Packing 101: 10 Tips for the Jetsetera
By Kimberly Fisher
(Part of this article has been published on TangoDiva.com)
I have been known to pack in less than 10 minutes. Yes, less than 10 minutes! It is not a miracle, or an act of God, merely good pre-planning and organization. Whether your trip is 2 days or 2 months, here are some tips to help get you where you’re going… with your sanity intact.
1. Have pre-packed toiletry kit. Nothing is worse than scrambling for product in the middle of nowhere. In my Chanel overnight kit I keep the essentials: travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste, dental floss, mini shampoo, mini conditioner, facial scrub, body wash, comb, disposable razor, q-tips, trial-sized deodorant, baby powder, shaving cream, facial moisturizer, band-aids, toenail clippers, tooth whitener, lint brush and misc. pills for different ailments. For longer trips (1 week plus) I also pack wrinkle-free spray, jet lag pills, spot remover stick, Vaseline, laundry packets and sunscreen. Everything comes in sample size for your convenience!
2. Pre-pack your makeup bag. The grab-and-go approach will do wonders for your pre-packing stress levels! My essentials include: foundation, cover up, bronzer, lip gloss, powder, lip and eye liners, eyelash curler, mini brush set and mascara. Tailor your bag to fit your needs. Try to keep shades that can take you easily from day to night. Go lighter and more natural for day, more smoky and dramatic for night. Also try to find products that can pull double duty, such as a bronzer/eyeshadow.
3. Have a clothing-to-pack list. Pack only clothes you love. This will guarantee that you will actually wear it. No matter where I am going, my clothes list stays pretty much the same. My packing list looks like this: lingerie, jeans, black pants, black skirt, colorful knit wrinkle-free dresses, black dress, knit layering tops, sweater or sweatshirt, denim jacket, pashmina, tennis shoes, flip-flops, ballet slippers, heels, workout clothes, bikini, evening clutch, jewelry bag. It pays to stay with a neutral color palette, so you don’t have to worry about not matching! Before you go, lay out all clothes and play mix and match. Make sure all clothes are”functionable”, “easy to wear”, “wrinkle-free” and “go anywhere”. One of the items that takes up the most space is shoes. Try to keep it simple with a pair of flip flops, flats, athletic shoes and heels. When in doubt, take it out. For longer trips, throw in packets of laundry detergent. Instead of packing 20 items for 20 days, consider washing them for easy reuse.
4. Have a “you kit” . Make sure you have all the comforts you need while away. A typical “you kit” could be scented travel candles, eye masks, a great book, packets of your favorite tea and Splenda™, plus mints, candy or gum. On the plane, indulge in your favorite healthy snack, your own bottle of water, travel blanket and your iPod.
5. Personalize a luggage tag. I used to work in the Lost Baggage Department of a major airline…and one of the hardest things to do was relocate passengers’ bags with no nametags! One of the cheapest and most important things you could do is invest in a Bag Tag. Not only will it identify your bag, but it makes it easier to spot on the carousel! So tie a colorful ribbon around your bag, buy a bright yellow name tag holder or a simple printed label to make your luggage identifiably yours!
6. Less is more! With today’s travel fees for extra and overweight baggage, who can afford to overload? Imagine the ease and simplicity of traveling when you have one well-packed and organized bag. Planning ahead can save you stress and pointless airline fees. First, make sure you know the weight and size of your bag—it might be time to toss that hard side bag for a lighter, more flexible soft one. Second, pack light! Third, make sure you know your airline’s baggage regulations. With baggage fees in full effect, people all over the world are starting to lug their bags with them. That new hard cased Samsonite you just got for Christmas? Might be meeting the 40 pound limit empty. Keep your carry on bags on the lighter side, to save you (and your back) the trouble.
7. Keep important items with you. Never pack the important/expensive stuff (cash, passport, medication, jewelry, and camera) in checked luggage. Make sure it is with you at all times! Don’t pack anything sharp or over 3 ounces in your carry-on bag…unless you never want to see them again.
8. For your consideration. Some other items you my find useful are a compass, a small umbrella, portable rain poncho, travel flashlight, zip-lock bags, a power converter or a travel alarm clock.
9. Know what to leave out. Leave at home anything that could be questionable to security. Say adios to matches, lighters, and flammable liquids, household items that contain chemicals or any other flammable or potentially toxic material. Don’t bother to pack things that are already at your location (ie hair dryer, soap, beach towel, etc).
10. Be prepared. Traveling is easier when everything’s in order. Check your flight status and baggage requirements, pack ahead of time, and make sure you have important documents on you.