iPhone

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I meant to do another one of these posts sooner.  I really did. But then I had a rare stretch of weeks at home, and my daily bag errs on the boring side – wallet, sunglasses, iPhone, the like.  Yawn. Alas, my time at home is coming to an end and I’ll be spending the first half of June traveling around the United States – to Chicago and Washington D.C for work conferences, and Cape Cod for a weekend getaway with my husband.  I’ll save the “vacation bag” for a future post, but here’s what I’ll be toting around in the Windy City and our nation’s capital.

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- DVF Harper Connect bag (the iPad pocket is genius!) – iPad 2 – business cards – Stephanie Johnson makeup bag – Tieks (necessary for running around a convention center) – Prada wallet – iPhone – Apple headphones with microphone – extra jewelry – StyleMint scarf – Moleskine notebookSharpie pens – gum – envelope for receipts (for easy expense reports) -

What do you pack for conferences?  Any tips or tricks on how to conquer a conference?  COMMENT below and share the goods.

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I must admit that Victoria’sMan Behind The Blog” series is how I’ve stumbled across a number of my favorite blogs.  Fashion Truffles, penned by the lovely Viv, was one of the first – a girl with style, humor, and a non-fashion day job was one I knew I would get along with famously.  We became “blog buds” quickly after Kenny’s Man Behind The Blog was posted.  It came to no surprise to either of us when we hit it off at a brunch held by Kat earlier this month, especially when Viv recounted her and Kenny’s ways of managing with turbulence (leaving the table in stitches with laughter).  Obviously, an En Route With… feature had to happen.  And here it is!

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Viv Norden
Financial Accountant | Blogger, Fashion Truffles

My packing style is quite peculiar. I’m an anal list maker and planner so I start a list of what to wear/pack a few weeks before any given trip – no matter how short or long the trip may be (I told you I was anal!). I’m also a really good folder (ask Kenny) so I organize my suitcase just right. My packing lists always consist of a lot of versatile pieces that I can easily mix and match. For example, for our two week trip to Thailand I only packed two pairs of pants, one pair of jeans, and a pair of shorts. All of those could be worn for day or night by pairing them with the right top, shoes, and accessories. Now, what do I tend to overpack? Shoes and bags! Perhaps it’s just that I own way too many of them or I’m just indecisive at the time of packing them but I always end up with an extra pair of shoes and a few clutches.

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My frequent international travel has made me the expert at many things – staying connected on the cheap is one of them (a lesson I learned the hard way, after racking up a $1000 phone bill in Europe. Whoops). Here are my tips for staying connected, inexpensively, while traveling abroad:

Skype. It’s a lifesaver, particularly when hours-long conference calls are the norm. $10 of prepaid time lasted my entire week in Germany (and then some).  While I recommend activating the international plan for emergencies, relying on Skype for the majority of your communication is the best way to keep costs down.

If you’re (still) a BlackBerry user, this is one area you have everyone beat.  The BlackBerry global plan is 1/3 cheaper than the iPhone and Android plans, and even with the substandard phone performance it still is beneficial.  I still have my old BlackBerry, and pop my Indian SIM card in it for use when I’m in the motherland.  It serves its purpose – e-mail, phone, and basic Twitter/FB updates.

While AT&T gouges you on the international iPhone plan, the international data plan on the iPad is surprisingly affordable.  For $50, I got 250 MB of data for the month – more than sufficient for e-mail downloads and basic app upgrades.  Check with your network provider to see if your tablet boasts an affordable international plan.  It saved me and my tweeting/Facebooking/e-mailing/blogging ways.

Sometimes, being unavailable is a good thing – particularly if you’re on vacation.  Leave the phone in the safe and have a great time!

How do you stay connected when you’re abroad?

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