We are excited that Lysa Stone, owner of Off You Go, Then, is our guest blogger. Lysa is an AVID and ENTHUSIATIC traveler and provides concierge travel services globally. She is either packing for a trip or unpacking her CARRY ON (and only carry on) from her latest adventure. Please enjoy...
Travel in recent years has been challenging at best. Although the snafus over the holiday season have eased up considerably, summer season is coming and travel is hotter than ever.
A great way to get to your vacation sooner is to skip checking your luggage. It’s a daunting idea but we’ve taught even the staunchest bag checkers to only carry on a bag and say goodbye to the long wait for your luggage.
The simplest solution to this is to know your destination and if there is a place where you can do laundry. If you’re staying in a vacation rental that has a washing machine, you can easily pack few items and take a minute to do laundry halfway through your vacation.
Another solution is to find a laundromat in a cool neighborhood and live like a local. You can combine a lunch date with a stop at the laundry. Throw the stuff in and dine at the hottest local spot. The bonus is that often you can get a reservation at a lunch place, It’s better for your budget, and you skip the dinner crowds.
No access to laundry? Here’s where the organization comes in. Packing cubes are a great way to stay organized within your own suitcase. This is especially helpful if you have multiple destinations. They’re like portable, organized drawers.
Maintain a similar color scheme. Black clothing is the easiest way to do this. If you bring clothes that are 100% mix and match, and not singular, one-time wear outfits, you can get away with wearing the same thing two or three times and no one will notice, possibly not even you.
Shoes are an important part of the packing efficiency goal. Bring only two and wear the biggest one (presumably sneakers) on the plane. Pack the other the other at the base of your suitcase. Depending on your configuration, it’s best to put the soles away from the clothes. Don’t leave the space inside the shoes empty, that’s valuable packing and organization space! Stuff socks or a jewelry bag in there.
If you’re not using packing cubes, the best way to maximize your space is to roll your clothes. Jeans, pants and leggings go towards the bottom, as tightly packed as possible. Heavier items like sweaters go next, towards the top. Lighter clothes, like blouses and t-shirts, will occupy the top space on top of the heavier items.
There are a couple of ways to pack undergarments. You can stuff them around corners in the bag but we prefer a zip bag, like a large cosmetics case
so that they’re kept separate and they are easy to access.
Even the best packers find that they bring items they don’t even use on vacation! Most importantly, what you bring has to be comfortable. Even if you have an opportunity to have a fancy meal or go to a show, black pants/skirt and a light top can suffice. You can dress anything up with jewelry. For gentlemen, a sport coat that you can wear on the plane will spiff up any outfit and be worn multiple times.
Finally, make the most of the “personal item” that you can bring on the plane along with your carry-on approved size bag. We carried a stylish bag for years until a backpack came into our lives. We’ve never been so organized on a flight. There’s a compartment for tech items (headphones, chargers), a travel pouch for food (always carry a little bit of food – you never know), padded sleeve for your computer and tablet, and side pockets for phone/water bottle/hand sanitizer or whatever.
The backpack is your newest friend when it comes to travel organization. In this bag, pretend like the airline made check your bag (this might happen on an overbooked flight). Keep everything you’d need for an overnight in this bag and a one or two undergarments. If your flight is canceled and your bag is checked (no!), at least you have enough for a hotel overnight.
When you get off the plane, you and your carry-on bag will whiz past all of the people forlornly watching the empty luggage carousel spin around.