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Another Travel Belle’s tips on how to pack a suitcase (because, hey, we’re all different, and the challenge of packing is never-ending)
Even if you are a person who “needs” two huge suitcases and a portable jewelry box to go away for the weekend, there is hope. Think small, portable and cute. A carry-on size bag with wheels is really all you need to travel for a month or two.
If you plan on bringing a lot of things back with you, buy a cheap bag there for the return trip. Or perhaps you’re an Ethnotek kind of Travel Belle.
1. Organize the clothes you think you will need piles on the bed – shirts, jeans, dresses. Stick to easy color schemes – black and white or green and grey – because it makes the process easier. Keep accessories to a minimum. (depending upon where you are headed as a nod to travel fashion, many Travel Belles don’t leave home without a little black travel dress.)
2. Discard half of each pile. It will take determination, but it can be done. Stay focused on what you really need, not what you want to take. Repeat this step until you are down to where you can fit everything into the carry-on bag with some room to spare. Rolled clothes take up less space and don’t require as much ironing.
3. Use the rule ‘”two outfits” and “something acceptable to go out in.” If you are staying in a 5-star hotel you can afford to send things out to be cleaned. If you are backpacking in a hostel, you can wash one outfit and wear the other. If you suddenly end up with an invitation to a spectacular see-and-be-seen party you can always buy something from Saks or at a second-hand shop, as the budget dictates. Even overseas – such as the middle of Nigeria or the north of Morocco — there are always places to buy used clothes.
4. Get mini-size bottles for shampoo, use a small tube of toothpaste and take only the cosmetics you need. Check department stores for trial sizes. If you run out of body lotion on your trip, buy the smallest bottle possible, refill yours and give the remains to somebody who will use it, like the woman who cleans your room.
5. Plan on wearing or carrying your coat or jacket as it takes up too much room to pack.
Bonus Belle Tip on how to pack a suitcase: Invest in a large computer bag or serious handbag with an across-the-body-strap for your laptop, camera and other valuables.
Warning: You may become a bit smug about people lined up waiting for their suitcase, as you sail by to begin your light-luggage travel style.
*Photos by and property of the author.