Summer Travel Tips
Welcome to summer 2016 newsletter of Enough is Enough Organizing. We hope you’ll find practical suggestions to help you become—and stay—more efficient, productive and organized. Because summer often means vacation time, travel is the focus of this issue.
Feel free to share any and all content on social media and with friends. Have an organizing question? I’m happy to answer it. Email me at junebell (at) me (dot) com.
Carrying On About Your Carry-On
One time when my husband and I were boarding a plane, the pilot approached him, greeted him by name and thanked him for flying so many miles with the airline. Now that’s a frequent flyer! He regularly crisscrosses the globe to meet with customers and give presentations. No matter where he travels, he follows one cardinal rule: Never check a bag.
That’s become our family’s philosophy too, whether we’re taking a week-long cruise, making several stops to visit family or heading to the Jersey Shore for vacation. If the weather hadn’t been dramatically different in London (cold, gloomy and rainy) and Israel (warm, sunny and occasionally rainy) last winter, we could have managed with carry-on bags for that two-week trip as well.
If you have a trip coming up this summer, consider taking only a roll-aboard bag. Here’s how to make it work:
- Lay out all the clothes you think you’ll need on your bed. Then, put half back and pack the rest. I’m kidding, but not really. Most people are chronic over-packers. If you don’t wear everything you brought at least twice, you’ve packed way too much.
- Bring enough underwear and socks for as long as you can go between laundry stops; for most people, this is about five days to a week. Plan on wearing pants, skirts and tops repeatedly, in different combinations.
- Stick to a neutral color palette. Make sure each garment can be worn with at least two others so you can easily mix and match. Pack scarves and a few pieces of costume jewelry to dress up outfits and add a pop of color and style.
- Stock your wardrobe with garments that can do double duty. This summer I’m loving Dakini’s reversible knee-length skirt ($17 at T.J. Maxx; I don’t see it on the Dakini website) with a black and gray floral pattern that reverses to all gray. It’s literally two skirts in one.
- Wear your largest shoes and bulkiest clothing on the plane. Pack your flats or heels and head to the airport in your walking shoes or sneakers.
- Bring a small bottle of Woolite® and some wash pods and dryer sheets so you can do laundry easily if needed.
Whenever I travel light like this, I am always impressed at how easy it is to get dressed when there are fewer choices to make. I return home eager to pare my wardrobe, weeding out garments that I can see are past their prime or no longer flattering. Perhaps the best way to get some clarity on what to wear is to take a vacation—from your dresser and closet.
Going By The Book
Will tour books become a thing of the past? Perhaps. Once a staple of road trips, the AAA TripTik
has gone digital and is little competition for apps like Waze. Similarly, tour books are hanging on despite the fact that so much helpful travel information is available from sites like TripAdvisor
Information in a tour book is outdated pretty much as soon as it’s published, so you may find that admission prices or attraction hours have changed though the book is the current edition. And that’s even more likely to be the case if you have tour books from several years ago.
So why do we hang on to them? Nostalgia is probably the most likely explanation. The book accompanied us on a journey, led us to unexpected destinations and maybe even found us a great meal or adventure. Sitting on our shelf, it’s also a testament to the fact that we’ve traveled and explored.
If you’re looking to create more room on your bookshelves or weed out old volumes, consider letting go of your outdated tour books. Then, reward yourself by making plans for your next journey.
If You Have Only 15 Minutes …
Take a trip through your travel supplies.
New suitcases are lighter and less expensive than ever. Still hauling a clunky bag without wheels? Give your shoulders and back a break and invest in a new one. Look for a model with a telescoping handle and swivel wheels that you can guide—not merely pull—through the airport and hotel. Make sure it will meet airline standards
for roll-aboard luggage.
I’m guilty of stockpiling samples of shampoo, conditioner, hand cream and soap for trips, only to discover that I don’t need a dozen little bottles of hand cream for a weekend trip. Lotions and creams have a limited shelf life, so donate them to a shelter, use them at home or set aside just a few for your travel bag.
A tote bag that slides easily over the handles of your roll-aboard suitcase is a beautiful thing. After years of seeking the “right” bag and being repeatedly disappointed, I tried this Baggalini model
Accompanying me on a recent trip to New Jersey, Philadelphia, the Poconos and New York City, it was worth its weight in gold. The interior is bright and roomy, and the two giant exterior pockets easily hold magazines, snacks and water bottles. The many mesh pockets lining the inside made finding small items a cinch. It even accommodates a yoga mat. Like me, you might be able to find it for $25 at Marshalls.