Take me away: how to pack for that getaway

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By Kelly Hockenberry, Columnist, The Times

I am confident that I have written about travel packing tips in the past. However, scrolling back through the Read My Lipgloss archives, I was having trouble finding anything. And, with vacation season in full swing now that school is over, no time like the present!

It’s funny. If I am going to New York City for an overnight stay, I pack like I am going to be there for a month. But, tell me to get ready for a 10 day European excursion and I’m suddenly transformed into a low maintenance minimalist. (OK, that’s a huge exaggeration, but you get my drift). My husband is a stickler for us bringing carry-ons to save time once we reach our destination. Which I am totally on board with…it just takes a lot of planning. So, I figured I would pass my ideas along and I am hoping that YOU will jump in with your tricks.

  • Make a list (or 20) – I compile a list of my outfits/accessories/toiletries/etc. at least two weeks in advance. I keep a running note on my phone to add things as they come to mind. By trip day, I have revised no less than 100 times, I’m sure.
  • Roll your clothes – this really does add so much room! Packing experts say that it keeps clothes from being wrinkled, too. Although, I am not promising you that you won’t need to run an iron over things.
  • Pick a color theme – If you keep your fashions all within the same hue, it is easy to mix and match. Tailor your choices to the classics. Limit patterns.
  • Take 3 pairs of shoes- I know, I know. This one is hard. Pack shoes in your carry-on first to keep the heaviest things on the bottom. Wear your chunkiest pair ON the plane. Take a sneaker, a sandal, and something for evening.
  • Carry a large tote – I will typically bring a larger handbag that can accomodate my make-up bag, a scarf (because it is frigid on the plane), any medications (like Dramamine), and a travel pillow. I pack a small cross-body bag inside my carry-on to use while we are sightseeing.
  • Grocery bags/ Ziploc bags – I always throw a handful of plastic bags from Giant in my suitcase to use to separate dirty clothes (if there is no laundry available). Ziplocs are perfect for carrying toothbrushes and toothpaste, face wipes, sunscreen, shampoo, etc. I typically will place my liquid items in the front, zipper pocket of my carry-on for easy accessibility through security and to prevent amy spills from getting on my clothes.

OK, now that you know MY tips, what are YOURS? Please share in the Comment section below.

Happy Travels!

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