Summer vacation season is upon us. By car, by plane, by boat, by train….you’re bound to be headed somewhere this summer. That means you have the daunting task of packing ahead of you, which takes time, energy, planning and decision-making skills. Oh, the agony of accessorizing every outfit! And how will I know what I’m doing every minute of my trip? When it comes to packing, it’s so easy to over-pack and procrastinate. I know I’m not alone in either department; however I might be in contention for the all-time packing procrastination award. I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve only had a couple hours sleep before a flight because I waited and deliberated. However, preparation and packing light are the secrets to saving time, tips and those lovely luggage fees. (Who knew your bag would have to pay too?!) My advice—make a packing list and don’t wait until the eleventh hour to get started!
When it comes to air travel you have to think smart and be a minimalist. Ideally, try not to check bags. One incidence with lost luggage and you will swear never to check your bags again. You can usually get away with a roller suitcase and a carry-on if your trip is under a week. Fortunately, new ergonomically designed and lighter luggage options exist for the traveler who chooses to carry her bags on board. While schlepping your bags down the terminal concourse, jet-bridge and airplane aisle sounds exhausting, think of it as your strength work out for the day. You will also have peace of mind that your belongings all made it safely with you to your destination. The key is to board early, so you secure that much coveted overhead bin space. Traveling for more than a week or for a winter ski trip with bulky clothes? Most likely you will need to check at least one bag, so don’t forget to ask your airline about baggage fees before you go.
Helpful Tips for Frequent Travelers
If you travel frequently – especially if you prefer to carry on all of your luggage – consider creating a go-to wardrobe capsule for specific destinations or business travel. You might have the ultimate pinstripe power suit for presentations and interviews. When I pack for a ski trip I have staple outfits for skiing and après ski. My “Nanook of the North” boots come out of hiding along with my rock-star tee with the fur-trimmed sleeves. Having favorite go-to outfits for different destinations will speed the packing process and provide confidence in any situation.
Just as with your everyday wardrobe, start by building the basics. Determine a color palette. You might begin with the best neutral for you – black, navy, brown or gray – and choose your accent pieces, shoes and other accessories around that color scheme.
Fold clothes together to avoid sharp creases. For delicate items, use the plastic bags from your dry cleaner for added protection.
Line the inside of your suitcase with plastic bags (from stores or dry cleaners) to prevent moisture from getting to your clothes. It could be raining when you land!
For a touch of home, pack a scented sachet or travel candle in your suitcase. The sachet keeps your clothes smelling fresh and the candle can be placed next to your bed at night to help you relax from a long day.
I have to be honest. If I’m traveling by car, the “packing light” rules Do Not apply. Ahhh, the beauty of car travel! You can take as much as your vehicle will hold without the guilt or the extra luggage fees. You might spend a few more bucks in gas with a heavy load, but it’s worth it to have everything you could possibly need when you arrive at your destination.
Happy packing! Stay tuned for Part II of traveling in style with healthy travel tips.
These are my travel packing tips. Share yours below.