Traveling this Summer? Some great tips.
1. Obviously, decide what you're taking. And, just as important, what you're not taking.
2. Follow a simple formula. Pack 3 tops for every bottom. Generally pants and skirts take up more room than shirts, and when you wear them multiple times, no one is the wiser. A week long trip should not require more than 6 tops, one pair of pants, one pair of shorts, one dress, three bras, and 2 swim suits so one can dry while you wear the other. If you sit around in a wet swimsuit, it is a breeding ground for bacteria.
3. Make a list of the staples you will need by writing down each step you do every day, such as brushing your teeth, shampoo and condition hair, apply makeup, etc. This organizes your thoughts so you can select the right items.
4. Stick to a color scheme. Start with 2 neutrals for your core basics and add 2-3 fun shades to coordinate. A dark palette hides stains and can from day to evening. Or if that is too blah, then try a mix of white, navy, red, and pale yellow. Plan your wardrobe around one shoe color. You need only sneakers, flats, and heels or wedges.
5. Be lightweight. Leave behind clothes with bulky linings or heavy embellishments. Think thin and opt for pants made of polyester/rayon or acetate spandex. Stretchy jeans take up half the space of regular denim. Plus, denim is hot.
6. Wear your dressy outfit early in the trip in case it gets dirty or soiled.
7. Use multi-tasking clothes. For example, t-shirt dresses, leggings, tunics, and maxis take you from day to evening. Use your swimsuit cover up as a robe. A sarong is a good choice because it can be tied so many different ways.
8. Choose accent pieces like belts, bold jewelry, and printed scarves.
9. Choose fabrics wisely. Blends containing nylon, spandex or polyester resist wrinkling. But, if you prefer somethings more natural, try cotton mixed with polyester or spandex, crinkled gauze, a busy print which hides wrinkles. For a quick touch up for wrinkled clothing, try a travel sized bottle of Downy Wrinkle Release spray. ($2 for 3 ounces at drugstores.)
10. For packing, line the bottom of your suitcase with a plastic trash bag. After you've packed, add another on top. This helps fend off wrinkles. Plus, if your suitcase is off-loaded from the airplane, your clothes won't get wet.
11. Put footwear and heavy things along the wheel base. Put you shoes facing the sides of the suitcase to avoid soiling your clothes. Rest other heavy items, like a hairdryer and toiletry kit next to or on top of shoes. Placing these items near the wheels, stabilizes the bag's center of gravity so it won't fall over.
12. Start packing with tightly rolled clothing for the first layer.
13. For the second level, layer folded dresses, pants and skirts on top of the rolled clothing. Alternate the sides of the waist bands so it is evenly distributed.
14. On the third level, add heavy items and folded shirts.
15. On the top level lay crushable items like molded bras. Stack bras flat and spoon each other and stuff the cups with socks.
16. Wrap belt around the interior of the bag.
17. Stock essentials in the compartment, in plastic bags so they won't leak.
18. Tuck leftovers like swimsuits, underwear , scarves into corners and any other nooks.
19. Store dirty laundry in larg zippered bags. Press the air out as you tightly roll each bag. Lay the compressed bags flat in a side pocket.
20. Cradle fragile souvenirs in your bulkiest sweaters, and arrange them in the center of the bag where the least movement occurs. Store items with the potential for leaking in zip lock bags. (So, be sure to pack several zip lock bags.
21. One last tip, I prefer to put plastic between each layer so you can lift out the layer without disturbing the other layers or for unpacking simply.
Thanks to Real Simple (and Carole Von Allten) Hope you can use these tips. I know I certainly can.