Keep all ID, passport, license, claim checks, etc. together with this item (pictured below) at the ready. The first time I “wore” it, Husband kept glancing at it. ”Do I look smart carrying this all together, or do I look mentally challenged?” I asked. “The latter”, he said. I look it off from around my neck and tied it to my extra bag (I always carry a tote to match my purse to hold iPhone and other cords, earphones, earplugs, etc.) *okay, so it does make me look like “first day at summer camp” but it’s still a very good idea*
Roll, don’t fold. I don’t buy anything special to help me roll my clothes, I just re-purpose dry cleaner bags for this. Pack in categories. Lay the bag on the floor and roll up each small batch of items in them gently. This will keep clothes from wrinkling and will keep things from getting completely smashed together.
Reduce! Small articles such as liquids: (Still hard for me to accomplish.) The samples I get from Neiman’s and other places are wonderful for travel, naturally! If anyone can tell me how to get 4 days worth or more of hair products to pass by security….let me know. ;) Because I haven’t found a way yet. Yet.
Match! (The other, other reduce). I try to pack already “coordinated” for the whole trip when I can. All things should mix and match. Then I throw in some scarves, pashminas and jewelry (for instance, I might plan for a whole week of blue, beige, cream and brown). I pack more tops than pants so I’ll have more top changes and don’t have to carry along as many pairs of pants. Scarves and pashminas are my favorite things to take to Europe. They can really make an outfit. I wear some as belts tied in a bow, some to “ascot” around my neck and some to throw over my shoulders (pashminas) for looks as well as comfort. People sure do love their air conditioning way more than I do!
Play it safe! (I try anyway). Take along an extra lock for locking up things in your suitcase that won’t fit into the room safe. (Gah! those in-room safes are so tiny!) I usually carry two purses so I lock up one before I leave the room and maybe stick my iPad and other things in there that I want to keep “safe” and/or out of sight.
I finally got it into my thick head that I didn’t have to bring along any “special” shampoos. Any hotel shampoo, conditioners and lotions will do just fine (hey, they’re all pretty much the same stuff anyways…tea laurel sulfate anyone?
Shoes! I don’t bother buying shoe bags either. I use bubble wrap to wrap each individual shoe. That way one shoe can’t scratch the other will its heel and the bubble wrap keeps the shoes from being crushed. I try to limit myself to 2 pairs of shoes if I can. (Okay 3)
This is so gross, but…. Before boarding the plane, coat inside of nostrils with a tiny bit of petroleum jelly to ward off at least some of the airborne ickies. Sorry, this is gross, but we have to do what we have to do. Don’t tease me about this. I know where you live. ;)
Smart! Take along a thin laundry bag with you to put dirty clothes in (for, well, obvious reasons).