my wool jacket is an incredibly warm combination).
DIFFERENT TEMPERATURE USE:
I wrap this over whatever I am wearing, wrapped pretty tightly (I look like a human burrito who escaped from an insane asylum).
Over a cashmere sweater, this does a serious double-whammy of lightweight, but super soft and warm protectiveness to double as a winter jacket.
You can also bring up the back section a bit to wrap around your ears if you are clever enough. No need for earmuffs.
4. LAYER #4: WINDBREAKER
Something light and waterproof works. It’s great to use when it rains, or just to keep the wind off you.
DIFFERENT TEMPERATURE USE:
I wear this over my cashmere sweater, and my pashmina wrapped around me.
It completes my “winter jacket” of 4 layers, and keeps the wind from getting in between the cashmere.
5. BOTTOM LAYER #1: TIGHTS
They are small, easy to squish into a corner of a suitcase, and will block out a LOT of cold.
I sometimes wear these under actual pants, and they act like legging windbreakers.
DIFFERENT TEMPERATURE USE:
This is the first of 3 layers of “pants”.
I start the winter layering at the last airport before I fly back into North America.
I don’t like getting changed in the airplane bathroom (too tight, smelly), so I do it in the airport before I board the plane.
6. BOTTOM LAYER #2: JERSEY LEGGINGS
I wear these to sleep when I travel. I don’t wear them as pants.
DIFFERENT TEMPERATURE USE:
This is the second of 3 layers of “pants”.
7. BOTTOM LAYER #3: LONG LIGHTWEIGHT PANTS
Seeing as the weather was hot in Hong Kong, I needed light pants (I hate shorts, and skirts don’t go with the kind of walking boots I have).
I always go to my Lululemon Dance Pants that have a good thick waistband with a drawstring, and loose legs to let air circulate in hot weather.
Alone, they are too thin in winter.
DIFFERENT TEMPERATURE USE:
This is the final layer of my “pants”, and they’re worn over my jersey leggings and my tights, like a windbreaker for my legs.
8. WOOL SOCKS
You just need them. I actually still wear them even in summer because I need the extra cushiony factor in my hiking boots when I walk.
I bring about 4 pairs when I travel, I wear 2 pairs a day (changing once, mid-day), and washing them at night to dry for the next day.
Not just for rain, it’s also for SNOW!
I don’t bring earmuffs or a hat, and this acts like my hat. My earmuffs are the cashmere pashmina that I bring up slightly around my ears.
DIFFERENT TEMPERATURE USE:
The thing about winter, is you are going to get wet if you let the snow fall on you, and melt into water on contact with your warm skin.
This causes you to feel cold (just as sweating during winter would cause you to feel cold), and your face and body starts to freeze otherwise.
This is why having an umbrella is great, it will keep the snow off you, and act like a waterproof hat
Can’t get around this because you need your hands to hold the umbrella. You need to bring something, even a super lightweight pair.
Cashmere is great, but I’ve found even a thin layer in cotton is still better than nothing to protect your bare skin in the winter.
DIFFERENT TEMPERATURE USE:
Only meant for when it’s cold or when you return and it’s in the midst of winter.
FINAL SUMMARY OF ITEMS TO BRING
Hope that helped! If you have any other suggestions, please leave them in the comments below.
I’m always looking for ways to improve my packing list.
All images above were used in Polyvore. Click here for item links.
If you live in Canada like I do, but love to watch TV shows online, you might want to check out Hola Media Blocker.
It’s an extension (which is like an app) that you can install onto your web browser and bypass country restrictions.
You basically click on Install Now and install the extension in Chrome, Firefox, or any other browser you use.
It just makes me want to go out and do something randomly nice.
(Got these from The Meta Picture. They post a lot of nice random things)
I see plenty of them in my email even though I’m sure they’re filtered quite well
- Send money to Nigeria to release the fortunes of a prince
- A “friend”/client/acquaintance is trapped overseas and needs money to come home
But those are pretty obvious, because they look like this:
I mean it is all wrong. ALL WRONG. Comes from Brazil, no less.
Anyway, just received this one in the mail and thought you’d all laugh at this.
At first glance, it looks all right if you don’t read too closely, until you see these mistakes:
There is no way Google would ever:
- Send me an email with (no subject)
- From an account called “Google Account”
- From an email that is clearly NOT Google — firstname.lastname@example.org
- With horrible spelling typos like “out” or “verifiy”
- ..and sign off with “Sincerely, Email Disclaimer”
- Asks me to click on a link in the email to verify my account… that I’m already logged into.
You have to be pretty green to fall for this, and unfortunately a lot of people who are not as tech-savvy might, so if you know someone like that — your parents, grandparents, old elderly aunt — please warn them to not click on anything, send any money or do anything without first consulting you just in case.
This isn’t the funniest one I’ve gotten either, there were far worse ones.
WHAT’S THE FUNNIEST EMAIL SCAM/PHISHING SCHEME EMAIL YOU HAVE GOTTEN?
An extremely elusive answer to find on the web, so I spent a few minutes on the phone grilling a TD Mutual Funds representative today.
Information is valid as of January 2nd 2013.
They are NO-LOAD Mutual Funds which means they do not charge you a fee to either BUY or SELL mutual funds.
I was incorrectly informed on the phone that they would NOT take the MER of your portfolio each day if you didn’t make a profit.
Then I emailed to clarify and got the following:
Update: IN TD FINANCIAL SPEAK-EASE (as of 2012 Dec 29th)
Management fees are charges to the mutual fund for the services provided by the manager of the fund.
All mutual funds charge management fees.
The fee generally ranges from 0.3% to 3%. This is how mutual fund companies earn their revenues.
Management fees are quoted as “up to X%” per annum of the net assets of the fund. This means that the fund company has the ability to charge up to X% but it may choose not to do so.
The fees are deducted from the value of the portfolio on daily basis before the NAV (unit price) is calculated.
The management expense ratio (MER) is the ratio between the sum of the management fee plus all other fund operating expenses incurred by the fund, versus the portfolio value.
The MER is calculated as of December 31 of each year therefore, the MER is an historical value.
“Other fund operating expenses” may include legal fees, custodial fees and auditing fees.
Update 2: Another update said plainly… (as of 2013 January 2nd)
We apologize for the incorrect information you received from the phone agent.
(This is why I hate talking on the phone to these people or seeing them in person. They’ll tell you anything because it isn’t their money, and they’re partly idiots. Having things IN WRITING is much better.)
The MER is deducted on a daily basis regardless of whether the fund increases or decreases in value.
You are charged your MER daily by TD Canada Trust on the value of your portfolio.
It is taken out of your account before they re-calculate the unit price.
The MER that is taken out, is based on the Dec 31 of the previous year’s set percentage, and is taken out of the entire bank’s portfolio at once, not from your individual, specific portfolio each day.
0.35% MER means that they take 0.35% of the entire assets of the portfolio, or out of the $422.78 million as of December 31st 2012.
0.35% x $422.78 million = $147.973 million a year, or $405,405.48 a day
You only pay a portion of that $147.973 million, based on how many units you own.
With TD Canada Trust in particular, they take the MER out on a daily basis, or out of the $405,405.48 that is charged to all investors, daily.
The exact amount, is still a mystery for each individual investor because they just take their $405,405.48 a a day out of the entire portfolio and then re-calculate how many units you have left as a result also known as the NAV (unit price).
DONE. END OF STORY.
It only took a phone call and 2 emails to get a clear answer.
This is the reason why looking at MERs in Mutual Funds and keeping them fairly low, are a good idea, or you will pay through the nose.
This is only in regards to TD Canada Trust (not TD Waterhouse because I haven’t talked to them nor do I ever want to ever again, although I daresay they probably operate the same way).
- The list of TD Canada Trust Regular Mutual Funds
- The list for TD Canada Trust Mutual Fund Cheaper E-Series (lower MERs, mostly index funds)
If you want to sign up for their cheap e-series TD Canada Trust Mutual Fund, I suggest you do the following for a no-hassle experience:
- You do not need to be a TD Waterhouse customer to buy e-series mutual funds!!
- Become a customer of TD Canada Trust (EasyWeb)
- Get a FREE no-fee savings account with them (no minimum balance required)
- Deposit money in there from your external bank account with a cheque & link the two accounts
- Open a TD Mutual Funds account (RRSP, TFSA, or Non-Registered)
- Ignore their pleas to buy their high MER, low return Mutual Funds
- Put all your money into your no-fee savings account with them so you’re ready to buy…
- ..or alternatively, you can also put that money into a Mutual Fund Bond Index or something you can sell easily without any additional fees (some funds, will charge you a 2% penalty fee if you sell within 30 days, e-series charges you a 2% penalty fee if you sell within 90 days)
- Convert that TD Mutual Funds account into an e-series Mutual Funds account with this form
- Note: Here’s a link that has all the TD Canada Trust forms in one shot
- Print and bring in the form(s) you’ve filled out and signed to your local TD Canada Trust Customer Rep
- Go to the Service Desk; you do NOT need an appointment with a Mutual Funds Advisor!
- Ask them to forward (internally) those forms to the address listed in the upper right-hand corner
- Repeat that it really is all they have to do, and nothing more than forward those forms
- You will need to fill out ONE form per Mutual Fund Account
- You can use the above form for all Mutual Funds (I did it for RRSPs and Non-Registered)
- Wait for the confirmation e-mail that welcomes you to the world of TD Mutual Funds E-Series
I will come right out and admit I am not a fan of Louis Vuitton (the brand, not the guy who started it ).
Let’s just say the print I find the least hideous is the grey and ivory Damier Azur Check print:
I am however, impressed with how professional this luxury juggernaut is (French, mais oui), and I admire the way they run the company from a marketing and business perspective.
(Seriously awesome brand recognition.)
I am also a huge fan of traveling and packing, and LV has come up with 3 pretty impressive online videos entitled: The Art of Packing.
(Hat tip to LifeHacker!)
Sure, it’s a way to sell their LV stuff (I told you they were slick!), but if you go through the 3 guides, the advice they have given is extremely practical.
(I will note that the advice flies by too fast, and you’ll have to keep your paws on the Pause button to read the advice… )*
I also like that they show you how to fold each item.
The only piece of advice they provide that is irrelevant is asking you to pack your toiletry bag at the bottom of your suitcase.
Good in theory, bad at execution.
If your bag has liquids or gels in it over 100mL, you NEED to put it on top so you can access it during security checks.
But then again… maybe if you own a LV suitcase, you’re so rich, you don’t need to worry about that kind of plebian thing because you’d be on your own private jet
*Paws.. Pause.. Paws.. GET IT!? Har har. I kill me.
I’ve been thinking a lot about wills, document emergency kits and ‘what if’ situations.
I HAVE ACTUAL ASSETS NOW!
When I was younger, I didn’t have many assets to be considered significant. Who really worries about the $20 you have stashed as coins in a piggy bank?
However as I am getting older, I am accumulating quite a bit of assets that could be very confusing to wade through unless it was laid out neatly for people to find.
I wouldn’t want to cause problems for people in my life just because I didn’t have my shizz together.
A SAFETY DEPOSIT BOX SOLUTION
I am considering opening a safety deposit box where I keep documents that are very important in a file folder that can be accessed.
I would give access to a trusted family member such as my mother, and if in the event of any problems, she can go to the bank, get the key and find the files she needs for everything.
I have the option of either putting everything on a password protected USB key with a password that only my mother could know, or actual papers.