How To: Pack For Travel
I have a terrible memory but I live out of suitcases. So I use a list.
And living out of suitcases, I can only own a few things. I've discovered over time what things are good things. I've refined the list over many, many months.
For trips less than 3 months I use a carry-on suitcase and a laptop bag. For longer trips, I add a big suitcase. I'm happy with my Briggs & Riley suitcases. They have a lifetime warranty and after so many, many months they still look almost new. I'm currently using an Aldo laptop tote with bad zippers while I wait for a Dagne Dover Legend Tote to go on sale (as recommended by the fantastic Ann Lemay).
Inside the suitcases I organize everything with light reusable plastic pouches. I weigh both carry-ons to make sure they are just enough over the weight limits that I can still carry them on. I put everything necessary in my laptop bag regardless, because occasionally I fly Air France and they insist I check my tiny carry-on suitcase. I wear all my biggest clothes on the plane.
For clothes I prefer only black, so I can spill all over myself without dramas. I find that some silks roll up rather nice without wrinkling and I totally wash them in the washing machine and it's always fine. I do a lot of silk and denim. Some faux leather. When I change climates I leave cheap basics in hotel rooms and replenish with other cheap basics.
Here's my list.
To Do Before Leaving
- Check expiration dates on passport, credit cards
- Wash clothes
- Do dishes
- Empty fridge
- Empty garbage
- Put fresh sheets on bed ...So nice to come home to.
- Adjust thermostats
- Unplug computers
- Set email auto-reply
- Set up postal mail hold
- Put tickets in phone
- Check airline rewards
- Put destination address in phone
- Put books, music on phone
- Check flight status
- Dresses and jumpsuits
- Bathing suit
- Workout clothes
- Running shoes
- Flip flips
Laptop Bag - Liquids (max 100ml)
- Toothpaste ...I prefer Arm & Hammer and they have an 80ml size.
- Shampoo ...I prefer Aveda Color Conserve.
- Conditioner ...Aveda Color Conserve.
- Body wash ...Right now I'm really into The Body Shop White Musk Smokey Rose.
- Hair product ...I haven't found one I like yet. I'm using a few travel size Aveda things.
- Perfume ...I'm Tom Ford for life here. Oud Wood is my mainstay and Tobacco Oud is for when I get bored.
- Face oil ...A night oil with retinol. Any retinol product will do. In Canada we have this great line of skin products by NeoStrata.
- Nail polish ...The essie gel coutures are perfect for traveling. I'm wearing sew me right now.
- Liquid cosmetics ...I like Lancôme Grandiôse mascara a lot and Lancôme Artliner eyeliner. They stay on, don't flake or smudge, and yet wash off very easily. And I like the stila mini Liquid Lipstick sets in limited edition colours. They aren't drying and they are small enough that I use them all before I want new ones.
- Liquid medicine
Laptop Bag - Other
- Tampons, pads, cup
- Dry cosmetics ...OMG the Urban Decay Full Spectrum palette. Layered on top of a Maybelline ColorTattoo 24hr metallic base these look amazing.
- Dry medicine
- Melatonin ...Melatonin changed my life.
- Berocca ...Berocca is important.
- Hair iron ...I'm very happy with my T3 SinglePass Compact iron. It's fast and smooth.
- Sheet mask ...to use on the plane. Bonus: It stops your neighbours from talking to you.
- Antiperspirant ...Men's is cheaper.
- Razor ...Men's is cheaper again.
- Hair band
- Bobby pins
- Cotton swabs
- Nail file
- Unnecessary dry cosmetics ...Ones that don't matter if I lose.
- Credit cards
- Phone charger
- A safety pin or needle for switching sim cards
- Laptop charger
- Wearables ...An Apple Watch for dev, and a Spire to remind me not to look at Facebook.
- Wearables chargers
- Jewelry ...A few pairs of chandelier earrings.
- Socket adapter
- Extra batteries for headphones
- Business cards ...Moo makes the nicest ones I've ordered so far.
- USB sticks
- Chewing gum
- Pen ...I only use Sharpie pens. They never bleed through but the write beautifully.
- Notebook ...I like Kate Spade notebooks.