lovin’ lug

Many people find packing before a trip to be a hassle. But I have to say, I quite enjoy it. I love the anticipation that comes with packing, the excitement that builds as I plan out what I’ll need for my adventure. And I’ve become quite good at it, if I might say so myself. There was once a time when packing for a four-day long weekend to Florida involved six pairs of shoes, an endless assortment of sundresses, far too many bikinis and a few warm but bulky sweaters – you know, just in case. And all of this of course, required a much-too-large suitcase, which in retrospect, I realize was ridiculous for the short getaway. Since then, I’ve honed the skill of packing and once traveled to Hawaii, Australia and Los Angeles for sixteen days with nothing more than a carry-on suitcase. And I had everything I needed!

The key to smart packing isn’t just about the clothing you bring (or don’t bring!) but it’s about your accessories. The right luggage and handbags can really simplify things while you’re on the road. That’s why I love the bags and travel accessories available from Lug. Not only are they super-stylish (I love the candy colours!), but they’re incredibly practical, too. In all of their bags, you’ll find secret storage pockets in unexpected but totally necessary places and finding what you need while your hands are full at the airport will be pleasantly easy. Pictured below: Ticket Tango Travel Wallet ($28), Taxi Full Tote ($55), Skipper Shoulder Pouch ($28), Mini Puddle Jumper ($55).

For more information, visit: lugtravel.com


50 best girlfriend getaways

50-best-girlfriend-getawaysWelcome back, dear readers. As I mentioned yesterday, I’m not traveling at the moment. I’m just spending some quality time at home with friends and family, working and trying to stay dry … it rained mercilessly today. On or off the road, my goal is to share ideas with you that will help you travel more easily, more efficiently, more interestingly and more stylishly.

Every year, my girlfriends and I plan a girls-only getaway. It’s short (only Friday evening to Sunday afternoon) and it’s usually not too far from home, a two-and-a-half hour drive at most. But we all cherish this time. As our schedules get busier and busier, those two days away feel like a gift, an opportunity to disconnect from the demands of every day, to unplug, unravel, unwind completely.

After flipping through the pages of 50 Best Girlfriend Getaways in North America (Random House, 2009), I’m starting to feel like it’s time we got more creative with our getaway ideas! A National Geographic book, 50 Best Girlfriend Getaways is, as you might imagine, stuffed with fab getaway suggestions across North America. From Spirit Boosters in Nashville, Tennessee and Jackson, Wyoming to Birthday Blowouts in New Orleans and South Carolina, this book really breaks it down, offering travel tips, dining and shopping recommendations and must-not-miss events that are worth a plane ticket.

Peppered with personal stories from a variety of women about their experiences and their travels with friends and family, this book reads like part guidebook, part novel. Even if you’re not traveling in these economically uncertain times, the book offers inspiration for future travels. It certainly set me daydreaming.

Available: May 19, 2009 on randomhouse.ca
Price: $18.95