Confessions of an over-packer (and my subsequently developed list of travel essentials!)

I love to do jigsaw puzzles and pack "things" into other things uber-efficiently.  So, of course, no matter how hard I try not to, I can't seem to not over-pack my suitcase!  Squeezing in just one more rolled-up article of clothing is almost addicting....but that makes bags much heavier, too, unfortunately.  

Roll, roll, roll your clothes....

Roll, roll, roll your clothes....

In fact, on my last trip we shipped home one suitcase, full, because it was so heavy to lift on and off the train. It was obvious I didn't need all that I had brought.....Plus, there wasn't room for new purchases!

 

So, through trial and error, I've settled on some fabulous, can't-miss items, that can help make traveling a little more efficient, comfortable and stylish!

Storage:

Samsonite Curve - Super light and the ones made in the EU are much better looking than those made in China, which is all you can find in the US.  You can buy online at Valigeria Gazzarini  - they ship anywhere!  I shopped in their store in Firenze and was happy to be able to order from them when I returned home.

The 25" bag is only 7lbs!

The 25" bag is only 7lbs!

Baggalini wheeled tote - Fits under most airplane seats and carries all the essentials:  laptop, tablet, makeup, jewelry, extras.  It also does double duty as a rolling briefcase.

Telescoping handle and a sleeve to slip it over a large suitcase handle

Telescoping handle and a sleeve to slip it over a large suitcase handle

Baggalini expandable tote bag - So lightweight, yet hauls so much!  Carry it on as your "purse" along with the wheeled tote.  You can stash your crossbody bag (below) in it along with a book, magazines, camera, etc., then use it later on the trip to hold impromptu purchases!

Lightweight nylon and foldable

Lightweight nylon and foldable

 

Cocoon Gridit for laptop and tablets - These handy cases protect your laptop or tablet and keep all essential accessories in one easy-to-access place:  power chargers, adapters, earbuds, pens & pencils, etc. 

Everything in its place

Everything in its place

High*Way cross body bag - I bought this bag for traveling and it performed so well, I bought another for everyday.  It's compact, has a zillion compartments (many zippered), is super secure when worn crossbody, and is made by an artisan in New York, Jem Leaf.

I love my High*Way bag!  (It's the metallic one...!)

I love my High*Way bag!  (It's the metallic one...!)

Tumi Windsor jewelry roll up - This will hold enough women's (and men's) jewelry to take you through the glitziest trips and has an easy-to-fasten clasp.  Plus, you can't beat the reliability of Tumi quality.

Shoe bags - Protect everything else in your bag from street grime (ew!) while you protect your shoes.  And stash extras (they don't take up much room!) to wrap those delicate purchases you've found on your travels.....

Accessories for luggage: 

Passport cover & luggage tags - Dress up your luggage and it's easier to find on the carousel.  I love these leopard items from J Crew!

Is there ever too much animal print??

Is there ever too much animal print??

Makeup/grooming:

Battery lighted makeup mirror - For years, I travelled with a magnifying mirror and sought out the best natural light in the hotel room for applying makeup - woe to early morning flights or trains!  But then I found this battery-powered mirror by Floxite that takes up just a tad more packing space than the other mirror and even has a little tray for small items.

An excellent quality mirror

An excellent quality mirror

Trish McEvoy planner - As a designer, and a faithful Trish user since 1997, I appreciate functionally beautiful design and these planners have it!  They hold the magnetic "pages" containing the eyeshadow and blush I use every day as well as all the brushes.  Then, everything is just popped into the planner, which goes into the wheeled tote.  One less thing to think about.

  Sleek and organized

 

Sleek and organized

Samples - I collect a variety of samples and travel sizes of everything from luxury skin care to deodorant, then stow them away and take inventory about 2 weeks before leaving for a trip to see what needs replenishing. 

 

Clothes:

Shoes that do double duty - Since I usually journey either to large cities or warm places, I love sandals that can dress up or down (I power walk in bronze FitFlops), casual walking shoes, strappy neutral or black sandals.  

Basics - Neutral colors (duh!), black, grey, pops of colorful tops, hand-washable items.  This outfit is, I think, a perfect travel ensemble!  Neutrals, crossbody bag.....

....stylish but comfortable metallic shoes.....

Cole Haan

Cole Haan

.......and a big cashmere scarf to wear and use as a blanket or pillow on the plane/train.

Indispensable:

Don't forget a camera!  I take a lot of pics with my phone, like almost everyone, but I love my Sony!  The photos are great, it has interchangeable lenses and it's really not that much effort to download to a laptop or tablet.....

Sony a6000

Sony a6000

Last word:

Finally, a wonderful attitude is the most indispensible travel accessory!  Remember, nothing is as important as it seems.... and the purpose of traveling is to get a little lost in order to find yourself!

Posted on December 8, 2014 and filed under Travel.