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Travel Tips: How To Pack

Dec 8, 2007
Whether you travel for business or pleasure, how you pack is an important part of the adventure. Often, our shirts come out wrinkled, items are forgotten, or toiletries have spilled out. Keep reading for great tips on packing that you can use next time you travel.

If you're going to be anywhere for more than a day or two, pack layers. Despite the weather reports, you don't always know what the temperature's going to be like and an extra sweater can come in handy on a cold desert night.

Next, pack light. You want to be prepared, but not weighed down. One of the most important things any seasoned traveler will tell you is that you should always pack half of what you think you'll need. Remember, if you do wind up facing an absolute emergency, you can always buy any needed items. For most trips, one pair of pants, a skirt (for women) that doubles for day and night, a pair of jeans, a shirt (for men), maybe a swimsuit and a few tops are all you're going to need.

Before you begin packing, spread everything that you want to bring out on the bed first. This lets you look at it all in one place and quickly ascertain whether any important item has been forgotten. It's also going to let you develop a game plan for your packing strategy.

Folded shirts or blouses should go at the bottom of a suitcase, and pants and skirts may be stacked on top. Shoes, if not in a separate compartment, should be wrapped in plastic bags and placed around the outside of the case. Socks and underwear can be neatly stored in mesh bags or even clear, plastic baggies. This lets you easily separate your packed items and stops you from having to wrestle with 8 pairs of loose socks just to get to your shirts.

For your toiletries, try to use travel sizes and wrap absolutely everything in plastic baggies. You do not want a toiletry spill on all your clothes. If you wear makeup, take only the bare necessities and opt for a clear carry-case that will let you quickly see what you packed. Remember, you can often depend on hotels to stock basic supplies like shampoo and conditioner. If you have a favorite brand, consider transferring it to a travel-size container.

Finally, if you're a frequent traveler, keep a half-packed bag always handy. In it, you can store your passport, frequent flyer cards, a travel toiletries bag, socks, and underwear. That way, next time you have to pack, you only have to worry about your clothes.
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