29 tricks for pain-free packing

Preparing for a trip can be exciting but with so many details to consider, thinking about what to pack can be overwhelming.

As a journalist, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel for work and pleasure. In the past three years, some of the places I’ve visited are Spain, Portugal, China, Haiti, St. Lucia and Jamaica. Here’s what I’ve learned about packing:

Pack light

I use a 24-inch suitcase that I never check. For a 10-day trip, my essentials are three pairs of pants/shorts, five shirts to mix and match with the bottoms, one long-sleeved shirt, two lightweight dresses, a light jacket, a hat, sunglasses and a few pairs of shoes.

Roll it up

The rolling method for packing clothes really works. Clothes are less wrinkled, and it leaves more room in your suitcase.

Prepare for the trip home

I usually shop when I travel. I pack collapsible duffle bags for all my goodies.

Pack detergent

Purex 3-in-1 laundry sheets are perfect for doing laundry while away.

Things that go well with water

• I bring washcloths because some hotels in Europe don’t provide them.

• I keep a small travel umbrella in my suitcase.

• Packets of my favorite tea and hot chocolate are a must. I keep peppermint for headaches and ginger for upset stomach.

• Travel with a bathing suit even if you aren’t vacationing at the beach; hotel pools are great even in winter.

Back it up

Shoot a photo of your passport on your phone then email it to yourself and whoever you trust in case of an emergency.

Common scents

• Instead of worrying about perfume bottles, I use the tiny samples I get from the department stores. The samples allow me to test new scents I normally would not take the time to try.

• To make my hotel room feel and smell like home, I travel with a travel-size candle.

Stay charged

• Don’t pack your phone charger in your luggage. Keep it with you.

• For international travel, bring a universal adapter.


Bring your preferred over-the-counter medicines, especially when traveling abroad, because the same products may not be available.