Travel-Inspired Downsizing

In late November, we took a 5-day trip to the East Coast to visit our family and friends near Washington D.C. We meet there annually for Thanksgiving, and it's one of my favorite times of the year. After the persistent heat in Los Angeles lately, it was such a relief to experience traditional fall weather and colors.

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Our son has been on numerous planes, but his most recent flight was a while ago (the return from our France trip back in July), so this was our first time flying with our son since he became a toddler. I asked all of our friends for their top tips for making the journey as enjoyable and calamity-free as possible, and they gave us some WONDERFUL advice, for which I'm so grateful. Some of the highlights included:

  • Wrapping up the child's toys and books in recycled paper and Wash Tape so there's an extra, time-consuming layer of activity involved. (Thanks, Amy!) 
  • Packing small "Thank You" gifts for the flight crew and passengers in the neighboring seats. (Thanks, Marcia!)
  • Keeping MANY light-colored, no-mess teething wafers and snacks easily accessible. (Thanks, Andrew!)
  • Bringing a small number of new books and little learning sets that the child has not yet seen before. (Thanks, Claudia!)
A mix of our go-to travel pieces from The Fawn + Cub, Steamline, Away, This is Ground, and Ona. We packed small-batch chocolates by Nohmad and "Thank You" cards from the Cottage for particularly helpful and patient folks on the flights. 

A mix of our go-to travel pieces from The Fawn + Cub, Steamline, Away, This is Ground, and Ona. We packed small-batch chocolates by Nohmad and "Thank You" cards from the Cottage for particularly helpful and patient folks on the flights. 

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When packing for myself, I stuck to the absolute essentials. My favorite and most-used items all ended up being from Garnet Hill: Comfy tall zip boots, a gorgeous olive wool coat, an oversized yet warm and light-weight turtleneck cashmere sweater, and THE best slippers I've ever owned. Even then, I still overpacked. I decided to donate every item from my suitcase that I didn't wear while on the trip. If I didn't need it while traveling, then I certainly don't need it at home, either.

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Not only did I decide to get rid of the unnecessary items in my bags, but I also considered dozens of other items back at home that were going unused, and planned to round those up for donation as well once we returned. Even as we expand into the neighboring tiny cottage, I'm determined to own fewer items than we did when we first moved into our home.

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Perspective is such a wonderful perk of traveling. And, in the case of small space living, it's always handy to be reminded how few items we actually require in order to live a happy, comfortable and practical existence.