Worry Free Packing Tips

Traveling in today’s world is always a challenge. Most people want to carry on their suitcase due to baggage fees and lost luggage horror stories, but how do women pack everything they need in a TSA regulated size bag without bringing their closet with them? Easy. Here are some of my “rule of thumbs” that help me narrow down what I bring on  a week-long vacation.

  1. Anticipate where you are going: What kind of weather are you traveling to? Is the climate tropical, dry, cool or wet? Is it pleasure, work or a little of both?  Determine what you will be doing on your trip. Will you be sightseeing and walking around the streets of Paris, will you be relaxing by a pool or the ocean in the Caribbean or will you be hitting the clubs and the casinos in Vegas? Whatever the scenario is, pack accordingly.
  2. Choosing your fabrics: The easiest fabrics to pack are cotton, knit and wool. They travel well and tend to resist wrinkles. If your going to a tropical setting pack light colors and loose flowing pieces to keep cool. If your headed to colder climates make sure to pack darker colors as they absorb more heat and choose wool or flannel and cotton to layer.
  3. Choosing your wardrobe: When I pack I arrange my outfits using just three to four colors. Begin by choosing two basic colors from a neutral palette like, black, nude, white, grey or brown. Then choose your third or fourth color from any color palette like: brights in a fuchsia or coral, pastels in lavender or mint and jeweled tones like purple or emerald green. These added colors can be anything you like, just remember not to add more than one or two and they must compliment each other. Pack two to three bottoms; shorts, jeans or skirts and five to seven tops. The key is that all the tops match with all the bottoms and can be worn interchangeably. Always pack one great dress that you can use for night-time, better to be over-dressed than under-dressed in my opinion.The pop of color should be in the tops, shoes or accessories, it’s best to keep the bottoms neutral. Shoes, always my personal dilemma, can be a little tricky. Try to pack a casual shoe for walking  (sneaker, hiking boot, running shoe), a flat (sandal, loafer or wedge) a dressy shoe (stiletto, high wedge or stripy sandals) and a slip on or flip-flop (something you can just slide into). Again, the trick is to make sure the shoes match with all of your outfits and are interchangeable.
  4. Packing your suitcase: Lay the heaviest items on the bottom, like jeans, pants, skirts and jackets. For knits and cotton fold your tops, then fold them in half and lay them on top of the bottom heaviest items. You should be able to get six tops in one layer. If you are packing heavier items like sweaters, only fold them once and lay two at a time side by side. Alternate the ends if you are adding another bulky layer on top of that. Hang your dress in a dry cleaning bag and lay that on top of all the clothes. Add your undergarments, socks, tanks, anything that can be rolled up along the sides of the suitcases as stuffers. Belts can be snaked around the perimeter of the suitcase as well. Finally add the shoes. Because of their shape they take up the most space, so you want to wear your heaviest shoe. You can also use the pockets found on the inside of the top of the suitcase or the outside to pack your styling tools like a curling iron, flat iron or a clutch.
  5. Finally, the carry on tote bag: Always a must, travel with a large tote. You can easily fit your extras in this bag; your quart sized ziplock bag filled with your liquids that you can pull out quickly and easily, your laptop or iPad, your cosmetics, a ziplock bag with your chargers, reading materials or magazines, any jewelry pouches with accessories and jewelry along with your basic wallet and keys. I also place a nice comfy cashmere scarf in my tote to wrap myself up on the plane if I desire a nap. Viola, packing made simple.

Vacations and getaways should be fun and packing hassle free. I hope these tips will help you enjoy the most out of your travel.