Start packing at least a week before your departure.
If you’re going on an adventure or overseas trip, begin several weeks in advance.
Plan, plan, plan. Make lists of what you will wear each day and what tops go with different skirts or slacks.
- Pick a color theme. Black, navy or khaki are the best neutral basic colors. Black and Navy don’t show dirt or spots as readily as khaki.
- Mix and match outfits. Plan to wear the same slacks and tops several times. You can change your look with scarves, shawls and jewelry.
- Roll your slacks, shirts and blouses as tightly as possible. They will occupy less space and you’ll have fewer wrinkles.
- Start organizing a set of toiletries and cosmetics that’s dedicated for traveling. Buy a good travel cosmetic bag, with clear windows, pack it and store when you’re not on the road. When you’re at the grocery or drug store, buy the small travel-size shampoos, conditioners and hair sprays so your cosmetic bag will weigh less and occupy little room. You can buy small plastic bottles and pour your cosmetics into them.
- Take only costume jewelry or silver – never gold or diamonds. Avoid looking like a wealthy target for thieves.
My personal packing list for a short trip
- One pair of black slacks.
- Four blouses, including one silk blouse for evening wear.
- A light, colorful cardigan sweater.
- Colorful scarves.
- One Pashmina shawl.
- Costume jewelry.
- One jacket that I wear on the plane.
- Dress shoes, one pair of flats.
- Walking shoes, that can double as exercise shoes.
- Socks, underwear, yoga pants for exercising.
- T-shirt doubles as a pajama.
- Lots of Zip Lock bags.
- Hair dryers, irons. Most hotels make these available to all guests.
- Laptop if you can get by with your cell phone, iPhone or Blackberry.