Monday, March 21, 2011

Packing 101.

There is one thing which I absolutely dread upon realizing that I’ll be traveling. You guessed it: fitting all of my favorite things into one itty-bitty suitcase. I don’t know how many times I’ve thought: well I might need another pair of heels just in case my feet hurt from walking around in these flats all day and in that case I’ll definitely need another dress and that jacket that I always wear with it and this necklace looks best with it… You get the point. One extra item leads to another until I am pretty much packing my entire wardrobe for a weekend getaway. Notwithstanding my two luggage mishaps (once at Charles de Gual and the other at an airport in Budapest) I always realize upon arrival that I’ve packed entirely too many things and that I might save myself some back pain by editing and (oh the horror) leaving some of my things behind. I’ve learned a great deal of packing tips over the years- some from painful personal experience while others from my George Clooney Up in the Air status-worthy dad. Check out the tips after the jump.

  • That odd rolling technique for clothes? It works. Try it and you will be a believer too.
  • Heaviest items and shoes on the bottom, wrapped in their respective shoe bags to keep clean
  • Don’t forget an extra bag for the dirties, a plastic grocery bag works fine or a pillowcase if you know nothing will be getting wet
  • Simple flip-flops are perfect for over-vacuumed hotel carpet and the cold bathroom floors
  • Never check your jewelry or makeup, even if your luggage is delayed for just a little while it will save you a lot of stress (there is no way I could live without my Kiehl’s lotion even for a day)
  • Pack earplugs always, you never know when there might be a screaming baby within earshot
  • Always purchase luggage with wheels, even if it’s a duffel. Very few times will you actually need to be carrying your luggage so give your back a break.
  • Don’t forget the 3oz. rule. I assumed all European airports would be as lenient about liquids as each other since I got through most of my travels without any stops but the French made me throw out all my lovely soaps. Bastards.
  • Wrapping dry-clean items in their plastic is a perfect way to keep them looking fresh. Just make sure to hang them out and let them air-out upon arrival.
  • One shoe per day rule max, and choose differing heel heights. Your toesies will thank you.
  • Keeping your wardrobe choices down to a restrained and complementary color palette will allow you to mix and match for endless opportunities giving you a little freedom of choice once you arrive.
  • Only bring your favorite items, that way you can be sure you’ll want to wear them all.
[Image via: Garance Dore]

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