Monday, June 23, 2014

The Monday Morning Giveaway #4 - Carry-on Toiletry Bags & Bottles

Last week's Le Monde de Hermes was won by Lynne in North Carolina - Lynne, send me your mailing address to theviviennefiles at gmail dot com!

You know that I'm in a constant state of trying to reduce how much I carry when I travel; recently I went through another round of cutting back my toiletries.  When I went to my favorite store Flight 001 to buy a new "3 1 1" bag, I found that they had a BOGO - buy one, get one free - offer on these bags.  So I have a brand new set of two bags and a set of empty bottles!  

Same as always - leave me a comment telling me your best light packing tip, and I'll let you know Friday who wins these.  I'll ship anywhere in the world, so any reader anywhere is welcome to comment!

love,
Janice


Brand new with tags - and all for you!

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82 comments:

  1. Buy an eReader and leave normal books at home. (Seriously, books used to take up half the space in my suitcase -- I have a fear of having nothing to read!)

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  2. My best packing tip, and I used when I travelled to London and Paris last year, I brought a travel size washing soap I found in camping supplies, and washed my underwear, pjs (travel) and tops.

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  3. I roll all of my clothes to make everything fit better in my carry on bag!

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  4. If I'm packing really light, dressing in layers and need room to bring souveniers home, I will discard the inner layers to make room in the suitcase.

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  5. Janice, all your give aways are great, but this is the best! At least for me.....I pack way to much, so this is great. Count me in! Thank you, Kathleen

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  6. My most recent success has been in moving to solids. Soap, solid shampoo, a crystal deodorant, and a solid cocoa butter balm are almost all I need. Anything else fits in the 3-1-1 and is enough for 3-4 weeks of travel. My big challenge coming up is 4-6 months of travel continuously.

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  7. Janice - I never travel without 2-4 clothes pins, and always end up using them. Not all hotels have the shower drying cord, and they never have enough clip hangers in the closet. Old fashion clothes pins are perfect for drying my swim suit, items I hand-wash, and even towels if we have gone through those in the room.
    I look for your posts each morning. Thank you for starting my day with me! Ann

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  8. I pack very lightweight layers that can be hand washed (Eileen Fisher silk tees are fabulous -- they wash easily and always dry overnight). Like Ann, I always bring clothes pins -- and just a bit of hand washing liquid for underwear, socks and other items. Also, only pack what you love, love, love. Thank you, Janice! Susan (Minneapolis)

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  9. My best light packing tip is to read Janice's blog, where you will find lots of other packing tips!

    Inspired by Janice, I plan my minimal wardrobe in advance, making sure that my clothes mix and match well and that I can layer them if the weather turns cooler, so I know I don't need to take too many clothes. Before reading this blog I would pack loads of different outfits, many of which wouldn't go with each other, and inevitably on my last day would realise that all I had left were a top and trousers that clashed with each other! Luckily those days have now gone.

    As my carry on approved bag split on my last holiday, it would be great to have a new one! Thanks for this offer, Janice!

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  10. I never travel without a stash of zip-lock food storage bags in multiple sizes tucked into a zip pocket in my carry-on; they take up very little space and are unfailingly useful. And for long trips of several weeks and uncertain weather, I swear by packing with jumbo-size zip-lock food storage bags--the 5-gallon size is best, but difficult to find; 2-gallon will do. Anything that wrinkles, won't roll, or is just-in-case (a dressy silk tunic and silk pants or minimal, light-weight cold-weather gear, for example) goes in these bags, stays intact, and is out of the way until or if needed. At the end of the trip, when I don't care any more about wrinkles, I just dispose of the zip-lock bags protecting these things and magically have a little bit of extra packing room for small purchases.

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  11. I always bring a couple Eau Ecarlate stain remover towelettes as well as a tiny sewing kit.

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  12. eBooks, eMaps, toothpaste Dots and trial size cosmetics are my travel light go to's. I also bring clothes pins and two "blow up" hangers so I can do hand washing (we usually go for around 21 days so I can pack less).

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  13. If traveling in Asia: pack longer. swingy skirts rather than all pants and shorts; pack small packs of tissue. When faced with local toilets, you will be glad. Sharon (TN)

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  14. I always put a dryer sheet or two in the suitcase ....keeps lightly worn clothing smelling fresh.

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  15. Janice, I never carry exfoliator. I just use raw sugar packets wherever visit with a little cleaner and make my own scrub! I also, carry ziplock bags.

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  16. I always bring a gauzy, long-sleeved patterned blouse that I also wear as a scarf. Scarves can be heavy and this saves weight and space. Two for one!

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  17. I have switched to an ereader that has a browser (Kindle Fire HD) that is the same size as a small ereader but gives me the ability to surf the net and stay up to date on email. I also skype on it to save on my cell phone bill. If I have room I include a power strip. There never seem to be enough plugins for charging phones, ereader, camera batteries, etc for each person.

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  18. My iPad mini is the best for light packing - replaces my books and laptop, and also provides entertainment for my daughter. :)

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  19. I save my 'need to be retired' underwear for my trips - then I can discard after one last wearing on the road and save myself the sink washing - as well as making more space in the bag for souvenirs.

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  20. Before flying overnight book a shampoo and blow dry for late afternoon the day of arrival. After checking into your hotel, shower and take a nap, then on to your hair appointment. It's a refreshing way to begin your trip, your hair will look great for days, and no need to pack messy, cumbersome hair supplies!
    Teresa

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  21. I carry a few zip ties in my luggage, they can be handy to lock things or hold broken things together. I use the small extra button ziplock bags for jewelry, no tangle and no scratching each other when jumbled together.

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  22. On our last trip in May for a daughter's graduation, I took half the number of socks and underwear and wore tees twice, airing them out between wearings. It got me through the grad city and then washed a little in NYC, the second half of the trip. This was the first time I really cut back this drastically but it worked! For the next trip I want to find the lightest suitcase possible. Schlepping through subways and train stations - why do I need such a heavy metal framed case if I'm carrying it on anyway? ~~~ I read your blog everyday. You have made dressing and shopping so easy for me. Thanks!!!

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  23. Janice, I have a question about a top I recently saw on one of your posts. how do I get in touch with you? I am gramspearls@gmail.com.

    Thanks, Kathleen

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    1. email me at theviviennefiles at gmail dot com

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  24. Travel pack of band aids with the "condiment size" packets of Neosporin. The Neosporin packets fit right in the band aid holder. Mini first aid kit for minor scrapes.

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  25. Create a capsule wardrobe - then take away one piece from each - trousers, sweater, top and make sure you have a credit card 'cause you can always buy something new ..............

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  26. Think before you pack (I admit, I am not always so good at this). Lay out everything before it goes in you the suitcase and edit again. I tend to add things which add bulk (I'll add this shirt, it won't take up much room; Another two scarves would be nice....). Then check the weather forecast and edit again.

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  27. I don't want the give-away, but... would really love to know what you have pared down your toiletries to. I always seem to have far too much stuff (at home and on trips) and I love to pare it down to a very few quality products that I enjoy using. All suggestions welcome.
    Alice

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  28. Roll things to avoid wrinkles and store socks and undies inside of extra shoes.

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  29. I make notes after every trip - what worked, what didn't and what I think I'd do differently next time - this has helped greatly with reducing the weight of my carry on. My packing tips are oriented for winter travel which seems to always require more clothes!
    Pack moisture wicking undershirts and a pair of long underwear - the ones from Uniqlo (heat tech) are fabulous - thin, dry over night and nice enough to wear all by themselves but thin enough to layer under sweaters and long sleeved t shirts.
    When the weather can range (say between 60's and 30's) pack a range of weights. For example on my last trip where the weather ranged from the 30's to the 60's I packed 3 long sleeved t shirts, a merino turtleneck, a merino v neck and a heavier (cashmere) cardigan. For the 60's, just wore the t and merino v neck - for the 30's wore the uniqlo undershirt, t shirt, turtleneck, v neck and cardigan on top!

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  30. I pack snacks for my son in the bag then after they are all gone I have room for souvenirs to take home. Dawn J

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  31. I get the itty bitty pots from department store make up counters and fill them with the small amounts of moisturizers, hair gel, etc. that I need for weekend trips.

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  32. I always dress in layers so I am prepared for various weather conditions. I also limit myself to packing only one pair of shoes plus a pair of dollar store flip flops for the pool. There was one trip where I packed old worn out socks, underwear, and a pajama then threw them away instead of hauling them home. I can only play that game once every few years though.

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  33. Packing was always a nightmare for me...took hours. Now I keep items I always take, in my suitcase and ready to go. Just add clothes. My suitcase has a nightgown, a ball hat, sun glass holders, a small travel fan (gotta love hot flashes), a small portable noise generator, and my hair products and cosmetics. I use small bottles of all cosmetics and when I return from a trip I take the used ones out of the case, replace with fresh ones and pack away. The used ones I put in my bathroom and finish off then save the bottles and jars for refills. I also keep an emergency bag packed in the suitcase in a large ziplock consisting of my nightgown, a clean black t-shirt, clean underwear, and a couple disposable toothbrushes that have toothpaste in the bristles. Since I carry on cosmetics, I can survive nicely for a day and night if my luggage doesn't make it with me to my destination.

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  34. Years ago I read about never bringing more than 15 pieces on a trip - that advice has worked well for me and I make sure everything coordinates well. I like to use the soft lingerie washing bags to pack underwear and socks. I hate having to rummage through my bag to find what I need. Rolling clothes saves space and wrinkles.

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    1. I've always stuck to the 15 rule - I wonder if you read it here, or on the old Je Ne Sais Quoi chat room?

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    2. Okay. So what counts in the 15? I usually take less -- unless I'm counting differently.

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    3. I usually take less too, but I've taken 15 for six-week business trips to multiple climates. Generally I try to keep it at ten or fewer if at all possible.

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  35. I have recently converted my whole family to the bundling method of packing in place of rolling. It is slightly complicated to explain but-- I take a dress and lay it flat and then proceed to place each item in a cross shape layer by layer working clockwise. The top part of each item (the bodice of the dress and waistband of the pants) stay overlapped in the center. When I get to blouses the bottom is in the center pile and sleeves are on the outside. I place bras and underwear and camisoles in the center. Then working backwards one layer at a time I fold the outside pieces under the center of underwear etc. In the end it looks like a flattened throw pillow. This fits great into a large packing cube to compress it even further. There are some good YouTube examples of this method. I have been able to send my daughter for an 8 week summer trip in only her carryon and "personal" item just this week end. I love your blog and myself and my daughter were so happy with our experience this week end arriving at her dormitory in manhattan and unpacking her streamline wardrobe. It took us ten minutes and then out to explore her "campus" around Lincoln center. I realized that all the other families were spending the whole day unpacking and arranging huge piles of stuff.

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  36. Light packing tips?? I was hoping to learn them from you! Seriously, I don't think I have many yet. I have been studying the One Bag website in an effort to teach myself what I need to know. And I have been studying your blog in an effort to have a small wardrobe that doesn't frustrate me. In the next couple of days I am going to do a "dry run" pack of a bag I plan to take on a trip this summer. I am hoping to travel with just a carry on and a personal item. Carol in WA state

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  37. - Decanting into smaller containers
    - Capsule wardrobe
    - e-reader

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  38. I roll all my clothes in tissue paper and they get very few wrinkles and can fit into my suitcase better.

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  39. I pack a clothing item that is inexpensive enough to leave if I need to make room for a new item I want to bring home.

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  40. I travel with solid soap, but instead of a whole bar, I just cut thin slices ahead of time and pack 1 per day or per shower. Just grab a little slice and wash up - no wet bar to pack.
    Suzi

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  41. Packing cubes are the greatest invention! I use them for the whole family. I pack one cube for each of my 3 kids and they fit into 1 carry-on suitcase. My husband and I share the 2nd carry-on with everything going into 3 packing cubes. Ikea has a great set that comes with 3 different size packing cubes and they are pink and blue so great for differentiating between my cubes and my husbands cubes and also between my boy and girls. With packing cubes we are able to travel with 2 carry-on suitcases as a family of 5 usually for 7 days or more.

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  42. I use packing cubes, and make sure that everything I pack matches everything else. I also decant all toiletries & makeup into smaller containers, and pack my kindle!

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  43. Thanks for such a wonderful giveaway, Janice. After several years of trips where it wasn't needed, I recently used my emergency duct tape for not one but two repairs on the same trip--a friend's flip-flop blow-out and her tote-bag mishap. Because an arm's length of duct tape folds over itself into a tiny tidy block, there's no need to take the huge roll. I had plenty for both repairs with extra to spare. I'll never leave home without it again. (My capsule for that trip was navy, aqua and lime) Deb in Kentucky

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  44. Zip lock storage bags are my savior. I learned this from boaters and always have some handy in my suitcase.
    Sam

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  45. A Vivienne capsule wardrobe of course!, packing cubes, and panty liners!

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  46. For trips where I will be going to the beach and may need a beach towel (not typically provided where I stay) I take a sarong instead. It packs down to almost nothing, dries quickly, and is surprisingly absorbent.

    Jess in Australia

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  47. I take a long-sleeve button-down white shirt. It works as a swimsuit cover-up, or as a shirt.

    Karen in Indy

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  48. I am a late-comer to packing cubes, and I LOVE them. Great giveaway!

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  49. I've learned that if I don't wear a certain item in my everyday life, then I'm not going to wear it on vacation. Ultimately, that special outfit/dress/jacket/scarf/necklace set aside specifically for vacation never gets worn. I think because it doesn't feel "broken in". Besides, why save something just for a certain event? Why not use it, wear it, and enjoy it everyday!

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  50. Shamelessly stolen from...somewhere (if I could remember, I could credit!) was the idea of saving room by not packing clothes dedicated only to one type of activity, e.g., sleeping or workout clothes. Instead, pack simple tees or soft pants that are comfortable to sleep in but could be used in a pinch as layering pieces or extra outfits (better than a nightgown, at least) if you run low on "regular" clothes.

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  51. Best travel tip: make sure you have ID, ticket/boarding pass, money or access to it, and prescriptions. Now take a deep breath and stop worrying about forgetting something. You have everything you actually , whether you pack large or small.

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  52. everything you actually need

    sorry!

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  53. Oh boy, I won! Thank you. I hardly ever win these types of contests. I've sent you an email, too.
    Janice, thank you for the giveaway and for hosting another. You are so generous. Hugs.

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  54. A small, lightweight, folding hair dryer made by Baby Bliss. A real lifesaver both for traveling and when I broke my wrist last year.

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  55. Thank you for your thoughtful, fascinating posts! My tip is to use the free app Evernote and put all travel info there--reservation numbers as well as sightseeing info like days and hours of attractions. Cuts way down on paper and guide books and is on my phone on-the-go.

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  56. I buy shampoo bars and cut them into thirds (each third will last about 3 weeks of washing my hair every day--chin length bob cut) so no need for liquid shampoo. I also carry moisturizing bars (Shower Butter Bar) to use instead of liquid lotion. Both of these (shampoo bar and moisturizing bar), I get from Chagrin Valley Soap and Salve (www.chagrinvalleysoapandsalve.com). They have all different versions for all types of hair; their products are all natural and wonderful. I use zip lock snack bags for traveling with the shampoo bar and the glassene bag that that moisturizing bar comes in for it. Hope someone else finds this helpful!

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  57. In addition to many of the tips shared by others, I'll suggest a cotton bandana. I took two on a 4 week trip to South Africa (remote areas and cities/ and was so glad I had them. They kept my neck warm in cooler areas and covered my head in the sun - also used as a washcloth, napkin, hold-all, nightshade for eyes, and pillow cover.

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  58. It's not quite a "light" packing tip, but a packing tip I always liked. If you DO need more room for souvenirs than what your suitcase provides (or for the return trip if you're taking a bunch of gifts with you), pack a smaller cloth bag like a gym bag in your suitcase that folds down to practically nothing, so that you're only carrying the extra bag one way. -Heather :)

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  59. To minimize on toiletries I like dual purpose products like shampoo and conditioner in one; bath gel or bath wash creamy enough to serve as shaving cream; hair gel strong enough to not need hairspray; scented body lotions to not need perfume too. I take only two pairs of shoes and will wear one while in transit so as to not have to pack both.

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  60. What a fabulous giveaway! My best travel packing tip does indeed involve toiletries. For items that can't be transferred into smaller bottles -- e.g., deodorant, hair spray, mousse, pump sunscreen -- I always stop using my full-size versions at home when they're about 90% empty. I stash these almost-empty items in my ready-to-go toiletry bag, use them on my trips, and then toss them out on the day I pack to return home. Huge time-saver! And, my bag is lighter coming home than going (unless I fill the space with souvenirs, LOL)!

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  61. Only take make up and other very essential (personal) toiletries, and borrow or use hotel's. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  62. Rolling clothing rather than folding. Socks in lingerie bags which then do double duty for soiled clothing.
    Julia
    Arizona

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  63. I plan my trip outfits, including shoes, jewelry and accessories, and try to have a color theme so items are interchangeable. When I do this my business trips go much more smoothly! But I don't always take the time to plan, and then I end up with too much stuff.

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  64. I used to travel with a suitcase full of books since I'm a big reader, but now of course love my kindle!

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  65. I take a very lightweight bag (less than 1 lb.) that has hidden backpack straps -- handy for the long schlepp across a city or an airport. I never take more than 12 lbs. of clothes, shoes, accessories, electronics, etc. This means I really limit what I take -- 2 pants or 1 pant/1 skirt (for big cities with theater, opera, etc.), outerwear, 2 pair shoes, 1 pair cheap flip flops (for showers, pools, slippers, etc), 3-4 tops (depending on season -- fewer for winter when I also have a base layer than can be worn as a top), sleepwear, cardigan, base layer (winter only) a few lightweight scarves, hat/gloves (winter), bathing suit (summer) and small lightweight cross-body bag. Large smartphone (phablet), small camera, 3-1-1 bag, tiny folding hair dyer, chargers. I wear the heaviest/bulkiest clothes while traveling. I never check my luggage -- it fits under the seat in front of me or in the overhead compartment on a bus or train. I use a lightweight packing folder and various lightweight packing cubes and bags to store stuff (everything is in a cube of folder). I use GoTubes for the limited amount of liquids I bring with me (tinted moisturizer, sun block, shampoo, night cream). I bring solid soap for washing and Woolite powder packets for clothes washing along the way. I also use an inflatable hanger and a plastic clothes pin with a hook for drying and airing clothes. While some of my clothes are made of technical material (base wear, outerwear, one pair of the two pants I bring), everything else is everyday clothing from my capsule wardrobe. I've used this travel method for 30 years and I've gotten better as the clothing and luggage designs & materials have improved. I limit my total bag weight to 13 lbs. because this is the maximum I can comfortably carry for a few miles of walking.

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  66. Layers, knits and mostly neutral colors help me. Shoes are always my problem--comfort vs looks--comfort wins while traveling!!

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  67. LOVE your blog
    Tips:
    Kids balloons (dollar store)-blow up and place in washed wet/damp items to allow air flow for quicker drying.
    Start with the shoes, plan outfits from there.

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  68. My Nook (e-reader) is now standard equipment.

    As soon as I return home and unpack, I restock my toiletries / sewing-repair-laundry kits and put it back in my travel bag. When my husband makes the call for a long weekend to (fill in the blank), I can be fully packed in under 20 minutes.

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  69. I always remember to pack small snack size bags with Tylenol or Advil.

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  70. My tip is not to pack any shoes, just buy great new ones when you reach your destination :)

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  71. The key thing to travelling lightly is to reduce the packaging because ounces add up.
    * Reduce the packaging on your bag - buy a light one without a lot of pockets and zippers as these add weight. Drop the wheels if possible and get a travel pack.
    * Reduce the packaging of you - by bringing less clothing Only bring 3 pairs of underpants and 2 bras - wash in the sink Take one less shirt Avoid taking extra shoes because these are heavy Make sure your shoes are light.
    * Reduce toiletries by decanting to the smallest amount needed. Use 1 and 2 oz. bottles instead of 3 oz. bottles Drop the water weight by bringing dry product.
    * Reduce by removing excess packaging. Take things out of cardboard containers and consolidate in a zip lock bag or ultra-light bags from outdoors stores. Eliminate packing cubes as much as possible by bundle wrapping. Something with a zipper is heavier than something without.
    * Eliminate paper because paper is heavy. Books go to e-books. Create PDF copies of reservations confirmations & emails and store in a program like GoodReader. Use TripIt to store reservation info in the cloud.

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  72. Okay...I am going for this one due to our BIG trip next month. My packing tip? This time I am trying packing cubes!

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  73. I use a contact lens case to hold my moisturizer and foundation. It'll last me about 2 weeks. In addition to hanging wet clothes, clothespins are great for clipping together the curtains that won't quite close in your hotel room.

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  74. Packing cubes. Max of three pairs of shoes. One bottom per two day of travel. Solid versions of products to replace as many liquids as possible.

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  75. Always have a meds and a change of underwear + a top in carry on bag in case checked luggage is lost for a while

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  76. My best light packing tip is to bring fewer shoes! This is the one I struggle with the most. Versatile capsule wardrobe, check. Minimized toiletries, check. But shoes, still struggling a bit. That is really the space saver. You need enough variety to cover: travel days, planned activities and exercise if you plan to do any. I also recommend you have enough shoes to alternate shoes every other day. My best approach for business travel is: one pair of running shoes, which I wear on at least one overnight flight (not super-chic, I know!), a pair of loafers or sturdy flats and a pair of walkable heels for dressier days in the office. The heels vs flats can make pant lengths a challenge, but current ankle length styles are making it easier than bootcuts!

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  77. I am able to pack light as I have a co-ordinated wardrobe that lets me mix and match to great effect. Decanting bottles is another thing I do.

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