Travel Like a Pro: 21 Smart Packing Tips

Smart Packing Tips for Traveling in Style

Packing is not easy. Packing takes time and patience. Packing is psychological. Packing is an emotional response to going away from home. Packing exposes a bit of our identity. Packing decides our comfort zone. Packing shows our measure of handling calculated risk. Packing reveals some of our personality.

Watch my step by step video on how to pack light & not check in luggage here.

pack-light-video

Packing is complicated, time-consuming, stressful and cannot easily be accomplished in one sitting.

Packing Light for Smart Travel

Yet, whether you are frequently on the road, whether you are an expert flyer always on the go, savvy smart travelers are born from supreme packing, one done with efficiency, skill, and knowledge – and this habit will set you apart from the rest, ease your mind and afford you many better travel adventures. (Hint: this savvy traveler can be YOU!)

If you want in-depth insights on traveling light and confidently, grab a copy of my guide: Travel with Confidence: A Roadmap to Build Your Travel Spirit.

NOTE: This is Part 2 of the Travel like a Pro series focusing on skillful packing skills. Part 1 shared 11 reasons why you should never check in luggage, no matter where and how long your travels may be.

How to Think about Packing

It is first and foremost all about how you think about packing. This took me a very long time to understand. How your mind approaches and analyzes this very personal concept will directly impact what you end up doing, regardless of the best advice in the world.

For me, packing was an emotional process.

It is no secret that I love travel but I equally love my materialistic possessions at home so leaving them behind is a daunting task every time.

In my naive traveler days, I used to be convinced that I would need every imaginable item on a short or long trip and it is only natural for me to pack it and bring it along. Even after I was done packing my suitcase, I would find additional clothes, pens, make-up, accessories, you-name-it, to stuff into my extra pockets in the (unlikely to impossible) situation that I should need it and be unable to proceed during the trip without it.

Guess what? This is not true. Positively false indeed – for the two simple reasons below:

  1. First: Wherever your destination, except for the super adventurous travelers venturing out to the very rural areas, there is bound to be a pharmacy, a grocery store, a 7-11 of some sort, and places stocked with any of your necessities or fancies in an emergency.
  2. Second: If you bring something along “just in case” and for the sole purpose of having it for your mind to be at ease – rather than for a practical and logical reason – you will  be highly unlikely to use it. Personal experience shouts this one out at me but I am sharing it in a very gentle voice!

21 Smart Packing Tips for Travel Anywhere:

If you can train your mind to approach packing logically and reasonably rather than emotionally, you will be amazed at the gap between the two thought processes.

Recently, I admitted to having packed for 20 days, 3 countries (Canada, Asia), and 2 climates – not to mention a multitude of different activities from yoga, tango, a wedding, film watching, serious walking, hiking, beach – without checking luggage.

In fact, on the shorter flights, I did not even gate-check my luggage.

My bags were small enough to fit into those tiny little propeller planes. The photos and examples here reference this particular trip but have been tried and tested out many times on travels to Europe, Asia, South Pacific, and all over the North America.

Learn how to travel like a professional by reading my top secrets and best resources: Travel with Confidence: A Roadmap to Build Your Travel Spirit.

The tips are in order of sequential logic (do this first, then this next ….) and importance (most important first, second most important next….) – and they prepare you for never checking in your luggage!

1. Invest in One Durable and Smart Luggage:

You must have the right foundation first: the best luggage! We invested in two large Patagonia MLC (Maximum Legal Carry-on) backpacks with shoulder straps years ago and those durable bags have been around the world without any loss in quality and appearance. They are a remarkable model which Patagonia no longer makes, made of ballistic nylon and made to last forever. The bag itself weighs hardly anything and with several compartments, allows organized packing with maximum room. It fits fine in all overhead compartments. Roll-on suitcases are wonderful but usually do not afford you as much room. I would use a roll-on for a week long trip but a nice hard-core backpack for longer than 10 days.

2. Make an Itemized Packing List:

Organization makes all the difference. If you are not organized, you are bound to forget and later be stressed. I highly recommend making a packing list before you set out to pack. Itemize everything you need to bring. Include all your toiletries, electronics, accessories, shoes, clothes (i.e., black pants, white tops, but then determine which exact one later). Print your list and check off everything as you pack.

3. Research Your Destination for 30 Minutes:

This may not have an obvious part of packing but it is relevant and essential. Research the climate, the culture, the scene, and consider the specific activities, the routes and the type of vacation you will be having. Use that information to decide what to take. If you will be completely carefree and do not know what you will feel like doing, think then of your top desirable ways to spend a perfect day in your destination and try your best to accommodate those types of activities and leisure hours.

4. Select from Your Favorite and Most Comfortable Clothes:

Take what you love, baby! Take what you LOVE to wear and show off! I can wholeheartedly agree with a reader comment: take what you feel lovely in! Choose your most beloved clothes, those you feel most comfortable and confident in and also those which you do not mind wearing again on your trip.

5. Think in Layers and in Classic Solid Colors:

Weather is still unpredictable despite our best efforts and temperatures vary greatly as you go from airport to train stations to metro to the city to the country and wherever else your destination takes you. It’s very important to think and pack in layers. Layers are the secret to being responsive to weather changes. The thinner layers work best and are easiest to carry in your purse or backpack when you take them off. Also the classic solid colors are your blacks and whites. So leave the thick funky sweater and the colorful dress which matches no jacket or overcoat in your closet and go for your most stylish classic layers!

6. Choose Your Most Wrinkle-Free Pieces:

Go for your most wrinkle-free pieces. This will matter to you because you avoid ironing – or burning anything in my case! – and you can fold wrinkle-free clothes much tighter and without worry.

7. Take Clothes That Easily Hand wash:

I assure you that hand washing a few pieces of clothes during a week plus long trip will not take up a lot of your time! Use very gentle Woolite – small packs are sold and can easily fit on your carry-on Ziplock bag. You can also use the hotel’s washing machines (not dry-cleaning service) such as in the vacation resorts. Hawaii hotels always have them and the only cost is your detergent and a few pennies in the machine.

8. Use the Power of Accessories:

Depending on where you live and your personal style, you may not wear hats or scarves at home but they add an exquisite touch to any outfit when on travel. I love wearing them during my travels and consider them essentials to complete my wardrobe.

9. Lay Out Everything You Want to Take:

Before packing anything, give yourself a visual display of everything you will bring. After you decide on all – even if not final – items to bring, lay it all out on a bed or sofa and put them into categories: skirts, pants, shirts, nice dress tops, dresses, accessories.

Clothes before packing

10. Create Smart and Practical Wardrobes:

Style is important for a savvy traveler. Traveling light does not mean traveling like a slob. Look at all the categories on your bed or sofa (#9), then create smart and practical wardrobes – coordinate colors and styles and textures – shoot for 1-2 wardrobes a day and about 10 a week – most of which can overlap on same items.

This skirt matches 3 shirts, that top matches these 4 bottoms and so on. Spend a few minutes to really think through several wardrobes to match your particular activities and your personal style. This is the elimination and modification process as you make final call on what goes and what stays.

11. Choose Stylish Yet Comfortable Shoes:

After you decide on your wardrobe, it’s time to match the shoes -I have found this works better in this order. I cannot emphasize enough: Do not take shoes with remote possibility to hurt your feet after several hours of wear.

Assume you will walk more than you plan and spend more time in them without rest, and put comfort above all when it comes to shoes. Also try not to take a new pair of shoes on vacation – break them in before taking them on a trip.

12. Store Shoes in Thin Cloth Bags:

For your shoes not to touch your clothes, use light cloth shoe bags. Preferably, use one bag per shoe and distribute the shoes when you pack them. You can also store socks inside shoes if possible.

13. Pack Your Delicates in Pouches or Small Bags:

Small thin cloth bags come in very handy. I recommend always putting all of your under-garments in one, scarves in another and bras in either a compartment in your luggage or another cloth bag. Imagine that you would want no hands to touch them if your luggage is opened and be super organized to boot!

14. Use a Rolling Technique to Fold Clothes:

Folding correctly is extremely vital to successful packing. For clothes which do not wrinkle, you can simply roll them tightly, then stack side by side starting at bottom of the suitcase, then adding next layer on top. If you cannot roll your clothes, such as a jacket, look up best folding techniques.

Folding Clothes by Rolling

15. Use all Your Luggage Space Wisely:

This does not mean over-stuffing your luggage; it means not leaving any empty space behind! Placement as well as folding are key here. First I completely empty out the luggage from previous trip. Then I distribute my shoes in shoe bags at the far edges of my bag. They also create an outer cushion for the clothes in the center. I take out the “air” in clothes and fold very carefully (#14) and fill each nook and cranny for most fitting piece. It is an art really!

16. Pack A Small Purse in Your Carry-On:

I have done this several times. The purse I would use on vacation is usually smaller than a full carry-on and to maximize the use of allowable space on the plane, I pack my purse (in a cloth bag) inside my carry-on.

Packing purse in carry-on luggage17. Aim to Use mostly Solid Make-up:

Airport security restriction on liquids had me going wild with frustration for a while; then I adapted and accepted the new rules. I highly recommend using power-based make-up; I use mineral makeup so no liquids from my make up need to be in the Ziploc bag.

18. Use Small Liquid Containers with a Label:

Buy small and thin but tight plastic containers and a label maker. Measure out your shampoo, conditioner, one single hair product, moisturizer, suntan lotion, toner, eye cream, lip gloss, etc and carefully pack them in your Ziploc bag. Use solids for what you can; I love my liquid deodorant but use a solid one for traveling.

19. Leave Your Laptop Behind (if possible):

Lately, I have been inspired to take “digital breaks” during the weekends. I try to take mine on short get-aways. Leave your laptop behind if possible. In love that I am with my Mac, it only makes it to half the vacations. Your Smart phone should keep you in touch and extra memory cards can keep the camera memory in check for countless photos.

20.Trust the Kindle or iPad for All Your Reading:

Yes I still love books – real books with real pages – but the Kindle is revolutionary for a long road trip and ideally, you can read my Travel with Confidence book on your Kindle! You can even enjoy reading books using the free Kindle app on your iPad. Imagine carrying hundreds of books on the palm of your hand. I highly recommend giving eReaders a chance, if for nothing else, for the space you shall be saving!

Carry on and essentials of packing

21. Wear Your Heaviest Clothes En Route:

Wearing your heaviest shoes and clothes on the trip is another great tip. I even suggest you wear or take your jacket with you even if leaving a warmer climate so as not to put it in your luggage.

What did I take on the 20-day 3-country Trip:

I will wrap up with exactly what clothes and shoes I brought on this wonderful trip:

  • 4 longsleeve shirts – 1 white, 2 with patterns, 1 black
  • 1 thin and long pashmina / cardi-wrap – grey
  • 3 scarves
  • 6 pairs of pants – 1 pink khaki, 1 grey cropped khaki, 1 yoga stretch, 1 white yoga/walking, 1 cropped black and 1 long casual black
  • 1 black skirt
  • 1 PJ bottom and 3 PJ tops – short sleeve and long sleeve
  • 5 tops – 1 white T-shirt, 1 semi-sweater purplish pattern, 1 v-shaped brown, 1 light green, 1 grey, 1 tan T-shirt
  • 8 pairs of underwear
  • 4 bras – 3 tan, 1 black
  • 1 fancy long flowery skirt
  • 1 fancy thin wrinkle-free dress
  • 1 sarong
  • 1 bikini
  • 1 white wrap
  • 1 cream thin cardigan
  • 4 pairs of shoes – 1 black sneakers, 1 comfy high-heel black sandal, 1 tango, 1 walking open-toed

pack-light-video

Time for Reader and other Travel-lover Thoughts

There, you have it! I have given away my secrets in painstaking details and sincerely hope that they come in handy and of use during your next travels. I would love to hear your thoughts on how you approach packing, how you pack, what you pack and why you pack it!

Get Confident in 21 Easy Steps


  • http://wellheeledblog.com WellHeeledBlog

    Great list of tips. I’d add – be sure to bring enough warm, seasonally / location-appropriate clothes! I’ve actually underpacked a few times in the name of minimalism (think NYC in January with a hoodie). My bag was light but wow, I will never do that again.

    • http://prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      Well, I am so glad I checked my spam-folder…your comment had slipped in there somehow – and so glad to see you commenting here, thank you. Good tip and that’s why it’s so important to check the weather – and even then, we may need additional warm clothes! I always have at least one shawl with me! Thanks for your comment!

  • Sandra Lee

    I love the first paragraph – packing is psychological! Or we might just say packing is psycho! My mind is totally blown away by these precise instructions. Thank you, Farnoosh. I had a really good laugh when I read the word “slob.”

    • http://prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      Hi Sandra, it is SO psychological :)! It comes from years of practice and fine-tuning and I am so happy I made you laugh at the same time…..! Thanks for being the first to comment here!

  • http://www.mindadventure.com/blog rob white

    Hi Farnoosh,
    This is the best pitch I have heard for getting an eReader. I am always lugging around multiple books when I travel. I had not thought of the convenience it could provide. Great tips. I love it when I can be open minded and change my own stubborn way of thinking :)

    • http://prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      Hi Rob, so are you going to give in to the Kindle or the Nook or one of their sisters? Now talk about something really psychological, that is it! I am glad to know we have stubbornness in common and happier still to see that you may reconsider some of your old ways. That’s great! Thanks for your comment!

  • http://theboldlife.com Tess The Bold Life

    These are excellent tips. I’m very right brained so I don’t think like this but now I have your complete instructions. Your photos add such a personal and charming touch…as well as helpful. Thanks! Happy Trails.

    • http://prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      Hi Tess, I am so happy given how hard I worked on this post….I hope the list gives you some good tips and thank you for the kind comment and wishes!

  • http://www.jerry.malsam.com Jerry

    Excellent post! I’ll be referencing this in the near future, as I’ve just taken a job where I’ll be traveling 90%. I may even go full-nomad for a while — no permanent home, just staying in whatever-city on the weekends — which would really force me to decide what possessions I need, period.

    • http://prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      Hi Jerry, thank you for the reference – there are some extreme people out there. I am not one of them….yet! Glad you are going to hit the road. I hope whatever you do, you find it is a good change for you! Thank you for your comment!

  • http://www.jungleoflife.com/ Lance

    Hey Farnoosh,
    I *typically* skip the skirts!!! (“typically” being the key word…) (wait!! What am I saying?!?!?)

    This is a great list. I’m just home yesterday from traveling (…and I took too much stuff!!). Great points on taking what you really love. And the book idea – another great one! (I had three books along…and they took up a lot of space!).

    • http://prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      Hi Lance, very good to know you skip the skirts – and hopefully the mineral based make-up too, ha? :)I am so happy always to see you on the blog, especially when you bring that great sense of humor – And thank you for admitting you took too much….I used to admit it very privately to myself when Andy is not eavesdropping ;)! Thank you thank you for your comment!

  • http://www.poweredbyintuition.com Angela Artemis

    Farnoosh, You are the ultimate seasoned traveler by now. I appreciate your well thought out tips. If only I had somewhere to go to use them! I will remember them though.

    • http://prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      Hi Angela, I still have a lot to learn but so glad that I have enough tips to share….Hope you hit the road soon and go somewhere very exciting. It would be so wonderful to see you at Blogworld in October!!

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  • http://www.SteveScottSite.com Steve@Lifestyle Design

    Great tips and great packing. I thought I was pretty good at being economical with space, but looks like you might have me topped.

    Like you said the type of clothes can mean a lot. Thinking of “long” time travel I went with clothes that you might think of when you think “journalist” . They tend to fit you bill really well, quality stuff, casual but nice enough to not be too underdressed, wrinkle free, able to hand wash, all of those goodies.

    What can I say about the kindle except how wonderful it is. The only thing I would ever even debate replacing my kindle with would be an IPAD (which I don’t have). Any serious reader will just love the ease which you can get books. And so many classics are now public domain, so you can find versions for free and have them converted (if you cannot find them in kindle format already)

    I won’t even mention finding books as torrents and converting them…that is illegal and bad and I would never deign to support such a horrible maneuver.

    Anyway I still love my print books at times, but you really can’t beat the kindle, particularly for travel.

    Thank I got on a bit of a kindle rant there.

    Enjoy your trip and some wonderful packing tips you had in here!

    -Steve

    • http://prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      Steve, you bring up so many topics I have no idea where to start – so I’ll start with a heart-felt thank you for all the kind words. I am very happy even you as a savvy traveler found a tip or two here of value to you. I had no idea about the issues you bring up on book cracking for the Kindle….I actually only read classics so they are all free, as you mention, thanks to the Gutenberg Project….Very happy to see your thoughts here, thank you!

  • http://www.worldcurioustraveler.wordpress.com Mary R

    Dear Farnoosh,
    I practice many of the tips you mentioned. For me, the approach which helps me to pack light and quick is to have several go to practical items I always use.

    For example, I have cute trainers which can be used as casual shoes for sightseeing or going about town, but can also be used as athletic shoes. I have stretchy black pants that can be for exercise or dressed up for a night out. I have a wrap I take on the plane which can be to keep me warm, as a stylish accessory, or even a wrap on the beach. As much as possible, I try to get multiple purposes out of one item. I think I would even be tempted to use your tango shoes as dressy shoes for some occasion!

    I also keep a toiletry bag ready to go with sample sized items inside, so there’s never stress about packing that. Oh, I also invested in one of those makeup palettes by lancome with everything you could need together in one compact (eyeshadows, lipsticks, blush, concealer, eyeliner, and powder)

    It’s important to have a strategy and remember that all your items will waiting for you still when you get home.

    • http://prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      Dear Mary, thank you for sharing excellent tips! My husband preaches this one to me all the time too – bring something with multiple purpose but now that I hear it from another woman, it sounds even more convincing ;)! Of course I practice that subconsciously too – and thank you so so much for sharing your tips with us!

  • http://experiencelifefully.com Adrienne

    Wow, Farnoosh, you’ve outdone yourself again! You are WAY more organized, not to mention more fashionable, than I am. :-)

    It’s funny to me that packing can be stressful to some people, as I actually don’t mind it at all. Perhaps that will change as I continue slimming down my travel essentials (but hopefully not!). For me, packing conjures up excitement for the upcoming adventure.

    I do love your suggestion about shoe and lingerie bags! I’m definitely going to have to give that a try. I only wish I got to do as much traveling as you…hopefully someday. In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy living vicariously through your travels and stories on your blog. ;-)

    • http://prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      Dear Adrienne, thank you so much for all the sweet compliments….I really do stress a lot about looking stylish and fashionable!! Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth it ;)! Yes the small bags are such a great idea. Search for them on Amazon but also look at travel stores. REI is expensive but you can at least see what they carry then look for it online…And here’s hoping that many, many wonderful travels fall on your lap very soon…And I shall stay faithful to writing about my travels much as possible! Thanks for your comment.

  • http://www.insideoutstyleblog.com Imogen Lamport

    So true about the shoes. If your feet aren’t comfortable (and if you’re going somewhere European and walking cobbled streets) it can make the trip a misery. Also, I prefer my shoes to be as light as possible, no chunky or heavy shoes to weigh you down.

    Keeping the colour scheme to a minimum is really important, basically I want everything to mix and match. Sure you’ll get bored of wearing the same things over and over, but it’s better to do that than lug heaps of stuff around.

    • http://prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      Yes, yes, the weight of shoes matters. Very light and high quality so they don’t fall apart after walking miles and miles in them. Colors are important and I think it’s hard to get bored when we are traveling and exploring….so as long as there is some variety, we can be very happy with having a few things to wear but not lug around heavy luggage. Thank you Imogen for your insights here.

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  • http://www.happyheartandmind.com Preeti @ Heart and Mind

    Farnoosh,

    When I used to travel a lot for job or with Zenguy, I used to pack mix-and-match set, expending my small wardrobe in to big. Now, I pack easy, comfy clothes, shoes and use laundry if I visit longer.

    I have love to see your “comfortable” walking high heel shoes that you packed on list! I have not found any “high heel” to be comfortable for more than 20 steps, but cute and glamorous to holding it hand while walking bare feet! :-)

    • http://prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      Preeti, look into a brand called “Me too” – I bought their stylish but most comfortable boots last year and have walked miles upon miles upon miles in them in Paris…..and this year I went for their sandals and have walked miles upon miles in Toronto with them ….. so far, I am doing great. I mix with the comfortable Danskin brand which is made for walking and has about a 1-2 inch heel…..always great to see you here and thank you for your comment!

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  • http://whisperinggums.wordpress.com whisperinggums

    Now that looks perfectly doable…what more can I say!

    • http://prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      Great to hear it, Sue….thank you for stopping by and for that vote of confidence. Happy Packing next time you travel!

  • Rashmie @ Gorgeous Karma

    Dear Farnoonsh,
    I really appreciate your taking the effort to “pack” every essential tip including the photos in this post. I like how you have not lost the tiny details alongside the big ticket items. Like – “use the rolling technique to fold”. I also like the tip about using your favourite and best clothes. So true! I have found myself wanting to wear my best clothes over and over again even when I have extra clothes that I could use. And yes, wrinkle free dresses will spare the ironing bills as well.
    I usually take the laptop along so I can dump all the thousands of pics that I take during travels. I guess I need to find a substitute. O, I have answered my dilemma at this moment. I very recently purchased a netbook. That should help.

    Thanks again for such useful info. I will share this with my hubby and my bro – who’s also an avid traveler but not a “savvy” one as yet in terms of packing like a pro :))

    Cheers,
    Rashmie

    • http://prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      Hi Rashmie, thank you – I was exhausted and really worked hard on this post and so glad you enjoyed the technique and agree with some of my points. It shows you travel and enjoy your travels too. I bring my Mac along for different reasons sometimes too and that is one of them – although if you really had to do without it, there are smaller better backup options to explore. I remember we used to back up photos to our iPods years ago – before iPhones – without a computer in between but with the right cable. Just an idea. Enjoy it and do get those savvy travelers to chip in with their tips too!

  • mark

    Farnoosh – I really enjoyed this post and will re-read it as there is something hugely exciting about reading travel posts; it just makes you want to pack and go! Doubly so as I’m a patagonia fan and also use the MLC bag. The kindle has really helped me let go of a lot of printed paper books too. Thanks for posting. One last thing, I bought my MLC only a couple of months ago and its still advertised on the patanonia website here. < a href="http://www.patagonia.com/us/product/patagonia-mlc-bag?p=48107-0-155" rel="nofollow">Patagonia

    • http://prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      Hi Mark, nice to see you here and I am very happy you enjoyed this post – and more importantly, that you feel like traveling! You know, the Patagonia link is great but I meant that they don’t make my particular backpack model anymore but these come very close so great to know…..Thank you thank you for being here and bon voyage if you go anywhere soon!

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  • http://SourcesOfInsight.com J.D. Meier

    I like your reminder to use a list. I think the list is the secret sauce … it boils everything down into a routine … that you can improve if you need to.

    It’s how fighter pilots get things right, share learnings, and improve over time.

    I think I got better at road trips simply by improving my list over time.

    • http://prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      Hi J.D., thank you so much for your comment. The list is a great idea and my hubby religiously follows it – It really becomes hard to forget things behind. And yes, the list improves all the time. Thank you for fighter pilot analogy – learning is always evolving if we are to perfect a process.

  • http://www.abubakarjamil.com Abubakar Jamil

    Excellent Info. You should make a PDF version of these posts available for download.

    • http://prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      You always have incredibly simple yet brilliant ideas, Abubakar. I will do that. It is a great idea to have a printable version of useful posts available for our readers. Thank you!

  • Nadia Ballas-Ruta

    Great list, Farnoosh! Your suggestions are exactly what I do…so great minds think alike! ;)

    We are heading out on a trip in a few days and I am planning on leaving the laptop behind. Sometimes a person just needs a break but the mobile phone is coming.

    As is the Kindle which is one of the coolest devices ever.

    • http://prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      Dear Nadia, I am not surprised you are way ahead of me in practicing these tips from all the travels you shared earlier. Best of travels and great idea to leave the laptop behind – Enjoy it immensely and happy packing and thanks as always for showing your beautiful face here with lovely thoughts!

  • Felicia @ No Deposit Poker

    This is my first time on your site, Farnoosh, and I’m glad I came across it from Steve Scott’s site..This post of yours is so helpful for traveling I have copied it and saved it in my computer.

    • http://prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      Hi Felicia, welcome and a big thanks to Steve for mentioning me. I am so so glad you found this post helpful – all of these have been tested and tried many times and I wish you happy travelers. Thanks for your comment!

  • http://www.kaizenvision.com Aileen

    Farnoosh, this is the most helpful guide to packing that I have ever seen!
    – and I just realized that I’ve been an emotional packer. After reading this and thinking about my packing dilemmas, it’s clear!

    Shoes have been a big mistake with my packing. Too many pairs and some not broken in and they painfully remind me when I’m in them.

    I love how you remind us that there is almost always an option to purchase anything we may have needed. I bring too many “just in case” items.

    I’m actually excited to pack for blog world and see how light I can travel. I’m truly thrilled you shared your insights and advice in this guide to travel/packing!!!!

    • http://prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      Aileen, your comment alone makes it worth all the while of writing and sharing this post. I am so happy you enjoyed it and I know exactly what you mean on all accounts, believe me. My husband reminds me that line, by the way, “Whatever we forget, they will have over there!” – and I am very, very excited about blogworld, meeting you – and of course asking you how you packed :)! Thanks for your kind and exciting comment!

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  • Carolyn Gierut-pace

    All of these cloths in one carry on!! Plus No rain gear, robe or house slippers, and only one pair of pagama bottoms (when do you wash them?). You mention personal items but they are not in the packing List. Deodorant, hair spray and hair clips, toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, vitamins, medication, nylons, socks, brush, comb, skin care, sanitary pads etc. if the weather is cold, the bulk doubles because cloths need to be heavier weighted and booths and a heavy coat may be needed.The size of cloths will be larger and take more space if you are not bikinie material. Photo equipment can take a lot of room as well.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Carolyn, you make excellent points, yes and I do carry some of the stuff that you mentioned but not all of them: No mouthwash (I buy at destination) and no hair style products, only in small tiny bottles, and no large clothes,no house slippers, and I have a special way of folding clothes…. You know, the idea is to have a minimal list not to take everything and still carry it on the plane :)! If you want to take everything you said, yes you need to check it in. Also, when I travel with my hubby, we split the photo equipment.

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  • http://cabinbaggagesize.co.uk/travel-hand-luggage-only/ Dave@Cabinbaggagesize.co.uk

    Excellent tips for smarter packing. I really like the list of tips and I think the key is:

    Research for the destination, how much you can take, getting the right case.
    Then use a packing list to take less.
    Roll clothes and use space in baggage cleverly like socks in shoes e.t.c
    Enjoy it – packing can be fun!

    That`s pretty much it, thanks for the good article.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Great tips, Dave. Rolling clothes is my top secret!

  • http://www.cabinluggagehq.com/tips-when-travelling-with-just-hand-luggage Terry

    Great article, if you cannot roll your clothes and must fold them, place a piece of rolled up clothing in the fold and this will prevent creases.

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  • http://fabulouslook.com Tuesday

    Hi Farnoosh,

    Since the Patagonia MLC is no longer available do you have a recommendation for the best alternative. I read through the blog and comments and may have overlooked another suggestion. Thank you, Tuesday

  • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

    Hi Tuesday! Yeah we were dismayed to see you can’t get the classic Patagonia MLC anymore…we are being very good to ours so they last as long as possible! But if I had to get a new bag, I would probably go for the MEI Voyager (http://www.meivoyageur.com/). I also have a very small bag from a company called Red Oxx (http://www.redoxx.com/) which was VERY well made so I would look at their larger selections as well. Good luck!

    • http://fabulouslook.com Tuesday

      Awesome! I will take a look at those bags. I just spent some time looking back through all of the travel posts again to be sure I didn’t miss anything — did notice that someone mentioned PEI so may peek at those as well. Also had a thought regarding shoes. I put my shoes in the shoe covers that surgeons use to cover their shoes when in the operating room. This works great for me to protect them from my clothes in the suitcase. I’m a surgeon so have easy access but a box of shoe covers is cheap — happy to send a box if anyone wants to try it. Also, I just signed up for prolificjuicing. I found you because I purchased a juicer last week and purchased your juicing book. I am super excited to get started!

      • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

        Hi Tuesday, thanks for going through all the travel posts. The focus of the blog has shifted a little but we still travel more than ever…. thanks so much for offering the shoe covers. I am familiar with them. I use several different shoe bags, all made of cloth and I definitely don’t just put shoes in my suitcase with the clothes (unless they are brand new, never worn. :))!
        Glad to have you on prolificjuicing, and glad to hear you are into juicing now. We also have a virtual juicing clinic if you want to go more in depth and become a part of a community.
        Thanks for sharing your insights Tuesday.

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