Three Heel Clicks

Packing

Tips for Staying Sane on a Long Road Trip

DIY, How To, Packing, Lifestyle, Style, TravelCrystal JacksonComment
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Finally I’m back at you with a few new travel posts! Feels like it’s been a while since I last shared anything travel related. We are currently en route to a lake house in Northern California where we will be staying for a few weeks. Instead of flying out this time, we decided to load up the car and drive from Houston to San Diego, CA then up to Sacramento after a few days of play. Now being a child who moved every few years on average, I know a few things about road trips. However, it’s much different when you grow up and have to take care of every body else! Here are a few ways we managed to survive 25 hours of straight travel.

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What to Pack and Bring

Leave early evening and drive through the night

A lot of people choose to leave in the middle of the night or early morning to get a head start. We actually drive a lot through the night because there is little traffic and hardly anyone on the road. Instead of waking everyone up in the middle of the night for a 3 or 4am departure, we load the car at sunset and then hit the road. If you have two adults capable of driving then you can switch off. If it’s just a single driver, you can always pull over at rest stops. We left for California at 8pm and arrived in San Diego the following night around 9pm. Driving through the night had us arrive about halfway in El Paso the following morning which was the longest, most boring stretch of the ride. West Texas has some beautiful parts, but it’s pretty bleak for miles on end.

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Rest Stops are Your New Spot

Rest stops don’t get so much credit these days, but they are an integral part of long term travel. They allow a safe place for you to grab something out of your luggage. Most come with picnic tables and rest rooms. As we entered California the rest stops became so much more elaborate. Not kidding, some of the cleanest restrooms I’ve ever seen! Rest stops are pet friendly so if you brought your pup along you’ll be able to give her a good walk from time to time. Plot a few out along your journey and then look for road signs so if you need to stop quickly you can. The other benefit is they are a quick and easy get on and off the highway.

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Bring a mini cooler to save on breakfast, snacks and drinks

Take a quick survey before you leave and load up with everyone’s favorite snacks and beverages. The fewer stops you have to make the earlier arrival time you’ll experience. Also, instead of packing tons of bottles, give everyone a refillable bottle and buy a few beverages in bulk. If you do decide to stop for something to eat, take time and enjoy a local spot along the way. We ended up having the BEST fish tacos in San Diego unexpectedly while we were at a gas station. Look at using YELP or TripAdvisor for recommendations. The key is to keep everyone fed and happy so you can enjoy the trip!

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Dress in Easy to Remove Layers

One of the best things you can do for your family and yourself is to have everyone dress in layers. Start with soft pants like leggings and a tank or a tee. Then, add a hoodie and easy to remove shoes instead of ones that require socks and lacing up. Being able to jump in and out of the car along the way without having to get your shoes on as an ordeal makes the trip seamless. Also, while we are on the note of getting out of the car - encourage every person traveling at every stop to get out and move around no matter what! It’s good for the legs and will help keep everyone from being restless!

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Don’t Forget Your Sunblock and Moisturizer

Being trapped behind a windshield in the middle of the desert means you are getting tons of unwanted UV rays. I like wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap so I can let my hair down without worrying how it looks. But I also like those items to shield me from the scorching sun. Remember, when you change climates your skin will need to adapt. Bring lots of lip balm, SPF, moisturizer and of course hydrate with water. You’ll end up feeling so much more refreshed upon arrival. You can also use car time as spa time by doing a mask!

Tips for Staying Sane on a Long Road Trip

Protect your face from UV rays

Well, there you have it! If you have kiddos consider renting a vehicle with a DVD player unless you already have one. You can also rent a car to save on wear and tear or to get a larger vehicle than you may own. Bring lots of road games or have a list on your phone of things you can do and spot along the way. Last but not least, enjoy this time! Remember it’s the journey not just the destination!

What are some of your favorite road trip tips and tricks?

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Capsule Suitcase: Five Gingham Outfits for Summer Vacation

Fashion, How To, Packing, Petite Style, Travel, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
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As I prepare for more Summer travels I’ve been looking through blog posts for outfits that I can easily mix and match for a capsule wardrobe. I find that scouring outfits whether they are from Pinterest or on Three Heel Clicks it’s best to group things in color schemes. Today’s post is all about using neutral basics and adding in a few pops of color. You can view the What To Pack list below for a checklist of the items featured underneath each outfit. I’d love to see the way you guys mix and match your pieces! I love seeing how you incorporate your own ideas in your outfits!

If you are planning an upcoming trip think about putting together garments that meet comfort needs, activity needs and can be worn more than once! I love a simple color scheme featured here in black and white gingham prints. Use accessories like earrings, trench coats, shoes and bags for pops of color. You can also condense what you carry by choosing a bright lipstick or two for added color. I also like to get a manicure before a trip - specifically using the dip powder process for lasting results. That way, I do not carry anything extra like nail polish, remover or a manicure set. The fewer items you need to pack results in less stress.

What to Pack

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Which look is your favorite?


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Capsule Suitcase: What I'm Bringing to Birmingham this Spring

Blogging, Fashion, DIY, How To, Packing, Petite Style, Lifestyle, Photography, Travel, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
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Today’s post is new! I am packing for a trip on Thursday where I’ll be visiting my “hometown.” I say “hometown” because I grew up moving all over the world due to my father being in the military for 24 years. I am forever grateful for the experiences that came with my childhood knowing I saw far more than most at an early age, but the word “hometown” still resonates as a funny sounding concept. Anyhow, due to a death in the family, I am returning to Birmingham, Alabama where my family is from.

As I prepare for the upcoming trip where I’ll be gone five days I thought it would be fun to share outfits with you all. Packing is both a science and an art. It’s a science in the fact that you have limited space and you want to use all of it appropriately. It’s an art being able to feel and look put together without overloading your suitcase. If you haven’t checked out my page on Packing, I suggest you immediately stop reading and head over there. It’s full of TONS of tips and strategies. I include how to pack in a color scheme, how to pack in a carry on and additional posts on what I actually wore on trips.

For this trip I am obviously wearing black for the memorial service so that was a given in the color scheme. I am adding in pieces with pops of red and yellow for accents throughout the trip because black can tend to wash me out. I also added Spring inspired accessories like basket bags, totes, and a patchwork bag! Although the purpose of the trip is to celebrate a lost one’s life, I am looking forward to seeing my extended family for the first time in almost three years! Here’s a breakdown of what I’m wearing. The only items I will additionally pack include two fitness outfits, undergarments, a swimsuit in case the hotel has a pool and finally pajamas. I hope you guys enjoy this round up! If you do, please DM me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or leave a comment below!

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Flights


For every flight I want to be as comfortable as possible. Since we are going direct and the flight is short I’m wearing stretchy skinny jeans both there and back. Once you find a soft pair of jeans that have a little stretch you’ll find they aren’t uncomfortable to sit in for a few hours. For longer flights I usually opt for a maxi skirt or a pair of leggings. I usually bring my largest jacket on board for warmth and to save space in my bag. I prefer to wear a pair of slides or ballet flats for security screening but pack in my personal item a pair of warm socks. I like to have layers that I can put on or remove so that I can adjust to the surrounding temperatures. Plane flights can get hot and cold depending on what the air craft needs so being able to easy add a scarf or remove a sweater is a necessity. Finally, I like to look put together when I land so that I am ready to go and don’t have to waste time changing if we aren’t going straight to a hotel.

Flight There

Flight Home

Daytime Outfits


The weather is going to be a little tricky this time of year in Birmingham. If you live in Texas, it’s similar weather to Dallas and Ft. Worth. This time of year it’s warm in the day 60-75 degrees and cool at night. I’m packing an extra daytime outfit so that if I don’t like something, I have options to change. I can also change out a shoe and wear one of the following in the evening if I want to. It’s nice to always pack one additional option for the trip that’s versatile for day or night. Again, I’m mostly wearing neutrals with pops of red or white so things can mix and match if I feel like I want to be a little more creative. Travel Pro Tip: Make sure you try each outfit on BEFORE you pack.

Outfit 1

Outfit 2

Outfit 3

Outfit 4

Evening Outfits


For the evenings, the temperatures will drop between 20-30 degrees. I’m taking a trench coat and a suede moto jacket to layer over the dresses or jeans I’m wearing. I packed a few long sleeve dresses which are perfect for Spring to stay both warm and cool and then an evening out wearing jeans. One of the misconceptions about packing is that you need to bring a lot to have options. Not true, by carefully planning out your outfits and bringing neutrals you can have a much bigger variety. I really love navy, so of course, I mixed navy pieces in with my evening looks. It also gives me a little break from black. Travel Pro Tip: Dresses are the easiest thing to pack and take up the least amount of room!

Outfit !

Outfit 2

Outfit 3

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While I oftentimes pack in a carry on this trip is different. My mother (an amazing woman who has always generously taken care of her entire family) has a disease that has rendered her in the need of a full time caregiver. As my father and I planned the logistics of the trip we decided to make things simple by checking the bags in and just bringing personal items on board. That way, if we need to help mom we are able to without dealing with a bunch of suitcases in the airport.

I hope to write an upcoming post on this specific topic. At this point, I have flown with a six week old baby, elderly and toddler so I do have more to share with you on transporting others that need assistance. Once my sister sprained her ankle during a Summer trip home and had to ride with us on a 24 hour trip back to South Korea from Alabama with a removable cast. There are so many ways to make the trip easier and I want to share that information with you guys!

What are your packing tips? Although I fly often there’s always something new to learn so leave me a comment!

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How to Perfect Your Flying Routine

Fashion, How To, Packing, Travel, StyleCrystal Jackson1 Comment
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It’s no secret how much I love to travel. One thing you may not know about me includes my extreme hatred for inefficiency and chaos. Airports can be a place for adventure but they can also be a headache. In fact, the whole process of flying is so stressful to me. After countless terrible flights I’ve perfected what I can control and that’s my flying routine. Today I’m walking you through how I prep for a flight, what I do to ensure screening is simpler and finally my on-board rituals to make the time in the air fly by.

Carry On Packing

I bring two bags, a roller carry on size with a swimsuit, pjs and extra change of clothes sits above in the over head bin. I also use this bag for my jewelry case and toiletries (except facial products). I bring a separate tote with the following for easy access while on board:

  • Printed Book

  • Journal and Pen

  • Ipad/Laptop

  • Facial Products

  • Makeup

  • Curling Wand

  • Wallet/Money

  • Scarf

  • Headphones

  • Backup Battery

Before Leaving to Airport

My routine begins before leaving my home or hotel. Before any travel I make sure I shower and wash my face, brush my teeth and leave my skin clear to breath during the flight. I have all devices charged and a backup battery charged as well. I try to pack the day before so that the morning I leave or day I leave I can focus on last minute items. I triple check for chargers, keys, money, cell phone and load what I can in advance. If I’m taking a cab or Uber, I put things by the door so it’s ready to go immediately. I also begin by drinking water now. I grab a 50 oz Smart Water bottle and make it a point to finish as I’m walking through the lines of security. If I need a cup of coffee, I’ll drink one now and that’s all for the trip. On board, I want to rest as much as possible so coffee in take is limited. If I have time, I will also curl my hair into loose curls for the trip. If not, no worries I can do that at the airport after checking into security.

Airport Arrival and Security

I always use the airline apps to check in 24 hours in advance. Here I can change seats if need be. I prefer to have an isle seat so I can easily get up for the restroom or to stretch my legs. If I’m checking luggage I go ahead and drop off my bags and head to security. This is a perfect time to pop in my headphones. I can wait in line calmly and make sure that I keep my anxiety under control. I usually opt for a pair of flats for easy shoe removal and pull my laptop out of my tote to go through the checkpoint. This is about the time I finish that bottle of water and toss the empty bottle in my tote for a refill on the other side. Something I’ve found helpful is to pack in the same bags as much as possible so you have a good system and know where you put your stuff. As soon as TSA checks my ID and boarding pass they go straight to my wallet. Everything has a spot and makes it so much easier once I’m on board.


On Board the Plane

I begin my on board routine the same way every time. I put my overhead carry on in the bin and my tote underneath the seat. I pullout a a pair of slippers and stow away my ballet flats. Slippers are perfect for trips to the bathroom and are warmer on the feet during the flight. I also use my scarf as a pillow sometimes so that’s pulled out for easy access. I begin by lathering on eye creams, serums, and moisturizers onto my face and hands. Then I slip on my ear phones with a music list ready to hit play and a sleep mask to block out light. If I’m restless I’ll make lists or jot down thoughts or read my paperback. I try to get as much rest as possible on the plane knowing once I land it will be a few hours before I can relax again. If I do nap, once I awake I either drink a cup of coffee before landing or I’ll get up and brush my teeth in the bathroom.

Over the years I’ve realized I feel best when I stay hydrated, wear my hair down, bring a sleeping mask and avoid alcohol and caffeine. I arrive so much more refreshed with that combination than I have in the best when I spent flights working or having a pre-party before the actual vacation. Now, by getting good rest on my flight it allows me to minimize travel stress and prepare my body.

What are some of the ways you minimize travel stress?

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My Travel Uniform

Fashion, How To, Lifestyle, Packing, Style, TravelCrystal JacksonComment
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Lately I’ve really been into dressing in neutrals. Don’t get me wrong, my colorful spectrum wardrobe will continue to showcase bright pieces but sometimes it’s nice just to get back to the basics. Whenever wearing neutral tones it’s nice to play with various textures. Here a velvet blazer is layered over a velvet body suit. What I really like about the body suit is that it is super easy to look pulled together without having to worry about constantly tucking your shirt in. This one is from Target from last season but I’ve linked several ones below under $50. The main key to making it comfortable is to pick a fabric that’s soft and make sure it has buttons to undo when you are using the restroom.

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I layered it under really stretchy skinny jeans. I like to look for a pair with a wider waistband for travel. That way they almost feel like leggings instead of jeans. A dark wash is my usual go to since it hides stains, spills or just dirt as you are in and out of public transportation. A soft blazer can be added for warmth underneath a coat if you are going somewhere chilly. Finally, a pair of ballet inspired pumps (on MAJOR sale right now!) with a block heel does just the trick. They are easy to slip on and off during the flight while being comfortable to walk in. Another thing I love about this look is that it is easy to step off the plane (or out of a vehicle) check into where you are staying and immediately head down for dinner or drinks somewhere.

As far as traveling I think it’s important to look for proper luggage. This season I picked up a rolling duffel bag from Jessica Simpson’s collection and found it was perfect for most three to four day weekend trips. I prefer to pack in the same bags often so I have a good system down. Since I travel almost every single weekend (and have been doing so for years), efficiency is key to not getting overwhelmed constantly. This duffel has so much room and zipper pockets inside and outside of the main compartment.

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I usually bring a canvas tote or laptop bag to hold my other items like toiletries, electronics and journals. Having a “travel uniform” streamlines the getting ready process and let’s me think more about activities at my destination than, “What am I going to wear?” I also like to make sure that whatever I travel in would be comfortable enough if I got stuck somewhere or worse my luggage is lost. Oftentimes, I’ll throw an extra shirt, nightie and swimsuit (since all pack small) into my carry on so I have extra things in the event anything I check is delayed or missing. After a trip 6 years ago and my luggage was delayed over 24 hours to San Francisco I re-evaluated all packing endeavors to ensure I had what I needed as soon as I landed in case my luggage didn’t make it with me.

When selecting luggage, it’s really important to find something that works with what you wear. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve double a canvas tote for a beach bag and left my items in a dresser in the room I’m staying in. I also like to have all of my luggage at least color coordinate. In the past I used a black suitcase with tan trimming. Now I usually check this leopard print duffel and then utilize my tote and laptop bag for on board. I found a really adorable identical version of this duffel in a navy polka dot if you are looking to add a new classic piece to your collection. I prefer darker colors to hide scratches and marks, but this striped pink one is a must have too! Although I struggled to find an exact match to the one I’ve photographed in leopard I did find this version for under $50 from Vera Bradley!

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