15 Successful Packing Tips

By: Joyce Moseley Pierce

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15 Tips for Successful Packing
by: Joyce Moseley Pierce
1600 words - 65 character lines

Whether you travel for business or pleasure, frequently
or only occasionally, it seems that we basically pack the
same things every time. Here are a few tips to help simplify
the process so you don't have to stress about it every
time. Remember that most of these items can be purchased
when you get there, but you don't want to spend your
vacation money on things you already have at home, and if
you're traveling on business, you may not have time to
run to the store for something you need at an 8 am meeting.

After reading through these ideas, you might want to make
an itemized list of things you consider important to take.
Keep it in your suitcase so it will be available next
time you pack and use it as a checklist to make sure you haven't
forgotten anything. If other things come to mind while you're
traveling, update your list for next time, but be sure to
return it to your suitcase.

Rule #1 for me is to keep it light. I traveled toBrazil
for 10 days with only a carry-on rolling bag and backpack.
My husband packed a rolling bag that was big enough to
stuff a body into and it was difficult to manage when we
stayed in hotels that didn't have elevators. I don't pack more
than I can carry by myself and I try to leave a little room
for those vacation purchases. I have a nylon carry-on bag
that zips up into a small square that comes in handy for carrying
things home if I get too carried away.

1. Pajamas or gown. I have a pair of pjs I keep in my
suitcase just so I don't forget them. The reason I take
pajamas instead of a gown is that hotels are usually
cold and if I'm staying with friends or family, I want
to be able to get up and use the bathroom without having
to have a robe.

2. Underwear. Pack a pair for every day and then include
extras. If you're going to be doing activities that
require showering and changing clothes during the day, be
sure to include enough for that. Don't forget bras and
sports bras.

3. Make up and toiletries. Instead of having to remember
what to take every time, go through your beauty routine at home
and set out the things you use every day. Refill sample jars
from trial offers, or buy travel-size containers to pack
your cleansers so you don't have to pack an 8 oz. tub of
cold cream. Don't forget deodorant and shaving supplies. I
keep a razor in my bag all the time and just change the blade
when I'm leaving again. Keep your toiletry bag stocked and
leave it in your suitcase for the next trip,but be sure to
check and make sure you don't need to refill any of the containers.


Tooth care. Instead of buying a travel size tube of
toothpaste, when I get toward the bottom of my big tube,
I stop using it and throw it into my toiletry bag. I also
pack the floss and toothbrush the dentist gives me.

5. Feminine products. Don't forget to pack at least
enough to get you by until you can get to the store. A
urologist once told me that women seem prone to bladder
infections while they're on vacation. If you are, you
might want to pack an OTC medication that will help relieve
the pain and lessen the symptoms until you can get to a

6. Medications. I have a separated pill box that holds
pills for a week. Usually my trips are not that long
(unfortunately!) so I'll put in what I need for each day
and use the extra slots for aspirin or other things I
might need while away. I have another pill box that I use
for my vitamins.

7. Clothes. After considering what the weather will be,
I pull clothes out and lay them on the bed. I like dark
colors because those spills aren't quite so obvious as
they are on light colors! I pack pants that will be
interchangeable with more than one shirt. In trying to pack
light, I may wear a pair of black pants more than once,
but not my shirts! If you're going to a cool climate,
remember to bring things to layer. It will take up less
room than bulkier items. It doesn't hurt to try things on
before you go, either! If you haven't worn something in
awhile, it may not fit the way you remembered.

8. Accessories. Make sure you have belts if necessary.
You should only need one belt if you've packed color
coordinated items. Keep jewelry to a minimum.

9. Shoes. Be sure your shoes are comfortable! Don't go
buy a new pair of shoes and try to break them in away from
home. I plan my wardrobe so that I only need one or two
pair of shoes. I've cut heels out of my wardrobe, and
flats go great with long skirts or pants. If you're packing
shorts, take a comfortable pair of sandals that will work
with shorts or skirts. If I'm taking tennis shoes, I try to
wear them on the plane because they take up too much room
in the suitcase. If you're going on a business trip, be sure
to polish your shoes before you pack them, and then slip them
inside a plastic grocery bag so the polish doesn't rub off on
your clothes. Don't forget to take socks or nylons that will
fit with the shoes you've chosen to take.

10. Vacation gear. Don't forget your swimsuit, cover-up and
a pair of flip-flops (we used to call them 'thongs' but now
that has an entirely different meaning!). My husband always
forgets swim trunks and I accuse him of just wanting to buy
a new pair in every city!

11. Hair products. I have short hair that can easily air dry
on its own in the summer, but I have a travel hair dryer I
carry with me if I'm staying in a hotel that doesn't provide
one in the room. I have a hair brush that always stays in my
bag. Condense big bottles of shampoo and conditioner into smaller
ones. I carry a shampoo/conditioner product with me so I only have
to use one product. If you need gel or hair spray, buy travel
sizes the first time, and then refill them from your big bottle
when it runs out.

12. Electronics. With cell phones and computers,neither are any
good to you if the batteries are dead. Be sure to take the cords
with you and remember to recharge every night. Don't forget your
camera, film and batteries. Take film mailers with you and send
it off before you leave to have a head start on the processing,
and save on those one hour prices.

13. Backpack. I always carry a backpack for things
to entertain myself on the plane or in the car. About a week
before I leave home, I pull the backpack out and as I think of
things I want to take, I throw them in and then repack it before
I leave. Seems like it's always heavy going to my destination and
lighter coming home because I'm tired and pack more of it in the suitcase.
If I have a connecting flight and am worried about my suitcase arriving
at the same time I do, I include a change of clothes and my toiletry
bag. I always carry something to read, my journal, a bottle of water
and a snack. I put all travel documents in the outside pocket so
they are easily accessible. Do NOT pack your manicure tools or
they will be taken away from you.

14. Purse. I don't carry a purse when traveling, so I condense
everything into a fanny pack and put anything else I have to
have in the backpack. If I'm carrying much cash, I use one
of those money pouches that hangs around your neck and can
be worn under your shirt. It's a good idea not to carry all
of your money in one place.

15. Maps and other. Before I visit a new place, I do some
research on the internet and get driving directions from the
airport. I pull information on that city that might be of
interest to me and my family. Be sure to include a small
sewing kit, or at least some safety pins, as well as your
basic first aid supplies.

Each trip I take becomes a challenge to me to pack even better
on the next one. I discover what's important to take and what's
not. Having your list available as you pack for each trip allows
you to pack and feel confident that you haven't forgotten anything.
Of course if you are traveling with children, you'll need to take
their needs into considerationComputer Technology Articles, and that might include taking
in-laws with you to help carry everything!

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