Liz Banfield's Summer Travel Tips

Essential summer travel tips from a busy mom and photographer.

Liz Banfield's Summer Travel Tips
Lara Leimbach

Minneapolis based photographer Liz Banfield is always on the go, both for work and fun. She has so many great summer travel tips, we couldn’t fit them all in the July issue of Mpls.St. Paul Magazine. Here are more of her suggestions:

I promise this will make a huge difference! I start making piles at least two days and ideally three days before departure. You will arrive at your destination more prepared since getting started early allows you to remember things over time and you will reach your destination less weighed down by impulsive items thrown in at the last minute. Plus, I don't know about you, but whenever I am forced to pack the night before I find it impossible to fall asleep, adversely affecting the next day and making traveling all that more exhausting.


I'm not suggesting you live out of a suitcase but there are certain things that I just leave packed and ready for the next trip. Most importantly a dop kit and make-up bag that I replenish each time I return home from a trip. I just leave them packed and ready, despite the double up in cosmetics / sundries. I never arrive at my destination without some essential like contact solution or deodorant.

If you have kids, avoid the midnight run to the pharmacy in a strange town by keeping a kit of travel-size emergency items like baby ibuprofen, aloe, and thermometer all packed and ready too. I also keep travel size games, etc. in a special place in my closet so they are out of daily circulation and they can be fresh / interesting to the kids on trips.

I have young children, so it's hard to top the sand and water combo as a destination that pleases everyone. We spend a lot of time at my family's lakeside cabin in Osceola, WI (a painless 75 minute drive). Last summer, we did a "surf and turf" vacation and spent half our time at the New Jersey shore and the other half in New York City. It was the best trip! My husband and I both love to travel, so we are eager to take them to foreign lands as well.

Meanwhile, we are also happy to pack a picnic dinner and head down to Lake Harriet on a hot summer night. For a quick overnight getaway within the metro area, I'm planning to try the adorable log "Camper Cabins" at Baker Park that rent for only $50 a night.

Sea Bags. “They are impervious to sand. I've had mine for years and I still love it.” ($139 to $279), from Brightwater Clothing & Gear, 256 Water St., Excelsior, 952-474-0256, brightwater-excelsior.com

0712-LizB-glasses_160.jpg ESSENTIAL SHADES
“As much as I love fashionable sunglasses I am uncompromising about having high-quality polarized lenses. My favorites are these updated aviators in gold."