Categories: Travel

How To: Pack for a Trip

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Packing Travel Tips www.shannongillilan.blogspot.com



I am not one of those people on Pinterest who can pack a week’s worth of items in a carry-on bag, although I give them props!  I guess I love my clothes too much 😉


I will tell you how I make packing for a trip a little less stressful though.  If you know me or have been following me for awhile, you know this is something I do quite frequently.
-I start early and plan everything out.  I need to feel prepared or my stress level would be through the roof!

-I plan out my outfits based on the number of days we will be gone and activities we will be doing.  I lay out my outfit, shoes, accessories, and anything else I might need for a certain outfit (such as a certain bra for a dress or a clip for a cami under a racerback tank).

-I try to stay within a color scheme as much as I can.  That way shoes, purses, and basic jewelry will go with everything. That way you aren’t trying to pack a pair of shoes for every outfit!

-I have a basic packing list saved on my computer that I print ahead of time and add anything special for a particular trip.  As things are packed, I cross them off and I can make sure nothing is left at home.

-Clothes take up less room in your suitcase if you roll them.

-I mostly use these for winter trips when I have a lot of bulky clothing items, but space saving or vacuum bags are AMAZING! (Here are some similar space saver bags)

-I’m always cold so I throw in a lightweight sweater in my carry on (usually a tote or backpack) for airports and planes, even on our last trip to Jamaica. (Here is one I LOVE)

-Unless it’s snowing, flip flops or sandals tend to be the best shoes to travel in if you are going through airport security; easy to take off and out back on.

-Airports can charge a lot of money for food and drinks.  Obviously you can’t take liquids through security, but you can prepare ahead of time with snacks.  I stash them in my carry on.  Things like nuts, crackers, freeze dried fruit, protein bars, etc. This is a good idea for road trips too.

-I try to pack travel-sized toiletries if possible.  This is one reason I love my Birchbox subscription!  It saves a lot of space and makes packing easier.  Ulta has a great selection of items (usually by the checkout), as well as Target.  

-Another thing I have started to do is check with the hotel ahead of time to find out what toiletries are provided and if they have blow dryers that are not attached to the wall (I have a lot of hair and those tend to take forever to get it dry!).  This saves some space in your suitcase.

-I have a pouch that I pack all of my accessories in with compartments.  It keeps it all together and untangled.  I also have a toiletry bag with most items in ziploc bags just in case anything happens to the items in transport there will be less of a mess.

-Even though I have leopard print luggage, I tie a ribbon on all of our bags.  It’s one more step to help you identify your luggage from all of the others at the baggage claim.

What are your best packing tips and tricks??

xoxo Shannon

Categories: Disney, Travel

4th of July Weekend: Orlando

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Orlando Florida Fourth of July www.shannongillilan.blogspot.com

We spent the holiday weekend in Orlando at Walt Disney World’s Dolphin Resort.  We wanted to have a relaxing weekend away and stay at a hotel with great amenities.  There are several restaurants to choose from, shops, pools, and entertainment.  The Swan and Boardwalk are right next door within walking distance.

After arriving Thursday night after work, we checked in and headed next door to the Swan Resort for dinner.  Il Mulino is a beautiful Italian restaurant.  We really enjoyed the food!

Orlando Florida Fourth of July Disney Swan and Dolphin  www.shannongillilan.blogspot.com

On the 4th of July, I worked out with Shaun T in the hotel room and blended up a Shakeology drink and then got ready to head down to the pools.  The view from our room was beautiful!  We ate lunch at the Cabana Bar and waited out the afternoon rain looking through the shops between the two resorts.

Orlando Florida Fourth of July Disney Swan and Dolphin www.shannongillilan.blogspot.com

Once the sun came back out, we spent the rest of the afternoon between all of the pools at the Dolphin.  Even though it was crowded, we were able to enjoy the sun and water and a nice afternoon!  I even got some personal development time in on the pool deck.

Orlando Florida Fourth of July Disney Swan and Dolphin www.shannongillilan.blogspot.com

Later, we went over to the Mall at Millenia for a quick shopping trip.  This mall is dangerous! There are so many great shops.  Luckily, we had a dinner reservation so we were on a time limit.  We didn’t do too much damage!

Orlando Florida Fourth of July Old Navy Mall at Millenia www.shannongillilan.blogspot.com

That evening, we had dinner at Bluezoo.  The menu is full of interesting food combinations.  I LOVED my meal!  I had seared scallops over a braised beef short rib with a cauliflower puree.  Even though it was an appetizer, it was the perfect size for me!

Orlando Florida Fourth of July BlueZoo www.shannongillilan.blogspot.com

After dinner, we walked along Disney’s Boardwalk and were able to watch both Epcot’s and the Studio’s 4th of July fireworks shows from the bridge.  They were beautiful and it was the perfect location!

Orlando Florida Fourth of July Disney Boardwalk www.shannongillilan.blogspot.com

We got a late night treat at the Fountain in our hotel.  A chocolate milkshake and a root beer float.  Yum!  It’s okay to indulge once in a while and this was more than enough for me.  I couldn’t even finish mine.

Orlando Florida Fourth of July Disney Swan and Dolphin www.shannongillilan.blogspot.com

I did another Shaun T Focus T25 workout bright and early on Saturday with a Shakeo.  We got a quick breakfast at Picabu in the hotel; eggs and a coffee.  Some friends met us and we lounged at the pool for the rest of the afternoon before the rain hit again.

Orlando Florida Fourth of July Disney Swan and Dolphin www.shannongillilan.blogspot.com

I have a difficult time shutting my brain down.  I’m always making lists in my head (and on paper) of things I need to do, ideas, projects, etc.  It is not easy to turn that off and just relax  To say I was in need of some down time would be an understatement!  We had massages scheduled for late afternoon with strawberries and champagne.  It was nice to have some time to just relax and my muscles definitely appreciated it! 

Orlando Florida Fourth of July Disney Swan and Dolphin Mandara Spa www.shannongillilan.blogspot.com

Dinner Saturday night was at Shula’s Steak House and it was incredible!  So much food though, we definitely could have shared.  Our steaks were cooked perfectly!  I think that was our favorite meal of the trip.

Orlando Florida Fourth of July Disney Swan and Dolphin Shula's Steakhouse www.shannongillilan.blogspot.com

Sunday morning, my parents came up to Orlando to meet us for brunch at Keke’s Breakfast Cafe.  We had to wait for a bit since it is so popular.  It was definitely worth the wait though!  I had a waffle with a cup of fresh fruit.  It was so nice to get to see my parents even if it was just for brunch.  I appreciate them so much, especially the fact that they will get up super early and make the drive to come spend some time together.  I am lucky to have them in my life and supporting any decisions or plans I make.

Orlando Florida Fourth of July Keke's Breakfast Cafe www.shannongillilan.blogspot.com

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July and enjoyed a little break.  Today was back to reality and preparing for a very busy work week!

xoxo Shannon