June 06, 2023   10:21am

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In her second packing post, Susan hones in on how to make the best of those space and weight limitations …


Organizing your Suitcase:
You probably know to put heavy items such as shoes at the bottom of your suitcase; stuffing items within the shoes to save space, etc. You might also want to consider using packing organizers, such as Eagle Creek’s “Pack-it Folders” and “Pack-it Cubes” in varying sizes and dimensions. These are available through the luggage sites mentioned in my prior post; others have come out with similar products. They keep your pants and shirts/blouses /sweaters/tees flat and neatly organized. Best of all, they make packing and unpacking while on the road a snap. While they add some weight, they’re worth it. TIP: To make lighter, remove some of the plastic inserts in the Pack-it Folders – they provide rigidity and reduce wrinkling, but if you stack several within your suitcase you probably don’t need them all. Also essential are Zip-loc Bags (or equivalent) for toiletries, etc. TIP: always carry some spare bags for items you will add along the way.

Essential Items for your Suitcase
A zippered, fold-out tote, such as those made by Baggalini in varying sizes – baggalini.com -good for purchases made en-route (available at luggage sites above). TIP: If your airline only allows one carry-on and you have to check this fold-out tote, pack your dirty underwear in the tote but your purchases in your suitcase. Also essential: a fold-out umbrella and/or rain hat (weather.com isn’t always right) and a small flashlight.

Carry-On Tote (or other) Bag:
Tote bags for carry-on — preferably with shoulder straps — are a must for your camera, reading materials, medications, etc. On flights with lots of transfers (particularly European ones) consider a rolling tote — one that can hook over the handles of your suitcase. It’s liberating not to have a heavy bag hanging from your shoulder as you traverse long corridors, jet ways, etc. (Also see luggage sites.) TIP: Make sure not to buy too big a bag as it will not fit in smaller planes, particularly in Europe, with less space than the conventionally sized jets you normally travel.

Inside Your Tote:
Walker Bags (walkerbags.com) which come in a range of colors and sizes are great for organizing your stuff. A bonus is that the nylon mesh is quite durable but also somewhat transparent so you can see what’s inside. ALERT: always carry energy bars and/or a package of trail mix and/or whatever — delays can happen anywhere – don’t be crazy with hunger when that happens!

Travel Handbag:
A cross-body shoulder bag is really the only sensible way to go when on the road. Juggling a handbag along with a camera, map or guidebook and/or umbrella isn’t possible. Ones that have top zips vs. flaps are easier for quick access, and outside pockets for maps, water and/or your camera are advantages. Baggalini – baggalini.com – makes some good choices, as does the higher end Tumi – tumi.com. For more expedition-bound travels, check out shoulder bags from Eagle Creek – eaglecreek.com. Surf the luggage sites for more options, but always think about weight. Don’t lug more on your shoulder than necessary (hello, rotator cuff problems)! If nervous about purse-snatchers, shoulder bags with steel cables within the straps can be found at sites such as magellans.com and travelsmith.com.

Inside your Handbag:
A very compact, roll-up or foldout shopping bag (smaller and lighter than a foldout zippered tote) is a fabulous addition. Along with holding that sweater you’re carrying around, it solves the problem of carrying the day’s purchases. Lot of choices –Environsax — environsax.com – where different colors and patterns are available.

A SNOETY NOTE: Also check out Harriett’s post “Travel Packing Tips” which focuses on baggies & Zip-locs, labeling and keeping a “travel inventory checklist” …

Send in your organizational tips as well — we can all benefit by pooling our know-how,


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