Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Packing tactics

Blog updates: I have linked some 'pages' on the left hand side of the blog. This is quick access to some of the popular posts. Healthy living I will be adding to - for right now it has a quick link to my daily routine posts and the Advocare products that I use. My office & craft room have the links to the daily posts going through my organization. And the Daily blogs page list all the blogs that I visit on a daily basis.

Since I have been getting ready to pack for our trip I thought it would be a good time to get my travel tips on the blog! I used to dread packing and it was worse after 9/11 - what you could take or more what you couldn't take. Over packing and under packing. Number of bags and the weight of them. I have been fortunate enough that I travel so much I stay up to date on most of the requirements. Today I am going to share with you some of my packing tactics. This will work for a 10 day trip or a weekend trip - month long trips might have to be addressed in another post.

I always like to start with the basics - suitcases and other cases. Right now I have two pieces of luggage (not matching yet) that I am trying out for size and functionality. They are on the inexpensive side of the spectrum but have been holding up very well for the amount of travel that Kirk and I do. Kirk has his own luggage but from time to time I see him borrowing mine...he has NICE matching luggage so go figure!

First piece is from TARGET. It is Swiss Gear Aubonne 24" in brown.
I just bought this about three months ago so it's still available at the store and online. There were a few things I wanted to try out with this piece: size, weight and the spinner wheels. One of my biggest pet peeves is when you need to move fast and you are trying to wheel your bag and it has a mind of it's own. These spinner wheels allow you to move the bag in anyway possible quickly. LOVE it so far - I was worried about the durability of the spinner wheel but so far so good. Size - this has been the perfect size for five to 10 day trips and allows for purchases along the way. It is also good for the weekend trips that require a great deal of wardrobe changes. Weight - this piece is light when empty! Always key when you are looking at luggage - if it's already heavy when you pick it up empty move on to the next one. Remember you are not always going to have help picking this thing up so you better be able to lift it full by yourself! I also love the color - it's dark so it hides scuff marks and it's different from black and it's easy to spot at baggage claim.

The second piece I use is from Costco. Kirkland brand 20" in black.
We have had this one for a couple of years. The size is perfect for the weekend trip. My only hang up with this suitcase is that it is heavy empty - durable, but heavy for a 20" case. So when I am ready to graduate to a new one I know that the 20" size works well for my weekend trips. I am just going to look for something lighter and of course not black and from Costco. Do you know how many people out there that travel have this exact bag??? You need to put an identifier on this piece! I have some of these tags and they are pretty funny - even more funny when someone picks up my bag and reads it.

Here are the toiletry bags that go with me every trip.
This first bag holds my neccessities like tooth brush (I travel with my sonicare), toothpaste, all the stuff for my face in smaller containers, medication, perfume, body soap, nail stuff, razor, cotton swabs, etc. I have had this case for year and I like it because it stands up and has a small foot print for a hotel size bathroom. It is also very well padded! This stays under my sink ready to go - everything in her except my toothbrush is a duplicate from my at home stash. I never forget a thing because it is already packed - I replenish when I get home and before I put away. This is made by Travelon. I have paired down some of my containers so I am looking for a smaller solution but haven't found anything yet.
This next container is made by Lug - this piece is fairly new to me and so far I love the size. This holds everything that has to do with my hair, less the hair dryer. I have smaller travel bottles for most things except my mousse and it is again always packed and ready to go. It also holds my extra brush, hair clips and hair bands. So why not combine this container with the one above? Keeping everything organized separately makes for easy access. Especially when you are sharing a hotel room - Stacy and I make great roommates, when she is in the shower I can be doing my hair out in the room. All I need out of my suitcase is this container - the other one can stay in the bathroom. Make sense? Also if I need to find something I know that my cotton swabs are not in this container so I can totally skip over it.
This is my make up case from TARGET! It's by Contents and I couldn't find anything on the website but I am sure they have a great selection at the stores. I hope this thing never dies or I may have to sew one up... my make up is the one thing that I don't have double of so this is what I use when I am home too. So it was important to find one that could hang up and not take up any counter space or drawer space. Everything in here is my basic make up - if I know that we have a few evening events I might throw in a darker shadow but for the most part this is already to go. What to look for is three compartments so you can divide by your face: base, cheeks, lips in the bottom compartment. Eyes in the middle and the top holds all of my brushes. No digging around or broken containers!

Those are the items that always need to fit in any suitcase - either for a weekend, week or month. So when I go looking for luggage - guess what? I take these items with me because they are must haves.

“Travel is glamorous only in retrospect.” - Paul Theroux

Tomorrow will cover how I pack my technology and essentials for on the plane....Happy Wednesday!


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