Friday, September 28, 2012

My Tips: How to Pack

I am no expert on packing. But tonight that is all I am doing so that is what I am going to share today! Now, there are a lot of tutorial on youtube where girls pick 5 outfits for every day and pack an steamer to get the wrinkles out at their destination. Ya...I am a real person. I am like the lady on the Reitman's commercial who's outfits are stylish AND functional.

Therefore I pack a lot of layers, cotton, and versatile pieces! A few neutral pants, a bunch of fun shirts, and a couple shoes and I am good to go!

First, I want to show off my luggage:

It is all business on the outside

And party on the inside!

I love it because it is easily distinguishable coming around the baggage carrousel and it is still boring enough for me to be taken seriously. I got this one and the smaller version as a graduation gift from my parents and we have been through a few fun trips together.

The bottom handle broke off somewhere in Europe in 2008.

And then after my last trip the wheels looked like this:

I was going to take it in for repair, but the only repair place is up in midtown and they wouldn't give me an estimate over the phone! I didn't want to go up there dragging this giant suitcase only to find out it is cost prohibitive and I should just buy a new one.


Ok wasn't I supposed to be talking about packing?? Back to that.

Step 1: Make a list!
Step 2: Buy everything missing from your list

Step 3: Lay out all your clothes that you want to bring by category:

Count the number of outfits and be honest about how many you need. You CAN wear an outfit twice (I know! Shocking!) but try not to wear your favourite shirt to all fun activities or all your photos will be you in the same shirt. Just saying...not that I have ever done that...

I think my ratio for outfits is about 75% of a new outfit every day. A few favourites will be repeated, but otherwise you will have nice clean clothing every day.

Also keep in mind what activities you will be doing. I am doing a lot of walking and touring, so layers are key for me. Check the forecast too- you want to be sure you have enough warm/cool outfits. Mexico City tends to be warm during the day and cold at night! Plus it can rain at the drop of a hat.

Step 4: Dry run
Get er all in there! Then decide what can go and what can stay. Remember you still need to pack toiletries before you go!

Just keep on adding and removing until you have a comfortable level. Leave room for souvenirs!

Other packing tips
- Pack all things that can leak in freezer bags that seal
- Pack a small garbage bag (like a grocery bag) for dirty laundry. You don't want everything intermingling!
- Pack your suitcase on the smallest "expandable" setting (mine has a zipper to expand). Somehow it is always harder to get it to close at the end of the trip
- Put shoes in plastic bags to keep them from getting your clothing dirty
- Place items in the suitcase by "type" so you always know where to reach for pants or a shirt. Or if you want to be totally type A, pack by outfit or by when you plan on wearing something

Lastly, I am just going to leave you with my list of must haves for a touring trip!
- Pashmina scarf (this makes a great scarf, blanket, eye cover for sleeping in the light, etc)
- Tiny umbrella (I found mine in a hostel in Venice. It is awesome and compact)
- Ear plugs (you never know when you are going to be sleeping in a disco....while the disco is on. Just saying)
- Comfy shoes
- Layers
- Point and shoot camera (you do not want to carry a honking DSLR around for 8 hours a day)
- Cross-body purse
- Small alarm clock. Sometimes phones don't work.

Other travel tips
- Make sure your phone is not roaming and racking up fees!
- Call your bank and credit card and let them know your travel plans so they don't think your card has been stolen and cancel it
- Make a copy of your passport and email it to yourself. If you lose your passport, then you can bring the copy to bring to the embassy

What are your packing tips?

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