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Traveling this summer? Whether you are going cross country for a wedding, or making a trek up north for business, you will probably be packing for one reason or another in the months to come. Making the best use of your suitcase space is somewhat of an art form, or maybe puzzle is a better word.
Here are five tips to keep your 'case in place:
1. Plan ahead. The week leading up to your travels, look-up the weather in your destination, then pack your outfits accordingly. Shirts take up less space than pants, so try to plan ensembles based on your bottoms. Shoes also take up a lot of space, so pick your favorite pair to wear on the plane, and pack one alternative. If it's not raining where you are going, leave your umbrella at home. If it's going to be 90 degrees, don't bring a heavy jacket.
2. Pack outfits. How many times have we packed 12 shirts for a 3-day trip? Save space and time by packing complete looks (including jewelry, undergarments, and PJs), and nothing extra. If it helps, you can write down the pieces you need to pack on paper, and cross items off as you pack. Not only does this save you space in your case, but it will save you time on vacation. With each outfit planned in advance, you can be ready and out the door with ease.
3. Get help from your host. Take the time to call your hotel and ask them what kind of toiletries and appliances are available in your room or are accessible at the front desk. A lot of hotels have additional products available for guests, that aren't necessarily listed on their website. For example, travel toothbrushes, toothpaste, aspirin, etc. If you are staying with friends or relatives, the same advice is applicable.
4. Mind your makeup. Beauty products can take up more space than clothing for some travelers. Here's a trick to ensure you are only bringing the necessities: When getting ready the day of your trip, take a makeup bag and set it next to you. As you are getting ready, place the items you use for your go-to look in the bag after you are finished using them. When you are done getting ready, you will have everything you need in the bag, and nothing extra. Throw in a bright lipstick or alternate eyeshadow if you have a special event planned.
5. Leave room to grow. Utilizing all these tips will leave your suitcase looking svelte. Avoid the temptation to throw in items and fill it up! This extra room gives you the opportunity to do some shopping while you are away and bring home souvenirs.
Now that your bags are packed, it's time to go! Whether you are leaving on a jet plane or hopping in the ol' station wagon, make sure you remember to pack the most important thing … a smile!