February 28, 2012

Travel: 7 Top Tips to Master the Art of Packing

Traveling is one of my favorite things. But traveling has some dark side to it which to me, takes in the form of packing! Yes packing. Just when I thought I've got packing down to a science, a circumstance like traveling (more like flying) during the winter months would derail my formula. But I think I've found a way to solve the problem with a little tweaking. With all the traveling I have in my "horizon" lately, I thought it would be nice to reveal some of the travel tenets I live by.

Here are my NO B.S. solutions:

1- Check the weather - Make use of The Weather Channel. Having a 20-20 hindsight on what the weather's going to be like where you're going will give you a vivid, if not perfect, picture of what clothing you may need while there. This eliminate over-packing and saves you $$$ from fees on checking-in extra luggages. Not to say, carrying the unnecessary weight of unwanted clothing. Last thing you need is to be a pack rat.

I'm traveling to L.A. this week and it helps to know that their weather is almost similar to Charlotte which helps a lot in choosing the right clothing to bring and how much I need to bring. It also helps to know that I've been there in different seasons.

2- Count the days and designate - This is my secret formula (which is no longer secret after today). I call it my "apparel road map". Count the days you're staying and add one extra to every essential clothing. Top on my lists are undies, bras and shirts. Jeans? I can re-wore them as much as I can. They're versatile that way. Besides, they get a reprieve if you bring lounging pants or shorts to wear in between. 

On this upcoming trip, I'll be away for a week. I can opt to bring only one pair of jeans but since I'm attending a rather "semi-formal" event, I'm bringing two to alternate. Though I can easily camouflage wearing the same jeans by wearing knockout tops, in this event, I just decide not to. Need to make a good impression!

3- Pack based on Itinerary - This is probably the most essential information you'll need when packing the right clothes to bring. Knowing what event or activities you're going or doing on a particular day will greatly influence the necessary outfit you'll need on your must-bring list. This is a no-brainer if you're attending conferences or events where an itinerary is available.

The event I'm going to have a program of schedule outlined for those days I will be there. Which to me is a no-brainer since now I have a pretty decent idea which clothes to bring and wear!

4- Versatile Clothes - Traveling light as much as possible greatly depends on the type of clothes you bring. To make the most lightest possible, bring "double-purpose" clothing. An example is a dress that you can wear 60 different ways! Yes 60 ways! Just like this dress below:
The Hayley Starr dress - can be worn 60 ways
photo courtesy of Hayley Clothes

Since it's still "winter" and can get a little chilly where I'm going, I'm bringing a versatile cardigan that I can wear several ways. It's a little similar to Cardi-Wrap by Kymaro (which I hope to try) and looks like this:
Cardi Wrap by Kymaro
photo courtesy of Kymaro

5- Iron clothes - This might have a "scientific" reasoning to it. Un-ironed clothes tend to be "bulkier" due to the fiber all fluffed up and wrinkles add to the fluffiness. Ironing clothes "flatten" these fibers out and though there is no huge impact, it does seem to create more "space" in your luggage.

6 - Fold two clothes together - This is more on the organizing aspect of packing. Folding two clothes together  eliminates hassle in setting up your "clothes for the day". It's already paired, so all you need to do is just hang them until they're ready to wear. It also eliminates added "wrinkling".

7- Space bags - These are great must-packing-emergency-savers if you do have to bring bulkier clothing like fleece or wool sweaters. Since space bags are meant to flatten out close to 100% of the normal size of  any clothing packed inside it, means you get more space in your luggage without having to pack another bag just to accommodate it.

Bonus tip: Create a checklist of all essentials you need like electronics and toiletries. You wouldn't want to be thousand of miles away without your cellphone charger, would you?

I'm almost done packing. I just needed to make sure I have the necessary toiletries I need for the trip. Other than this, I'm set!

Are these great tips or what? Share some of your time-tested packing tips. I have more traveling coming up and I can use any useful tips to make my travel experiences much more easier!


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