Sunday, January 8, 2012

 Does this happen to you, you begin packing for a trip and your brain goes numb? I can dole out packing advice to my Italian retreat travelers like a seasoned travel guide but when it comes down to packing for myself I stand staring blankly into "suitcase abyss". I find it takes a leap of faith to trust that you are packing the right things for a trip. Then there is the problem of making it fit. My rule of thumb is to pack and then remove 1/3 of the contents. Of course I go immediately into self-doubt and want to put everything back.
Self-doubt aside and garments chosen, here are my tips for getting it done. After all, I have a reputation to uphold. My record; ONE carry-on suitcase for THREE weeks in Europe!  Here are my  top ten "tried and true" tips for packing:

 #1 Roll Everything that will roll! Yes, I know, it's hard right after you ironed everything, but it will be fine, rolling means less wrinkles and much more space.
                         Be brave and roll!                                                                   All of this in one carry-on!

 #2 For a two-week trip you really only need three pair of pants, less if one pair is black and stretchy!

 #3 Never pack more than two pair of shoes and never buy new shoes right before a trip!

 #4 Take only three pair of undergarments and wash one pair/day

 #5 Don't stress over toiletries (i.e. too big for security, etc.) they sell toothpaste in Europe, n'est-ce pas...?

 #6 Take a favorite scarf, It can actually take the place of warmer clothes; wear it on the plane, you will feel warmer. Cover your face with it when you want to sleep, cover your head with it if it is raining or cold, it will spruce up whatever you are wearing and make you look, oh so "Continental".

#7 Tuck socks and any other little stuff inside your shoes.

#8 Pack undergarments in a gallon zip lock bag, then squish out all the air...makes it flat as a pancake and keeps security agent's hands off!

#9 I leave my vitamins behind....not saying you should, each to their own, but I find my schedule is usually off-kilter and I forget to take them anyway, it saves space and bother.

#10 Never take more than you can comfortably pick up and carry around the block, really.  
I roll everything and lay it out first.....then fit it together in my carry-on like a jigsaw puzzle

Almost finished! Zip bags sit on top of rolled pair of shoes, a few small items go in outer pockets and my carry-on still has room for souvenirs! I'd better get with it, Disney beckons!!

Do you have an "insider" tip for packing efficiently?? Please share!


Maria Rose said...

Great tips. I have one that isn't necessarily the most economical, but when I am going to be gone for a long trip and I won't have the ability to wash clothes easily I bring super-cheap undies, t-shirts and socks that I can just toss (yes very wasteful I know)...also leaves space for the new things you pick up along the way.

Onlythemanager said...

Wow! That was a very helpful packing tutorial. Now, I want to go on a trip! I hope your's is wonderful!

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