Packing 101

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Packing to me has turned into a little bit of a science. Years ago I was a horrible packer. I would wait until the last-minute and cram things into a suitcase. I always would try to plan for every bit of weather possible with numerous “just in case outfits”. Over the years,  I have learned lugging suitcases around with clothes that I will never wear was not fun. Here are a few tips to help with your next trip:

Tip 1: Check the weather starting a week out from your trip. I add the destination to my weather app on my iPhone.

Tip 2: Pack early!! I start a week out for planned trips. I lay a suitcase in the spare bedroom and start placing clothes in the suitcase. As the week goes on, I whittle my clothes down based on the weather forecast. I even take a piece of paper and write down my outfits. This helps to identify pieces that I can mix and max. No need to pack 2 black sweatshirts. Figure out how to make the 1 work.

Tip 3: Have travel kits pre-made to just throw in your suitcase.  Some people might find this a luxury but to me I like to have “kits” already put together of my traveling items. This makes it super easy or put together a suitcase. The kits I have:

  • Toiletry: Take a quart size Ziploc bag and put a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, lotion, razor,
  • Hair: I have really long hair so this type of bag is a must for me. It contains a hat, headbands, hair ties, brush, comb,
  • Makeup: Take a quart size Ziploc bag and put duplicates of your make up in here. I don’t wear a ton of makeup so it contains the basics: moisturizer, foundation, powder, mascara, eyeliner, perfume When at all possible I try to take advantage of samples from Sephora or any beauty counter. Don’t be afraid to ask for samples when you purchase something. These are perfect for traveling and you can dispose of after using.
  • Running: Since I run everywhere I travel, I keep a bag backed of my running essentials => running skirt, sports bra, tank, socks, sunglasses, running belt and Gu. I have learned that I don’t really need to take a running outfit for each day. Reusing is okay. Besides I always include a small spray bottle of the sport Febreeze that helps to keep it fresh.

Tip 4:  Roll clothes because it saves space. There is a continual debate on whether rolling or folding is better. I prefer the rolling for one simple reason – keeps my outfits together. Once I decide on my outfits, I roll them all together. This makes it convenient when I am unpacking because I don’t have to remember what I had planned to go with what.

Tip 5: Don’t panic if there is space left in your suitcase. There is nothing that says you have to use the full weight allowance of 50 pounds. I am pretty sure that the airlines would be happy that your bag didn’t require a “Heavy” tag.

Happy traveling!

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