Monday, April 7, 2014

Slimming down your suitcase

photo by

As I have travelled extensively in my life, I have been asked to pass on some of my tips for making the trip as easy as possible.  

I have been to most of the fifty United States, most of the countries in Europe, many countries in Southeast Asia and South America. I have flown in excess of six million miles on American Airlines alone.  

One would think I have it down but really I don't.  I have to think about it every time I fly.  I do try and keep a shelf in my armoire ready with things I use on every trip. I do not use these things between trips.  They are packed in large zip lock bags ready to be thrown into my suitcase.

1.  small bottle of foundation, blush, mascara, concealer, eye shadow, lip and eye pencils.
2.  minimum amount of lingerie ( wash as you go)
3.  duplicates of vitamins and medication I use every day
4.  one round hairbrush and 2 hair clips
5.  travel size versions of shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, cologne, moisturizer, contact lens solution and case.
6.  my passport and travel documents in a small bag

Now when you are ready to pack all you have to do is pull these 6 zip lock bags, put them in the bottom of your bag and add you clothes.

If you can get everything into one carry on bag, that's the best.  I usually cannot do this, I wish I could.  You will need an additional small carry on for your electronics. An additional problem for me is getting the heavy bag into the overhead bin so I usually have to rely on the nice young man behind me to do this.

Now for the bag.  Depending on where you are going, you should be able to get by with using a basic colour palette.  Black is always good, you can go almost anywhere wearing black pants, white shirt and black sweater or jacket. Black, tan, grey and a pop of colour is best.
Here is a picture of a great assortment of clothes if you are going to Europe this summer.

If you could pack by outfit it would make unpacking much easier and your outfit would be ready to wear once you arrive.

My favourite carry on bag is by Tumi.  Here is one version.

Tumi carry on bag

I hope this helps you and remember, if you are going to Africa or any country without reliable air conditioning, bring a mosquito net for your bed and a hook to hang it on.  Believe me, you will be glad you did.

Bon Voyage


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

My Travels


This post is about ten things I can't live without when traveling. Today I am going to take a little different twist on this subject as I travel a lot and I cannot choose only ten things.

Because I live between Dallas and France, I make that trip about seven times a year.  In addition I have traveled extensively in the Far East including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.  I have trekked in the mountains of Nepal and spent time in Kathmandu. I have been to almost every country in Europe and have been to Israel.  I have flown over six million miles on American Airlines alone.

Okay, so one would think I am great at packing, traveling light, knowing what to take and what not to take and all the little tricks that make traveling fun.  Not so fast, I tend to take too much luggage, and have never gotten the hang of two bottoms and four tops.  For me every bottom needs a top, shoes and a bag.  What is wrong with me?

Today I am writing from the Admirals Club in New York on my way to Paris.  With me is a very large duffle bag with a tag marked "HEAVY", a dog stroller for my sweet little Maltese Skye, a computer and IPad bag, a purse and a carry on as large as I can fit in the overhead bin and I have to ask the nice young man in the line behind me to put it in the overhead as I cannot get it above my head

Everyone gives me travelling tips on how to go away for two weeks with one carry on bag. I am going to pass these tips along to you,  I don't necessarily follow them.

I can give you ten things but it depends on where I am going.  Since I go between Dallas and France so often I will use that trip as my guide.

Mostly these come from friends as I cannot travel light.

1. Four outfits, all interchangeable.......  Not me.
2. Two pair of shoes, one for day and one for night......  How can they do that?
3. One round hairbrush instead of the two or three I take.
4. One scarf that will go with everything.......  I need one for every outfit.
5. Two bras and two panties..........  I won't even tell you how many I take.
6. One nightie
7. 3 oz jars and bottles of toiletries......  I need my cologne, contact lens solution, two toothbrushes, vitamins, meds etc.
8. One black outfit, pants, top, shoes and bag.  This will take you anywhere
9. Two pieces of jewelry
10. No food......  Please, don't ask what I have with me.  Have you seen the new whipped peanut butter?  I know they don't have that in France so I am arriving fully stocked. Sriracha, sugarless maple syrup, baked lentil chips, Skinny Cow candy bars, gummy bears in Easter coffee mugs for my friends, Avalon Biotin shampoo and conditioner, surely I have forgotten something. 

Anyway, I hope you have lots of fun traveling and do as I say, not as I do to make your trip as pleasant as possible.

Bon Voyage