For me, August usually means travel time.  This year is no exception.  Travel means getting things ready for the house sitter, running extra errands and packing those awaiting bags.  Although I prefer to travel light, I seldom do.  Forgetting an essential item is not only disappointing.  It also means that I have to scramble to find the nearest store in my destination to replace the item…so I pack thoroughly.  Here are 5  packing tips that can make packing much less painful:

1.  Try rolling instead of folding.


Travel experts—including backpackers, who are forced to stuff months’ worth of clothing into a pack the size of a box of wine—agree that rolling is superior to folding. Tightly rolled clothes take up less space than folded ones. Plus, they are much less likely to getting deep wrinkles from fold creases.

2.  Make a list and check it twice, even if you are already aware of who is naughty and nice.


I start my packing process days or even weeks ahead of my departure date.  In fact, because I travel as much as I do, I keep a bag partially packed at all times.  Thinking ahead gives one  time to craft a complete packing list, plus purchase any additional items that are needed for the trip. Creating a packing list is a fail-safe way to ensure that you never, ever forget to bring something important.

3.   Pare down!


 Even though I pack thoroughly, I try to reduce the number of items that I do pack, to the essentials.  For instance, I might take a dress that can be changed by adding a scarf or belt or jacket, rather than packing 3 different dresses.  Economize when packing.  Pack wisely.  It’s a lot easier to lug one or two bags around than it is to pack 6 or 7 and traverse the airport, even if you do get assistance from a SkyCap.

4.   Don’t take “the good stuff”.


I own a lot of very nice jewelry.  However, I do not take more of it with me than I can wear at one time.  I might take a nice ring, or a nice pair of earrings, but frankly, traveling with one’s nice jewelry collection is tantamount to asking for trouble. If you choose to take it all, be prepared to have it lost or stolen.  ’nuff said.

5.  Keep the basics in one place.

champagnerosesUse a large purse, backpack or tote bag to keep items that you may need along the way, easy to access.  For some, this may mean a hairbrush, deodorant, lip gloss, or makeup.  For me?  Champagne and roses, of course!

Happy Trails!