Travel Tips from Thailand

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I just returned from Thailand, which is hands-down my favorite place on earth! While I’m still unpacking my bags and it’s fresh on my mind — here’s my best travel tips, and Berk chimed in here, too! Here goes our do’s and don’t’s of international travel — with some favorite Thailand shots thrown in.

1. Before You Leave

  • Grab your passport and check the expiration date. If needed, apply for a renewal - ASAP!

  • A passport holder is a fun way to keep track of your important documents!

  • Once your flight is booked, check your airline and download their app. Sign up for flight status notifications. Create the wallet option on your smart phone so you’re not juggling passports and tickets and boarding passes.

  • Research the converter you will need! Before you hit the airport, make sure your phone is charged so you aren’t in line worried about showing your boarding pass before your phone dies.

  • Apply for TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry! We think the $85 membership fee for five years is WELL worth it — it’s a lifesaver, especially for the trip home! Keep in mind you have to apply in plenty of time prior to leaving on your trip but it saves (ALOT!) of time in customs and security lines both going and coming.

  • Download 3-4 movies, a few podcasts and a book on your Kindle! Last trip, I stood in the airport trying to get my movie to download and it never did. Make sure you go board ready with some fun media to look forward to!

  • Search “sleep” on Spotify and download a sleep playlist. It’s so worth it!

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2. Pack in These Bags

  • And what I mean by “bags” is BAG! Berk and I never check a bag — unless it’s an EMPTY duffel to bring back full of goodies for our shop! This is a favorite suitcase!

  • Pack light! Just fill your carry on what you love! This not only cuts down on travel prep but strangely cuts down on stress during the trip. While in Thailand, I had less options to chose between day to day. Your favorites are always enough. Five days prior to leaving, lay everything out that you might bring. Set the items in your guest room bed, perhaps, so that you can walk in and out a few times a day and start removing things you’re not thrilled about bringing.

  • This Calpak laptop bag is tried and true and we’ve found nothing safer or easier to carry for our computers! It’s a backpack and stylish, too.

3. Tuck these in your carry on

  • Nothing is worse then chapped lips on a plane! We never leave the house without this!

  • Travel-size dry shampoo is your best friend while en-route and all trip long.

  • This (travel size) facial spray is magic for when you start to feel like you need a mid-flight refresh.

  • These no-leak containers are perfect for toiletries.

  • Berk and I both are suckers for a travel uniform, meaning our favorite joggers, a T-shirt, lightweight and comfy sneakers (perfect for when we have to sprint to our gate!) — and most of all, soft socks. Sounds ridiculous but it makes the hours and hours on a flight that much more comfortable.

  • Tiger Balm is magic — it’s a tiny container, perfect for your carry on and takes away headaches and neck/muscle tension quickly.

  • I love having these Colgate Whisps on hand to freshen my breath in between flights.

  • Neck pillow — this one is perfect, Berk and I have both used it every trip we’ve taken! It inflates/deflates so doesn’t take up too much space, and truly I can’t sleep without it!

  • Benadryl — take it 20 minutes prior to being ready to go to sleep and turn on your sleep playlist!

  • Investing in these noise-canceling headphones is a no-brainer. They dramatically changed my experience on flights! They’re incredible.

  • Eye Masks really help get your zzz’s in on a flight!

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4. Airport Tips

  • When you have long layovers, find the closest lounge to pay to get into and use their shower! Definitely worth the fee!

  • Buy some healthy snacks ahead of time or in the airport shop — they always have a nice selection and will help you feel better during your flight.

  • Buy a large bottle of water prior to boarding your flight — and try to get some steps in. We walk our terminal at least twice, just trying to prep for a long time staying seated.

5. Once You Arrive

  • When you get into the international airport, make sure to stop at the kiosk and swap out SIM card on your phone! All international airports have numbers of places to do this — and even better, it is really economical!

  • On every trip, we also rent a hot spot so we can work remote — and stream music/vidoes while we travel on the bus/subway!

Next month, expect a Guide for Thailand to be released and a summertime Guide to Tulum! In the meantime check out our Guide to Marrakech and Guide to Sayulita.

Cheers to a new year full of travel!

HON's Full Service Design Process

At House of Nomad we believe in making the design process approachable with results that are authentic to our client’s personalities and lifestyle — and most of all, we keep design fun. Here’s a glimpse behind the scenes into House of Nomad’s full service design process. As an example, we’re pulling from a Dilworth cottage that we designed last summer. The clients asked for a refresh for their entryway, front living space and adjoining dining room. We hope this start to finish guide is a fun glimpse into this process and what it looks like for us and our clients!

STEP 1: Initial consultation

Once a client makes the initial contact, we set aside 1.5 to 2 hours to meet in person, talk about goals and get to understand their style. We see the space, take full measurements and photos and discuss their budget. Here’s shots of the Dilworth space the first time we walked through our client’s doors.

STEP 2: Design Time

Back in the studio after the consultation, we pull everything into a proposal to kickoff our design time. Our design time includes pulling together a design tray with swatches of paint, samples of fabric and finishes that we bring to the clients. Here you see leather and wood finishes for our Dilworth cottage project — sofa/chair choices, a wallpaper swatch, a rug sample and a textile option. Depending on number of rooms and project size, our team also creates a paint plan, 3-D renderings and space plans. This process typically takes 2 to 3 weeks.

STEP 3: Presentation

All of our full-service design presentations are done in person, where we review space plans and 3D renderings of our mutual vision of the space. Here’s the space plan and mood board from the Dilworth cottage project, which we reviewed with the clients along with their full presentation of paint, furniture, rug and decor options.

While this Dilworth project didn’t require 3D renderings, here’s an example of what that looks like for a recent Plaza Midwood client!

STEP 4: Project Managment

After the client approves the items on the presentation, HON sends over an invoice. Once paid, all orders are placed by our project manager who tracks them on a weekly basis giving clients updates on the status of each item. Once we nail down anticipated delivery dates, we gear up for our favorite day: INSTALL day!

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STEP 5: Delivery & Install Day

Install day is the climax of every detail and vision and conversation, where the client’s vision and all our details come to life! House of Nomad installs are typically done in one day, but at times (due to project size and item availability) are completed in two separate installs. We show up with our delivery team first thing in the morning and our installer gets to work doing everything from hanging drapery and light fixtures to assembling furniture and hanging chairs. Our delivery team places each rug and piece of furniture — and we come with our clipboard and install bag ready to go, prepped for all the details!

Here’s some favorites from the install day at the Dilworth cottage!

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6. Styling

Per request from our clients, we love to finish a project with styling. For styling, we pull from our inventory of items sourced all over the world and hand-select finishing touches for your space. We set aside an hour to two of design time to come in person and complete the space with potted plants and decor.

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7. Photoshoot

For an average project, from the time we begin a consultation to a completed space the time frame is 8-12 weeks — depending on the goals (painting/etc.). The last step for some projects is a photo shoot of the final spaces. And we were so excited that this Dilworth project was picked up by Rue Magazine! Follow the link for more images from this beautiful home. All final photos by Laura Sumrak.

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