This little tidbit is wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am, chock full of packing tips for all you savvy (and not-so-savvy) travelers. There was so much I didn’t have time to say in my Tucson Morning Blend segment, but it’s all here for you. PLUS be sure to check out my Pinterest board with the same name for even MORE of my favorite travel tips and gadgetry.
Before you pack
- MAKE LISTS!!! Include EVERYTHING – clothes, undies, toiletries, jewelry, technology, snacks, meds, documents, all the stuff you need for the pool or the big presentation – everything!
- Assemble your outfits
- Lay everything out you think you’ll need and then put half of it away! I know that this point in particular is a tough sell, but when was the last time you actually used all of the stuff you packed? Okay, so ONE person out there said yes, but the rest of you are thinking about that outfit you never wear at home and packed because you thought you’d wear it on vacation, only to put it on and remember that it bins in all the wrong places. (“Ooooh, right. That’s why I never wear it.”)
- Color coordinate and multi-purpose as many pieces as possible. I generally choose a basic color palette like black or gray or blue or whatever, and add accent pieces and exciting jewelry.
- Also, as much as you can choose fabrics that don’t wrinkle. For example, I love my Henkaa dresses that can be worn several ways, come in their own zipped bag and never wrinkle. For the record, they’re incredibly comfortable, go from day to night, and I look like a million bucks. What do you have like that?
- Consider using a super-efficient app like TRIP-IT to keep track of flights, rental car, hotel, itineraries, and directions, all on an easy-to-read timeline.
The 411 on the 3-1-1 Rule
The 3-1-1 Rule is a TSA’s regulation regarding liquids you’re allowed to carry on a plane.
- 3 = 3oz (actually 3.4oz)
- 1 = quart clear bag
- 1 = 1 per/person
- Fancy or Ziploc, just has to be clear and lots of stores carry regulation-friendly packets in their travel section.
- Make sure it’s packed in an accessible pocket so you can take it out at security check.
- This limit doesn’t apply to liquids in checked bags.
What to pack
For a 10 day trip packed in a carry on here’s what you need to be efficient, comfy and easy. Remember that coordinating your outfits is key.
- Make up and toiletries in a toiletries bag (excluding liquids, because they’re in that 3-1-1 bag)
- 3-5 tops
- 2-3 bottoms
- 3 dresses
- 2 jackets, wraps or cardigans
- 10 undies
- 2 sleepwear
- 2 pairs of shoes that do double duty, like walking shoes plus a cute pair that go with both shorts and skirts (plus the pair you’re wearing on the plane)
- Curling iron, plus a dryer if you don’t think your lodging will have one
- Small stuff like belts, socks and accessories
- Your clear 3-1-1 bag
If you don’t think it’s possible to look awesome every day with so few items, check out these ideas!
Tips on how to pack a suitcase
There is no doubt that my friends at The Container Store have lots of FANCY stuff!! I demo’ed my version of their video “How to Pack for 10 Days in a Carry On,” and highlighted their cool packing gadgetry in my Morning Blend segment.
I ran out of time on the Morning Blend to deeply demo a not-fancy system for packing. But if you read this and watch the Blend segment, you’ll be packing like a pro on the cheap.
- Roll most of your clothes, rather than folding
- For clothes that wrinkle, roll them up in dry cleaner bags and voila – no wrinkles!
- Use Ziplocs and mesh laundry bags to keep slippery stuff contained and also for undies and sleepwear
- Pack shoes in bags or suitcase pockets so they don’t dirty or stink up your clothes; $1 Store tube socks are good this purpose
- Fill the small spaces around the edges with the little things, keeping chargers and such in Ziplocs
- Wrangle irons and hair dryers in their own bags.
- Pack an extra bag for dirty or wet clothes
- 3-1-1 bag accessible in front
Checking your bag?
Honestly, I ALWAYS check my suitcase because I hate schlepping a carry on. The same packing principles apply, without worrying about 3-1-1.
Other things to consider
- Check the TSA prohibited items list before you travel so you don’t have to hand over your favorite Buck knife that you always keep in your purse but forgot to take out in time and now you’ve lost it forever. Yup. True story.
- Cyber security: never do your banking, for example, on public Wi-Fi. Airports are worse than coffee shops for heisting your passwords
- Keep your credit cards and passport in an RFID protected sleeve.
- KEEP YOUR ESSENTIALS WITH YOU, in case you arrive at your destination but your bags do not! Carry your documents, prescriptions, chargers, makeup and house/car keys, if you’ll need them when you land.
Here’s that Morning Blend segment again. And I’ll be loading up my Pinterest board and sharing more tips on my Facebook page over the next few days. While you’re on my Pinterest page, noodle around on my other boards for your own inspiration. Follow me, too, because there’s new stuff all the time.