I always enjoy reading suggestions about packing a suitcase.  I thought I’d include my own tips:

      How to Pack the Perfect Bag

Start by getting your suitcase out and opening it up a week ahead of time.  This will create the perfect blend of guilt and panic as you realize you have no idea what to place inside the suitcase.

Next, choose one or two colors as a basis for coordinating your clothes.  This should cause several sleepless nights as you try to decide if you prefer black or brown (or red or yellow) as your main color.

Although you are traveling in the summer, be sure to pack a sweater, sweatshirt, light jacket, or shawl just in case it turns cold.  At least one of each is even better.

Collect travel sizes of shampoo, toothpaste, etc. for your clear quart bag to carry on the plane.  Then make sure the bag seals so they don’t spill inside your carry-on bag.

Once you actually start packing (usually the night before you leave), be sure to pack your socks on the bottom.  That way, you can completely unpack everything several times when you have forgotten how many you packed and just need to check one last time.

Weigh your bag before you leave to you don’t get charged extra for going over the limit.  This gives you another opportunity to agonize over whether you need that extra blanket after all.

Cross your fingers and hope your bag will zip shut.

Realizing that you want to bring souvenirs home with you, open the bag and take out approximately half of its contents.

You’re done!  Have a great time, and try not to worry about whether your bag will actually be at the baggage claim of your travel destination.

And here’s another tip:   Shopping and Packing

Those three little words.  Hint:  not “I love you.”  It’s:  Made in Italy.

I was trying to decide whether to throw away all my extra clothes in order to make room for my purchases in Florence:  Three purses, two belts, and a pair of shoes (I wanted to keep the shoebox, too).  When I tell this story, if the person says in utmost seriousness “And what did you do?” I know that we have formed an instant bond.  If there is even a hint of disbelief, I stop the story immediately and resume talking about the paintings at the Uffizi gallery (where I bought a Ferragamo purse made specifically for Italy’s museums).

I was on a shopping excursion recently in Boston, one of those destinations with an added bonus:  no sales tax on clothing and shoes.  This can save a considerable amount of money.  Since I was there on a visit, I had a limited amount of space to work with.  Did this present a challenge?  No, and I actually purchased a coat which I folded carefully in my suitcase.  My shoes were squashed but it didn’t matter.

The amount of room in my suitcase can be a major determining factor in making a decision.  I don’t even look at anything breakable when I’m shopping out-of-town.  Naturally this doesn’t include all the best things:  shoes, purses, clothes, and candy.  Actually, I have given up on bringing back any kind of treats for people because I end up eating all of them.  As I said, there are plenty of other things to give as gifts!

So shop all you want when you travel.  Just remember to leave some space in your suitcase and maybe you’ll even have room for your clothes.

24 thoughts on “Tips

  1. Those three little words—made in Italy. Made me laugh.
    How do you weigh your bag? It’s always been my biggest problem. I try to put it on the bathroom scale and it never registers. So I always try to underpack.

    • I usually take a carry on bag and leave room in it for souvenirs (i.e. clothing, shoes, etc.)! And I have a luggage scale that I got at a travel store where I can hang the suitcase on it and get a good idea of the weight. The scale really helps!

  2. Don’t forget the bubble wrap – for all those fragile, breakable, important, can’t dare leave them behind bottles of wine and olive oil that you MUST bring home from Italy…Thanks for stopping by our blog today with a “like”. Love your site, and look forward to many future good reads!


  3. I noticed that less is more if it comes to packing my suitcase for a travel. Mostly I just need some of this and that and half the time half of my stuff is lying unused in my suitcase. Everytime I pack less and less but there’s always stuff I should have left at home! … Also I’m always purchasing some new clothes. It’s nice to have lovely pieces from all over the world! :)

  4. Hilarious! I also loved the Made in Italy part…validates all my trips there to leather shows and factories for getting products made! And, oh, the characters I’ve met along the way…

  5. I’m loving the sound of the Ferragamo wallet. Love museum shops. I take a soft fold-up duffle bag with me that can accommodate any extra purchases that I can’t fit in my suitcase.

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