Planning A Trip? Packing Tips

Are you a frequent flyer? I travel often for work (and play), and have found ways to make my packing process quick and simple. I have discovered things along the way that work really well to make living out of a suitcase a breeze. It's much more difficult to look your best when most of your clothes and accessories are left at home, and you can't travel with multiple large bags these days without added cost and back pain! Since I pack people for a living, I thought it might be helpful to pass along a few pointers that can make frequent traveling easier and more enjoyable.

PLAN AHEAD! Do not try to pack at the last minute! More often than not, you pull out that go-to outfit and find a stain across the front, or a hem that has come loose. You need to spend a little time making sure every item is clean and lint/dirt/wrinkle free. You need to think through your accessories. A scarf or jewelry can change the look of basic pieces. They can turn one outfit into two or three! My suggestion is to bring only two handbags-one for day, and one smaller crossbody. I always wear or carry a coat (or pashmina in warmer months), because airplanes can be VERY chilly.

These days, carry-ons are required to be quite small, but try to find one that can fit a change of clothes. REMEMBER TO HAVE ALL MEDICINES AND JEWELRY WITH YOU, not checked. Put a piece a paper with your name and address inside your bags, as well as a tag attached on the outside. 

Pack heavy items like shoes on the bottom of the suitcase. Pack your shoes inside individual shoe bags. This will ensure that no dirt with be transferred to clothes. You can stuff shoes with socks, undies or tissue paper to save space and help them hold their shape.

Pack items like undergarments, tights and scarves in large ziplock bags. They will be easier to find this way. You can use the bags for dirty clothes on the way home.

I pack my clothes individually in plastic dry cleaner bags to minimize wrinkling. You should unpack and hang clothes as soon as possible after you reach your destination.

Pack a travel-size steamer, lint roller and an extension cord. Electrical plugs always seem to be across the room, and there are never enough plugs for phones, ipads, computers, etc.

I keep a mini Lysol spray, a mini sewing kit, first aid (bandaids, neosporin), and manicure kit (the polish you are wearing for touch ups, polish remover, and nail file). To keep necklaces from tangling, cut a drinking straw to half the length of the chain. Slide one end through and clasp! 

Keep a phone charger, small umbrella, spot remover, safety pins, a pair of small scissors, and perfume samples in your suitcase ready to go. You can also travel with a roll of masking tape for multitasking: it can be used as a lint roller, can remove deodorant stains, can be used to hem a skirt, dress or pant in an emergency, and can seal cosmetic bottles to avoid leaks.

Pack a lightweight nightgown and robe on the top, so you can get to them easily. You can put them on to unpack in comfort. If there is time, give your clothes a quick steaming before hanging up in the closet.

This may seem like a lot of work, but most of the items only have to be purchased once. I keep my suitcase travel-ready. All I need to do before each trip, is decide what I'm going to wear. I usually pack a capsole wardrobe in travel-friendly fabrics, that can be worn in different ways for multiple looks. Be prepared, because you never when a last minute chance for travel may come your way!

Alison Bruhn