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How To Pack
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How To Pack

Do you spend more time packing than getting there? Bring too much, pay checked bag fees and still not have what you need? Here are some simple tips to on how to pack to enjoy your trips more.

How To Pack - Begin With a Plan

Packing begins with a plan. Where are you going and what will you need? If you might need it, leave it home. Fitting things in is easy compared to picking what you really need and how to pack it so you can easily find it.

When it comes to packing, less is more! You can fit everything you need for two weeks (with minor laundry) into one 22-inch carryon and a personal tote if you stick to your plan. And I'll show you what to prepack to speed you on your way.

Keep a Spreadsheet for Each Trip

The easiest way to plan to to remember what you actually used or wished you had on similar trips. How many days were you gone? Did you have different types of weather or just beach or just city? Did you do laundry or at least wash a few things in a hotel bathroom?

I make up a spreadsheet for each trip, based on the saved one from a similar destination. Summer in France is very different from winter in London. But the basic idea is the same. You need one of two primary colors that work together. Take a jacket, jeans or dressier pants/skirts, a dress, tops and minimum shoes. Yes, ladies, shoes can do you in if you are not ruthless. Three pairs only, including what you wear on the plane. Walking shoes, dress shoes and sandals or athletic shoes should go with everything if you stick with basic colors.

Spacebags Rock!

You have a small bag and lots of clothes so how to pack them? Put the things that can wrinkle - panties, nighties, socks, even a down jacket or cashmere sweater - into spacebags and scrunch them down to nothing. During your trip, replace the clean items with dirty clothes so everything will still fit on the way back plus your shopping.

Drycleaning Bags!

How to pack without wrinkling when we're putting so much into a small bag? God bless those drycleaning bags. Your tops go on hangers - at least two plastic ones you will need for laundry and the others wire ones you can leave behind. Put the drycleaning bag over everything, roll it up and put it on top before you zip your bag. I guarantee you will take the whole thing out, hang it up and wear wrinkle free T's, sweaters, silk shirts, dresses and even men's suits.

How to Pack Toiletries

Speed up every packing job by prepacking your personal items into little kits. Of course you have these on your planning spreadsheet, too. You can buy waterproof pouches in various sizes in luggage stores but I find the pouches that come as gifts with cosmetic purchases work best of all. They are waterproof, various sizes and best of all, different colors and patterns so easy to find in your suitcase of tote. You'll need at least three of these:

Makeup. You know to take the minimum. We're already gorgeous, right? The kit goes in your tote so you have it handy. Hint: an eyelash curler works really well instead of mascara.

Medicine. This goes in the tote, too. Take whatever the doctor prescribes and add plenty of bandaids, a tube of Neosporin, a wee bottle with Advil, aspirin, an antihistamine, Sudafed and Imodium. I can tell them apart by the color or you can purchase them in blisterpacks. Put in your favorite cough drops, too. I usually take a whole bag in my tote.

Toiletries. I reuse cosmetic sample bottles for two weeks worth of face creams and use hotel toiletries whenever possible. Can't give up the electric toothbrush, though! Or the hot rollers.

Misc Items. A little laundry kit with Woolite and Shout packets can save the day. I keep a small flashlight and extra eye and sunglasses in my suitcase along with copies of my passport, driver's license and contact numbers for all my credit cards.

Silk Longjohns

These go everywhere, even Hawaii in the summer. They take up no room (in the spacebag) and are perfect for layering, do double duty as pajamas and keeping off the chill in overcooled hotels in summer. I even change into the bottoms to be comfortable on long overnight flights.

Bon Voyage and Don't Worry About How to Pack!

I hope you enjoyed these tips and will enjoy them even more when you have less luggage, exactly what you need and much more fun. Happy travels!


Street Talk

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