I’m so thrilled that at the feedback of the inauguralÂ En Route With… post! Â Today I’m introducing a slightly different ERW, and featuring aÂ couple. Â In the travel blogging world, John & Natalie DiScala are major deals, and also incredibly kind and approachable. Â Their websites are also full of outstanding advice – John is the creator of JohnnyJet, and Natalie pens Oh! Travelissima (do yourself a favor and add them to your blog reader). Â
Natalie: After visiting 45 countries, I can safely say that Iâ€™ve got my packing routine down pat. I travel with carry-on only because it simplifies everything about travel so much. Iâ€™ve learned that travel isnâ€™t about what youâ€™re wearing; itâ€™s about the life-changing experiences along the way. Of course, I do love fashion but Iâ€™ve found that you can pack cute and pack smart at the same time. If I canâ€™t fit that perfect pair of shoes thatâ€™ll match a certain dress or outfit, I donâ€™t sweat it. Who cares? Â I travel with the Rimowa Cabin Trolley carry-on suitcase and my Louis Vuitton Neverfull tote bag. Â All the big things go in first. Shoes and jeans are the first things I pack because they tend to take up the most room. From there, I can squeeze everything else in around them. Â Roll, roll, roll. Once I started rolling my clothes, I realized how much more you can fit into a small, carry-on suitcase. Â Now that Iâ€™ve got my packing routine mastered, I tend to pack the day before my trip. I donâ€™t like to leave it to the very last minute because that can be stressful. No matter how good you are at packing, you still run the risk of forgetting something. So I give myself about 24 hours to make sure that I havenâ€™t foolishly forgotten anything. Â The last time I checked a bag was when I was visiting LA and at the last minute, John told me he needed me to bring his tuxedo for an event we were going to be attending. There was no way it was going to fit into my little suitcase so after a few back and forth calls (â€œAre you SURE you canâ€™t just wear a black suit??â€), I threw it in a duffle bag and checked it. Beyond that, I canâ€™t remember the last time I checked a bag.
John: Iâ€™m a minimalist as I travel with only carry-on luggage, even when Iâ€™m going around the world for a couple of weeks. Â I have a Briggs & Riley rolling briefcase for my electronic gadgets and a Roots duffel bag for my clothes. Â I put the clothes Iâ€™m going to wear last at the bottom and I put my shoes and dress up shirts/jacket in plastic. Â Iâ€™m a folder and stuffer. Â I pack the night before if I have an early morning flight or the morning of a day flight and the afternoon of a night flight. Â 98% of the time, I carry-on.
At the airport… We get there to the airport one hour before since we have Global Entry/NEXUS/TSA PreCheck – which allows us to avoid long lineups and customs.
Natalie: I definitely TRY to be quick going through security, but removing shoes and belts and jewelry can really slow you down. Now, I try to dress in a way thatâ€™ll move things along more quickly. My favourite travel outfit is a maxi dress (no belt to remove) and flip flops (no buckles, lacesÂ Â or zippers) and I donâ€™t even bother putting my jewelry on until Iâ€™m through security. Â When Iâ€™m departing from my home airport (Toronto Pearson), I typically just hang out at my gate. But when Iâ€™m in an international airport, you can usually find me shopping. Heathrowâ€™s T5 is my favourite terminal to shop in!
John:Â I’m quick while going through security. Usually under a minute. Â I usually donâ€™t have time between security and boarding, but if there is a delay, then I hang out in the airline club since I have an American Express Platinum card and it gets me into over 600 clubs around the world.
On specific places to hit up before boarding your flight…
Natalie: I bet John is going to say that he looks around for bottled water. I swear, heâ€™s obsessed with it. Heâ€™s like a camel. I usually hit the bathroom (thatâ€™s one less time I have to use the gross airplane bathroom), and then, like I said above, if Iâ€™m in an international airport, Iâ€™ll usually browse the shops.
John: The store that sells the cheapest water; I ask an airport worker which one has it. Â (editor’s note – excellent tip!)
Up In The Air… Natalie: I love being on an airplane. I love to do all of the above except work. I just canâ€™t concentrate or find my groove to work on a plane â€“ and letâ€™s be honest: I donâ€™t even want to. I load up my iPad with magazines, I always have a book on the go on my Kobo and I enjoy catching up on the in-flight movies. I can usually sleep easily on planes, too. Â On my ideal seat -Â WINDOW! Â My Kobo is my absolute must-have when flying. But I also use my iPad for playing games and reading magazines. Â I’ll drinkÂ Diet Coke (I know, I know) and whateverâ€™s being served on the flight.
John:Â I work on the flight. [Natalie: B-O-R-I-N-G.] Â I sit in the exit row aisle in coach or window if Iâ€™m up front. Â My laptop (Acer 7 with the new Windows) is my go-to gadget. Â I stick withÂ water and plane food.