October 18, 2013

Top 5 Packing Tips

Nothing seems to cause more pre-travel anxiety than packing. To help ease the pain, we have some simple tips that will help you travel comfortably and fashionably.

Tip #1 – Shoes & Socks

Whatever you do, make sure your “daily” shoes are comfortable and that your socks fit! You’ll probably find yourself walking much more than you do at home and nothing is worse that having blisters your first day out. If you bought new shoes, wear them a lot before you go. If you think they are even a little uncomfortable, think about trying another pair. That little pinch you feel walking at home will become a painful vise after hours of sightseeing. Besides being comfortable, the shoes you plan to wear throughout the day should have a good sole. Your favorite “flats” may feel like slippers, but imagine how they would feel if someone was tapping the bottom of your feet with a brick all day. You need something between you and those bricks, cobblestones, or concrete – and a thicker sole with some “give” will add hours to your daily enjoyment. Socks are important too. If they are too big or the seam hits the wrong part of your foot, like the princess and the pea, that little bump will feel like a boulder.

Tip #2 – Coordinate

Whether you look better in black and white or brown and beige, select a main color grouping. Don’t try to bring a separate, differently colored outfit for every day you’re away. Not only will you need to bring less clothes, but all the things that go along with it – jewelry, shoes, socks, belts, etc.

Tip #3 – Medications

Prescription medications, and a copy of your prescription, should stay with you either in your carry-on or purse. If your luggage is lost or delayed in getting to you, it may be difficult to get your prescription refilled quickly. However, do not try to bring a drug store with you “just-in-case”. Even abroad, most cities have wonderful drug stores or pharmacies. Don’t use your precious luggage real estate to bring pills, ointments, and elixirs that you probably don’t need – and if you did, you can simply pick them up while you’re there.

Tip #4 – Luggage Matters

The biggest change in luggage is wheels, and one has to wonder what took them so long to come up with it! If you’re thinking of replacing even one of your bags, definitely consider one that rolls. And, if you’re only getting one new one, make it your biggest. You can hook smaller bags to it and save your back and free up your arms for other things. If you plan to take a carry-on bag, be aware that airlines are becoming strict about the size – they need to fit under the seat or easily in the overhead. You may have been successful in exerting enough pressure to squeeze your bag into the overhead in the past, but now, if it looks hefty, you may be required to check it before you can board.

Tip #5 – The Purse

Bring one purse that will go with everything – make it light, and make it safe. A heavy purse can do serious harm to your back. Remember you’ll be out and about for many hours at a time. Before you hit the streets, take everything out of your bag that you don’t absolutely need – your back, shoulders, and traveling companion will thank you for it. Safe bags have secure clasps and zippered compartments. Bags with simple flaps over the contents are easy targets for thieves and subject to the accidental loss of valuable contents. Shoulder straps should also be sturdy. Thin spaghetti straps can break or be easily cut. When walking about, it’s a good practice to keep the clasp side of your purse toward your body, and keep a hand on the strap.

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