I’m really lucky to do what I love and even luckier that I get to travel back and forth between two great cities to do it.  I’m heading to Toronto this week and I’ll fly back and forth between Winnipeg and Toronto until October!  With travel on the brain, here’s a few tips the next time you fly:

Go Digital

I’m a fan of going digital anywhere I can (hey, gotta save one piece of paper at a time).  I love the apps offered by each airline that allow me to book or change a flight quickly, check in and keep my boarding pass on hand instead of managing a paper ticket along with my bags.

Make A List and Stick To It

It’s worth taking the time to make a list, either on paper or your phone.  I lay everything out before it goes in my suitcase and I really evaluate what can come with me and what needs to stay at home. Before I zip it up, I take one last look and remove one more item before I head to the airport.

Choose Wisely

Pick a colour scheme for your trip and pick the skirts, pants and tops according to that palate.  A few smartly chosen items means you can mix and match for a lot of great looks and accessorize with a handful of items. 

Carry it on

Has anyone noticed a carry-on frenzy since major Canadian airlines introduced a checked bag fee?  I never thought I could be a part of the ‘carry on club’ but the baggage fees really add up and I try to carry on exclusively whenever I can.  I’ve learned it’s all about the right bag.  Obviously it can’t exceed the size restrictions but the right bag is a combination of strong and light.  Light is critical so most of the weight allowance is not taken up by your suitcase.  I prefer hard shell which protects my valuables but is much lighter than traditional bags.

Roll It

Rolling your clothes, versus folding them makes clothing more compact, meaning you can pack your items more efficiently.  All the heavy stuff – shoes, boots and toiletries should go in first.  Then you can fill the space around them with smaller items like underwear or PJ’s. Packed shoes also act as great little vessels to fit a small items into them like socks or tanks.

Keep Everything in its Place
Make compartments within your bag.  You can even use Ziploc bags if you prefer.  This will help keep everything organized, especially the little things: chargers, batteries, iPods etc. so you can easily find them when you need them

Travel Size
I’m all about the travel sized anything!  Even better, (and cheaper) are re-using small clear bottles from the dollar store and using a label maker to identify each product.  I always keep a host of little bottles on hand so I have a little bit of everything I need.  It’s also important to wrap your toiletries in sealed airtight bags and for the really runny items you can put a layer of plastic wrap under the caps to keep your shampoos, mouthwashes or body wash from flooding your bag.

Which Bag is Yours?
If you need to check your bag, creating a unique visual marker on the outside of it can avoid confusion and save a bit of time at the baggage carousel.  I like to use a shiny curled ribbon to identify my bag as soon as it gets off the carousel.

Thanks to WestJet for inspiring some of the tips on this list and providing great flight service each and every time I travel!