Getting Organized with Travel Hacks

I love to travel. The joke in my family has always been that I will have my bags packed before you can finish saying to me “Why don’t we go to … ?” I have two requirements — it must include an overnight stay and where ever it is they HAVE to cook amazing food, and now it’s happening again!

I am packed for my trip to Emilia-Romagna, a region famous for its food, wine, and ceramics. I’m excited to taste wonderful cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano in particular), balsamic vinegar, and pastas — not to mention meats and salumi! It just doesn’t get better than this.

I always run through my go-to travel hacks — tips that I’ve used for years — that way I don’t forget very many things. I always carry the important stuff in my carry-on bag. If my luggage is lost, I’m good for a couple of days. This includes all meds and vitamins, makeup, underwear (my mother always insisted I carry this on), itinerary (I use Trip-It) and my tickets, chargers, iPad, Kindle, laptop. You know, the essentials.

I hate when I can’t see my bag coming down the carousel in the airport, so I’ve done a couple of things to make it very visible. Most luggage these days is black — I bought brown. I also bought heavy duty plastic covers for the bags that I check. I never see that on anyone else’s bag. If you have black luggage don’t despair — just put a bright luggage tag on it, or tie a bright ribbon to the handle. Some people put a colorful elastic strap around theirs. Anything that will help with visibility is a good thing.

A really good trick I use while I’m doing the dreaded work of actually packing is that I put everything (well foldable things and small items and shoes) into bags. This’ll help with finding things in my suitcase as well as not losing stuff in the black hole that is a crammed suitcase. I save all the dust bags that come with my new shoes and purses and use these to put all kinds of things into. If you don’t have them, you can just use Ziploc bags of all sizes. I keep “like” things together — i.e., all my chargers and plugs are in one bag.

I take vitamins daily. There is no way I want to drag a bunch of bottles with me when all I really need is ten days worth of pills – the bottles take up a LOT of space that could be used for stuff I buy during the trip! I found mini Ziploc bags (but my friends use sandwich bags) and put a daily supply in each little bag and then put all the little bags into one larger Ziploc. That way I don’t lose any of them, and I don’t forget either.

Remember — make it easy to find things and make it easy to use them. Every little timesaver is a big help!

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