Bookmark this if you need to pack for a trip
Are you going on a trip this summer? Taking a cruise? Flying somewhere, anywhere?
Yea, me neither. It's "Stay-cations" from here on out :-)
BUT, on the offchance that you ARE one of those people who might be going somewhere cool in the next few months, lets talk packing.
*Insert Groan Here*
I know, I know. Packing for some people is about as fun as finding the perfect pair of shoes and then getting to the store and finding out they don't have your size. But I never really minded it, even thought I was pretty good at it.
Until SHE came along.
"She," is my older sister, who visisted last week from Chicago. She stayed for a week. She vacay-ed. I stay-cayed.
I was a little confused though, when we picked her up from the airport. Where were her bags?
"Oh, I only brought one," she said.
Hold up, what? WHAT?! One bag?
This can't be, I thought. Two years ago I went back to Michigan for a three-day trip and had a large suitcase, a carry-on, a big purse, a laptop and a dog. No joke. I'm one of those chicks who has to have "options."
Sure enough, though, my sister really did only bring one bag. But she got a LOT in there.
In fact, I saw with my own eyes how she magically turned THIS:
She was kind enough (OK, I begged) to share with me her secrets, which I'm passing on to you guys. And in a time when it seems like the cost of travel is going up, hopefully some of these tips will be helpful.
Tips for the Traveling Diva
1. Choose your luggage wisely - Honestly, this really comes down to where you're going. But my sis had two objectives: something small enough to double as a carry-on, yet roomy enough to hold a lot of stuff. She ended up with this blue, 21" upright bag you see above. It's available at Target for about $65.
2. Choose your clothes even wiser - This is where I slip up. My sis suggests grabbing EVERYTHING you think you might need a few days before your trip (instead of the few hours before like I ususally do). Put it in one spot. Then, start purging.
3. Fold, and refold - Those of us who worked in retail are at a little of an advantage here, but the general idea is simple: Try to get your clothes as tiny as possible. This doesn't mean you have to roll your socks, but it won't help anything to just chuck piles of jeans in there.
4. Map it out - Think of your bag or suitcase as having "zones." My sister swears by this formula: pants, T-shirts and other clothes on the bottom, easily foldable things like blouses, tank tops and some skirts and dresses on the sides, shoes on top, socks and underwear in the mesh pocket, and accessories and other small tems in all the rest of the nooks and crannies.
5. Think ahead for future purchases - Because what are the chances that you'll leave vacation with LESS stuff, right? To prepare for this, my sis suggested not only trying to leave a little room in your suitcase for anything you might buy, but also perhaps investing in a large purse for double duty, since most airlines will let you bring a carry-on plus a purse (or laptop bag) on the plane at no charge. My sis ended up going with this $30 tote from Target. When she came down, it was largely empty. By the time she left, she used it to tow small things that no longer fit in her suitcase, like small accessories and some souvenirs she bought.
6 Use someone else's bag - No, I really don't mean go out and commit a crime by taking someone else's bag. But, there's no shame in asking your traveling companions if the have extra room in their suitcases. I know that whenever my boyfriend and I go places, he always has WAY less stuff, and what's the harm in lending some of that extra space to us who REALLY, TRULY NEED IT?
7. Have fun on your trip and make your host ship you the extra stuff you said you weren't going to splurge on but did anyway. - OK, this wasn't one of my sister's tips at all. I just made this one up for me. ;-)
Deal Diva Kameel
(Photos: my iPhone)