The Packing Problem
Holiday time. Biggest travel season of the year. And between the TSA sex crimes and other fun and festive holiday experiences, all you travelers have enough to look forward to, save for the joys and frustrations of packing. Here are my tips for perfect packing for the fashionable traveler.
1. Plan Ahead: Now I realize this sounds tedious, but the single best way to make packing easy is to know what you’re going to wear each day you’re away. Whenever I have 10 minutes to focus (for all you city-dwellers, subway time is perfect for this), I think about my trip, the kind of things I’ll be doing, the weather there, and what in my closet I’ve been loving-on lately. 5 days of away (including travel days) is 5 different outfits, 7 days is 7 different outfits and so on.. Make a numbered list of every outfit you plan to wear, down to the accessories and shoes. This will not only help with packing (as you’ll be literally going off a checklist), but will also eliminate any need for ‘what do I wear’ once you’re away.
2. Consolidate: 5 different outfits is no problem if you recycle clothing. 2 pairs of jeans will cover your entire time away (I’m from the NYC school of thought that jeans are appropriate for any occasion). A scarf will transform one outfit into another. Flats make an outfit more casual, heels more dressy. Use as much as you have… into as much as you can. And your travel outfit should be worn both to and from your destination.
3. Square Footage: Shoes take up more luggage square footage than anything else, so keep it simple. One pair of flats, one pair of heels. And if you want to bring boots, incorporate them into your travel outfit. Cosmetics can also be deceptively bulking, especially if you are the kind of girl who enforces a shoe limit to your packing. Lotions, hairdryer, brushes, shampoo all take up room and can’t be folded, so I advise asking your host what she has in the way of ‘toiletries’ and if you can borrow. Gifts also eat into your available room so send ahead of time.
And if you’re going somewhere with decent shopping, leave with an empty suitcase, come back with a full one.