Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Share Your Packing Tips!

 Photo of Anita Ekberg packing to come to America, LIFE Magazine 1951

I didn't intend on making this a travel-themed week, but you guys had a couple great packing tips to share after my Hunter Boots post yesterday and now I'm wondering what other packing secrets you're harboring.

I'm the kind of person who either packs perfectly or does a nightmarish job of it, usually depending on how much time I took to do it and how much I know about the trip. My mom, for as long as I've known her, has literally made a strict wardrobe guide for each day of a trip, which is fine but doesn't leave room for changing one's mind on a whim. 

Here are the only tips I have:
  • Pack a bag for laundry
  • Pack an extra tote or empty duffel for souvenirs, either to carry on the plane back or just to carry your stuff back to the car easier.
  • Don't stress too much about packing toiletries...you can almost always get what you need at your destination if necessary.
  • Try to pack basic colors, with colorful accents. Don't pack too many items that don't match anything else. (I'm still working on learning that lesson!)
  • Pack band-aids or a blister guard in your purse if you expect to do a lot of walking. I have spent SO many trips dipping in and out of Duane Reades and Rite-Aids to buy band-aids for my blisters.
  • If you can, wear flats in the airport. It makes security checks SO much easier.
My friend Sarah cleverly suggested packing items inside of my wellies if I put them in my suitcase...sounds like the perfect spot for tights, socks and — on the way home — laundry bags.

Now what tips do you guys have? I'm especially interested in lessons you learned when you traveled internationally for the first time!

Senior girl leaves Monticello College, June 1946. LIFE photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt


The Madd Crafter said...

One of the things that I learned from Marie is fold your clothes in half and then roll them up before you place them in your bag instead of just folding in squares and packing them on top of one another. It works amazingly well. When we went to Wisconsin for a wedding we were both in, we only took two carry on bags. Mine held all the hardware (make up, hair supplies, and shoes), while her bag held two bridesmaid dresses, two dresses for the rehearsal, 2 sets of pajamas, something to wear while we were getting stuff done the morning of the wedding, and a change of clothes for the trip back. I was impressed that all of that for two people fit inside of the carry on sized bag. And it was a good amount of material, too, as I am not a small girl.

I'm a list maker, so I always make a list of the things I need to bring and check it off as I pack things up.

I'm sure I will think of some other things as well.

Annissa said...

The first time I traveled to Europe I made the mistake of not having one specific location for my wallet, passport, ID cards, cash, credit cards, etc. and it caused me to have my wallet and $1,000 stolen in the Paris airport (my fault for being dumb).I would suggest getting some type of small coin purse or travel bag that latches to you (on your belt, to your backpack/purse, under your clothes)so that you know where all your important stuff is at all times!

I would also suggest a good purse that has a tight closure such as a zipper or buttons. Being young and dumb I though it was so chic to take my new Banana Republic purse that only had a tiny velcro attachment on my trip around Europe and that's what caused my wallet to get stolen :(

Another recommendation is making a copy of our passport and hiding it somewhere in your luggage just in case something where to happen to the original.

I wish I would have taken some type of journal to document my trip because there are so many places and things that I just can't remember now. Pictures are great but I think writing down as you go or gathering your thoughts at the end of the day makes it so much more memorable.

Sorry for rambling but I hope this helps!

Laura Rennie said...

ditto on rolling clothes. not only does it help w/ wrinkles, but it also provides the perfect padding for toiletries/electronics/etc.
I would suggest taking a box of energy bars or little baggies of trail mix. Eating abroad can get expensive and if you do any driving or DART-ing, having a snack on hand can be helpful. Pack some snacks for the flight, too. An apple, some crackers... remember Jo's post about little meals on a plane? So cute.