For women going places

Packing to Perfection


No one likes to pack and having to do it regularly doesn't make it any easier or more enjoyable. But there are items you should always have available or include for your safety and sanity.   

- Keep a duplicate set of makeup and toiletries in a separate case or other container. If you usually travel with a particular suitcase, you can put these items in that suitcase or nearby. If they are not all in one place, you can easily forget something.

- If possible, keep a duplicate set of medicine for travel use as well. Keep it near or in your suitcase. Watch out for expiration dates, especially if you're not traveling frequently.

- Keep a spare set of some clothing items that you can dedicate to a "travel set" (such as gym shoes, sleepwear, workout clothes and swimsuit) with your luggage. The fewer items you need to be concerned with about on the day of packing, the better.

- Have a portable clock in your travel bag, preferably one that illuminates. All too often the clock is located in the television set across the room, which makes it very difficult to see in the middle of the night, especially if you wear glasses. Although I usually arrange for a wake-up call, I use the alarm on the travel clock as a back-up.

- Have a flashlight in your travel bag. It's nice to have with you in a dark, unfamiliar hotel room where you may be unable to find the light switches.

- I don't usually bring a hair dryer. I have always found the dryers in the rooms to be satisfactory and I don't want to carry the extra weight or take up valuable space in my bag if it's not necessary.

- Always bring an umbrella. There are plenty of small models that take up very little space in your bag.

- Don't forget the charger for your mobile phone, iPod, iPad or Netbook. Better yet, have a spare charger that you keep in your travel bag.

- Take earplugs and an eye mask with you on every trip, especially for use on an airplane. They will help you ward off noise and light when you are trying to sleep. Keep them in or near the bag you usually use as a carry-on.

- Take a sewing kit and stain remover; again, keep them in or near your regular travel bag. If you can't remove a stain from that skirt you wanted to wear to your big presentation and you have no other alternative, ask the hotel for the use of a uniform, which is usually a pantsuit.

- Take a zip-top or similar plastic bag and fill it with spare plastic bags. These bags can be very handy in all kinds of circumstances - to hold a broken watch or jewelry, ice, stationery and store snacks.

Some other items that might come in handy:

- night light for the bathroom

- anti-bacterial wipes for the remote, phone and other surfaces

- pillowcase to bring a feeling of home

Whatever you pack, don't over do it. Remember the Woman Road Warrior mantra: Pack Light!

See you on the road!

Kathy Ameche

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