Packing for your Trip


entry by Dan Conlon, Conlon Travel


Travel Light
With the price of checked luggage fees and the physical strain of carrying lots of bags, "Travel Light" might be worth checking out before your next trip.

What do I need to Pack?
One of the best things to do is to pick out a color scheme. A neutral (like black, brown, or navy) and build outfits from there. Plan on wearing the same slacks a couple of times changing out the top. Pick an outfit for each day. No more. Doing laundry is always an option as is buying a t-shirt as a souvenir. Having separates works really well If you need to dress for dinner (such as on a cruise). One jacket with two bottoms (slacks and skirt) in the same color with different tops gives you several options.

Pack only what you will use.  Many items can be purchased globally and often easily, saving packing room in your luggage. Shoes are the biggest space user. Try to get by with one pair of walking shoes and one pair of dress shoes. Unless you use special products for your hair and personal hygiene, most hotels provide soap, shampoo and conditioner as well as a blow dryer. Travel size products are a must. If you can get by with just carry on bags, all liquids and gels must be under 3 oz. Anything larger needs to be in a checked bag. One other important note: Make sure your checked bag is less than 50 lbs, or you will be charged an additional fee.

How do I pack Everything?
Iron everything before placing it in your luggage. If it goes in crisp and clean, odds are more in its favor of coming out the same. Button all buttons and zip all zippers. The better the fold, the fewer the creases. All garments can be folded in many different ways, “ T-shirts, jeans, skirts and sports coats can be rolled up and strategically positioned or stuffed in luggage, and help fill those smaller areas in your luggage. Place the items to be worn first on the top. This will prevent digging around the suitcase for a specific item while disrupting the rest. Packing loosely wastes precious space, so compress clothing as much as possible. Eliminate wasted space, such as the insides of shoes, which are perfect for socks or underwear. Pack in clear plastic bags (preferably zip lock), divided items like underwear, t-shirts, shorts etc. before packing in your suitcase or backpack. One plastic bag for each type of clothing. When you unpack your bag you just take out a series of bags and you can see immediately what you want. Or, you can pack the clothes for each day in a bag. As you use clothing the bags can be used to store dirty laundry as well.

Traveling light and having an organized suitcase helps make your trip a little less stressful and you are not hauling your whole closet with you everywhere you go.