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The Inside Scoop: How to Pack Like a Travel Pro

How to Pack Like a Travel Pro! I travel the world often for work & play. Here's all you need to know from an expert! MarlaMeridith.com ( @marlameridith )

I travel all the time. Sometimes every other week. Sometimes every week. In the past few months I’ve packed bags for the Italian Dolomites, Santa Barbara, California & I’m currently in Alberta, Canada. You get the drift. I’m a travel expert & I want to make you one too! Let’s get started.

TO CHECK or NOT to CHECK BAGS:

When you have the option I say DON’T check bags. This gets you in & out of the airport way quicker. No standing & waiting at baggage carousels, etc. NO worry about if your bags will follow you to your destination. When you do opt for all carry-on, do be sure to stick to carry-on size allowance. Check your airline for sizes & allowances, they can vary. There’s nothing like being embarrassed when you bags need to be escorted off the plane because they don’t quite fit. Grrrrr, hate that!

CHOOSE YOUR LUGGAGE WISELY:

Above you see my favorites by Louis Vuitton & Patagonia. I like light pieces that can accommodate a lot of stuff! Why start with something heavy? It will only get heavier after it’s full. Wheels rule, choose something that rolls easily.

Study the WEATHER FORECAST for where you are going:

Look at day & night time fluctuations, they can vary greatly! Where I live in Telluride, CO it can be 70 during the day & 32 degrees at night. Pack accordingly. I always go with lots of easy to wear layers. Even if I’m going skiing or somewhere freezing I always pack a bikini too, you never know when you will find a great pool or hot springs or hot tub. Be prepared for any opportunity! If the forecast screams rain, pack a waterproof shell or small umbrella.

How to Pack Like a Travel Pro! I travel the world often for work & play. Here's all you need to know from an expert! MarlaMeridith.com ( @marlameridith )

ROLL YOUR CLOTHES:

This helps to conserve & maximize space. Your clothes will also tend to wrinkle less if you do this. Un-roll sleeves before rolling to minimize wrinkles. I pack heavier pieces on the bottom, like jeans, shoes, etc.

CHOOSE CLOTHES WISELY:

Keeping items in a similar color palette works best for mixing & matching. Don’t be scared to repeat pieces (like jeans & sweaters) Bring layers, I love cashmere for layers. It’s light, warm & stylish!

How to Pack Like a Travel Pro! I travel the world often for work & play. Here's all you need to know from an expert! MarlaMeridith.com ( @marlameridith )

SHOES:

Bring a comfy walk around pair & dress up pair. Put shoes in shoe bags so they don’t dirty up your clothes. Bring plastic bags too, in case they get wet.

How to Pack Like a Travel Pro! I travel the world often for work & play. Here's all you need to know from an expert! MarlaMeridith.com ( @marlameridith )

The UNDERNEATHS:

I always pack a few more days underwear than I would need. I also hand wash panties & bras every night (shampoo & body wash is great for that!) Pack more than you will need & you will never go without a fresh pair (I mean who would want that?!) Also, keep a pair or two in your purse or carry on, you never know if you will be stranded overnight in an airport. YES! That can happen too. Ladies, remember to pack a pair of nude panties if you are planning on wearing white denim, skimpy dresses, etc. All should be packed in baggies or luggage pockets so you can find them easily.

LAY YOUR CLOTHES OUT on the floor before you pack them!

This will give you a great idea as to how many of this & that you have. There’s no need for 5 pairs of jeans for a 7 day trip (that’s called over packing folks) You might want them, but I guarantee you won’t wear them!

How to Pack Like a Travel Pro! I travel the world often for work & play. Here's all you need to know from an expert! MarlaMeridith.com ( @marlameridith )

EXPENSIVE STUFF & GEAR: Cameras, Laptops, iPads, Jewelry, etc

I am a gear whore. I have so much gear its nuts! When I travel I always bring work with me. My work happens to be on a large MacBook Pro & my camera equipment is far from light or small. Be sure to always keep your expensive jewelry & equipment ON YOU & NOT UNDERNEATH the plane. I can argue that my clothes are super precious & expensive too, but a thief is not likely wanting your shoes & jeans. They want your electronics & jewelry. Sparkly things speak volumes to the dishonest person.

How to Pack Like a Travel Pro! I travel the world often for work & play. Here's all you need to know from an expert! MarlaMeridith.com ( @marlameridith )

TOILETRIES, MEDICATION & MAKEUP:

The goal when you are traveling with only carry-on bags is to make sure that all of your liquid toiletries fit in a quart sized clear plastic zip top bag. I’ve often gotten away with mine in a gallon sized bag, but that can also get taken away at security. Go with the quart & stay safe! Bottles need to be 4 ounces or less. Make sure to have all your skin lotions & potions, I can’t live without my favorite skincare. Always keep medication on you. If you are traveling to certain places you also might need your own mini shampoo & condtioner. I’ve been to very fine hotels in Europe where there is no such thing as conditioner. Knotty hair sucks.

I keep my makeup in a baggie too. This way I can quickly reach for what I need. My brushes are separate, in a brush case.

YOU CAN NEVER BRING ENOUGH ZIP TOP BAGGIES:

Why? Because the one you packed your toiletries in will most definitely get leaked on. There’s nothing more annoying that a gooey gooey, yucky baggie. The stuff you bought to stay clean with should stay clean & dry too. And remember: always double check all container lids before you pack them! You never know what you will need a bag for…so bring more!

NOISE REDUCTION HEADPHONES:

I always have these in my carry-on. They keep me sane, especially on long overseas flights. They block out most of the distracting engine & people sounds. They are also great for politely signaling to your neighbor to stop distracting you with banter.

BOOKS, MAGAZINES, KINDLE, etc:

I’m like a kid, I need lots of entertainment when I travel. Be sure to have a great book, magazine, Kindle…whatever keeps you busy!

BASIC PACKING CHECKLIST (stay tuned for posts on packing for SKI, ISLANDS, TREKKING, etc!)

  • 1 pajamas
  • bring enough for every day: bras, panties, underwear
  • 1-2 dress outfits
  • a few casual pieces (jeans, tanks, tees, button downs)
  • 1 workout clothes (you can always wash this in the sink)
  • 1 comfy walking shoes (that’s cowboy boots for me)
  • 1 workout shoes
  • 1 dress shoes (heels, booties, etc)
  • 1 flip flops (for spa)
  • 2 socks (short & tall)
  • 1 swimsuit
  • 1 rain attire (jacket, umbrella)
  • day pack if needed
  • toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, skin cleanser, moisturizer, sunscreen, comb/brush, deodorant, lip balm, nail file
  • medications & vitamins
  • makeup & makeup brushes
  • jewelry & accessories
  • gloves, scarf, hat (if needed)
  • sunglasses, glasses, contacts
  • ID, passport, money, credit cards
  • chargers, computer, iPhone, camera
  • noise reduction headphones
  • magazines, book, kindle

How to Pack Like a Travel Pro! I travel the world often for work & play. Here's all you need to know from an expert! MarlaMeridith.com ( @marlameridith )

 

 

 

 

~ Marla Meridith

Join the Conversation

6 thoughts on “The Inside Scoop: How to Pack Like a Travel Pro

  1. great tips Marla- I travel so much that I can now squeeze 2 weeks into a roll on- my mom thinks I am in insane but it helps to have a method to the madness and edit, edit edit! now it;s like clockwork 🙂

  2. “They are also great for politely signaling to your neighbor to stop distracting you with banter.” — So true! I don’t have any but I need to buy a pair!

    I have that LV but in white monogram and it’s my travel BFF! Holds so much! Great tips, great checklists, love this post!

    1. Thanks so much Averie! I’m happy you enjoyed this! Of course you have this LV bag! Love the idea of the white monogram…tres chic!! Get the headphones too, you will be thrilled if you do! 😉