Updated: Jan 24, 2022
My husband I recently had the pleasure of celebrating our third wedding anniversary in Tulum. We loved the laid back vibe, sun, and beautiful adventures. But honestly, we weren’t sure if we were even going to make it! Our flight was cancelled three times before we eventually managed a flight to Portland and then Cancun. The delay caused us to miss the first day and a half our our vacation and set us off on a pretty disheartened note. We arrived so late to our hotel in Tulum on day one that nothing was open and we were just hangry with each other. All that to say, our first night wasn’t romantic or even a very happy one, but waking up seeing the sun rise over the water, the palm trees swaying in the breeze, and feeling the warmth on our skin made it all worth it.
We always try to strike a balance of activities and downtime on our vacations. I love exploring, trying local food, and immersing myself in as much culture as I can, where as my husband prefers a cold drink and to soak up the sun while by the water. To make sure we both get the vacation we want, we found alternating days of activity and lounging to be the best fit for us. Thankfully, I planned to embroider on our trip and my planning helped make the delays, flight, and down time on our trip just as enjoyable as the adventures. Want to know what I packed? Here’s what I brought and why:
Bring A Project Bag
I find this helpful to keep everything all in one place. Mine is a quilted bag I made, but this could also be as simple as a gallon ziplock.
Pick Out Your Project Before You Go
This includes thread colors and the pattern. Lighting on a plane is iffy at best, even if you have a window seat. I’ve stitched a design in poor lighting and realizing things don’t look right can be extremely disheartening, especially since finding a craft store with the right colors to fix your design can be challenging to nonexistent. (Side note, finding a craft store on vacation is my super power! I’ve found them in Phuket, Chiangmai, Puerto Vallarta, and Tulum!) Turbulence, poor light, and cramped spaces can also make tracing a pattern challenging. Just keep it simple. A pre-printed pattern or kit will make your life so much easier. Check out my embroidery kits and patterns for your next trip.
The Best Hack: A Binder Ring & Bobbins
This is by far my favorite and easiest hack. Large binder rings are perfect for keeping all the colors of a specific project exactly where you need them. I also like to add them to the ring in the order I’ll be using them on my embroidery. This can help cut down on confusion. I use this tip with every project, not just when I’m traveling.
Use Thread Gloss
Let’s keep it covid-19 compliant and your row neighbors happy. Thread gloss, like this yummy smelling Creamsicle option that I bought from Ponderosa Creative, makes threading your needle a dream. No need the lick your fingers or thread. Instead, run your thread through this delightful smelling thread conditioner and you’re all set!
A Needlebook Is Multi-Purpose
No one wants to loose their needle while on a trip. Needle books are usually small fabric books with felt pages that you can stick needles in. Having needles makes loosing one no stress and the variety means you can stitch anything. Another great thing about needle books, that Aubrey Harns shared with me, is that they’re perfect for keeping all your thread ends! You, your flight neighbors, and the environment will thank you.
Cutting your thread can be a challenge without scissors and having them taken away by TSA is just disheartening. Make sure yours are compliant before you fly! I love using my folding scissors when I travel because they are compact and the pointy end is protected. My friend Sara Barnes of Brown Paper Bag Stitch uses nail clippers when she travels.
Bring Multiple Projects
This might seem silly, but I find it helpful! My husband loves to lounge by the water and I love exploring, so we try to split our trip with about 50% of both. Not only will you have a project while on the go and when having a rest day catching the sun, but also something to do if there are delays.
I hope these tips make your next trip enjoyably filled with embroidery!