Blue Footed Boopies

You Are Leaving The Zone

Someone just suggested you to do something new, exhilarating and different, like something you’ve never done before. The stepping outside your comfort zone suggestion.

Uh oh.  All the red flags go up and your initial thought is “NO”, not only no, but heck no.  No way no!  What part of NO don’t you understand?  The “N”, the “O” or the space in between? …

Florence Duomo at Dusk

Surviving on the Road and Having Fun to Boot!

I recently returned from a three-week trip to Europe. And I had the best time!  I started in Florence, Italy and, after a few days, went to Rome to catch a ship for an amazing fifteen-night Mediterranean and Transatlantic cruise.

While this was not my first trip to Florence nor my first cruise, it was probably the longest time I’ve been out of the country. My desire was to pack something different for each day and for every dinner aboard ship. But, that’s not realistic.

As I reflect on past travels, both as a Corporate Road Warrior and during vacations, taking that much with me is hard to handle—especially if I have to manage all of it by myself!

I think the trip that taught me the most was a trip to Africa where I could only bring a TOTAL of 45 pounds of baggage; 15 pounds of which was carry-on.  And I had to use a duffel bag. My favorite carry-on bag, empty, is 8 pounds. Argh. I had to do some real rethinking of my whole packing strategy.

Packing Tips and Tricks

During those past adventures, I stumbled upon a few tips and tricks for sanity and survival.

Maybe you’ll find a few of them useful as well. Most of these are common sense, but they are worth repeating!

Pack common things together: make-up, hair care, clothes care, underwear, etc. This makes it easier to locate them in your suitcase. Packing cubes are invaluable for this effort.

Plastic zip-lock baggies are a lifesaver. They save other items from spills during travel and have lots of other uses during the trip. Remember to bring a pile of spares, too!

Don’t travel with nail polish. If you need it, buy it and leave it. It is NOT fun if it leaks in your suitcase.

Pour all liquids you do take into screw-top bottles and then put them in a zip-lock baggie. Look for dry alternatives for your supplies as much as possible.

Put a small toiletries kit in your carry-on with toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, facecloth, moisturizer, hand sanitizer, hand lotion, and basic make-up for use inflight or at the other end. Remember the 3-1-1 rules!

Less is better. If you forget something (which always happens to me) you can always go shopping—even in Africa.

Bring a collapsible bag for purchases. I can’t tell you how many times I bought new bags until I figured this out!

Protect Your Valuables

Put your valuables (camera, smartphone, tablet, binoculars, jewelry, computer, etc. and their chargers) in your carry-on and keep an eye on it.

Put your credit cards and identification in a safe place that is not out of your control and is accessible to you alone.

If you are going overseas, wear a money BELT which is preferable to a neck pouch, as that is more visible and easier to get to. In it place any local currency you’ve brought (beyond your day’s needs), a copy of your credit cards, and a copy of your passport— just in case.

Notify your credit card company of your travel itinerary, otherwise they may refuse those out of town purchases or cash withdrawals!

Reduce bulk. Fill smaller containers with your personal products (shampoo, conditioner, cleanser, etc.) if you don’t need the full-size of any personal product and pack in your checked bag. While it takes a little extra preparation, you have a lighter load and more room for the important things (like souvenirs).

Bring a TSA lock. This allows you to lock your suitcase at your destination as a makeshift safe, even if you don’t lock it while you fly.

Be Prepared

Bring only what you can manage. Wheeled bags are a blessing — if there isn’t a porter or a cart immediately available, you won’t be stuck.

Bring only comfortable shoes. If they are new make certain they are broken in.  If you are doing a great deal of walking, make certain you can wear them for extended period of time and they are still comfortable.

Wear your bulkiest shoes. On the plane you can always walk around in your socks, or a pair of fold-up ballet slippers, and you’ll have more room in your suitcase.

Carry on your coat and wear your extra sweater if you are going to need it at your destination. This gives you more room in your suitcase and keeps you warm on the plane.

Pack your meds in your carry-on. In the unlikely event you and your checked bags are separated for a bit, your temper may flare but your health won’t suffer.

And remember: Be prepared (yes I was a Girl Scout) — but you can ALWAYS go shopping!

Have Fun!

Have Fun! Bring your toys—your entertainment, including the sound-reducing headset.

No matter the reason we travel, whether for work or play, after hours on the road in cramped conditions can be stressful. My hope is that in thinking about some of these things in advance, your trip will be more carefree.

Let me know your favorite tricks in the comments below. I’d love to hear about them!  If you have questions, send me an email ([email protected]) or book a call.

Before you go, leave us a comment below and sign-up for my free e-book “101 Ways to Save Money”.

With wishes of future adventures and safe travels,


Appalled and Envious.

My girlfriend Judith and I were on Vacation in New Orleans and we were eating lunch at The Court of Two Sisters.

I looked up and saw this older woman who was wearing denim capris and her stockings were rolled down around her ankle with her comfy walking shoes.  I could not believe she had left her hotel looking like that.  But her feet looked comfortable and she looked cool in the heat!

Have you ever seen a woman wearing something so outrageously appalling, that you were looking for the Fashion Police?  You were embarrassed for her and envious.

Embarrassed that she would consider wearing something so awful out in public, but she was so comfortable she didn’t care and you were jealous.


It is possible to have both style and comfort.

It takes three things:

  1. 1 – Personal style
  2. 2 – Clothing fiber and
  3. 3 – Fit

The situation is also an important factor.

You might not wear the same thing to a business event that you would wear to a picnic.

You might be physically comfortable in the outfit; but if you are dressed inappropriately, you will feel emotionally uncomfortable.

Try as you might to pull it off, it will take a lot of energy and that is the polar opposite of being TOTALLY comfortable.


You need to know your own personal style for all different situations.

Knowing who you are and how you express that in your clothing is important.

If you are struggling with that, see my free e-book.

When you know your style – whether you like color or neutrals, you are a fashionista or uber casual, are you in frequent dress-up or casual situations, you are equipped to start to look at the other two elements of being stylish and comfort


Clothing fiber is all about what is in the fabric your clothes are made from.

And what fabric you feel most comfortable in.

There are natural and man-made fibers.

Generally, the natural fibers produce fabric that will breathe better and keep you warm in the cool weather (think wool, cashmere, etc) and cool in the hot weather (think cotton, linen, etc.).

There are other fibers that are man-made (tencel, rayon, bamboo, etc.) that also have a high comfort level.

Generally, I have found polyester to be very hot as it doesn’t seem to breathe.

It performs much better when it is mixed with a natural fiber such as cotton.

And there are many high performance man-made fibers that have wicking capabilities that are very comfortable.

This is where you may need to kiss a few frogs before you find what works for you.

Of course, we cannot forget the magic of lycra and spandex.

A small amount, about 5% in a natural blend will allow that additional give that is all important in comfort.

This is different than the content in a spandex or other support garments that are designed to smooth out your lines and enhance the fit (may not have the level of comfort you seek).


Speaking of fit, this might be the hardest factor to face.

A comfortable fit is when your clothes drape on your body flawlessly.

Your clothes aren’t too tight around any part of your body and are neither too short nor too long for the outfit.

It is not about what size is on the label, it is about what size fits.

Every manufacturer sizes clothes slightly differently.

A garment may not fit perfectly off the hanger in the store, it may require a little bit of tailoring by you or a paid professional.


Today, we can choose what length of pants or skirts fits our personal preference and style.

Your pant length may be chosen to show off or cover your shoes, you get to pick.

You might want to wear a mini skirt or prefer a longer skirt – that is your choice.

It all has to do with how you put it together in your personal style.

So you have figured it out, your personal style, the perfect fabric and that great fit for your event.

Then what?

Is it time to look in your closet and let go of some clothes.

The ones you haven’t worn for one reason or another?

Usually because they don’t fit right, but it could be they no longer suit your personal style or fabric preference.

If you are having a challenge letting go, you may find some tips in my free e-book.

We’ll continue this conversation of personal style in this blog in the future, along with some other fun things like capsule wardrobes (a small number of garments for a much larger number of outfits at a reasonable investment), personal maintenance – clothes, shoes, makeup and skin, travel and taking your style and comfort on the road.

Join us on this journey.  Visit our website and we’ll give you the free e-book “Is Your Brand in Your Closet”.

Until next time,


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