5 Essential Tips for Packing a Light Suitcase for Travel
to pack just a small carry-on bag for easy fall or holiday travel
this year but don't know where to start? Packing expert Susan
Foster, author of SMART PACKING FOR TODAY'S TRAVELER, gives the
following advice gleaned from years of living out of a suitcase
for weeks at a time.
PLAN: Write down your planned activities for each day
and list clothes to wear for every event, check the weather forecast
and plan for the worst. Take only what you need for the activities
planned, not what might be nice-this is only a suitcase, not your
2. SIMPLIFY: Plan around one
basic color and, if traveling for business, take only one suit
with different shirts/tops for each day. Pack no more than two
pairs of shoes (plus one pair on your feet when you leave home).
3. EDIT: Lay out all the possibilities
and make sure that each piece interchanges with all others for
maximum versatility. Pare down to the most useful pieces. The
clothes you wear while traveling should also interchange with
4. ORGANIZE: Group small items
such as underwear or rolled up tee shirts in clear plastic bags.
Packing and unpacking are faster and you can easily locate your
favorite socks. Rolling works best for casual clothes and underwear,
which allows you to fit more in your suitcase.
5. DOWNSIZE: Travel-sized toiletries
minimize weight and space, as do 2-in-1 products such as moisturizer
+ sunscreen. Take an adequate supply of all essential products.
Women should never leave home without a few mini-tampons tucked
into the bag.
though many consider packing one of the least pleasant parts of
travel, deciding what to take and making it fit are skills that
are easily learned. Study and practice now before the seasonal
travel rush and you will be a "smart packer" too.
Avoid traveling with wrapped presents, as they may be unwrapped
at security checkpoints. Consider shopping in advance, purchasing
gift certificates, or carrying unwrapped gifts and gift bags for
quick wrapping at your destination.