‘Tis the season to start planning weekend trips, long vacations and, if you’re super ahead of the game, maybe even holiday travel? We’re all about making the most of our suitcases, weekenders and overnight bags, but are not about to sacrifice on style. To get YOU ready for a season of travel, we teamed up with the folks at The Container Store to round up our brand new (and on sale!) favorite finds from their travel section.
Before we get to our picks (you best believe they are SUPER colorful), we’re here to give you the 411 on a crazy awesome giveaway, courtesy of The Container Store. All you have to do is take a selfie (you know how to do that, right?) with your suitcase. For real.
Here’s how to enter: Share your Selfie With a Suitcase at SelfiewithaSuitcase.com or on Twitter and caption using hashtags #selfiewithasuitcase and #promo, and be sure to tag @TownePlacePromo. Just like that, you’ll be entered to win a 4-night getaway at the TownePlace Suites by Marriott® of your choice PLUS $500 in travel essentials from The Container Store!
From the most colorful suitcase we’ve ever seen to bags designed for every little thing, here are 11 ways to pack smarter for your next trip.
2. Kaleidoscope Wheeled Luggage ($99-$129 — on sale from $129-$169): I mean, that pattern? Is this real life? Aptly named Kaleidoscope, this piece of signature luggage has a mullet quality about it — party on the outside and all business on the inside.
3. Zippered Patchwork Pouches ($7 each): Confession: I have an addiction to small colorful pouches that zip. And now I’ve just added five color-blocked pouches to my wish list! These little bags are perfect for keeping small things organized when you’re on the road. Use one for makeup, one for jewelry, one for pens and pencils, one for a mini DIY kit and one for all your electronic cords. Oh, and go ahead and snag another one for all those temporary tattoos and friendship bracelets you can’t leave home without ;)
4. Go Clean Drawstring Wet Suit Bag ($18): If you’re on a vacation where swimming is an option, you best be swimming in the ocean, lake or pool on every day of your trip. To make sure your luggage doesn’t deter you from that very important task, make sure to bring a wet suit bag so you can toss your trunks or ‘kini in there en route to the airport.
5. Poncho & Pouch Twin Set ($9): Just because you’re feeling footloose and fancy free doesn’t mean the weather is on the same page. This twin pack of lightweight rainwear is a must for every trip. Each poncho fits easily over most outfits (even if you’re wearing a coat) and is as easy as throwing a scrunchy in your suitcase. Yep. We just suggested that you also pack a scrunchy.
6. Phone & Tablet Portable Charger ($18): If you don’t have a portable charger yet, it’s time to get on it. This high-capacity charger has the power to fully charge most smartphones and provide a significant boost to tablets. Forget just making sure you pack this for travel — keep this puppy in your purse at all times!
7. Hanging Toiletry Organizer ($20 — on sale from $25): This clever toiletry organizer is tricked out well beyond your usual Ziploc bag + fabric pouch combo. Made from polyester with a nylon lining, this dopp kit has a large main compartment with four small pockets to keep all your essentials in order. The attached hook makes it easy to hang up no matter what size bathroom you’re in — even for those times you need to do a quick change in the airport before heading to your best friend’s rehearsal dinner.
8. Eagle Creek Orange Pack-It Folders ($24-$27 — on sale from $30-$34): Folders for your clothes are a thing, and they are a beautiful thing that will save you from the pain of having a suitcase filled with wrinkled clothes. Each folder includes a special, lightweight folding board with folding and packing instructions!
9. Lollipop Travel Laundry Bag ($5): A travel laundry bag might just be your new favorite must-pack. Obviously, you can use it for keeping your dirty clothes separate from your clean ones. But, we can also see using it to separate things like coats or evening gowns from the rest of your stuff.
10. Go Clean Drawstring Heels Bags ($30 for 2): Keep your heels un-scuffed and your clothes un-snagged by packing your heels in these handy hot pink bags.
11. Blue Ikat Italia Smart Shopper ($15): And finally, you’re probably going to need an extra bag. This is a great tote to keep in your purse wherever you go, and a must for travel! Oh, and this sucker can carry up to 65 pounds, so your laptop, beverages and books are all fair game.
Your relationship with your finances is one of the most important relationships you'll ever have, and you can't avoid it. That said, for many of us, the pandemic only added to our financial stress. If you find yourself feeling frazzled, just remember that financial insecurity isn't a net-worth issue — it's a mindset issue. And, we happen to have plenty of advice on how to turn your money mindset around so you can take charge of your funds once and for all.
To start, feeling secure begins with a strong foundation, and there's no better time than now to get started stacking the bricks. It's easy to get swept up in the January "new year, new me" mentality, but really? Any time is the right time to get yourself in order. You don't need to wait for a new year, a new moon, the right moment, or a sign from above. You don't even have to start on the first day of the month — you just need to start.
Introducing NerdWallet: A Safe and Reliable Money App
To help with that, we've put together a list of the just-right-for-you ways that NerdWallet can help you monitor your financial outlook. Haven't heard of them yet? NerdWallet is a personal finance company that helps consumers make smarter financial decisions. Their website and app let you compare different financial products, find articles and tools to make financial decisions with confidence, and keep tabs on your finances (hey there, credit score, I see you!) all in one place. Plus, NerdWallet has over 75,000 glowing reviews in the App Store (and a 4.8 star rating) if you want to read up on any more testimonials.
Tim Chen, NerdWallet's CEO and co-founder, started this financial journey in 2009 after his sister needed help finding a credit card. Even with an economics degree and a Wall Street background, it took awhile for Tim to find the right recommendation (so don't feel too bad when it takes you a while, too). Their mission is to bring clarity to all of life's financial decisions.
So it's safe to say that NerdWallet is a pretty good sherpa for your journey, too.
Get the most from your money
Did you know that the money you park in a savings account can lose value? Harsh, but true. If your money isn't earning interest that's on pace with inflation it will actually be worth less to you in the future. And if the bank charges fees? Forget about it. Make sure you're earning the interest you deserve and come out on top. NerdWallet has researched dozens of financial institutions to help consumers find the best options. The hard work has already been done for you, so you can just select the account that works best for you and your nest egg.
Keep an eye on everything, securely
Once everything is set up, tracking and managing your finances is what will keep the money machine running smoothly. You can create an account either through the site or the app and link your bank accounts, then keep tabs on all your finances in one place. Get a clear picture of your saving and spending, get insights into how to master your money, and even build your credit score all in one place.
Get extra credit points
Do you have the best credit card for your lifestyle? Some cards give cash back on every purchase, ones with travel perks, and ones that charge way less interest than you're paying now. NerdWallet takes the guesswork out of choosing the right credit card with simple side-by-side comparisons of different credit cards so that you feel confident choosing the right one. Whatever you want to do, NerdWallet can help you find the best credit card to get it done.
Know your options for settling down
Mortgage rates are pretty low and it looks like they're going to stay that way for awhile, so buying a home might be the move sooner than you think. But there's so much more to a mortgage than just the interest rate! To help you choose a mortgage lender, NerdWallet has in-depth reviews on multiple lenders in a mixture of categories so you get the home loan with the mortgage rate, term, and fees that's right for you.
Settle an old score
NerdWallet helps you monitor your credit score for free and helps you see how little things (like raising the limit on your credit card or paying your bills on time) can increase your score. NerdWallet partners with TransUnion® to provide your VantageScore® 3.0, based on information in your TransUnion® credit report. Your score and credit report information are updated weekly. But that's not even close to all:
- They provide you with tips from experts on how you could build or optimize your credit score
- You'll get a detailed look at your credit score and all the factors that go into it—your payment history, credit utilization, the age and type of accounts, balances, and any recent inquiries
- The credit simulator tool gives you an idea of how your credit score would change if you applied for a new credit card, closed your oldest credit card, or got a new auto loan
- You also get free, unlimited access to your credit report
When it comes to managing your money, safe and reliable is where it's at. Establishing a healthy relationship with your finances begins when you take control and practice habits that build wealth. Signing up just takes a few minutes. Set your intentions to build a solid financial foundation, it will only strengthen your relationship with your finances. And don't be afraid to get a little nerdy while you're at it.