Thursday, October 11, 2007

Packing Light

I'd like to think of myself as an expert packer, meaning I have the ability to cram entirely too much stuff into one tiny little bag. Still, it irks me when I see otherwise-savvy friends taking up way too much overhead compartment space.

Here are my tips.

Worry less about wrinkles. Roll up your dresses into a ball and shove 'em in a corner of your bag. A surefire way to get rid of kinks? When you get to the hotel, hang your dress up outside of the shower. Turn the shower on to its hottest and strongest. Close the door and leave the dress in there for ten minutes or so -- your dress will come out wrinkle free (Yes, this is wasting water so figure out another way to conserve).

Bring a limited number of shoes. I'm traveling for 10 days, and these are the shoes I packed: running, everyday trainers, plain black flats and lace up oxfords (could be substituted for heels). There's no reason to take 15 pairs on a trip, no matter how much you want to. Scale back on jewelry, too. A pair of fancy earring, two necklaces and a ring will do.

Remember to leave a little room for extras. I'm guilty of stuffing my bags silly, but I always bring an extra for purchases. The paper/plastic shopping bag that came with your trinket usually doesn't withstand transportation.

Spend money on good luggage. I can't yet afford my fantasy luggage from Globe-Trotter (shown above), but I have learned that spending a little extra on a decent carry-on and suitcase will get you farther, particularly if you're a frequent traveler. The cheap stuff rips after one or two uses.

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