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Helpful tips for travel and packing

March 21, 2012

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:

© Copyright 2012 Fashion for the average man.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. March 21, 2012 5:56 pm

    Hey. I wrote a little thing about you —

    Thought you’d like to see it. 🙂


  2. Sid Leake permalink
    March 22, 2012 2:06 am

    Great tips on popping the nice clothes out in the rental car. I’m travelling a lot these days and live in constant fear of wrinkles.

  3. March 27, 2012 1:46 pm

    I’m with you on packing light – I brought a roll-on and a backpack w/ laptop on a ten-day business trip to India. I could have used this post back then to make it easier!

    I’m a big fan of rolling clothes like shirts, skirts etc. to avoid the straight creases that are impossible to gt out without an iron. rolled clothes also take up less space!

  4. April 3, 2012 3:01 am

    Now see, THIS is a useful blog!! I’m hooked 😉

  5. April 19, 2012 1:04 pm

    See, this is smart – I always forget to pack certain things and sometimes end up with wardrobe malfunction! Next time I’m going to copy you and make a flipping list!
    You have an interesting blog with good pointers!


  6. May 10, 2012 7:13 pm

    I just throw in a couple of pairs of underpants, and hope for the best. Whatever happened to paper disposable clothing?

  7. May 12, 2012 6:11 pm

    Thanks for the tips on the packing. I always have a hard time figuring out which clothes to take and how to fit them in my bags lol

  8. May 26, 2012 1:54 pm

    Thought is was only me .. that do packing lists like this … always done – still I take fare too much with – travel light will never be my thing and now .. going to US & Canada, with only big city stops … going to be a nightmare. You men can take one high quality suite with you and change shirts and tie and look brand new every day. Not fair – not all.

  9. June 26, 2012 5:41 pm

    Thanks for the tips. This post really has worked on my husband, who seems to have a problem with correct travel procedures. I’ve don’t this for years and he’s finally catching on thanks to him reading your blog!
    God Bless – Lion2Lamb

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