Welcome to Tumbleweed Tidings, Packing Edition! Most of you have been packing for trips long and short for many years, as have I. Truthfully, I thought I had packing down to a science. I mean, how hard can it be, right? But after packing for a two-week vacation last month, I wanted to share some new travel accessories that have really upped my packing game, as well as some other tricks I’ve been enjoying for a while.

Our recent trip included three days at Disneyland…

The first tip is to use the best suitcase you can afford…within reason. Our oldest daughter, Brooke, has been a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines for over 24 years, and many pilots and flight attendants use Travelpro luggage. It is moderately priced for the quality, has 360-degree spinner wheels, nice compartments and expandability, and can take a real beating while being handled by the airlines. Over many years, we have tried other brands that were more expensive, but air travel in particular is very hard on luggage and the expensive ones don’t fare much better than a mid-range option. Travelpro has been the best we have ever used, and they go on sale often at retailers like Macy’s and their own website, making it an even more affordable option. Good luggage is worth the investment.

I may or may not take too many pairs of shoes…
But they all zip up nicely in the top portion of my suitcase, away from clothes…

The second tip is to use packing cubes. About 6 years ago when my oldest granddaughter Cassidy was about 13, she said she wanted to come over and help me pack for a trip, something she was already an expert at:) When she saw my method, she said “grandma, you need packing cubes.” Not knowing what they were, let alone how she did, I asked for more information. Apparently, she had been watching YouTube packing videos (who knew that was a thing!) and everyone was using these packing cubes. We drove over to her house, and she loaned me the sets of cubes they had ordered, and let me tell you, these have been a real game changer! After that trip, I ordered my husband and I each two sets of three, and we have consistently use them on every trip longer than a weekend.

In the smallest one, I put undergarments and socks. In the medium size, I put pajama sets, and the largest one holds all of my tops. Once the items are folded and placed in the cube, you simply zip it up and the three fit perfectly across the top of the suitcase. Because they compress the items somewhat, it is astonishing how many items you can fit in each cube. My shirt cube had about 18 tops in it, all neatly folded and ready to wear! Beneath the cubes, I lay long pants, jackets, swimwear, and anything else that doesn’t fit the cube categories. Not only do the cubes keep everything organized and categorized, but for long trips like a cruise or week-long vacation, they are a convenient and sanitary way to unpack into your destination. You simply unzip the mesh topped cubes, fold the tops back, and place the cubes in the dresser or closet shelf. When you leave, you just zip them back up and place them in the suitcase. My husband also carries a couple of empty cubes that we fill with dirty laundry or shoes, if necessary. Packing cubes are amazing and very reasonably priced. Here is a link for something similar to what we have: Amazon.com | Amazon Basics 4 Piece Packing Travel Organizer Cubes Set – Medium, Black | Packing Organizers. There are other sets that have makeup and jewelry holders, but for us, just the clothing cubes work great. And when we get home, we store them in each of our suitcases, ready for the next use.

All sleepwear fits nicely in the medium cube..
All packed up and ready to go!

Tip three is to have the right carry-on luggage. For over thirty years, I carried a brown leather duffel bag on all trips. It was like an old friend, and just looked better the older it got. But a few months ago, I realized that it was getting heavier and heavier to carry through larger airports, and the Velcro that held the handle together was also starting to give out. Time for a new option. Turning to our friend Travelpro, I found a blue roller bag that fit the airline requirement for under seat storage, and it has changed my life. First of all, I can literally run through airports without that heavy duffel weighing me down. For full disclosure, the bag gets heavier after I go through security and purchase a Diet Coke and bottle of water, so that is partly my fault. This bag holds everything I need and came with a lovely organizer that has all medication and first aid needs in one location. In the bottom, I fit a couple of bags with toiletries, makeup, jewelry and snacks. The outside zippered compartment holds reading material, and the side pocket holds a pouch with all of my charging cords, earbuds, etc. It has a handle for easy pulling and slides nicely under the seat in front of me, easily available to get something out mid-flight. I absolutely love this new case, and realize that as we age, the proper carry-on can make all of the difference in how pleasant the “getting there” is!

This carry-on has changed my life:)
This bag hangs on two snaps inside the carry-on …
First aid supplies…

Medications…
A perfect fit under the seat!

Tip four is to use a jewelry organizer. Most days, to keep life simpler, I wear the exact same jewelry; the same watch, earrings, bracelets, and rings. But when we are going on a cruise, as we did recently, I wanted to take some options for dressier dinners, and a jewelry organizer is the perfect solution. In the past, I have had jewelry rolls, but found that the chains always got tangled and the earrings were just loose in zipped compartments. For Christmas, my husband found this monogrammed organizer at Nordstrom for only $20 (I just checked, and they don’t have them anymore), and it worked very well. It has spaces for rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets, and once full and zipped up, it fits nicely in the bottom of my carry-on bag.

This jewelry holder is so compact…
Mostly costume jewelry, but it’s fun to wear a little bling sometimes…

Tip five is to use disposable items for certain purposes. I recently discovered Pimrose individual perfumes and they work great. No leakage, no heavy perfume bottles, and they come a variety pack in their own zippered pouch, which slides into the front pocket of my carry-on, worry free. The same goes for nail polish remover pads. I do my own nails and I used to carry a bottle of remover with me on trips. Yikes, can you just imagine if acetone spilled in the suitcase? What was I thinking? Now, I carry the individually wrapped remover pads which allow me to travel without worry. Lastly, I use makeup remover cloths when traveling. At home, I use each of these items in bottles and jars which are much more cost effective, but on the road, single use disposable items make sense for me.

So, there you have it. My latest traveling tricks and accessories that have improved the travel experience in many ways. It doesn’t take a lot of money to get the right equipment to make packing more organized and enjoyable at the same time. And you know what that means. The quicker you can get unpacked, the sooner you can start enjoying that well deserved vacay!

Good tidings,

Diane

Pin It on Pinterest