Packing is a daunting task! How many times do your friends and co- workers ask you… “are you packed yet?” for days and weeks leading up to your vacation? Many I am sure… all for the same reason… we hate it! What will I wear, what should I bring, I hope I don’t forget anything. You make list after list, it is a process after all. Here are some of the things I do to make it… manageable.
~Check with your specific airline as to what their luggage requirements are, then follow it!
~Stick to one bag, and I try to make it a bag that can be carried on. I know the thought of this for all you ladies out there is scary, but it really is do-able! Lay all of the clothes you think you will need out on the bed… than put at least half of them away, you will never use them! Bring solid color pants, skirts and tops that all go with each other and mix and match your outfits. Black is a great color because it goes with everything (and it is slimming). If you want different looks, bring accessories instead of more clothes. Scarves, earrings, necklaces and bracelets take up less room than clothes! You can dress down for daytime with walking shoes and dressup the same outfit with accessories for a night out. Make everything fit in one suitcase. The time spent on this up front will save you the time, aggravation and money spent if your checked luggage was lost.
~Wear the heavy, bulky stuff. If you are going to Paris, the weather is unpredictable, so you MUST bring a raincoat. Instead of packing it, why not wear it on the plane so that you can save room in the suitcase for things you need? The same goes for a winter coat, sweaters, blazers etc. If it gets to hot on the plane, just strip! Put the items back on when you arrive.
~Limit yourself to 3 pairs of shoes. Bring one pair of dress shoes and 2 pairs of comfortable shoes. I switch between the comfortable shoes every day so your tootsies don’t get used to one pair. White sneakers are not very popular with Europeans, so to remain stylish and comfy, try Dansko, Noat, Mephisto or Diesel walking shoes. Wear the heaviest shoes on the plane, so your luggage will be lighter.
~Wash and wear. Why not pack less and do a load of laundry to reuse some of the clothes that you brought? Why do we always need a new outfit for every single day? Most of the time when you are on vacation, you won’t see the same people everyday… or maybe even ever again! Some hotels offer laundry service, either free or for a small fee. You can even do your own wash in the sink (or bidet… come on, what do you think those things are used for anyway). Bring a small wash kit along. This one even contains a clothes line to dry your garments on.
~If you do need to check your bags, make sure your luggage is clearly marked. If you can put a tag on that stands out from the ‘pack’, you will locate it quickly.
~Think small. Full size toiletries can be heavy and bulky! I collect sample sizes of my favorite products. I also save small containers of products that I have used. These empties come in handy when I want to pack toiletries, but don’t want the bulk of full sizes. Check to see if your shampoo, conditioner, skin and hair care products are available in small sizes. I often buy a full size and a travel size whenever I see that it is available, as I know I will use it! These travel sizes are dedicated ONLY for travel. Your local drug store and Sephora are excellent resources for this.I also save small perfume samples for this exact reason. If travel sizes are not available, put just the amount that you need in a recycled container that you have saved, pack this in your luggage and you will be amazed at the space savings.
~Reload! The minute I get home from a trip… as I am unpacking… I am repacking. Whatever toiletries I used, I automatically refill or put a replacement product in my kit. This way it is always ready to go, even on a last minute trip, and it saves me from worrying about what Ineed to pack. I have razors, toothbrushes, brushes and combs that are just for travel. They never come out of my kit. It is an easy way to check something off your long packing list… actually you don’t even need to put it on a list! These are a few of my favorite packing tips… I would love to hear yours!