Helpful tips for travel and packing
36,000 feet. Clear skies above. The shining moon carefully affixed to the stratosphere. Below, I peer through a morning haze at postage stamp sized lakes surrounded by houses of punctuation point smallness. With three hours to wile away thinking and creating, I write to you today from my seat aboard a flight to Phoenix (surrounded in a periodic cloud of digested beans from some uncomfortable passenger, I might add – did not expect to experience clouds inside the plane!). Just beginning my business trip, I will grab a rental car upon arrival and maneuver through traffic to a meeting. Tonight over dinner, I will converse with a new attorney we may utilize in the coming year. Days two and three: more meetings and meals. Despite the Academy-Awards-like tight schedule, I managed to wedge in a joy-filled reunion with a long-standing friend. As you can guess, my trip required me to plan and pack accordingly.
As a soft rule, I prefer one carry-on bag to accompany me in addition to my laptop. It simplifies travel making it cheaper, easier, and quicker. On the other hand, I face the same dilemma every time – a list of planned out clothes surrounding a seemingly too small open bag. My father, a master of Tetris style packing, instilled in me the remarkable skill of maximizing every cubic inch of luggage space. To insure a wearable suit survives the trip, I also combine the skill with attention to preservation and wrinkle avoidance. In this article, I wish to convey helpful tips for travel and packing. We’ll save what to wear for another day (oh I can’t resist – what am I wearing right now? Tan slacks, light blue dress shirt and navy blue blazer – simple and classic. I already received a compliment from a kind TSA woman.)
Helpful steps for planning and packing:
1. Map out your itinerary – What will you be doing? Who will you be seeing? Create a chronological layout of your trip describing each day and clothing event. For example: “Monday – visit museum / dinner with friends; Tuesday – business meetings / business dinner.”
2. Think through your wardrobe – Mentally walk through each day pairing outfits with scheduled events. As much as possible, incorporate items with multiple uses such as a navy blue blazer (can be worn with a tie and slacks in a business setting or with jeans and a fun shirt in a more casual outing).
3. Reduce it down to one simple list – Take all of your lists for each event or day and put it into one list. Then, use it to pack.
4. Carefully pack your bag – Consider how each item will fit. Place heavier items such as shoes toward the bottom and lighter more delicate items near the top. To reduce wrinkles, lay suits, shirts, and dress slacks as flat as you can with as few folds as you can manage. Roll socks and ties placing them inside of shoes. To minimize the stress on suits, wait until right before you leave to close the bag. Another great way to prevent squishing of a sport coat or suit coat would be to wear it on the plane. I do this frequently.
5. As soon as possible, open/unpack your bag – Relieve the pressure on your squished clothes right away. This may mean opening your bag when you get to your rental car. Certainly at the latest, when you reach your destination, unpack your bag hanging up suits and undoing the crunch of the suitcase.
Overall, remember to pay attention to the stress your clothes will endure. And enjoy yourself on your trip.
Here is my list from this trip:
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