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Packing for a Great Trip



I went to Greece with a friend who came to breakfast one morning looking like death warmed over. “I’m so tired,” she said. “After you went to sleep I spent two hours repacking my bags.” I tried to look sympathetic but I felt like saying, “That’s crazy! Why did you have to repack? And how could it possibly take two hours?”

Travel is for learning, for having fun, for broadening your horizons–in some cases, it’s a necessity for business. But it’s NOT for showing your luggage and your clothes a good time. Don’t be a slave to your stuff. The old saying, “Take half as many clothes and twice as much money,” is sort of the right idea, but don’t just pack and then remove half from your bag. You’d end up with too many shirts and no underwear.

Here are some of my guidelines: Take bottoms (pants, skirts, etc) in only ONE color–like black. Every top you have will go with them. Buy no-iron shirts and blouses. Only two or three pairs of shoes. Leave the jewelry at home. Bring scarves. Pack for the PROBABLE weather at your destination. Sure, Paris may have a cold snap in July but in that case, take this opportunity to go shopping. They have nice stores in Paris. It’s very educational to visit a pharmacy in the country you’re visiting, I’ve come home from more than one foreign country with deodorant or toothpaste or cough drops I wish I could buy over here..

Don’t bring a hair dryer, shampoo, conditioner, soap, or lotion. You will be given them on the plane and at your destination. A travel umbrella is okay, but a thin, disposable poncho is better.

Afraid you’ll forget something? As I am closing my front door I always ask myself if I have the four P’s: Passport, Pills, Plastic,  and Phone. I assume you will have all your contacts in your phone and your purse. With these four things you can go anywhere and stay as long  as you want. Oh, yes. And take your sense of humor with you. You’ll need it at least once.

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