I am a pro at packing efficiently without limiting my style, so I shared my tips and tricks with Sistina Giordano and Mike Cauchon on Bridge Street this week. These tips work for for me but they are great for all women and men, and even kids. The key is to be organized and do some planning, choose items that work together and do double-duty, and don't overpack. Choose the proper luggage first. My favorite bag I use is a hard bag with dual sides and a fold out garment bag. It holds so much and the best part is it’s the approved carry on size so you don’t have to check it. A guy might prefer a soft sided bag, like The Weekender by J. Crew- it’s like a sophisticated duffle bag.
I pack at least two days prior, then edit the day before.
Check the weather and consider the events I have planned (ex. wedding, party, beach day, etc.)
Create a checklist- I include items such as toiletries, phone chargers, etc. so I don’t forget at the last minute.
Lay everything out on the bed or a table so I can see it.
Choosing items that can do double duty and are versatile are the key. All items should be color coordinated so I can mix and match. For example, for a beach weekend, a button down shirt can be worn out with shorts and then again over a bathing suit as a cover up. A scarf can be used as an accessory with a dress but also as a shawl to keep me warm in the evenings. For men, remember just because it’s a suit doesn’t mean it has to be worn as one. Let's say you have a wedding weekend to attend-wear the pants with a dress shirt to the rehearsal dinner the night before and then with a jacket & tie for the wedding the next day.
Bulky items like jackets and jeans can be worn when traveling so they don’t need to be packed.
Shoes and hard items go in first and sit at the bottom of the bag. I limit myself to two pairs of shoes-I wear one pair and pack the other. If I wrap the shoes in plastic bags I can use the bag later for dirty laundry.
Dry cleaning bags keep clothes from wrinkling and from bunching up as the bag shifts.
Maximize space by putting rolled up socks and smaller items inside shoes, or in the corners and nooks of the bag. Socks can also be put inside the cups of a bra.
Lay like items on top of each other and then roll up- saves space and reduces wrinkles.
Lay shirts, pants and dresses on top.
Any liquid items such as hairspray, hair gel, moisturizers, etc. I always put in ziplock baggies inside my bag so if they spill they won’t make a mess of my clothes.
I pack a smaller bag inside my suitcase in case I make purchases and need more space.
My carry on bag will include my valuables, medications and necessities like glasses, toothbrush and toothpaste, makeup and if possible a change of clothes in case of emergency or in case my checked bag gets delayed.
What are your most useful travel tips? Share them with me in the comments below or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Unfortunately the segment is no longer available to watch online. Updated 7/6/17.)