Monday, April 25, 2016

How I Pack Light (part 2,000,000 or so...) and a Giveaway!

First up, I have to let you all know that the "3 dress" packing experiment worked out beautifully! I felt comfortable and well-dress everywhere we went... I'm going to explore the idea of packing this way quite a bit more in a separate blog post or two, but if you're interested in giving it a whirl, I have 2 important pieces of advice.


  • Check the weather maniacally up until the very last minute before you leave, and be certain that you're packing the most appropriate dresses possible for the weather you anticipate. Dresses make layering a little bit harder, and nothing could be more miserable than the wrong dress on a beautiful day. (think of wearing a beautiful sweater dress on a day when the temperature gets up in to the 70's...)
  • Footwear! You have to be absolutely, positively sure that your shoes are going to be good for whatever your plans may be. If you don't have a ton of walking on your agenda, you have more latitude. But if you're planning on a lot of sight-seeing on foot, your choice of shoes might be the difference between a great day and a day that gets cut short because of pain and blisters. 
But I have some other ideas, as always, about how I keep my suitcase light and powerful...

First up, consolidating toiletries. Personal care products can be the bulkiest and heaviest things that I pack, and they're certainly the items most likely to do hideous damage if they open and spill! So I whittle down to the absolute bare minimum, and have recently managed to get all of my liquids quite neatly into this gizmo:

Clear 1-quart bag - Flight 001

It's quite sturdy, and shows no signs of tearing, as so many of these kinds of bags do...

But HOW to whittle down? I use the "toiletries test-drive", which works like this:


  1. Pack your toiletries bag as normal for the next trip you're taking (or dreaming of taking!)
  2. Starting on an easy to remember date (I like to start on the 1st of the month), start using ONLY the items in your toiletries bag. Absolutely, positively, no cheating! But definitely make note of the things that you forgot, or that you wish you had included.
  3. At the end of your designated time, take a look at how much STUFF is still in your bag. That stuff is the extra bulk and weight that you would have been carrying on the upcoming (or mythical) trip in question!
  4. It does make sense to have just a drop of two of items remaining - overnight delays DO happen...
  5. Re-do your bag, with your newfound knowledge firmly in hand, and test-drive again.
  6. Repeat until you're delighted with your results!
 And don't forget the possibility of packing sample sized products for travel; lots of companies have them available, if you just ask for them. I know that Nordstrom offers free samples with a purchase, even online...


samples - Paula's Choice


Of course, I don't pack a ton of clothing, but I try to pack the things that do go on my trips in the most efficient way possible. Packing cubes are the most essential items in my suitcase "toolkit." I bought a set from Eagle Creek 18 years ago, and they show no signs of wear...

What I like most about these is that I can fold clothes with meticulous care, place them into these cubes, and then SQUASH the daylights out of them, without any creasing or wrinkling! You can get 5 or 6 pieces into one of these cubes easily - and they take up noticeable less space than they would if left floating around you suitcase untethered...




packing cubes - Eagle Creek

The only thing that I would do differently? My cubes are black, and I wish that I had purchased a bright color. Having things like this in bright colors makes it easier to spot them on that last day when you're re-packing...

I'm also using a cube set from Standard Luggage, for my "small" garments. (ahem...) These were given to me by the guys at Standard, but I think I would have purchased them anyway. They don't zip all the way around, like a clam shell, the way the Eagle Creek cubes do, but they attach to each other with Velcro, and can be hung in a wardrobe like this:


hanging cubes - Standard Luggage

This is pretty genius: top cube for B's "smalls,", middle cubes for mine, and bottom cube for the bits that need to be laundered! And they're all hanging in the closet, out of the way...

Back to the shoe question; in addition to finding comfortable shoes, I've begun to try to find shoes that will pack down into minimal space, with minimal weight.

The top pair is very similar to one of my 2 pair of flats from Thierry Rabotin. Yes, they're madly expensive, but I've had both pair of mine resoled repeatedly, and thus I'm at the point where I feel that I'm really getting my money's worth from them. But your experience many differ; you just have to try a variety of "comfort" shoes, (WHY are there shoes that AREN'T comfortable?) to find those that suit you best. I've also had great luck with Munro, so give them a look.

And even my athletic shoes pack down small! Nike makes shoes with an all-knit top, which can be crushed flat with no harm done to the shoes... very convenient, and super-comfortable. I even wore mine (which are all black) one day with a dress, in Paris, and fit right in!


ballet flats - Thierry Rabotin; athletic shoes - Nike

Because I don't pack a lot of clothing, I DO like to take quite a bit of jewelry with me, as well as a few headbands. (growing out my hair is an interesting challenge!). Years ago, I bought a padded fabric bag from a dealer on Etsy, and it's been perfect. In addition to carrying all of my little pretty bits, it can substitute as a clutch bag, if I'm every so inclined!

Just make sure, on Etsy, that you're buying things from a real crafts person, and not from some thinly-veiled sweatshop. Etsy has dropped their standards for selling on their site to an abysmally low level, and it's a crying shame...

bag - HoneyHiveFive

Normally, I don't wear a lot of makeup - a gallon or 2 of sunscreen, and some lipstick, and I'm generally good to do. But I DO like to have a few things with me, in case the urge strikes to get all gussied up! And here's where the fun starts... 


makeup - the Everyday Ease group from Stowaway Cosmetics

This is nice makeup, simply packaged in sizes that are actually SMALL ENOUGH TO USE BEFORE THEY EXPIRE! How wasteful is it to buy cosmetics that can't be finished before they're... uh... uh... so full of bacteria and general ickiness that they need to leave the premises, pronto?

And it's fun to be able to hold all of your makeup for the day in 1 hand! (or fit it all into the smallest of handbags...) Maybe my favorite benefit of all is that you can send your empty containers back to the company (on their dime), and get a discount on a future purchase. How civilized is that?

When the lovely women at Stowaway found out that I have so many Internet friends, they offered me the 4 items shown above as a gift for one of you! (It's a small company, and they're really very lovely - I've been corresponding directly with their President, which doesn't happen every day!)

So leave me a comment about packing, or anything else that you have to share, before Saturday morning April 30th, and I'll choose 1 of you (using my random number magic) to win this charming little assortment of prettiness. This offer is NOT limited to people in the United States; don't let the fact that there's an ocean between us keep you from jumping in and joining the conversation!

love,
Janice


NORDSTROM - Choose 3 Free Samples with your Beauty Purchase

186 comments:

  1. These small sized cosmetics would be great for weekend getaways with my hubby! The red lipstick would be good for romantic vacations.

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  2. How timely! I tried my first ever consciously 'capsule' holiday pack the week before last - 9 days in Brussels for my birthday. It involved a lot of the things you mentioned - very changeable weather, lots of walking, and a couple of 'smart' evening events. The upside: going by Eurostar so tiny toiletaries weren't an issue this time!
    Lessons learnt: Make-up is a sticking point - I thought I needed a set of smaller brushes, hadn't realised there were companies making actual 'travel-sized' sets. (also challenging: it was my birthday and I had to pack and take my presents!)

    My partner uses cubes a lot, and I'm ambivalent about them - find them useful for compression of tops and trousers etc, but with soft bags I actually prefer to let small underwear go in loose, so that I can pack it into shoes, odd corners, spaces, etc.

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  3. Thank you for this packing tips post. We are going to Provence for several weeks this summer, and I have been using many of your prior wardrobe suggestions in my planning. The biggest issue for me is the comfortable shoe one which you address well in this post.

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  4. Make sure you've tried out your samples before your trip. Being on vacation with a rash is not fun.

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  5. Since discovering your blog a couple of years ago, I only every travel with hand luggage now, which is great as we regularly fly stand-by. I'm amazed at how much I've learned from you - thank you!!

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  6. That's a great tip about trying out the small sized toiletries! Do you know if there is any shop in Europe doing packing cubes? Though they don't seem as if they would be too difficult to make if you had made bags before :)

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    1. Eagle Creek area vailable in EUrope but rather expensive. Muji do something similar; and there is usually a good range on amazon.

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  7. I travel quite a bit for work and after a few mishaps I found that the 3 dress idea works great. The only problem I've found is that I've developed an allergy to black dye :( I have switched to navy for my dark neutral and I'm struggling to find shoes that can be used for more than 1 outfit. Any suggestions?

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    1. I think black shoes are fine with navy garments. If you have trouble finding shoes without black linings, you could try Shoes of Prey. They will use any color lining you want.

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    2. I have noticed that Kate Middleton wears nude shoes with lots of different colored outfits. You might want to look into that option.

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    3. My brutal is also navy. I have no navy shoes. I use black or nude, golden brown or saddle (looks especially great with navy) I'm currently wearing gold sandals which also go with everything!

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  8. I love to camp and using sample size products are great for a weekend in the camper. Also another good tip is to store your Sun tan lotions and oils I. a thermal lunch tote. If anything spills it contained and cleans up easily. :)

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  9. I'm definitely aiming to buy more lightweight footwear...... Shoes can be so heavy.

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  10. From Margie in Toronto - LOVE my packing cubes - think these are one of the best inventions ever! Keeps things so organized and my two sets are in a bright green and my suitcases are in a bright bronze - specifically so that I can spot things in the usual sea of black!
    I'm good with packing small toiletries - I love picking up samples here and there and can easily do 2 weeks with things in that 1qt size bag - makeup can be a bit of a challenge - not so much because I take a lot but precisely because of the packaging sizes, I'm always looking for smaller versions of items plus, I still haven't found the perfect bag for them, I'd love something with elastics of sorts to contain brushes and mascara tubes so that they don't all end up in a jumble at the bottom - will just have to keep looking.

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    1. I love Trish McEvoy makeup planners. You'll find a variety of sizes, cases, etc. The makeup is fabulous too!

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    2. From Margie in Toronto - thank you for the tip - I'll check it out. The only issue for me is that I'm allergic to many brands of cosmetics so try to stick to what I know doesn't cause issues so I was really just looking for a case - but certainly worth a look. Thx.

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  11. Cute makeup assortment! Please count me in on your raffle. My best travel tip? Always throw a couple of empty quart ziplocs into your suitcase. No weight to them at all, and they come in handy at the oddest times...still-damp lingerie, a half sandwich at lunch you couldn't finish but will make a perfect mid-afternoon snack...

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  12. Ever since I worked for several airlines I have learned to pack only in a carry on. Packing cubes are great. Sink washing and the occasional laundromat are my friends. Toiletries are always the hardest. I don't wear a lot of makeup but do use cleansers and lotions. I recently found ColorScience for powder SPF50 and love it. The liquid kind always got in my eyes and stung but this doesn't.

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  13. I highly recommend traveling with a denim skirt if you are traveling in a range of climates; it works better than most skirts with tights and booties aa well with sandals and bare legs.

    Packing cubes are amazing. I will be traveling for a week on a work trip (business casual) and can fit everything in a 20" carry on.

    Be sure to reevaluate your toiletries bag after every trip, and refill any empties then. That way they are always ready to go.. Makes it less likely that you forget something on any trip, unexpected or planned.

    In your day bag, always carry safety pins, a hair tie, and bandaids.

    Bring a hinge type clothes pin to close hotel room curtains at night.

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  14. Packing cubes and my lightweight Lipault luggage are the BEST! Still working on streamlining shoes and toiletries, though ��

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  15. Loads of ideas here - thank you!

    I travel fairly frequently and toiletries/cosmetics are the bane of my life - trying to fit everything into that little plastic bag is a nightmare. I decant skincare into little bottles and take samples but smaller size cosmetics would be perfect for me.

    I love the idea of being able to hang up the little packing cubes in a wardrobe but still not sure about them though because I like to stuff my shoes out with smaller items so that the shoes keep their shape. Will ponder some more on that.

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  16. Organizing makes me feel content. The hanging luggage you have pictured reminds me of the LL Bean travelling toiletries bags ... love. them.

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  17. I love this article Janice! I am finalising my 7 day travel wardrobe for Hawaii and am on the right track given your thoughts. My tip is that I use Stylebook to put together my outfits so I can take as few pieces as possible to cover all occasions. 3 bottoms, 3 tops,1 cardigan, 1 swimsuit. Shoes always difficult as I need 1 for hiking, 1 for eating out, 1 for the beach. But it all fits into a carry on.

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  18. yes yes I agree completely. Why do they even make shoes that are not comfortable???
    They might as well make a gorgeous car that only goes 5 miles an hour and crashes randomly.
    End the madness.
    I am giving away all the shoes that I cannot walk in to younger friends.

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    1. Exactly. I think that the primary purpose of a shoe is to protect and make your feet comfortable to walk everywhere, otherwise we would never have invented shoes! That doesn't mean that we want them to look dreadful, but it seems to me that the more expensive the shoe, the more uncomfortable it is, and the harder to walk in, and the more likely it will distort the bones of the feet and create bunions!

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  19. As always, Janice, you succeed in making even the most mundane of subjects fascinating! I have a set of LLBeann packing cubes the I bought years and years ago and they are still useful. The tops are mesh so it's easy to see what's inside. For clothes that I don't want to get wrinkled, it helps to layer and fold them over dry cleaning bags (which are harder and harder to come by, which is great for the environment!). I still manage to fit odds and end and into the corners of each cube, too.
    For shoes, I almost always wear flats and have found that ballet flats from Me Too have lots of cushy padding inside that makes long walks to nice dinners very comfortable. And a pair in nude patent, leopard print or simple black works with most of my outfits.

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  20. Since I almost never wear makeup, these teensy ones would be great!

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  21. I save samples I get from stores and anything that comes in a magazine (moisturizer, shampoo, conditioner, etc) and brings those along. It may not be my regular brands, but it allows me to try something new and not have bottles taking up precious space.

    I concur on having comfortable shoes. Why anyone would wear shoes that make their feet hurt is beyond me.

    Thanks for the chance to win =)

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  22. So glad someone is blogging about packing dresses for travel. No matter how well I plan separates I never seem to look as pulled together in them as in a dress. I pack at least one thermal long sleeved T shirt, opaque tights, scarf and a cardigan for layering, and Rieker do great all day comfortable booties, sandals and shoes that go well with dresses. The T shirt folds so small I can remove it to my handbag if the day warms up, and carry a statement necklace to put on if going directly from sightseeing to a smart dinner. I decant cosmetics into tiny pots and contact lens cases, they last much longer than you expect. I definitely agree with the ziploc bags, and the denim skirt comments. If the skirt is knee length you can often wear your dresses as tops under it. Packing cubes on e-bay and Amazon- or use mesh laundry bags.

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  23. From Nicola in Ireland: I love your website Janice, it is so inspiring! My parents go to Spain for 6 weeks every spring and my dad's top tip is to pack 12 rolls of loo roll into his case, gives him the softness (ahem!) he likes while away and then frees up room to bring home lovely treats, pata negra, manchego, souvenirs etc.

    As for me, I love the look of those packing cubes and the mini make up. We are going camping in France with our 3 little boys (6, 3 and 18 months) this summer so the packing will be an interesting challenge!

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  24. Laura in TO: I know packing cubes are useful; but don't they add a lot of weight to the luggage? I got some eagle creek stuff and it seems heavy...what do you think?

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    1. The cubes that I have weigh almost nothing - they're nylon, with nylon zippers, and when I put them on my kitchen scales (just now... yes, I'm a weird scientist type of woman!), they didn't even register. They're more for providing a structure around your folded garments, and have very little function or shape until they're being used.
      Hope this helps!
      hugs,
      Janice

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    2. I don't use packing cubes because to my mind, that's unnecessary weight. I only use carry on luggage (can do 2 weeks with a carry on suitcase) so weight matters to me.

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    3. For me, packing cubes are like drawers and keep things organized and in place. I love them! No more rummaging around in my suitcase to find something! Janice Collins, Washington DC

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    4. From Margie in Toronto - not sure which brand you may be using Laura but I have to agree with Janice - mine weigh next to nothing (even the large ones) and using them helps keep me well within baggage allowance weights. I even use a medium sized one for my carry on tote so that I have a change of clothes/sleepwear etc. just in case my checked luggage goes missing. And yes, I do only use a 20" case but I check it because I'm very short & walk with a cane so trying to maneuver that size of case down a narrow plane aisle and then lift it in to the overhead bin just isn't worth the struggle to me and I've yet to travel on an airline that charges me for that one checked bag (and if I did then the $25 or so would be negligible compared to the overall cost of the flight) and still makes my life easier.

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    5. I have packing cubes, but tend not to use them so much any more - I found things getting creased in the corners when everything gets pressed together in the case. I stuff underwear and socks into my shoes, to stop them getting pushed out of shape, and put the shoes in very close fitting knit shoe bags (not the big rectangular ones). This fit at the bottom of the case, with any non-liquid small puches (make-up, cables, etc), in between the channels for the handles, to even that out. On top of that, I use the "bundling" method - I have found it to be the most space-efficient and to esult in the fewest creases. Any items like short-sleeved tops and T-shirts that don't suit bundling are neatly placed in two stacks in top of the spread out clthes before I bundle them.

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  25. I think it would be just lovely to have mini size makeup, especially for traveling. I've been using packing cubes for years and love them. Just bought some eBags Ultralight Packing Cubes and they weigh almost nothing.

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  26. I use a stuff sack to put my delicates in. (Nylon draw string bag.) Most times I only need one bag but I do have others that I could use. I'm fine not to be in the draw as I don't travel that much. Nice idea having small cosmetics given this age of carry on travel. Carol S

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  27. I am definitely going to purchase packing cubes before my trip to Ireland. I always collect samples of toiletries. It is possible to purchase product upon arrival. Thierry Rabotin shoes are the best! I've been wearing mine for 5 years.

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  28. Thank you for all the really useful info. I will be checking out the packing cubes as we have numerous trips coming up.
    Please include me in the giveaway drawing. I agree that it is a fantastic idea to have smaller sizes instead of wasting money on items that need to be thrown due to age. - DBQMary


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  29. Janice, I’ve read your blog for years and I’ve never commented but I just had to share my tip about finding comfortable shoes for travel: No matter how “comfortable” you think they are – remember to thoroughly break them in!
    In preparation for a trip to Italy scheduled for last fall I bought a pair of Joseph Seibel sneakers in the spring. They were a little stiff but they had good reviews and there seemed to be a general consensus around blogland that they were good for walking around Europe.
    I had been wearing them off and on for a couple of months when I spent a week with my daughter in Lincoln Park (I live out in the suburbs). I decided to test them by walking from her apartment to Michigan Ave – about three miles. By the time I got to Nordstrom’s these “broken in” shoes had covered my feet in blisters (and I was even wearing socks). I limped into the shoe department, told the salesman I needed really soft sneakers and bought a version of the Nike’s you just featured. My feet were happy for the rest of the visit and I walked in those Nike’s all over Italy.
    Moral of story – they aren’t broken in until you can walk for a few miles with no problems.

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    1. Try Bandaid Friction Block. A very small container to pack but a foot saver for long trips, new shoes or not.

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  30. I love packing special occasion separates (especially silks) and just-in-case items like a raincoat or a heavy sweater in those clear and virtually weightless 2.5 gallon ziplock Jumbo Hefty bags (available on eBay and elsewhere). You can just leave such garments in their clear bags on the bottom of your suitcase, clearly visible and ready (and unwrinkled), and yet out of the way.

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  31. Janice,
    Some years ago, when I was still way overpacking, I took a large checked bag to Phoenix, Arizona. When I opened it, I saw a note inside that it had been opened and inspected by a TSA agent. This was just a couple of years after 911. In addition to having a stranger shuffling through my clothes, the jumble of disorganization in the suitcase towards the end of the trip convinced me to try packing cubes. Over time I have purchased several different colors and sizes in the Eagle Creek brand so that I can assign a given color to a type of item, such as one color for knit tops, another smaller one and different color for undies or swim suit, etc.. I also flat fold clothes -- I feel rolling takes up too much vertical space and only works well for very lightweight, non- wrinkle able clothing such as undies and nightwear. Socks get stuffed inside shoes with any extras loose packed into crannies around other items.
    I'm still struggling with how to pack trousers, keeping them free from dirt and wrinkling. I have tried rolling, folding into quarters and putting them into a cube, folding in half and placing them on top of everything else, and various interfolding methods. Thus far, my favorite method is to use an Eagle Creek Specter packing envelope ( very light weight), placing the pants on the bottom and alternating waistband directions to reduce bulk, then bundle wrap them around a cardigan that I have placed on top of the pants.

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  32. Thank you for the great post. I am going on a trip to Washington D.C. this summer and the tips in the post are helping me to organize what I should pack.

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  33. I can read about packing all day - isn't it a fascinating topic? It's interesting that you use the packing cube system, as I have seen them extolled on travel sites. I have been firmly in the rolling clothes camp, and can do it in a way that wrinkles are minimized, but I might have to branch out for future trips. - nancyo

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  34. After my first solo trip with the kids last month, I am now completely sold on packing cubes! I borrowed my husband's garment folder and cubes, and WOW, what a difference. When the Container Store does their annual Eagle Creek sale this spring, I'll definitely be getting a set of my own.

    I'll have to check out this makeup brand, while I never have a problem going through lipsticks, everything else in my makeup bag is well past its expiration. And I wear it anyway. Not good, but I never feel like forking up the cash for new product when I still have so much of the old left.

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  35. Janice, I so love your packing tips. My co-workers are all amazed at the small bag that I pack when I travel for work now.

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  36. Love, love, LOVE the Stowaway makeup idea, brilliant! Plan to definitely buy to use but winning would be wonderful, too! I wish I knew about your lovely blog while I was working, it would have helped so much AND saved me money but it's been great in retirement especially all your bits on travel. I also adore when you have a story line, too. I'm a librarian (we really do like to be stylish, you should see the young librarians at conference!) and I REALLY do think you may have a book in you, too!

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  37. I've found that after some successful packing experiences, one tends to transfer that "essentials only" thinking to everyday life. I've pared down my bathroom products to only what I actually use everyday. Not only does it make packing easier, it makes everyday mornings less complicated. Also, thanks for the link to the cosmetic company. With warm weather finally coming to New England, I may treat myself to some new lovely shades.

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  38. Perfect! I am about to leave Atlanta and traveling west to visit my first born grandson. We are celebrating his 16th birthday. The cosmetics will be a perfect fit inside my one carry on bag. Thank you for all your helpful packing suggestions.

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  39. Oh, Janice, you are a girl after my heart....last fall I packed three dresses for ten days in Rome. Perfect! Walking sandals by Fidelio; Perfect! With a little creativity, and some practice, dresses can be converted to look like a skirt, jumper, evening wear, all with year round use.

    Thank you for giving us, your fans, the opportunity to try a new makeup line suitable for travel or day use.
    You are the best,
    A faithful fan,
    Pat

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  40. I need to buy a couple of those quart bags immediately. The make up looks great. Thanks for the info.

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  41. The small size makeup is brilliant ! Do they send out samples so you can test colors ?

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    1. I have no idea - send them a note and ask. They're amazingly nice, and helpful!
      hugs,
      Janice

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  42. These are all great ideas! I've never used packing cubes, but I may try them based n your recommendation. I do think that finding the right shoes is the hardest thing!

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  43. Great tip about living out of your toiletry bag for a practice period! I've got a trip coming up May 11 so I'm definitely going to start practicing May 1.

    I always pack a stain remover when I travel, since I don't typically do laundry on the road. It's saved many a piece of clothing.

    Please count me in for the giveaway!

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  44. I first used packing cubes last autumn when we spent six weeks in Australia/New Zealand. Wow! I don't think I'll ever leave home without them again!

    I would like advice about everyone's favorite dopp kit/toiletries kit. Mine is the old-fashioned leather rectangle semi-rigid style and it takes up a lot of room in my carry-on. I'm interested in trying a hanging style. What do you love?

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    1. As long as it is Clear, I'm a fan. I must be able to see what's inside.

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    2. Lori,
      My husband tends to monopolize counter space, so I have resorted to trying several different brands of hanging toiletry kits. I have found that a lot of them do not take into consideration the storage of the required TSA 311 bag, but I have found three that do. The largest one, with several clear plastic areas and one mesh pocket plus a zip pocket on the back is the Travelon Flat Out toiletry bag. While it is rather large, it holds my hairbrushes, shower cap, razor, dental and toiletry needs as well as the 311 bag after going through security. If you pack it unzipped you can open it out flat except for two side walls of the bottom two pockets, but I just pack around those. The next one, which is smaller, is by Ricardo of Bevery Hills. It holds all of my toiletries and 311 bag, but is a bit too small for my brushes, which I can just stick in a plastic bag and tuck them in somewhere, although it has one mesh pocket on the side of the bag, that I could perhaps stick my brush handles into. It also has extra storage on the back for a shower cap or something light. The third one is called Flight 001 Spacepak System, into which I can cram pretty much, but It's basically two mesh pockets with a small zip pocket below the hanger plus a pocket on the back. All three of these kits hang nicely, and do not flop forward, as some do, and all are available on Amazon. I don't wear much makeup and so my makeup fits easily into any of these bags. I have done a lot of research on Magellan's, e-Bags, E-Bay, and Amazon to compare sizes, prices, and function. I hope that you find what works best for you !

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    3. Take a look at EMME kits. They have a zip out clear section for TSA items. The kits hang and fold up to book size.

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  45. After reading your post and the comments I am convinced that I need to give packing cubes a try. I always take a dress when I travel, easy dressing, and I also agree with the comment about bringing a denim skirt. I think I've always have had some type of denim skirt in my wardrobe since 1980! Comfortable, durable, and easy to wear all year round.

    The compact make-up does make sense to me not only for packing but also for daily use. And the packaging is cute!

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  46. Great tip about living out of your toiletry bag for a practice period! I've got a trip coming up May 11 so I'm definitely going to start practicing May 1.

    I always pack a stain remover when I travel, since I don't typically do laundry on the road. It's saved many a piece of clothing.

    Please count me in for the giveaway!

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  47. Thanks, everyone. These are all interesting travel tips that a person can actually use. I am also a recent packing cube convert. I try to pack any dry makeup and jewelry in an appropriate-sized clutch to use for any nice evening out during my trip. Deb in KY

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  48. The Stow Away makeup looks like just the ticket! I leave soon for a month all over Italy. Everything in one 40 litre backpack complete with packing cubes, toiletries and 3 pairs of shoes total. I put my toiletries in 2 separate small bags: one for Everyday (lipstick,toothbrush) and one for Backup (antibiotics). That way I can have one small bag on the bathroom counter instead of my whole kit. Works for me!

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  49. So glad you showed Paula's Choice samples. I use her products and rely on the samples when I travel. Quick question - I finally found my super-comfortable walking shoes - loafers (the old Bass Weejun kind but shiny and new with tassels) in cordovan. What color socks does one wear with cordovan? Match outfit or shoes? My neutrals are gray, beige and burgundy.

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    1. Match your outfit, I'd say. I love Bass Weejuns... I think a pair of black ones might be in my future, when my current black loafers finally wear out. Sometime around 2020, at the rate I'm going!
      hugs,
      Janice

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  50. I'm slowly whittling down my cosmetics and personal care items for traveling. I could do a lot more.

    My biggest traveling dilemma is sleeping clothes. I don't like to be cold at night, and I like to wear my usual (comfortable) pajamas. They take up so much space, but sleeping in just a t-shirt is not comfortable or warm enough for me... What do you all do for sleeping clothes while traveling?

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    1. I never travel without a couple of Natori polyester caftans (often available at a discount on eBay). They're comfortable, gorgeous, look like silk yet are easy-care, drip-dry overnight in a hotel bathroom, and can serve as both gown and robe presentable enough for room service or sitting on a cruise ship balcony.

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    2. Terry,
      Put your sleeping clothes into a 1 gallon or 2.5 gallon freezer zip lock bag, and compress out all of the air -- it compresses down the size, but obviously the weight stays the same.

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    3. Thanks for the tip about Natori. I will look into those.

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    4. I can't sleep in polyester so I pack a thin short sleeved cotton jersey T shirt dress. If I run out of clothes I can wear it during the day, or on the beach.

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  51. I love the idea of the smaller makeup samples, even for everyday use. I am guilty of having "old" make up since I wear it sparingly. I do buy new mascara regularly. I use lingerie bags to do laundry and have found they do double duty when packing for travel to keep small items contained. Tide used to make great ones but can't find them as easily anymore. I now use Victoria Secret ones that are smaller and well made. I have learned so much from you. Thank you

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  52. I hung what I thought I would need on a rod. Re-read some 'Vivienne' posts & reduced by half. Very scary. Then Listed on a spreadsheet by bag-type. Took 2 week trip then edited that list. Two words...Lycra & scarves. Oh, yes, always my plastic pocket cross for those take-offs & landings! Thanks, friend, for all your great advice.

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  53. I love the idea of the hanging cubes for smalls with an empty one for dirty clothes. I know can't wait to travel again and use that idea!

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  54. I see we've already discussed packing cubes ... I do love the Eagle Creek packing boards and envelopes for shirts, when I've been daft enough to pack shirts that need to be ironed.

    My packing has been transformed by Marie Kondo. (I accept the backlash ... I've listened to it from my friends on margarita night.) She taught me how to fold clothes for my drawers, and I find those same techniques work for wrinkle-free packing. I take the knits that I've folded into ideal "file folders" and just pop them that way into the case. Then I take them out and put them into the drawers at the hotel. The packing goes FAST.


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  55. Thank you, Janice, for this post and all your great advice on traveling lightly .. I've incorporated so much from you in wardrobe planning and now I'm trying to get the travel wardrobes paired down more. I'm still taking too much but it is getting better My husband and I are planning a train trip through Italy - stopping for a few days at each city. An efficient wardrobe and Small suitcase will be a must! I'm glad I have a year to plan! As for shoes, I would add that one should not take new shoes that have not been worn and broken in. I agree that shoes are probably THE most important consideration! Thank you for the opportunity to teceive this mini makeup set. What a great idea! Janice Collins, Washibgton, DC

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  56. You are so right about the shoes! They can break a trip! I would love to win and try the cosmetics!

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  57. Lots of great advice here.

    Smaller cosmetic items would be a great Idea. Saving every little bit of space is important. For shampoo and conditioner I empty 2 or 3 of those little plastic hotel bottles and refill them with my own product, then toss them before returning home. However I am still searching for a small curling iron for my hair.

    My problem is taking too many clothes. However I have 3 trips coming up within the next 6 months and I'm planning on practicing what Janice preaches!

    Wish me luck.

    Mary (mcm)

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  58. Overall, I'm a pretty good packer, but I love the idea of packing jewelry in a bag that can double as a clutch! Now, if I could just apply this concept to my camera gear.....

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  59. Great tips! And you can see how a giveaway encourages response! Did know know that "travel size" make up existed, so they may get a sale to me if i don't win. Have used small cubes in the past and found them very helpful - may also try the larger ones now. Thanks for the ideas.

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  60. I'm also a huge proponent of packing light and using cubes to assist the process. They're also very useful as a laundry bag to bring home, keeping soiled items away from everything else. You've given a lot of great suggestions!

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  61. :-) Oh, my - you're going to have to read through an awful lot of comments ;-)

    Packing tips from me? I write en excel list with all the things I want to take with me.
    After that I make another list of the days I will be there and write down which "outfits" I want to wear when.
    I cross them out from the first list. This way I know what I need to take and what can stay home.
    The first list I keep with my travel documents. Should my suitcase go bye-bye, I know what I need to claim with the airline and the insurance.

    Have a very HAPPY week :-)

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  62. love the tips and great ideas i plan to try to minimize space and increase flexibility when traveling

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  63. I learned how to travel with carry on-only luggage after a two-week trip to Italy. I never looked backed. I love all the ideas you shared in today's post, especially saving a portion of the hanging cubes for items needing laundering. Genius! I'm off to visit all of your suggested vendors ... thanks for all you do!!

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  64. Because of your blog, I tried packing cubes on my last trip. I am totally converted. I have been doing well with clothes packing lately, but I can't seem to get makeup and toiletries right. Smaller sizes would definitely help. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  65. Love packing posts! As I rarely wear dresses at home, I stick to the layered with pants look.
    Totally hooked on packing cubes! Love the newer eagle creek specter line which weigh nothing. The newest specter compression cubes are great for sweaters. Another fav travel accessory is my Tom bihn travel tray. Great for corralling all the bits and bobs next to the bed- phone, jewelry, keys, etc. another tip- use the plastic bag that the newspaper comes in as shoe bag- I usually put one shoe per bag, that way you can pack shoes separately or together as best fit into the suitcase.

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  66. Even if I don't win the magic random numberness, I'll be purchasing from Stowaway. Thanks for the great find!
    Cheryl

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  67. I've been traveling for business every single month for most of my career and my packing is still a work-in-progress. And I have gotten some great wardrobe and packing information from you. I love this blog!!
    Those cosmetics are completely new to me but would certainly help in slimming down my already miserly travel bag.

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  68. I love this little set! I just found out about Stowaway on a site that has lots of packing lists when I was searching for an upcoming trip. ~Becky S.

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  69. I am currently traveling overseas and was introduced to packing cubes. Love them. So much easier to see what you have room to pack. I opted for the small trial size from Paula's ,but on weekend trips always use those samples. What fun to win any of this.

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  70. Everybody loves a giveaway! Me too! I'm intrigued with this tiny makeup kit. As my life is steadily simplified, all the small things appeal. Janice, is the blog five years old now? I was a very early reader and you just get better.

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  71. I just want to say thank you so much for your blog! I have read so many archived posts over the last few weeks and I am so grateful! I've had baby #4, 18 months ago and my body has just not recovered. At this point I had cruddy sweats and a couple of "nice" yoga pants. I had no idea how to create a wardrobe from scratch. But, I found your blog and have gotten my first four neutrals and am working on the second. (Navy and gray). I've picked a pale blue as one accent, but am trying to decide on the last one. Pinks, lavender, dusty rose? I haven't decided, mostly because they are all slightly out of my blue comfort zone. (Usually I would pick red, but I've noticed that it washes me out). Anyway. I wanted to say thank you for arming me with a plan. It was wonderful to shop the other day with my list. I could walk past all the tempting, but ultimately one off items of clothing, and work on creating my own wardrobe. Thanks!

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  72. Hi Janice, I really look forward to your blog every morning! It's time to try packing cubes for travel and some Stowaway makeup. Thanks for all the great tips and beautiful clothing arrangements.

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  73. Those small size cosmetics are a great idea! I have thrown away so much half used makeup! Hope I win!

    Toiletries are still my packing nemesis! I have gotten much better since finding your blog, but still have trouble getting a weeks worth in that tiny 311 bag! I will try looking for samples more. What about perfume? How do you all pack that?

    Such a great idea to pack jewelry in a clutch or evening bag! Duh! Why didn't I think of that??

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  74. Love your travel tips! I was referred to your site from someone on the Rick Steves site a few years ago, and I've learned so much in that time--not just about packing, but about wardrobe choices in general. Thank you.
    Leslie

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  75. One of the best ideas I ever came across on a travel/packing blog, was to get empty contact lens cases, and put toiletries I didn't need a lot of: serum, foundation, skin oil, etc. in there. It takes a ton of weight out of your bags! Whereas I find I do need a healthy amount of lotion and conditioner.

    I also take a snack-sized sandwich bag, and put bandaids, pepto-bismol individually-wrapped tablets, and other OTC meds that you don't want to have to stop to buy, or might need at 2am.

    I usually take multiple pairs of shoes, because my feet have become increasingly fussy. I wipe down the insides with a baby wipe or leather wipe, let them dry, and then pack them full of socks, hosiery, underwear, etc. I also flip my bras so that the cups stack inside themselves, and roll up cami tops or underwear very tightly and 'fill' the cups out so that they pack into my suitcase on a flat level.

    Fingers crossed for myself on the Stowaway drawing! :D

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  76. For winter travel I use vacuum storage bags- medium size. These work amazingly well at reducing bulk from fleece and winter jackets. And they are so adorable. I store my winter items in them too, in my closet so they stay fresh all year. They are sold at the drug store.

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  77. I so love these tips.I'm looking forward to your future posts about packing.I'm determined to take only carry on for my next trip and these tips will definitely help!!!

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  78. Thank you Thank you DTK for the shoutout on the travel tray - another great thing about the VivFiles is reading the comments, something I can't be bothered with most other sites.

    I've just done my second week-long trip with just a carry-on and I don't want to check ever again.

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  79. It has been so long since I have travelled, that I can really use these tips. That make up looks intriguing.

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  80. I'm planning a trip to Vienna, Prague and Berlin next month and the small makeup kit would be so useful. I've been using travel cubes (except I mostly used the heavy zip plastic cases bed linens and table linens came in... they worked great) anytime I'm traveling to multiple sites. That was especially useful traveling from camp to camp in Africa on safari (and helped keep the baboons and monkeys out of my clothes). l started using wardrobe capsules after I noticed how much easier it was to dress when on vacation with limited options.

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  81. I agree about bringing a denim skirt!

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  82. Very good info on packing. I always learn so much from your posts. I think I'm going to get some packing cubes!

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  83. That little makeup kit looks like EXACTLY what I was hunting and hunting for before a recent trip to NYC (where I tried as much as possible to follow your packing advice, Janice, even though I had just stumbled onto your blog two days before I left).

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  84. I assumed the benefit of packing cubes was solely organization. Now that I know they can be squished without wrinkling the clothes, I'm intrigued!

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  85. Love your tips, especially the one about auditioning actual amounts (which I picked up from this site. And micro containers allowing me to take a huge variety in a super small space. Carolyn from VA

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  86. The make up set looks quite useful. You can also get some nice colourful packing cubes in ikea.

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  87. In Florida for a week and practicing both the dop kit method and the dress method. It made me very anxious to empty the dop kit for the trip . . . WHAT if I needed something I've never used ever? Three dresses, black sandals, and gray TOMS . . . oh and workout clothes + Vibram five finger. So much room left in my carry on. Makes me want to go home and do the same in my closet! xoxox

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  88. The people at the perfume counters are usually happy to give little samples and one tiny spray bottle can last a long time..plus you can really experience the fragrance and determine if it "you">

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  89. Thanks for your post on Stowaway makeup! I've been looking for some to try. With the purchase of a kit and a coupon found using the "Honey" app, I got a free lipstick, cheek color and mascara!!! Whoop whoop!!! $42 of free makeup. :) They were having technical difficulties on the site this morning so I emailed them and told them the link from your page wasn't activating their "Get Started" button. Since I mentioned The Viv Files, you should still get credit. Thanks for my great "Deal of the Day"!

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  90. I'm a devotee of packing cubes now for myself, but when my kids were little I used ziploc bags and packed their clothes by outfit. They could just grab a bag and go. I've wanted to try Stowaway cosmetics for some time, but find them a little pricey.

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  91. I like packing folders for structured clothes that cannot be rolled.

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  92. i took absolutely as few 'wet' products as possible to Europe last month.. was so glad i did.. i didn't miss the rest at all!

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  93. I live in France for six weeks every summer. (I know; life is hard!) For the past few years, I've afopted a radically odd approach. I pack clothes that I'm done with (looks tired, feels like a trend that has passed, no longer loving it). I wear those items to death for six weeks and dispose of them at the end (donation of items that are still in good shape or responsible disposal of those that are really finished). I have room in my bag for any new purchases without going over the weight limit and spread a little love. Of course, I have to make sure to pack an outfit that I intend to keep for the return trip!

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  94. I collect samples for traveling...the idea of make up in a usable size is great.

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  95. I HATE packing! Even after all your advice, I never get it quite right. Thank you for continuing to help me!
    Karen

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  96. Packing cubes have changed my life while traveling. I just put them in the drawers in the hotel room and unzip, I can reach my rolled tees and see what I have. I usually spray with Fabriz and air in the closet then if not spotted roll them up again for one more wearing.I keep dirty laundry in the outside zip pocket of our large bag. I put a few dryer softener sheets in there to keep it smelling sweet. Great idea for measuring how much of your cosmetic liquids to take...will try that out before July trip for sure. Always take a fan and a lightweight shawl in your purse...you end up using both during the plane ride, and often during the trip for air conditioning and after a hike up a hill...

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  97. I purchased a pair of Bare Traps the week before a trip to Disney. I tried them out for two days at work before I went on my trip. After 4 10 hour days, my feet were tired but I had no blisters or rubbed spots. On the advice of the kids, I used gal pad inserts , they helped a lot. Highly recommend them!
    Karen

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  98. Weekend performance trips involve almost 2 full wardrobes for 3 days and a costume, those hanging cubes would be great for accessories and smaller bits of costumes, or even separating day to day plans for heavily scheduled events

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  99. What's really nice about this makeup is the list of ingredients--no soy and no gluten. I could actually wear it! Now, I just have to keep my fingers crossed.

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  100. I still roll everything, wear my heaviest layers on the plane and edit, edit, edit! You've taught me that scarves can be more useful than extra tops, so I only travel with my rolling carry one and a shoulder bag!

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  101. My best travel advice is using mineral powder foundation and solid lotion and shampoo bars. NO need to put them in my 311 bag, and it makes TSA so much easier. I still use it for things like toothpaste and eye drops, but now it's tiny.

    And I always use packing cubes, either organized by outfit (with all the needed undergarments and accessories if I have a special occasion) or types of clothing.

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  102. I haven't worn make-up consistently for years (can we say decades)and even once in a while think, I'd like to try, again. It's spring and I've been thinking that. Maybe…
    Regarding packing, your articles have been so helpful! Except that at the last minute, I start panicking and throw extra-things, just in case. (That's my problem) but at least now, they make a coordinated outfit. Thank you!

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  103. We just returned from a two-week trip to Paris, Krakow, Amsterdam and Reyjkavik, all done with one carry-on. Your wardrobe capsules were so helpful with making decisions about my travel clothes. I bought a royal blue, black and gray tulip print scarf at Keukenhof gardens and immediately thought, what wardrobe capsule would Janice put together for this beautiful scarf? Thanks so much for the inspiration!

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  104. We are planning a trip to Germany next year, and need to upgrade our luggage. With your help, I'm sure that I won't need as much room as I would have five years ago--my wardrobe is just so much simpler!

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  105. Count me in for the giveaway! Here's how I minimize my toiletries. For makeup, I only travel with multipurpose cosmetics: cheek color that doubles as lipstick (i.e. Bobbi Brown "pot rouge", Nars "Multiple") eye pencils that can be used to line and color, powder or stick foundation, a sample-size tin of rosebud salve or petroleum jelly to rub on my elbows and knees...none of these need to go in the TSA 311 bag, I carry them in my purse, along with full-size lipsticks. I travel at least 4 times a year (both domestically and internationally) and have never been asked to repack or toss any of these products. The TSA quart-sized baggie is filled with toothpaste, liquid Castille soap that functions as shampoo and body wash, conditioner, mouth wash, deodorant, moisturizer with a high SPF, and my night cream. The pricey exfoliants and serums stay home. Skipping them for 2 weeks is not going to ruin my face. I'm convinced the happiness that comes with traveling and relaxing will give me a much brighter and youthful complexion than any expensive cream would ever be able to. (IRC from the DMV)

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  106. The Stowaway pack looks like a perfect solution and very motivating to look your best among strangers. Also I love it that you wore sneakers in Paris.

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  107. I wish I would have known about Stowaway cosmetics before my recent trip to London. I did well on paring down clothes but had too many toiletries and make up products I didn't even use.

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  108. I took one packing cube for my lingerie in my carry on and small sample sizes of my cosmetics...I packed very light too and wore mostly black and grey with colourful scarfs. It is a challenge to pack light but if you follow Janice's mix and match garments and her advice you will be well prepared!
    Please do not include me in the giveaway...it is very nice but I have my regular products lines that I am faithful to and work for me.

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  109. After decades of over-packing and throwing last-minute panic items into my suitcase, I finally decided to get organised. And, mercifully, found The Vivienne Files and the common wardrobe. At last, a workable starting point! I am now weeding out my wardrobe and also paring back toiletries and cosmetics. As you get older, you sometimes feel "more is safest" both with clothes and makeup, when really, less always works better - every day, not just for travel. Thanks for providing the structure and motivation; this is liberating on many levels, not least because it will reduce wastefulness in my life. Jo

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  110. I like to roll my clothes so they take up less space. I really like your shoe choices as well!

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  111. Thanks for all your great packing advice. I've never been to Paris and I doubt I ever will but we do alot of local traveling to visit family and for retreats and such. I love the packing cubes and the mini make-up too! I do love to be organized. ; )

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  112. I too roll my clothes.
    I enjoy packing tips, I usually want to take too much, and I try to edit prior to leaving, but usually end up with unworn stuff taking up space and weighing me down.
    But, now, because of your blog, I am living in a whole new world! I am working on my wardrobe according to your gentile guidance, and I am sure my future travels will mean a successful packing.
    Thanks!

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  113. Love the packing cubes and mini makeup! My first Vivienne-inspired trip was great - had just what I needed and no excess! Thank you,
    Jennifer

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  114. I do love packing dresses and tights for trips. I feel so put together when I wear them and they pack very lightly (on top of being terribly comfortable to walk around in all day). I find my biggest challenge when packing small is actually my bras. I can't compress them down or risk damaging them.

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  115. I love my clear quart bag like the one you have pictured. It works so much better than a ziplock bag.

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  116. Great post Janice, I especially like the advice about creating the optimum travel cosmetic bag. Mine is always packed and ready to go, and I refill the travel sized containers that come as gifts with purchase with my full sized toner and moisturizer.
    For dresses, I love the sleeveless sheath dresses from Talbots and Landsend. They are made of stretchy material so very comfortable and look elegant on their own, and fine for the hottest day, or can be made as warm as you need with a pair of tights, boots, a long sleeve top underneath, and a cardigan or jacket on top. If they are a plain colour then dressed up with a lovely scarf or patterned cardigan. I really like the longer wrap tops by Kettlewell. They drape beautifully and come in wonderful colours and look very elegant with the sheath dresses.

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  117. Nothing new to add from your list above, just had to say that packing cubes totally changed the game for me

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  118. I swear by Flight001 spacepak bags. It's amazing how much you can pack into each one and I love that they are two-sided - one side for "clean" and the other for "laundry". With them I was able to pack for a two week trip to Hawaii in a carry on each for myself and my three children. Love your blog, Janice!

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  119. I was introduced to the concept of packing cubes a few years back, and when I decided it was time for MOM to have a suitcase of her own, I bought a couple of sets of packing cubes to go in it. Wonderful, wonderful items that not only organize my travel but help keep things neat and orderly and FINDABLE on a trip! Which is helpful if you're chaperoning a cabin full of girls sleeping in bunkbeds and you don't want to turn on lights in the early part of the day (best chance to get a shower...) to find your essentials...

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  120. So much helpful information here. I love my packing cubes, even for trips when I have taken more items like our last cruise. So easy to keep everything organized in your room. I need to do the "audition" of toiletries to better estimate how little I can get away with packing, great idea. What are the best containers for packing the amounts you do need?

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  121. I second your vote for packing cubes. I also *love* the envelope and folding board for dresses, sweaters, shirts, pants... I easily packed for a three-week trip to Tanzania, a two-week trip to France, and several week-long vacations to various destinations, using only a small, wheeled carry-on and a tote. I'm getting rid of my big suitcases. Too much hassle, and too easy to take more than you need!

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  122. I think you are amazing. We have three sets in three different colours it makes it so much easier to find clothing especially when we are sharing bags. Master B was very excited when he turned 6 and was presented with his own set of blue cubes and a travel bag all of his own.

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  123. I love my packing cubes, so convenient! I'm traveling a lot for work, and for fun! And I love the idea of this make-up line that is so small that you can carry it around everywhere.

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  124. Wow these are wonderful packing cubes and bags, I have only seen bulky black ones here which don't seem to keep things small and compact. I've got my makeup all sorted as well as the bathroom essentials but the rest are a mess in both of our bags.

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  125. Love posts like this (well, okay ALL your posts). I use the packing cube set from IKEA, mine is pink and it is great for hand carry travel only. Just returned from a 4 day trip at a Disney resort and used many of your packing tips and tricks. Thanks so much Janice <3

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    1. I didn't know Ikea made them. I'll have a look. Thanks for the tip.

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  126. I have been packing light since I discovered your blog. Very rarely have I not had enough to wear. I so appreciate these fine tuning posts!

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  127. Using various size ziplock bags is my packing secret, also small size toiletries. Great tips, Janice. Love your blog too.

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  128. I save my samples from Sephora for travel, like you suggested. They give you at least 3 with each order (and sometimes more on promotion). No bulk or weight in my bag!

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  129. I do love a packing post! Samples are great for travel and these look perfect!

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  130. I recently started following The Vivienne Files. It's given me "new eyes" with which to look at my closet and I actually like what I see. And I've added a few things to my shopping wish list. Just this weekend I told my husband I wanted to throw out all my make up and start over. Stowaway looks like a great solution.

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  131. As a traveler who does my "five minute face" everyday, I would love to try the make-up you show. always good tips! Always.

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  132. Do those of you who wear dresses choose ones that don't need slips underneath? Or are there cotton slips that I just haven't found yet? I can't handle polyester any more, way too hot for me. Love this post, so many great tips!

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    1. Check The Vermont Country Store online - they carry cotton slips! I find all kinds of useful things there, like cotton socks without elastic, for some of my family members, and wild elderberry jelly, for OTHER family members...
      hugs,
      Janice

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    2. Thanks! Off to check them out now!

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  133. Great tips on packing light, as always. Thank you, Janice.

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  134. I love packing cubes! I'm going to look into those Nike shoes. I need some comfortable black travel shoes for when we do a lot of walking, such as when we are at WDW. And as one who doesn't wear a lot of makeup, I would love to try the travel makeup!

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  135. Thanks for sharing yet another amazing small business resource - I love the idea behind Stowaway, and have bookmarked them for future purchases. Also must check out Paula's Choice; I've heard wonderful things about them from a variety of sources. And thanks for your generosity!

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  136. I learn so much from your posts. We just returned to Chicago from a trip to Montana. For once, I packed the right amount of clothing, but I still pack way too many skin care items and too much make up. I would love to try the make up you recommend. It looks nice and recycling is always good.

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  137. Stowaway sounds perfect for my travel, and year-around use! Thanks for the giveaway offer :).

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  138. Stowaway sounds perfect for my travel, and year-around use! Thanks for the giveaway offer :).

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  139. Thank you as always for your practical advice! I was very happy to learn about the Flight001 site and will order a couple of the clear packing zippered pouches for sure before my trip to Barcelona in the Fall! I continue to enjoy all your postings so much!

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  140. I always enjoy reading your posts and your readers' tips. I don't have anything new to add and no big trips planned this year. But I have learned to pack less. I also took pictures of my outfits last fall when we traveled to Russia for a week. I added sticky notes with the days on them so I could alternate tops and bottoms (and not wear them too close together.) Oh, that reminds me of the biggest tip of all. Check the weather report at the very last minute. I had to pull out sweaters and look for cooler tops as they were experiencing a heat wave. Thanks for all the help you give us.

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  141. thank you or your offer, so kind

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  142. I've become I am a great fan of Fels Naptha soap. I can now travel with three pair of "smalls" as you say. The soap lathers up nicely and rinses out easily. Everything smells good and dries softly. I have also found that traveling with a make up palette helps to eliminate space.

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  143. Great article, I just discovered the Paula's Choice samples last summer - lasted the 5 day weekend. Awesome tips - thank you!

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  144. I'm hoping to go to Paris in autumn and this make up kit would be ideal. But I read you each day with such pleasure

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  145. Hope I'm not too late for the contest. I'm in the lounge at the Dulles airport right this second, returning from abroad. And I was just cursing how much space my toiletries seem to take up. These are lovely!

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  146. I like using a contact lens case with I've side filled with moisturizer and the other with liquid makeup. I can easily do two weeks with that quantity. I'm also a fan of packing cubes, especially if I'm moving around a lot. The new Eagle Creek Specter cubes are practically weightless. Love the Stowaway cosmetics. I'm a sucker for trying travel items.

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  147. I like using a contact lens case with I've side filled with moisturizer and the other with liquid makeup. I can easily do two weeks with that quantity. I'm also a fan of packing cubes, especially if I'm moving around a lot. The new Eagle Creek Specter cubes are practically weightless. Love the Stowaway cosmetics. I'm a sucker for trying travel items.

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  148. I also use a contact lens case for small amounts of cream though I have to be careful since my husband and I both wear contacts!

    I will be in France for two weeks this summer and plan to travel very light. This would help!

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  149. I found two packing tidbits recently that have proved helpful. First, be mindful of the weight of each clothing item. For example, some of my jeans are half the weight of others, as are some blouses,shoes and even t-shirts. Taking the lighter pair had a surprising bottom line effect. I often take a fleece, but changed to a cashmere sweater after weighing them. Evaluating every piece can help--even which pajamas you choose.

    Another idea to consider is multi-tasking some of your miscellaneous clothes. When thinking, "I'd like to bring . . . a swimsuit cover-up, loungewear, swimsuit, workout clothes, and a warmer layer." What could multi-task? Leisure pants that can also be used as pajamas, as long as they can be rinsed out and dry by bedtime? Or a tunic top that also works for a swimsuit cover up? Maybe a smart wool tank that works as a workout top and as a base layer if the weather changes? I thought this was an interesting concept if weight and a diverse trip were considerations.

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  150. Oooh! Count me in for the drawing, please... We have 3 weekend trips in as as many weekends coming up. Why do all our people seem to have occasions so closely packed? If they had asked me, I would have spaced them out!

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  151. I am reading your packing posts with new interest lately. I have two trips coming up and I hope to employ your packing techniques to make sure I look my best while on the road. Thanks for all your wonderful work!

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  152. If you are travelling with your spouse, I always cross pack. That way if one of your cases goes east when you are going west,you will still both have some clothes until your case joins you again(hopefully) or you can purchase some replacements(another great reason to purchase travel insurance)

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  153. I need the hanging cubes that attach with Velcro in my life. Also, I LOVE the concept of smaller cosmetics. Question - are they vegan/animal cruelty free?

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    1. Sorry - that was me.

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    2. I'm pretty sure they're not tested on animals, and their website lists all of the ingredients in every products. PLUS, they will send you a mailer to return your empty product containers! And they recycle them! That makes me love them...
      hugs,
      Janice

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  154. I would love to win these products to take on my upcoming birthday cruise to Alaska! I am a huge fan of your blog, Janice. I've taken your ideas and really changed how I shop in the last couple years. xo

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  155. I would love to win these products to take on my upcoming birthday cruise to Alaska! I am a huge fan of your blog, Janice. I've taken your ideas and really changed how I shop in the last couple years. xo

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  156. My travel tip is Ziploc Toppits minis (there are other brands, too - e.g. supermarket own brands) - small size press-shit plastic bags. Where I buy them, the box has 2 sizes, 9 x 12 cm and 13 x 13 cm, with a white write-on panel on the front (cf. freezer bags).

    First, I keep inividual pieces of jewellery in them, one to a bag, so that I can put them in the sort of pouch/cosmetic type bag that Janice recommends. They don't get tangled up, and I can easily see what's in them. (For earrings, I save the little bags that spare buttons come in - each will take one pair of earrings.) The costume jewellery is stored in those in shallow drawers when I am not travelling - again, it is easy to see the pieces and they don't et tengled or scratched.

    Secondly, every time I get a new piece of electronics - phone/tablet/iPod/camera/ebook/whatever, I put the charge and USB cables in one of these and write on the front in permanenet marker which appliance it belongs to. It is way easier than having a jumble of unassigned cables, and it means that I can easily pull out the cables I need for the appliances I am taling with me. (Then, I put all the ziploc bags in another cosmetic bag for packing.)

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    1. Oh, and one other thing: Solid shampoo - I have Lush, but there are others. Travels in a tin, doesn't leak and mess up your bag, doens't have to go in the liquids bag, and comes in several variants - all the ones I have tried have been excellent.

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    2. Something else I forgot (I used to travel about 200 days of the year, mostly out of country, so I built up a lot of habits). I pack a very lightweight nylon stuff sack, bought from a camping shop, which goes in the wardrobe (bottom shelf) to collect my dirty garments - that way I am sure what is clean and what not, and they aren't laid out for the maids to see. And I pack a very lightweight cotton sarong (actually, a kanga from Kenya) that I tuck over the top of all my packed goods and under the straps, to keep everything tidy and contained in case the suicase is opened. It serves its purpose for the swimming pool, can be an extra towel, can be slept int, and has a multitude of other uses (i Kenya, they are also used as baby slings.....)

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  157. Night clothes for travel: if cold I've often worn footless tights & cotton socks, with a microlight long sleeve black t shirt over a vest - all clothes I'd wear again on other occasions

    for packing: I live in UK and buy ikea brightly coloured storage plastic bags which have a sealer so you can squeeze air out & see through. come in different sizes so very useful. I always use to put spare clothes in hand luggage. air squeezed out keeps them rigid & wrinkle free. I'll be taking the trans siberian railway next year so all light packing tips very necessary!

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