I thought it might be nice
to do an article pertaining to travel which might help
limit some of the stress that goes along with it. As a
frequent traveler myself, I'm always surprised by how
many people DON'T enjoy the preparations. I love every
phase of the trip...I love the planning...I love making
charts, sorting and packing. I love making arrangements I
just love to travel! And, over the years, I;ve become
quite good at it. So...I want to share some of the things
I've learned that can make it ....well, if not fun, then
at least easier.
PHASE I: Planning
A.) Make a chart on paper. Divide the
chart into as many squares as the number of days you'll
be gone. Date the squares, along with the day of the week
(Mon., Tue., etc). In each square make a notation of what
you think that day's activity might be...(Mon/Jan 1: lay
on the beach or Tue/Jan 2: visit museum a.m. - Gourmet
B.) Now---decide what you, and your
companion, will need to wear each day for each of these
activities. Be specific ("red dress" or "shorts
C.) When your chart is complete, look at
it and see if you have written similar items for more
than one day or activity ? Decide of just one of these
items can be worn for more than one activity ? You may
have to change the chart a few times to get things to
work out correctly. Sometimes changing the itinerary
helps. For example: Wearing a skirt or pants with a
lovely top or jacket to dinner one evening and then
scheduling a daytime activity for later in the week so
that you can wear that same skirt or pants with a casual
Having a versatile set is an excellent idea. I have a
sage green, 2 piece silk skirt and top. It's of great
quality, suede feeling silk, which is fully lined and
hangs beautifully. It's plain---no collar and no trim. I
take this set everywhere! On one trip I wore it three
times and I don't believe anyone noticed. I wore it to a
dinner meeting with a black linen jacket...I wore it to a
luncheon with a print scarf tied loosely...and then, I
wore it one evening with a gold chain belt, gold jewelry,
gold pumps and matching bag. I felt good in this outfit
and that's halfway to looking good. Besides, it takes up
almost no room and weighs nothing!
If your trip is going to be more casual, the same rules
apply. Wear an outfit first to the more important
function---wear it again casually during the day the
PHASE II: Preparation
A.) With chart in hand, go through your
wardrobe and make note on your chart of everything that
you have. Make a list of the items you need to purchase.
Seperate out the clothes that need to be cleaned,
laundered or pressed. Do all of this tomorrow. Don't wait
until the last minute.
As soon as everything is clean and pressed, make note on
your chart that it's ready.
B.) Cosmetics, toiletries and
medications are just as important to your travel plans as
your clothes. Don't forget anything. If you don't have a
cosmetic case to go with your luggage, invest in one.
1.) Mentally walk through your daily
hygeine schedule and make a list of all the items you
will use. Make an X next to the items you have enough of
and purchase everything else you will need...Here's an
example of the things I carry on every trip:
Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, eye drops, shampoo, razor,
face moisturizer, hair mousse, comb, brush, band aids,
ointments, Q-tips, nail clippers, tweezers, scissors,
tiny sewing kit, deoderant, body powder, electric curling
rod, hair dryer, aspirin, cough drops, make up, nail
polish, polish remover, emory board, tissues, cotton
balls, men's shaving foam, after shave, sun tan lotion,
feminine products, baby wipes (great for removing make up),
1 bar soap, 1 face cloth, 1 hand towel, shower cap....
2.) Don't forget to have your
prescription medicines refilled. DO NOT pack these in the
cosmetic case where liquids may leak and contaminate the
drugs. In the suitcase with clothes are safest.
3.) Place liquid toiletries in zip lock
baggies before packing. Place non breakable items between
any glass items to prevent breakage.
PHASE III: Packing
I have found that two people can do quite well with just
4 bags...a cosmetic case, a garment bag, 2 suitcases.
A.) GARMENT BAG
1.) Use a sturdy, folding
garment bag, at least 3 inches; thick. Hang dress clothes,
blazers, suits etc.
2.) Place the shoes and
accessories to these outfits right in the bottom of the
bag. Before packing shoes, stuff them with socks,
underwear, hankies, belts, cuff links and accessories.
3.) Pack lingerie, hosiery and sleep
wear in the mesh compartments. Put in the bag a piece of
paper with your name, address, name of hotel and the
hotel phone number.
4.) Secure the sippers together with a
small padlock---remember to take the key.
5.) Place name tag on the handle. Do NOT
put your home address. Use your office address or that of
a friend or relative.
B.) COSMETIC CASE
---After packing this case, fill any empty spaces with
socks and/or underwear.
C.) SUITCASES #1 and #2
are two ways to plan the packing of more than one
a.) His and Her cases with a mark on the
outside to identify which one it is.
b.) One for the first half of a trip and
one for the remainder of the trip. If closet space is
limited, or if you're frequently on the move, this
eliminates the need to open and close ALL the cases every
2.) Beginning with pants, slacks and
jeans---place first pair flat in the case lengthwise,
letting the legs hang out over the edge. Place the 2nd
pair in the same way, but in the opposite direction,
letting the legs hang out over the edge. Continue doing
this until all of the pants that you want in this case
3.) Fold skirts in thirds, lengthwise.
If it will fit into the case, lay it in flat. It it's too
long, then fold down from the waist band just enough to
4.) Fold shorts, tank tops, tee shirts
and pullovers. Lay on top of the skirts. This is also a
good time to pack your prescription drugs, hair dryer and
curling iron (placing these in the middle of clothes will
prevent them from breaking).
5.) If you have silk or other
lightweight tops, fold lengthwise in thirds. Beginning at
one end, roll up and place along edges of the case.
6.) Neatly fold blouses and shirts and
place on top of the stack.
7.) Now, fold the legs of the pants up
and over all the rest of the garments you have packed.
8.) Spread a large garbage bag over the
top of everything. This will keep the clothes clean and
can be used for dirty laudry while travelling. Secure
everything in place using the straps attached inside the
9.) Roll up underwear, socks, hose,
night clothes and fill in the empty space along the
inside edge of the case. Some of these items can be
packed inside of shoes.
10.) Place shoes inside shoe bags, or
small grocery bags, or even pillow cases. Lay shoes
evenly spread across top. Place a paper inside suitcase
with your name, address, name and phone number of your
hotel and also a name and phone number in case of an
11.) Close and lock suitcase #1.
12.) Do exactly the same packing for
13.) Place I.D. tags on handles.
PHASE IV: At the Airport
A.) LOSS PREVENTION
1.) DO NOT use curb side check-in.
Although convenient, this is where most mistakes are made
and luggage doesn't always end up on the same plane you
2.) Check your baggage ticket to make
sure the destination code is the same as on your ticket.
For that matter, make sure the destination code on your
ticket is for the place you want to go.If I hadn't
noticed the DAY one airline employee put on my bags I
would have been in Daytona Beach, Florida (DAB) and my
clothes would have all been in Dayton, Ohio.
3.) Check everything in at the counter.
There's no need to carry anything with you. It holds up
the lines at security and annoys everyone behind you
getting on and off the plane to have to wait while you
fumble with the overhead. Plus, if you've got to change
planes you don't really want to be lugging or dragging
4.) DO NOT put your home address on your
luggage tags. It has been known for a few unscrupulous
airport baggage handlers ( not the majority...but there
are some) to be part of a little business that monitors
the destinations on expensive or good looking luggage. If
the destination is somewhere expensive, then they contact
some friends in the vacinity of your home and notify them
that you are away.
5.) Just in case your luggage is one of
the rare one's that gets delayed or re-routed (I've never
had this happen), try to remember something specific
inside each case because that will be a question you'll
be asked...such as "it has my husband's favorite
purple sweater with a button missing, a torn elbow and
YALE printed on the back".
B.) HEALTH AND COMFORT
1.) The inside of an airplane has 100+
people inside a small space. Each person is the potential
carrier of a bacterior or virus that may affect the
people around them. People are bumping, rubbing, talking,
sneezing and coughing. Upon take-off, the cabin pressure
changes. If you have been exposed to any virus or
bacterior, the pressure change can drive these from the
nose and mouth into the inner ear and sinus cavity.
According to a medical report I read a few years ago, the
active ingredient found in the AFRIN nasal spray can act
as a barrier, preventing this pesky little bugs from
reaching the ear or the sinuses.
---Before EACH takeoff, spray 2 squirts of AFRIN in each
nostril....I have been doing this for about 5 years and
have virtually eliminated the flu and bronchitis I always
used to experience after a long trip. It works!
2.) Chewing gun during takeoff really
does HELP to prevent air bubbles forming in the ear. But
then so do ear plugs or even placing your index fingers
in each ear and gently applying pressure during take off.
3.) Bringing along your own little
travel pillow is certainly got to be healthier than
resting your face on those airline pillows that who knows
who the last passenger was that sneezed on it.
4.) Drink plenty of water before
boarding to prevent dehydration and painfully dry lips
5.) Drinking alchohol before and during
a flight will make your skin dry and ankles swell.
Instead, why not save the cocktail until you arrive. For
a tasty drink ask the attendant for a fruit juice topped
off with ginger ale.
6.) Wear flat, comfortable shoes. Worry
about fashion later. It's really not very pretty if you're
hobbling out of the skyway with feet swollen tight inside
spike heels. Also, if there were an emergency during the
flight, the attendants would confiscate high heels shoes....they
do not want these potential weapons flying through the
air during an emergency landing. And, what about after
that landing ? The floor will be hot, you will be
barefoot, and everyone with sensible shoes on will be
climbing over you to get off the plane.
1.) Do not try to carry anything in your
pocket or purse that can be considered a potential weapon.
NO nail files, clippers, scissors, box cutters,
jackknives, pen knives, pins, or sharp and pointed
2.) Do not carry anything aerosol.
3.) Do not combine medications into one
bottle or use those handy little daily pill dispensers.
If drugs are not in their original prescription bottles
they will be confiscated.
4.) Get to the airport 1-1/2 to 2 hours
before take off.
5.) Please...don't make a scene about
these new safety procedures. These new rules are for YOUR
safety as well as the other passengers and the flight
D.) HAVE LOTS AND LOTS OF FUN!