Do I Really Have To……….

Pack?  It’s an exciting time, you are going on a week long trip to the caribbean.  The thoughts of relaxing on a beach cabana, warm ocean breezes blowing in your face, crystal azul waters, and a tall frozen drink in hand are filling your head and bring a smile to your face. Then you hear your name called and you snap back into reality and there it is staring you right in the face…….Your Suitcase! imageYes you still have to pack before that daydream can become a reality and your toes are in the sand with that tall drink in hand.  We all hate to do it, we put it off until the last minute and end up either packing way too much or way too little.  Why does every trip have to start and end with such a grueling task? ??

Don’t fret, I have compiled a few great tips & accessories that will make that job a little more bearable and will get you back to that daydream in no time.

First make a check list.  Yes I said a checklist.  This helps to ensure that you pack ONLY what you need AND it keeps your memory in check and helps prevent you from forgetting the necessities and also from throwing in everything but the kitchen sink because you are packing on a whim.  TravelSmith has a great checklist that covers most of the bases and can be used as a great starter list.  Narrow down or add to this list to create your own customized ‘Need To” list.

Once you have a list created or marked off a pre-made list the second step in packing the perfect suitcase is to pick a color scheme.  imageIt is something that was very hard for me to do at first because I love variety, but after traveling with 3 suitcases on numerous trips to accommodate my love of variety I knew I needed to change up my packing prowess and not look like a packrat!!!  Once you have your color scheme figured out, you can then start going down your list and pulling all of the items that you will eventually be packing in your suitcase.  Lay all of the items on your bed until everything is pulled that you need for your trip.

No real bling.  You are reading that correctly, I said no real bling!!!  Make sure that you leave the real bling at home unless you are prepared to loose it.  Yes loose it.  I bet you didn’t realize that most hotel room safes come with a generic master password that if not reset by the hotel before installing puts your treasured gems in danger.  Don’t stress I know we need to accessorize our wardrobe, so don’t lower your fashion standards, just pack a few pieces of costume bling that can go with multiple outfits on your trip.

Packing a scarf or two can dress up an outfit and act as a wrap on a cool evening.  These take up very little space and can take an outfit from ordinary to extraordinary.

Packing the perfect suitcase requires creativity and the utilization of every inch of space. Pack rolled socks into your shoes.  This saves space and keeps your shoes shaped. Separate shoes into shoe bags/ziploc bags just like everything else you have to pack and line them along the sides of the suitcase.

Ready to Roll!!!!  imageWith everything pulled that you need for your trip, it’s time to roll on to step three.  Grab your packing cubes which are a huge space saver.  TravelSmith, Travel001 , and Dot & Dot Travel have a wide variety of these packing accessories and these will all be available through us shortly.  If you don’t have any of these travel accessories you can always use the many different sizes of ziploc bags.  These are cheap and work just as well as the trendy packing cubes & envelopes.  Pack a few extras since they can tear easily and you might buy items on your trip that will need to be packed for your trip home.  Whether you are packing with the assistance of packing cubes or utilizing ziploc bags, you will want to fold your clothes in half and roll them putting like sizes together.  This saves space and keeps the wrinkles to a minimum.  This also makes un-packing when you arrive at your destination a breeze.  Remember that EVERYTHING needs to be organized and put in a ziploc bag or a packing cube.  Once everything is rolled and bagged/cubed you can then organize these into your suitcase to create the neatest suitcase you have ever packed!!

3 ounces only.  As a female, packing our toiletries can be harder than the actual suitcase.  Buy trial sizes of everything and do not use these on a day to day basis.  Keep your toiletry bag packed and ready to go at all times.  Take only the necessary makeup and skincare products as these can take up a lot of space and can create un-necessary weight.  3floz.com is just one of many sites where you can buy travel size toiletries.

The RX plan.  You never know when your trip will get delayed or extended so you want to make sure that you pack enough meds for a few extra days.

Lastly, always put a luggage tag on EVERY bag, including your carry-on.  Your Phone number, email address, as well as your physical address should be included on these tags.  TravelSmith has a great luggage tag product called “Trace Me the trackable luggage tag” that retails for just $19 and can assist in easily tracking down your bag keeping your stress level low and saving you hours of time.

I’m the first to admit that packing is definitely not the highlight of any trip, imagebut following the above tips can help make the job a bit more bearable and will leave you excited for your upcoming trip instead of stressed and exhausted and you will have a packed suitcase that will be the envy of all.