Pretrip Planning

I have packed in less than 3 hours for a 2 week trip to Europe – all in carry on luggage! I also pack for a 4 day business trip in the USA in less than an hour. How can it be so? I travel A LOT and have learned that less is more. I have my bathroom ziplog quart bags ready to go with travel sizes. As long as my clothes are clean, I have my go to pieces for travel – the ones that resist wrinkles.

Here are some tips that have helped me and I hope will help you lose some of your luggage – without it being stolen.

Think minimalist. World travelers have learned to expect the unexpected and be flexible. You would be amazed at what you can do without. Remember you can buy things where you are going and you can wash clothes along the way.

Traveling with only carry on = getting around airports and train stations much easier, less chance of lost luggage, and no baggage fees.

Bring a duffel bag for extra things you buy on your trip if you plan to do a good amount of shopping. Checking a bag on the way back is better than the way there.

Here are key tips that have helped me in the past to insure packing and travel success:

  • Call your cell carrier and get set up for international travel plans. Know the costs and Rules
  • Call your bank to alert them you are traveling so they don’t put hold on your cards.
  • Get small amounts of local currency for countries you are visiting
  • Get to an ATM and withdraw some cash once you arrive.
  • Keep copies of passport, drivers license, your country embassy address in your backpack carry on. Keep originals in the other carry on (rolling bag).
  • Wearing comfortable clothes helps with long airplane rides, such as jogging suit and walking shoes.
  • Roll your clothes in your bag instead of folding.
  • Pack larger items first, shoes/boots on the bottom.
  • Add undergarments, belts, smaller items last by tucking around the others items.

Keep these things easily accessible when packing (front pockets):

Socks, eReader, laptop headphones, toothbrush/paste, lotion, medicines, hand sanitizer, contacts or glasses, snacks, eye cover, neck pillow, tissues

Items/Products that I have found useful:

Get travel sizes of your skin and hair care products on amazon.com or at Ulta or Aveda.

Fill travel sized bottles from larger bottles at home.

Duty free shops are great places to buy travel sized cosmetics.

You can buy more when you are there at local pharmacies.

Products I like:

Clark or Sketchers comfortable walking shoes.

Sony noise cancelling headphones (cheaper than Bose).

TravelPro luggage.

JCPenney Worthington brand has nice polyester blouses that resist wrinkling, Express Editor pants, Ross or Marshall’s for dresses, shoes.

Things to leave at home:

  • Swiss army knife and nail clippers (not allowed in carry on)
  • Bottled water
  • Travel alarm clock, GPS, address book (use your smart phone)
  • Frequent flyer cards (just bring list of numbers)
  • DVD’s and player (use your iPad, or laptop)
  • Books magazines (use your eReader)
  • Hair dryer, towels (use the hotel’s)

Have tips to add? Use the Contact Me page to send me your pre-trip planning tips.

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