Carolyn Kruse

Carolyn Kruse

As I prepare myself and my family for a whirlwind trip to Italy, I hit the internet for some advice. I have never traveled internationally without some seasoned globetrotters along for the adventure. And I’ve only ventured outside of the U.S. once, so we are the green team. Luckily the world wide web is full of “experts” – some to be taken with a grain of salt (and perhaps a shot of tequila). But it all starts with prep. What to bring, how to pack it.  Are you traveling this summer? Experts share the best way to pack your bag.

So, come along for the ride and let’s discover some tips and tricks to help us organize. Nobody wants to be overwhelmed and bogged down with baggage. Most of us tend to pack way too much, leaving little or no room for some travel souvenirs. Plus, if you are moving from place to place carrying a load of stuff can really put a damper on your travel. With help from Real Simple and The New York Times, here are a few of the best pieces of advice I found. Whether traveling in the U.S. for a vacation, or heading overseas, these helpful hints certainly couldn’t hurt. Traveling this summer? Experts share the best way to pack your bag. Let’s go!

  • 1. Less if more

    Less baggage means more freedom. Less schlepping stuff around, and more room in  your suitcase to perhaps buy a little something to remind you of your trip. The Times suggests: Less is more when it comes to size of your suitcase. According to the article: “The bigger the suitcase, the more you will put into it.They recommend buying a hard-sided suitcase. No bigger than 22 inches tall, that way you can carry it onboard a plane. Plus, because it’s hard shelled, you can’t squeeze extras in.

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  • Edit, edit, edit

    Real Simple says to start big, then cut back. “Gather all the garments you anticipate needing—then put half of them back.” Make sure all your clothes are in the same color category. I always opt for black and white, to keep it simple. The publication asked Kathleen Ameche, author of The Woman Road Warrior and she recommends the following line-up for a 5 day trip:

    5 shirts/tops

    2 pairs of jeans (or one jeans/ one shorts)

    1 skirt or dress

    (for guys one dress shirt)

    (Obviously, you’ll need underwear, socks and a bathing suit if there is water in the picture)

    Wear you sweater or jacket on the flight

    Meanwhile, NYT says “Do the clothing countdown: If you need a mantra to help streamline your wardrobe, use the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 rule for a weeklong trip: Limit yourself to no more than five sets of socks and underwear, four tops, three bottoms, two pairs of shoes and one hat. The list should be adjusted to suit your needs. Throw in a swimsuit and exercise gear or a suit jacket and dress if you’ll need them.”

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  • Rock the ROLL

    When it comes to how to place your clothes in the suitcase, folding looks nice, but rolling saves space. So rock the roll! Of course, some items like a man’s dress shirt can’t be rolled. Real Simple says a combo is likely required; both folding and rolling. And it’s always best to bring wrinkle resistant clothing.

  • The Holy Trinity of Shoes

    I love this rule. “Consider one casual sandal or loafer, sneakers, and an evening shoe to be your holy trinity.” (Real Simple). Wear the bulkiest of your shoes on the plane and pack the other 2. But remember you can put your shoes to work! Utilized their “insides” by placing sunglasses in there, or socks or even electronic chargers. That will save you a little space. And as we know when packing, every inch counts.

    Putting shoes in a shower cap is another hot tip I’ve seen! Real Simple took it a step further, recommending to put your shoes in one-gallon size resealable bags. They say to set them along the sides of the suitcase to keep the dirt away from your clean clothes.

     

  • Dryer sheets for freshness

    Putting some dryer sheets in  your luggage is a hot travel tip. It makes everything smell fresh!

  • Toiletries

    I usually carry my makeup in my under the seat bag with moisturizers in it to be able to grab quickly and conveniently. Experts all recommend that when packing toiletries place them in clear bags and near the top of your suitcase, for easy TSA access, should need be.

     

  • To top it off

    Another great tip, always keep what you will be wearing or needing next on the top of your bag. That way you don’t have to unpack everything to get to one thing. Don’t forget a hat that is foldable and your SUNSCREEN! Also, to save space, remember shampoo can be your body soap. If it’s good enough for your hair, it’s good enough for your body.

    traveling

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