Pack Smart

Pack Smart
Thinking of your vacation? Sometimes the first thing that comes to mind is buying new clothes. By all means indulge in some new duds for your holiday – but make sure leave enough time to wear them before you pack them. It can be frustrating to discover that a garment wrinkles in the blink of an eye, or is uncomfortable after a short period of time.

How do you select the perfect vacation wardrobe? And, make it all fit into one suitcase?

First, list all the possible activities you might be doing such as swimming, dancing, museum-hopping, skiing, dining out, and even sleeping.

Now head to your closet and select some of our favorite outfits for doing those things you have listed. If you just can’t live without that favorite pair of black slacks, put them on the list.

Once you’ve selected the clothes you want to take, lay them out on a bed or large table. This will let you visually begin to establish a color theme. Color coordination doesn’t stop at just black and white. Kirty Manger, a Shopping Consultant aboard the Island Princess uses pink as a base color.
Make sure that each item you pack can be used in at least two, if not three different ways.

Include an ultra-comfortable, but smart, outfit for traveling. Passengers who dress well are often afforded better treatment. This doesn’t mean high heels for a transoceanic flight; it means not wearing your sloppiest attire.

Pack as many knits, jerseys and other wrinkle-free fabrics as possible and leave that travel iron at home (most hotels and cruise lines have irons available).

Try not to pack more than three pairs of shoes, but keep in mind your schedule and activities. If you need to dress for dinner or evenings out take along a pair of dressy shoes and an evening bag.

Use your evening bag as your jewelry box.

Anticipate the weather and add a packable sun hat and umbrella.

Most important is to pack items that make you not only look good and appropriate to the weather or circumstances but clothing that makes you feel good.

The Six Item City Weekend

Navy blazer or suit jacket
Navy skirt
Bright colored daytime blouse or sweater
Slacks in print or solid
Flirty or ruffled evening blouse
Button front vest or sweater.

You can mix the jacket, skirt and bright blouse for daytime museum or theatre going, and switch it to evening wear by changing to the more romantic shirt.

For daytime shopping pair the pants with the daytime blouse and jacket. Is it a cozy afternoon indoors? Change to the vest and soft shirt.

Airplane travel? Pants, jacket, and shirt will make you look smart, but comfortable.

The Six Item Country Getaway

Sometimes you just need a weekend of sun, fun and flea marketing. Pack lightly and leave lots of room for your finds.

Cable knit sweater in cotton
Sleeveless cotton jersey or t-shirt
Casual skirt
Cotton shirt

In pastels such as pinks, blues and grays you can achieve several looks. Or keep it simple in whites, tans and khakis. Don’t think all the pieces must be solid, a print will add some punch.

The t-shirt, sweater and skirt make for casual shopping gear. Off to a movie? Mix the vest, pants and blouse. Slip the sweater over the pants and you’re ready for a country stroll. Dinner out? Mix the skirt, shirt and vest.

Take time to pack the essentials and then never take them out of your suitcase. What should never leave your suitcase between trips? A small, dual-voltage hair dryer, your cosmetic kit with duplicates of your favorite toiletries, small umbrella and sunhat. When a destination calls, be ready to take off and go.

I make it a point to refill my travel cosmetic case when I return from a trip so it’s ready to go the next time. And don’t forget to pack small sizes of your favorite cosmetics for your carryon bag. No item should be more than 3 ounces in weight, and everything must fit into one 1 quart clear plastic bag.

Use plastic bags to group your essentials. Pack your travel alarm and flashlight in one bag to put on your bedside table. Cosmetics in another bag can be placed in the bath.

If you are traveling with an overnight stop before reaching your final destination, pack a plastic bag with basic toiletries and a change of clothing as the top layer of your suitcase. You won’t have to dig through your entire suitcase to find these items.

Just a little forethought and you can make that getaway with just a carry-on and avoid luggage fees.

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