Packing For Vacation 101

The holiday season is upon us and that means lots of festivities and for many, skipping town to a warmer destination. While there’s excitement in escaping the chilly weather, packing for an opposite climate has its challenges.

The most obvious and cumbersome is what to wear on the plane. You don’t want to freeze or look ridiculous in flip flops as you wait to go through security, nor do you want to be greeted with a lei while wearing a parka. It’s best to meet somewhere in the middle–a lightweight jacket or cardigan are necessities to transition from cold to warm climates. While strategizing on which jacket to wear, try to choose one that can be worn on the plane with jeans, for example, and will also look great paired with that flowy sundress on cooler nights. Leather jackets in camel, grey or black, and knit cardigans have been proven winners for this purpose. Because these can be easily folded, they also take up less room in the overhead compartment or in your suitcase, in comparison to your wool winter coat. Keep warm before you arrive by wearing a scarf too. These can serve as a blanket while in flight and can be stuffed in your bag upon arrival.

Speaking of your suitcase, remember the best way to maximize your packing efforts is to roll nearly everything. This cuts down on wrinkles and frees up a larger area for bulky items like jeans. If you are short on shoe bags, then place tank tops and T-shirts in between each shoe so that they do not rub against one another (and potentially get scratched). To ensure your tie stays crisp, guys should roll their ties and place them inside the heel of their shoes. Also, throwing a dryer sheet in your luggage is an easy way to keep it smelling fresh, especially at your trip’s end!

Odds and ends that come in handy:

A cross body/messenger bag is better to bring versus a clutch. It is more versatile in that it can be used for the day’s events and also for at night. If you want to bring a large bag, pack a light, bendable beach bag or a flat tote, both of which can used in a pinch if your suitcase becomes over-the-limit or to carry your vacation purchases.

Have some fun with your clothes! Part of the enjoyment when traveling to a ‘hot’ spot is to wear things you can’t currently wear at home. Trade the black for colorful dresses, playful prints and relaxed pants with movement.

Most of your packed items will be lightweight, the bulkier items will be the ones you wear while traveling. When deciding what to wear to the airport, wear a pair of shoes that is comfortable (flat or wedge) and easy to get in and out of (ideally no zippers, buckles or laces).

Carry-on Kit:

Socks: just in case you aren’t wearing any with your shoes, a simple slip on of ankle socks really cuts down on the ‘ick’ factor when walking through the metal detector–also great when the plane gets cold.

Eye drops: refresh your eyes from the circulating, dry air.

Jewelry: the golden rule–if you will be devastated to loose it, keep it with you. Jewelry rolls easily fit in a purse or carry on, it’s worth taking up the extra room. Also, don’t wear the really good stuff while traveling. Things move and shift…while you’re moving and shifting; pack the diamonds and wear the CZ’s.

Try to compartmentalize everything. A bag for electronics, one for toiletries, one for paperwork and so on. No one likes to be behind the person who takes forever at security.

Happy Holidays!

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