The section in February Martha Stewart Living on packing is classic Martha. Four pages of how to pack a suitcase. Now, I must confess I am not so good at packing. Mr. MarthaandMe usually is the one who gets it all to fit nicely in the suitcase, but I am definitely involved in what we take and how it is packaged.
Martha says to pack outfits together on one hanger. When I travel, I don’t usually have complete outfits. I usually have several things that mix and match, so there is no need to put them on a hanger together.
The next tip is to fold sweaters with tissue paper. I just don’t understand how tissue paper is going to help the situation. When your luggage has 20 other bags piled on top of it, a piece of tissue paper isn’t going to do squat.
She also says to tuck shoes around the perimeter of the suitcase. That’s what we do and it works out well, although we do not have special little bags for our shoes like Martha does.
Martha says to pack accessories in little bags. My suitcase has some big zippered compartments that store lingerie, socks, etc. in. This works out well, particularly if we are moving from place to place. I can always find them easily.
Martha says to pack chargers in ziploc bags. We have a cute little charger bag that comes with a power strip (since there are never enough outlets in a hotel room). We love this little thing and highly recommend it.
When we went to Hawaii last summer, instead of a purse, I used a big bag, which allowed me to then carry on a second item since that bag counted as my ‘purse’. Martha recommends a messenger bag instead of a purse- same concept and it’s a good tip and a great way to get around that one carry-on rule.
I always put bathroom toiletry items in double ziploc bags. We’ve had things leak with just one bag, so we always double bag them now.
I keep my jewelry in this cute jewelry organizer and I always put it in my carry-on. My carry-on also always contains the camera, cell phone, sunglasses, my glasses to wear when I take my contacts out, a contact lens case, prescription meds (because if they’re lost it takes a while to replace them), a small pack of wet hand wipes, Advil, Tylenol, Rolaids, gum, Kleenex, my own headset to use for the airplane tv, a small bottle of lotion because I do find the plane dehydrating, maps we need upon arrival, the GPS if we are bringing it, books and magazines, and some snacks. When my kids were smaller, I always carried paper toilet seat covers with me when we traveled.
The biggest problem we have with packing is the airline weight restrictions. You can’t really fill a full-size suitcase and have it come in under the weight limit. We bought this cute little scale to use. Now we don’t have to try to get a suitcase on the bathroom scale or play the guessing game when we pack to come home. It was a great investment.
My other packing tip is to buy the TSA approved locks. Martha suggests twine, but I like the TSA locks. Martha says to tie a bright ribbon your luggage. Mr. MarthaandMe put a big piece of blue painter’s tape on each of our suitcases and we also have bright pink name tags on them which makes them easy to spot.
When we went to Hawaii, I packed a neck pillow in each carry-on, as well as a lightweight blanket, and they were absolute godsends. On all trips, I always make sure to dress in layers, with some kind of warm zip up as the last layer since I am always cold on airplanes. We always wear comfortable clothes and sneakers and always, always wear socks to go through security with.
I always pack sandwiches to bring along. They taste better than the stuff you buy at airports and are cheaper too.