GYTO Interview: Travel Outfit Tips with Style Under 40

Hello travelers! We are so excited to share the first in a new interview series here on GYTO where we chat with -and get inspiration from- our favorite female travelers. Yes! This is gonna be awesome! Our first victim? The super-cute Janelle Van Houw from Style Under 40. She’s an Atlanta-based traveler, photographer, and bargain hunter who claims she hasn’t purchased any single items of clothing over $40 in over a year, with the exception of her wedding dress. Ummm… awesome?! When she’s not photographing weddings and families, she’s finding the coolest clothes at the best prices, and sharing her finds online (check out her instagram and facebook.) We asked her about how to best travel in style, because -duh!- it's her thang! Here’s what she had to say.

GYTO: Tell our readers a little about yourself.

JANELLE:I was born and raised in Colorado. Both my parents are dutch so I learned at an early age how to be frugal! About a year ago I was decided that I wasn't going to buy any article of clothing over $40. So Styleunder40 was born and I have been sharing my deals and steals ever since!!

GYTO: Can you share a couple of your favorite travel highlights with us?

JANELLE: Favorite trips would have to be all the family road trips my parents took us on as kids. My dad was a school teacher and my mom was self employed so every summer we packed up the VW van and drove across the country! My favorite US city would have to be Charleston where I got married in September. Everything about Charleston is wonderful. The food, the galleries, the shopping, the architecture... I could go on forever!!

GYTO: As you know, this site is dedicated to inspiring ladies to get out there and travel. It would only be right for you to tell us about a recent trip you've taken with your ladies.

JANELLE: My last girl's trip was in Nashville for my friend Jenny's bachelorette party. Not only was it St. Patricks day weekend but also the SEC college basketball championship was downtown so hotels were few and far between and pretty $$$. At first the thought of sharing a 2 room hotel room with 8 ladies I didn't know kinda freaked me out. But almost instantly I knew that this group of girls were just plain awesome and a blast to be around. It was a bachelorette party so were didn't spend much time in our hotel anyways. It was my first trip to Nashville and what a wonderful city place to explore with new friends. Some highlights include eating some wonderful BBQ at Jacks, stumbling upon a free concert , and spending hours walking around the Country Music Hall of Fame.  There is something wonderful about spending a weekend with the girls, staying up late talking, laughing until you cry, watching over each other at bars to make sure everyone is safe. This girl trip reminded me of my friendships in high school and college.  I miss those girl times! Now that we are all so grown up with jobs, husbands and babies or pets there is less time for the female connection. Girl's trips refresh and rejuvenate your friendships and your soul!

GYTO: What's your philosophy on travel fashion, specifically airport style?

JANELLE: Airport style to me is comfortable layers that do not resemble workout gear or PJs. Every time I exit the Marta train and enter Hartsfield-Jackson, I see travel outfit choices that remind me that the age of dressing for travel is long gone. I wish to transport myself to the golden age of air travel during the 50's and 60's, when travel was an experience and people dressed up to fly. Now I'm not expecting us ladies to get decked out in fur and high heels like Marilyn Monroe or the men to don three piece suits, but leave the Pj's in your suitcase.

GYTO:What are some of your favorite trends right now that would translate well to airport style?

JANELLE:

  1. Flats: Flats are great for airport travel, they don't take up a lot of room and are easy to slip off and on for airport security! Nine west Black pointed flats in photos are from Ross dress for less $23 (Buy similar here.)
  2. Printed lounge pants. Sooooo comfortable and stylish at the same time! In photos Burgandy pants from Loft.com $23 (Buy similar here.)
  3. Long Cardigan, sweater or structured blazer. I love this green long cardigan I purchased from Loft 40% off clearance for an amazing $11.99 (Buy similar here.)
  4. Jeweled sweater: Forget the having to take your jewelry off and on and wear in on your sweater instead! (wore this on my last glint and I didn't set off the alarm or need an extra putdown)
  5. Structured blazer: A perfect item when traveling for business. I get all my blazers from Loft when they go on sale!
  6. Shirtdress: A great look if you are traveling for business and need to go to a meeting directly from airport. Add a blazer and some leggings under for added travel comfort.
  7. Stylish Scarf: Soooo many uses!!! A great way to bring pattern and color to any outfit, extra warmth and can make a great pillow if needed.

GYTO: How do you keep your bags organized as you travel? Please share any tricks or tips you've got up your sleeve!

JANELLE: Before I leave for a trip I dump out my purse and wallet and make sure to take only the necessities! I don't need any Bed Bath and Beyond coupons or old receipts cluttering my bag! I also use a system of putting my wallet and documents in an evening clutch to keep everything organized. Also, when packing, I use smaller bags that fit into my larger ones to keep items in place. Bring a plastic bag for dirty clothes!

GYTO: Where do you draw the line between comfort and fashion?

JANELLE: When you are not sleeping or in downward dog PJs and yoga pants should stay in your suitcase!

GYTO: Wearing heels at the airport and during long flights: yay or nay? We often see high heels a lot at the airport and always wonder... "Is it worth it?!"

JANELLE: Wearing heels is definitely a personal preference. If you can strut all the way to terminal c39 without breaking out in blisters more power to ya! Personally if I wear a heel its probably a wedge and I bring along some flats in my carry-on!

GYTO: Many travelers have a favorite travel bag. What's yours? 

JANELLE: I love the Adrinne Vittadini luggage collection. This woven 4 piece set is a personal favorite! Great price, good construction and a 1 year warranty. I purchased my carryon/weekend bag from Ross Dress for Less and got a great deal- $39.99! If you are looking for some real rugged travel gear and have a bit more cash to spend check out Eagle Creek. Two words for you: LIFETIME WARRANTY. 

GYTO: What's in your carry-on?

JANELLE: A change of clothes, a pair of fuzzy socks, a cute clutch that I put both my wallet and all travel documents in, make-up pouch, warm scarf , and laptop (not included is my german shepherd even though I wish I could stuff her in). I do make sure to leave some room in my carryon for any souvenirs I pick up along the way.

GYTO: Do you have any must-have travel accessories or clothing that accompany you on every trip?

JANELLE: I always bring a scarf and some fuzzy socks on every flight. The scarf is great for extra warmth or I like to use it to drape over myself when I'm sleeping on the plane. Fuzzy socks are great for when you have to take your shoes off during security check point so you don't have to go barefoot (ew!) or wear during a long flight!

GYTO: Describe your perfect 36-hour dream weekend trip. Where would you go? Be specific!

JANELLE: Right now I would love to go to Moab with my southern girlfriends who has never experienced the American Southwest. I would love to hike to the Delicate Arch at sunset, Raft down the Colorado river, and sleep under the stars at Devils Garden Campground.

GYTO: What's next for you? Any trips planned in the near future?

JANELLE: In the EARLY planning stages of our honeymoon for this summer!!! In addition to that, I have two trips booked for fall, one to Philly to visit my college roommate and one to Denver to visit family for the holidays!

GYTO: Any final tips for readers who want to up their airport style game?

JANELLE: Just google Rosie Huntington-Whiteley travel outfits. She is my favorite jet setter for outfit travel inspiration!

Don't forget to visit STYLE UNDER 40 to check out more of Janelle's finds! By the way, these adorable photos of Janelle were taken by Becky Williamson Photography.

Readers: Who are your favorite savvy female travelers? Let us know in a comment below, and we'll put them on our list of ladies to interview next!