Easy Packing Tips

Open Suitcase
South Africa
Couple packing for trip
Vintage Suitcase
what to pack

How to Pack…

for easy travel

Looking forward to the trip is always a high point in my life. It cures the blues of daily life for many months leading up to it. But, packing…well…that’s a different story. 

Here are some tips that really help to streamline packing and ensure you have the right things on your trip.

Do your laundry

Have all of your laundry and dry cleaning done and put away before you start. If everything is in your closet, it is so much easier to find everything and saves the last minute scramble around the house searching for various items.

stock up on travel sizes

Keep a dopp kit/toiletry bag fully stocked and ready to go at all times. When you return from each trip, take inventory and restock it for your next trip. Mimic your regular routine only – don’t be tempted to throw things in just because you have a travel-size sample. Keep it streamlined and fully stocked.

be specific

Check (and recheck) the weather and your itinerary. Thinking in terms of full outfits, picture yourself dressing for each specific day on your itinerary (i.e. what will I wear for the 65 degree day touring vineyards?). 

Try things on

Yes, this is more work, but it forces you to remember all the details, like jewelry, belts and undergarments. Plus, how many times are you hopeful about an item you barely wear, only to lug it 2000 miles to still never wear it? Trying it on will remind you that you don’t really like it.

Stick to a color palatte

Stick to a certain color scheme while planning outfits – it allows you to mix and match more freely. Black or navy is an easy one to pull off.

Limit jackets and shoes

Try to select only one jacket or blazer that goes with all outfits. Multi-task your shoes and wear your bulkiest shoes on the plane. It helps if they are comfortable too – better for running to tight connections.


Whenever possible, I try not to check bags. I realize this is a personal choice, but I’d rather push a wheeled suitcase than carry my overstuffed personal item around the airport. To maximize packing space, I bring a carry-on suitcase and the biggest “personal item” I can find…and read below to see what’s in it. When possible, take advantage of hotel laundry services.

What to pack in your “Personal Item” Bag

Dedicate a pocket for travel documents/phones and always return them there. You know that feeling when you can’t find your phone and you’re about to board?

Handi-wipes to clean your armrests, buttons and tray table

Comfortable socks to wear while seated

Makeup bag/toiletries 

Melatonin and lavender oil to help me fall asleep on red eye flights

Hand and face lotion to combat the dry plane air

Electronics – headphones, computer, chargers etc.

Magazines/books/Kindle – The kindle is so light and easy. Peruse the airport bookstore and download interesting titles before you take off.


My clutch pocketbook

Emergency snack

Tide pen

wear your “blanket”

Wear a scarf of pashmina on the plane – it works as a blanket or pillow and doubles as a jacket on cool vacation nights. 

Prepare for sun

If you are headed somewhere warm, make sure your sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat are handy so you’re protected, prepared and ready to enjoy your time in the sun immediately.