Lacy Landre
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Advice for spring fever flight

If you're prepping for a warm getaway in the next few months, Lacy has some travel tips that'll keep you stylish and smart.

By - Feb 16th, 2013 04:00 am
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Wisconsin has actually had it pretty easy this year. Some people may be gearing up for Spring Break ’13, while the rest of us are just in need of an untitled vacation from the brutal cold. Whether you’re lucky enough to escape on an African safari or a trip to Grandma’s beach condo, you’re going to need to plan accordingly. What you choose to bring—or not bring—can make the time away either fulfilling or frustrating.

For those who will be flying this spring, the number one mistake is to overpack. The least savory passenger on a plane is the well-perfumed accessory queen blocking the aisle with three carry-ons while trying to slam the overhead storage door shut. People toting excessive baggage stick out like sore thumbs whether they’re at the airport or on the street—they also make themselves easy targets for pickpockets and hustlers. It’s comparably as dangerous as wearing a fanny pack, a camera around your neck, and a sign that says “ROB ME.”

There’s no reason to check a suitcase for a short trip if you pack smartly. A simple solution is to buy whatever is needed at your destination. The money saved from checked baggage fees will give you an excuse to explore local retailers and boutiques, adjust for weather conditions, and blend in with locals. It’s not merely a matter of residual teenage peer pressure that makes looking like a native advantageous; the “tourist” stigma can often result in being swindled by unsavory merchants (think Eva Gabor in Green Acres). You’ll know you’re successfully blending in when people stop to ask you for directions.

What clothes to bring? Ladies: no more than one pair of heels, if any. Roll your garments instead of folding them to better fit your luggage. For separates, just bring a few solid, well-fitting, well-layered neutral-toned or black cotton pieces that will coordinate with clothes purchased at your destination. Why cotton? Unless you plan on sitting still for the entire trip, your sweat glands will thank you for this one. For the paranoids out there: cotton is less flammable and more easily removable than many synthetic fibers in the event of a fire or emergency landing.

What to wear to the airport? Assuming it’ll be colder in Wisconsin than wherever you’re headed, try to avoid wearing a heavy coat you’ll have to lug around. Instead, put on a couple layers and your bulkiest (non lace-up) shoes or boots so they won’t take up space in your luggage. Remember to wear comfortable undergarments too. Falling bra straps or a high-riding thong are never on the list of things you want to worry about while sitting around for hours in close quarters with a bunch of impatient strangers. Neither is melting makeup or messy lipstick. Keep the face painting minimal and omit perfume or cologne so as not to offend those who may be sensitive to them. Hair is easiest to deal with in a simple, tied-back updo; don’t plaster a ton of sticky product on or wear a maze of hairpins that may set off a metal detector and hold you up in line. Also important to wear: deodorant.

How to breeze through security? Being comfortable yet confident is important, but don’t confuse comfy with dumpy. People who dress respectably often minimize their chances of being stopped by security. Limit the number of accessories since you’ll have to take them off anyway. No sandals, no matter what. Ladies: again, no heels. You don’t want to add stilettos or flip-flops to the stress of a possible layover or delay. Sure, they’re easy to take off at the security check, but think about balancing the extra baggage weight or the increased risk of tripping. Also think twice about walking through security barefoot after you put your shoes on the conveyor. You know people do it and later wonder how they acquired athlete’s foot.

Although most of the above seems like common sense, you’d be surprised how many people put themselves through the unnecessary burden of carting the kitchen sink along on a three-day all-inclusive vacation “just in case.” I’ve seen it. Although hilarious from a distance, it’s infuriating when it’s the person in front of you in line. If you’re planning to get out of Dodge anytime soon, bring your wallet, toothbrush, and swimsuit. Just remember the ol’ “less is more” mantra and you’ll be everyone’s favorite passenger.

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