Plan ahead while you’re packing this holiday

From "A Life in Balance" Blog: Read full article

The first rule of holiday travel is to plan ahead when you're packing. I have a list of a few tricks for successful packing that I have devised over years of using travel as my fondest way of expanding my life.

1. I always pack in a carry on suitcase on my outbound flight (even overseas), and I always pack an extra foldup bag to bring home treasures. This assures me that my luggage arrives with me, thereby eliminating the biggest travel hassle: lost luggage. I don't mind checking bags on my way home, because I don't need what I'm carrying for survival at home.

2. I dress in layers, so I don't have to carry heavy coats. I only bring a lightweight coat as a windbreaker with as many layers as I need underneath it, and this works on all but ski trips. On ski trips, I mail all our ski clothes to the hotel ahead of time (it's about the same as paying for extra bags for our family of six). Hotels are happy to keep your boxes in storage until you get there.

3. I bring lightweight shoes for working out and flats that don't take up room, and I wear my heavier shoes through the airport. I stuff the packed shoes with socks and other small items to save room.

4. I pick one color scheme for the trip, using solids that coordinate, and then bring in color and texture with accessories and jewelry.

5. I lay out outfits on the bed to make sure I have things that mix and match (one per day plus a dressy one if needed), then I roll each article of clothing up in a dry cleaner's plastic bag. As you roll the fabric, the air is squeezed out of the garment, making the roll smaller and easier to pack. It also helps with wrinkles.

6. I pack at least the day before my trip as I'm getting ready in the morning. As I'm dressing, I pack (or set aside in a pile, if I only have one) that type of clothing, accessory or beauty product as I use it. Then when I get ready for bed, I pack the things as I use them in my normal nighttime routine; that way I don't forget anything. Before starting this system, I regularly forgot mundane items that were no fun to buy.

7. I keep travel sized bottles of all my skin supplies in a quart sized bag, and I fill them up when I come home from a trip. Don't think I refill and organize the minute I get home. I do it in turtle steps; every time I go through the bathroom, I fill up one bottle. I don't take shampoo, conditioner or lotion, because most hotels supply them now.

8. In addition to an extra fold up duffel bag, I take a small nylon grocery bag that folds up to the size of a pack of cards in my purse. That way I have a place to put all the layers that I take off in warmer rooms, like museums, as well as hats and gloves in cold weather.

9. Bring a tiny umbrella; you will assure a sunny trip by the mere act of packing the umbrella;the Universe is whimsical this way. I didn't take an umbrella this trip, and it rained every day.


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