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  1. #1
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    Default Share Your Packing Tips!

    Whether you roll, fold, bundle or bunch, we want to hear your packing strategies! How do you prevent wrinkled clothes and minimize the weight of your suitcase? Share your tips with us here.

    Related Story:
    Packing Tips
    Sarah Schlichter
    Senior Editor
    Independent Traveler
    www.independenttraveler.com


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Share Your Packing Tips!

    Personally, I'm a roller...it helps with the wrinkling issue and helps you fit more into your suitcase -- which is key when you're trying to get everything into your carry-on. That's my biggest tip: try to pack light enough that you don't have to check anything!

    You can do that by keeping yourself to one pair of shoes (which you wear), one or maybe two pairs of pants, and only enough shirts to wear each of them twice. Traveling is NOT the time for vanity. (Obviously this might not work if you're going to a very hot climate or if you're going to be doing particularly strenous activity, but for normal sightseeing I don't usually have any issues wearing a shirt twice -- just remember the deoderant! ) I throw a plastic bag or two into my suitcase for dirty clothes.
    "I haven't been everywhere yet, but it's on my list." -- Susan Sontag

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Share Your Packing Tips!

    I pack in plastic bags - zip lock/hefty/ and decompression bags from the Travel Store. Things do not get as wrinkled and I can fit a lot more clothing into my suitcase.

  4. #4
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    Wink Re: Share Your Packing Tips!

    I use a rolling duffel and mix various packing methods, flat-folding shirts, pants and bermudas, rolling underwear and PJs, using zip lock bags for loose items and a spare trash bag for impossibly dirty laundry. Used shirts are folded for reuse if reasonably fresh. I can't stand to wear the same shoes for a full vacation, so I pack one pair of walking shoes and wear the other en route. I include one brown pair (not fancy, but passable for nicer restaurants). Socks, handkerchiefs, and underwear go into ample side and end pouches. I guess that's far more than a bare minimum packing list; but, it has worked well on our trips by car or plane.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Share Your Packing Tips!

    I like to pack a foldable suitcase inside my regular suitcase. My husband and I can't stand having our dirty clothes mixed in with our clean clothes. The second suitcase works great, we just dump our dirty clothes into the 2nd bag and dont' have to worry about odor or remembering which layer is the dirty layer. It also gives you more room for souveniers.

    I also bring along those plastic bags that newspapers come in, they work great for storing shoes and miscellaneous items like toiletry bottles.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Share Your Packing Tips!

    I am the worst packer ever, however, my best friend is a "roller" so whenever I have to pack for a long trip I convince her to come over and "help me". The only problem with this is that on the way back I can never seem to fit as much stuff back into the suitcase... rolling is def. a spacing saving technique.

  7. #7
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    Thumbs up Re: Share Your Packing Tips!

    My tried and true trick for keeping special fabrics and/or items of clothing wrinkle free is to use the plastic from your dry cleaning (safe those plastic wraps) and then lay it out flat on the bed, place your item of clothing on top of the plastic (use two pieces if you must but the longer pieces of dry cleaning plastic, like the kind for coats and dresses always work) and begin to carefully fold your clothing so that each fold is wrapped, i.e. every bend has a piece of plastic in it. Then as you make consecutive bends - think this out and fold item as it should be and aim for flat - ensure that each fold has plastic in it, carefully place it in the part of your suitcase that has those "X" straps on one side (and usually a net) and put those pieces of close on THAT side of your luggage OR, if you don't have that, put the wrapped pieces on the bottom of your suitcase, and carefully lay them down. THIS WORKS!
    I carried a LINEN dress all through Europe BY TRAIN by packing and unpacking it and it always looked good. I've also done it with other special items - silk, trousers, skirts etc and it never fails. Hence, I always keep dry cleaner's plastic on hand - ya never know, even though I haven't traveled in 5 years. Bit of a dry spell...........

    While the idea is always to pack "practical" items that don't wrinkle, sometimes we need a few special pieces that are just not easy to pack. Use the dry cleaner's plastic when folding and you won't believe your eyes! PLEASE NOTE: I AM NOT TELLING YOU TO PUT THE ITEM INSIDE THE DRY CLEANING PLASTIC. AGAIN, I AM TELLING YOU TO SMOOTH IT OUT, LAY IT FLAT - BOTH SIDES, SMOOTH - AND THEN BEGIN FOLDING YOUR ITEM, ENSURING THAT EVERY FOLD HAS PLASTIC IN THE FOLD. IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE TO LAY PLASTIC OVER THE ITEM TO DO THE FOLD, THEN DO SO. BUT ONE PIECE USUALLY WORKS FOR MOST ITEMS. TRY IT AND LET ME KNOW!!!!!!

    Happy packing........................ick - I hate packing, no matter where I am going but some people like it
    Colleen Costello
    Message Board Moderator

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Share Your Packing Tips!

    When packing to head to the beach consider pre-packing whatever you might need at the beach into a beachbag inside your backpack or suitcase. Especially if travelling with kids, this will prove a timesaver!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Share Your Packing Tips!

    mesh packing cubes and packing envelopes (folders)! I try to take mostly travel knits, which are rolled up and secured in the mesh packing cube(s). Any item that could wrinkle (hubby's shirts and trousers)are folded and packed in a packing envelope. I love this system because everything (underwear and socks included) is either in a cube or envelope, so no loose things in the luggage. We usually just leave the cube items in them when we arrive at our destination--they're already organized and easy to find. We've never had wrinkle problems since using the envelopes.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Share Your Packing Tips!

    I learned the rolling clothes technique this year. It was cold wherever the band was headed but I didn't want to be too hot while on the bus. I rolled and packed probably 3 extra sets of clothes into my messanger bag along with a little something to dol I was amazed at how much I fit into a tiny bag.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Share Your Packing Tips!

    I purchased a makeup etc type organizer and filled it with travel sizes of makeup and toilerties of various kinds and it folds up nicely for placement in my suitcase.
    I'll wear my sneakers for comfort as every vacation I've walked good distances not only at the destination but in the airports and train stations. I'll pack 1 pair of comfortable dressy flats for nights out to clubs and/or restaurants.
    I try to make sure that casual items can be worn several times - unless they get very soiled in some way, a pair of pants can be worn twice. I make sure I have 2 nice outfits for going out in and that the dressy type shirts and pants can be worn in different combinations.
    I check the weather prior to going to make it easier to pack but its a good idea to have a jacket and small umbrella with you at all times unless it is very hot.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Share Your Packing Tips!

    Aren't ziplock bags the best? My favorite travel accessories are ziplock bags, dental floss (which works to mend a ripped backpack in a pinch) and duct tape. That and clean underwear and I'm ready to go!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Share Your Packing Tips!

    After 4 years of nonstop travel, I've learned a few tricks to prevent overpacking...
    -I make sure all my tops go with all my bottoms, so I can mix and match them. I also avoid prints and try to stick with solid colors...if I want to add some color, I add a scarf or some inexpensive local jewelry.

    -I try to bring lightweight layers, so I can add or subtract them depending on the weather.

    -I used L.L. Bean's Ultralight Packers (no, I don't work for them, but I love their stuff). I use one for tops, one for bottoms, another for undergarments, etc...that way I always know where everything is and it keeps them neatly folded (or rolled if that's your preference...I found no advantage to either in terms of wrinkles or space saved)

    -when packing, put the largest and/or hard-sided things in first, then fit the smaller, squishier items around them.

    -for women, one lightweight little black dress that you can dress up or down is all you need if you need to look a little fancy.

    Hope this helps!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Share Your Packing Tips!

    This tip can be invaluable. Don't forget to pack several clothes pins. It is amazing how they can close drapes to keep out the light, etc. . Happy trails, marydallas

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Share Your Packing Tips!

    I love hearing how other people pack for long trips. The conventional wisdom is true: Take less clothes and more money! I've taken three-week trips to both Italy and South America and learned the secret is to take clothes that do double duty and, of course, resist wrinkles. I hate to shop, so I rely on companies like TravelSmith where I can get a few key pieces in one place. Right now I'm in love with TravelSmith's reversible skirts and these gorgeous white blouses that can double as jackets. I also like their CoolMax camis that are very lightweight. I took a few to Italy and was able to rinse them out in the sink and dry them overnight. Fabulous!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Share Your Packing Tips!

    Another "tip" on travel clothes is a line at Chicos that is made specifically for "travel"....one can wad it up (no wrinkles) rinse it out to dry fast drying.....you will be totally happy!!! Marydallas

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Share Your Packing Tips!

    Marydallas, thanks for the tip. I noticed TravelSmith has some beautiful travel tunics made out of a crinkle fabric. You can scrunch a tunic in a bag (or purse)... they look great with jeans, skirts, or as a swimsuit cover-up. They look like they can be washed by hand and dry fast... perfect for places like Italy or South America!

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Share Your Packing Tips!

    There are a only 2 things that I take with me on every trip. One is a cute whimsical dress made of light fabric that I can scrunch into a ball the size of a tennis ball. I can always fit it into my bag, it weighs nothing, because of the whimsical pattern it actual looks good wrinkled, and if I decide to go out to a fancy restaurant or a show or something, I've got something pretty to wear. The other item I always take is my towelini because it's so versatile it takes the place of a separate robe, towel, beach dress, travel blanket and pillow.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Share Your Packing Tips!

    I just returned from 3 weeks in Paris, which is a short trip for me -- usually it is a month to three months. I have finally solved my toughest travel packing dilemma -- reading material. I usually go through 4 books a week, and want at least two for each long plane trip, just in case. I got amazon's kindle before I left, and it was great. I downloaded a couple dozen books before I left, and added a few French novels available for free online during my trip. It was pricey, and I waited about 6 weeks (it is now in stock, so no waiting), but it was more than worth it when I could keep to one Rick Steves rolling bag that was light enough that I could always manage it myself.

    As for clothes, the toughest packing issue for me is outerwear. Coats take up so much room, and if you guess wrong you are either too cold, too hot, or wet. I study weather forecasts carefully, and this time it was perfect -- April in Paris with a lined raincoat that I wore on the plane, with a heavy 3/4 length wool sweater I could wear alone or under the coat. I gambled on silk long underwear, and my gamble paid off when it snowed for two days. That meant I had lightweight warmth without packing heavy pants that would have been too much the rest of the trip. Many places are overheated for us west-coasters, so layering helps a lot. I take only knit tops so I never worry about wrinkles, and several scarves to change the look, and black slacks that hang out overnight. It also helps to remember that in Paris and most European cities, women tend to wear mostly black -- I leave the bright colors at home so I blend in. I for one don't believe in planning to buy stuff when I get there -- it takes too much time away from what I'd rather be doing.

    Three weeks in April: one pair black pants, one pair jeans (I was spending weekends in the countryside), two knit tops, two sweaters, two pairs of walking shoes (one rain-proof), lined raincoat, long sweater.

    Enjoy!

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Share Your Packing Tips!

    Quote Originally Posted by SarahS View Post
    Whether you roll, fold, bundle or bunch, we want to hear your packing strategies! How do you prevent wrinkled clothes and minimize the weight of your suitcase? Share your tips with us here.

    Related Story:
    Packing Tips
    Since many travellers combine cruising with an air flight, it becomes problematic when having to down-size from as much as you want to bring on a cruise ship to the one bag permitted on the plane.

    Preparing for a three-week cruise followed by a flight home, and realizing that I didn't care much what anyone else was wearing and I also knew that they didn't care what I was wearing, I decided to go to the back of my closet and pull out the clothes that I would not necessarily have chosen as "the pick of the day." They were all right, but not my favorites.

    I chose to either donate to charity along the way or just to finally chuck the item. Being charitable I found to be difficult. When I asked the maid to take some things, she became apprehensive that I, or others, would accuse her of stealing. I mostly disposed of my really unwanted items and WAHOO! loads and loads of weight reduction, not to speak of extra space for shopping and/or souvenirs . . .

    I have a 50-day trip coming up and I would hope to get ideas from others as to what they did for packing. Years ago I was able to purchase soap detergent in tablet form, but haven't seen it on our store shelves lately. If anyone has seen some, I would appreciate knowing about it.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Share Your Packing Tips!

    Quote Originally Posted by HOST Bonjour View Post
    My tried and true trick for keeping special fabrics and/or items of clothing wrinkle free is to use the plastic from your dry cleaning
    PLEASE NOTE: I AM NOT TELLING YOU TO PUT THE ITEM INSIDE THE DRY CLEANING PLASTIC. AGAIN, I AM TELLING YOU TO SMOOTH IT OUT, LAY IT FLAT - BOTH SIDES, SMOOTH - AND THEN BEGIN FOLDING YOUR ITEM, ENSURING THAT EVERY FOLD HAS PLASTIC IN THE FOLD. IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE TO LAY PLASTIC OVER THE ITEM TO DO THE FOLD, THEN DO SO. BUT ONE PIECE USUALLY WORKS FOR MOST ITEMS. TRY IT AND LET ME KNOW!!!!!!
    Bonjour; 46901: I have been doing this for the past 20 years and I agree with you . . . this is one of the best tricks of packing I have ever used.
    Thanks for posting it!
    Joko Joan






  22. #22
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    Default Re: Share Your Packing Tips!

    Quote Originally Posted by HOST Bonjour View Post
    My tried and true trick for keeping special fabrics and/or items of clothing wrinkle free is to use the plastic from your dry cleaning
    I guess I sent out the previous post before I set up my signature. Also, I would like to add that the Packing List that is available is excellent and quite complete. Just a reminder: They are SUGGESTIONS/REMINDERS to help you not to forget something you might NEED. Also, on cruise ships, they are now providing toiletries (shampoo, soap) and even most carry hair dryers and robes. Check it out with your Travel Agent. It certainly frees up a lot of extra room and weight.
    Joko Joan






  23. #23
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    Default Re: Share Your Packing Tips!

    plastic bags are a must. I'm not too concerned about wrinkles, I just want my stuff to stay dry and to prevent mold. You can use regular zip locks, or you can line your whole backpack with a large garbage bag. This is good because it also makes your bag buoyant, so it won't sink if you are in water.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Share Your Packing Tips!

    Quote Originally Posted by SarahS View Post
    Whether you roll, fold, bundle or bunch, we want to hear your packing strategies! How do you prevent wrinkled clothes and minimize the weight of your suitcase? Share your tips with us here.

    Related Story:
    Packing Tips
    I will be taking my first trip to South America by cruise ship in January. Does anyone have suggestions about what to pack as far as the different temperatures in the various areas. We will be circling the continent. What is the coldest that I could expect it to be? I would hate to pack anything that isn't needed.
    Joko Joan






  25. #25
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    Default Re: Share Your Packing Tips!

    Hi,
    I went to South America by cruise two years ago -- it was awesome, you will LOVE it! Packing was definitely a challenge. It was hottest in Buenos Aires (in the 80's) and coldest on trek around Cape Horn (maybe around 50 degrees?). I always pack layers -- short sleeve shirts that I can add a cardigan or sweater to -- that can be reworn, and mixed and matched with two or three versatile pairs of pants. I'd take a light jacket in case you have rain. And since it's a longish cruise, this might be the time to splurge and send out clothes to the onboard laundry. That was a lifesaver for me!

    One thing you definitely should not forget to pack is sunscreen. Even in the colder ports, they say the ozone layer here is thin and you can get a burn when you least expect it!

    Have a GREAT time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joko View Post
    I will be taking my first trip to South America by cruise ship in January. Does anyone have suggestions about what to pack as far as the different temperatures in the various areas. We will be circling the continent. What is the coldest that I could expect it to be? I would hate to pack anything that isn't needed.

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