Traveling today is like childbirth. The planning is fun; getting there is painful; thankfully, you forget the pain almost immediately when presented with the results!
After 40 years of traveling, I still get carried away when packing so I created my own packing list which helps cut down on the number of things I take; keeps track when I’m packing to return home, (not leaving my favorite sweater in Romania); and eliminates luggage charges. It’s relatively simple as most of us have some favorite, easy to pack and wear items in our closet. Once you begin to create a list, you will be aware of compatible items when you are shopping and before long you will have a perfect travel wardrobe.
Make a list of the days you will be away and what you expect to be doing on each day.
Lay out the items you think you want to take and begin to color coordinate. A good rule is that every item can be worn with at least two other items. Or can be worn at least twice by alternating a skirt or pants or a scarf. I have a couple of lightweight jackets that are reversible. A solid color on one side and some sort of print or plaid on the other with multiple colors.
Traveling for business will require a different wardrobe than a pleasure trip. I find today, I can be away on pleasure for 7 to 10 days with a pair of black pants, jeans and a skirt or dress. I add a couple T-Shirts or crinkle cotton tops, generally 3 items, one jacket and two or three scarves.
Rolling each item reduces wrinkles and creases. Use white tissue to fill in any spaces in the suitcase so the items will not move around and get wrinkled. That also leaves room to add any purchases to the suitcase. I also always pack an extra compact bag that opens up to hold quite a bit for those little treasures you discover and just cannot live without.
Go online or call the hotel and ask what toiletries they provide as well as availability of hair dryers, irons etc. Don’t pack what you don’t have to.
The 3oz limit on liquids that can be carried on has been a conservation wake-up call for me. I bought some items in the travel department of the drug store and just refill them with the products I prefer to use. I’ve discovered I can get by using much less shampoo and body lotions. One of my favorite discoveries is a toothbrush that has a week’s worth of toothpaste in the handle. www.freshango.com They are available in most Walgreen’s. You should also carry in your carry-on bag a small pack of Kleenex, hand sanitizer, your make-up and all medications.
Rolling bags with a double-railed retractable handle are an absolute. If your suitcase has a single pole retractable handle, it is difficult to balance another bag on top. Soft-sided luggage is often lighter and easier to pack. However, if you are the shopping queen, a hard-sided case offers more protection of breakable items. Give some consideration to what you might purchase. If you are going to a place known for wonderful crystal or china, it’s likely you will purchase a remembrance that is breakable.
- CNN reported that aiming the air valve above your seat to gently blow in front of your face, will divert any germs that may be floating around.
- Carry in your bag, ZiCam or some other product you use to prevent or stop colds.
- Drink plenty of water while in the air.
- Once you create a packing list that works, keep it on your computer and reuse it.
- Keep your bags locked when you leave the hotel room. You might want to leave your passport or small items in the room and locking your bag is necessary.
- Pack a small bag you can take with you during the day. You won’t want to carry a large carry-on bag everyday on your vacation.
- Airline food is not gourmet and it’s very expensive. I carry dried fruit; string cheese packets and nuts in zip loc bags.
- Pick up a small compact umbrella. Check weather forecasts before you leave.
Have a great time!