Traveling With Ease and Grace
Because I pack smart, I am able to travel smart and relieve stress for myself, and for the people traveling with me.
Through Trial and Error, I Have Learned
Having traveled the world and packed hundreds of times I have discovered, through trial and error, a successful packing plan is mandatory.
When my Ultimate Concierge and I close the door behind us either for a long exciting adventure or a short meeting in New York, I have crossed my T’s and dotted my I’s. Believe me, I did not learn this overnight. And even though I can tell you with certainty I am a skilled and detailed packer, I must tell you that preparing for any trip is exhausting and trying.
There is so much to consider before packing! Is our baggage properly identified? Are the dates on our passports over the time limit required? Who will water the plants! Are our vaccines up to date, antibiotic prescriptions ordered just in case and did I remember to make a copy of our passports just in case one or both get lost? Did I remember to have our mail held? Turn the heat down? Pack our masks, and double-check to make sure, “We did not leave home without it!” OY! Darlings, it never ends for yours truly until I plop into my seat on flight number whatever and breathe a sigh of relief.
Nothing good happens by accident. Nothing can be accomplished without a strategic plan…especially now with COVID-19 travel restrictions.
A Strategic Plan
My travel itinerary and the climate determine my wardrobe “must-haves”. Also my “I can’t leave home without it” needs are just as important. If I were to forget any important necessities I would be very upset with myself. However, my goal is to plan with clarity.
Don’t be fooled that short trips are easier. Packing is tedious whether it is for a short weekend getaway or an extended trip lasting several weeks. My plan makes the physical and mental activity of packing bearable. And I might add, I pack for two and sometimes three! Myself, my husband Shelly, and our pooch America.
Clear Plastic Means Easy Identification
I use clear plastic baggies for my shoes, belts, undies, and other needs instead of shoe bags or zippered packing bags. I use clear dry cleaner bags for my clothes that also prevent wrinkling. Why? Because I want to be able to identify everything at a glance and never consider pressing them. As well, I prefer Tumi luggage. Our last piece lasted 28-years and traveled around the world several times.
My makeup bag has several size compartments and is clear plastic. Here is an easy list of all my essential items for organization:
- Clothes hangers with cardboard tubing
- Small and large plastic Ziploc baggies
- Plastic dry cleaner bags (short and long)
- Tumi luggage or luggage of your choice that is sturdy
- Hanging makeup bag
My Easy Packing Plan
- LINGERIE AND NIGHTGOWNS ARE PLACED IN SEPARATE ZIPLOC BAGS
When I arrive at my destination I take the Ziploc bags out of my suitcase and lay them in the dresser drawer. My drawer is neat and I don’t have to take each piece out of my suitcase one by one. Unpacking takes less than a few minutes from your suitcase to a drawer.
- EACH COMPLETE OUTFIT IS HUNG ON A LAUNDRY HANGER AND COVERED WITH A PLASTIC BAG THAT PREVENTS WRINKLING
I can visually see each outfit for my trip. This is how I do it. I begin by laying my slacks over the hanger. My top lies as flat as possible over my slacks, possibly a scarf over the top and my jacket is then hung on the same hanger. The outfit is then covered with a plastic dry-cleaning bag. I use the same procedure with my dresses and skirts. All the outfits are hung on a rack or in my closet so I can visually see my entire wardrobe in front of my eyes. This allows me to choose my shoes and handbags.
- MY SHOES ARE PUT INTO LARGE SIZE PLASTIC ZIPLOC BAGS AND MY EVENING HANDBAG(S)–A CLUTCH BECAUSE IT IS TAKES UP LITTLE SPACE–IS ALSO PUT INTO PLASTIC ZIPLOCS, AS WELL AS MY BELTS.
I can see everything. When I used cloth shoe and handbag covers I had to do an open and search, which would cause me to get more and more frustrated. Not any longer!
Pack a Suitcase Like a Pro
Always put shoes on the bottom in your clear plastic baggies. Three pairs: Walking, sandals, and dress shoes. Then undies, nighties, sweaters laid flat, an umbrella, etc. Then outfits. My hanging makeup bag is laid flat in the outer zippered pocket on the top of my luggage. My makeup mirror is laid flat between my outfits for protection.
Are you curious how I pack my clothes in a suitcase on hangers? It is very simple.
Take one plastic bagged outfit and fold it under from the top and place it at one end of your suitcase. This way your clothes will lay flat in your suitcase and not wrinkle. The second set of clothing is folded at the top and placed flat at the opposite end of your suitcase. Keep rotating the hangers from one end to the other until complete. Your layered outfits will stay flat in your suitcase and be perfect.
I never pack my ‘good anything’ in my luggage. I put handbags, jewelry, and belts in my carry-on. Airlines warn flyers of robbery. So, be aware.
Unpacking: The Best Part
Now, you have had a long trip. You’re tired and dreading the unpacking process. Not with my plan! You will have everything in its correct place within minutes. Hang your outfits on their hangers in the closet. Take off the bags. Put your lingerie, nightgowns, and evening bags in the drawers. Leave your shoes in the see-through plastic Ziplocs and put them in the closet. Except for your cosmetics, jewelry, and accessories you are unpacked and ready to begin your trip with joy and vigor.
- An umbrella
- Small power strip
- Copy of passport
- First-aid kit
- Goodbye Roaming Charges: Skyroam Solis Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot
- A Journal
- A travel mirror
- Travel Immunization Records
- Tech products. This is an individual decision that reflects your personal needs.
A Trip To Remember
Now that you have a packing plan, you can tweak and get excited about travel. This is the perfect time of the year to begin a conversation with your family, your spouse, or significant other or think about the possibility of traveling solo. How exciting!
Maybe an educational trip with Grands to Washington DC or the coast of Normandy. Or maybe a cooking class in Italy. Maybe a romantic trip to Paris or an adventure through Teddy Roosevelt’s dream come true, The National Parks in America. Think about a visit to your children and grandchildren’s home or even a trip through your city to explore its treasures. Oh my, oh my, my little heart is beating as I think about the joy of travel once again. I feel the excitement of curiosity running through my veins. How about you?
Do you have a packing routine or favorite travel items? Let me know in the comments below. I want to hear from you!
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