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How to Pack Smart 
 
Plan and Research - The weeks leading up to your trip can be hectic, but if you devote some time to planning and research, your packing, and consequently your entire trip, will go more smoothly.
  • Weather - Check the weather of your destination so you won't over pack by having clothes for all weather conditions. If you are traveling to a cool destination bring layers rather than large bulky sweaters and jackets. Remember that cumbersome, but inexpensive items, such as umbrellas or a sun hat can be bought at your destination and inexpensive enough to leave behind when you depart.
  • Activities - Think about what activities you will be doing on your trip. If you will be visiting museums rather than attending formal events such as the opera or ballet, it's probably unnecessary to bring dress shoes and clothes. Heels may not be appropriate anyway while walking along charming cobblestone streets.
  • Color Coordinate - If you pack clothes and shoes in only a couple of colors you can mix and match items, which will give you the appearance of many different outfits. Bring a few accessories in a different color to add interest.
  • Quantity - Spread all the items out that you think you want to take and do a packing trial run. It's unlikely that everything you have chosen will fit into your luggage. Make a smaller pile of items that will do double duty, such as a clothespin which can be used to hang garments to dry in your hotel, pin drapes closed and hold items together such as tickets and itineraries. Include only your absolute favorite clothing items in this smaller pile. Even for longer trips it's usually a good idea to not pack more than a week's worth of clothes. Why? You tend to wear your favorite pieces anyway and you can always do laundry while on the trip either by hand washing some items in your hotel room or using the hotel or a local laundry service for a fee.
Tools - Just like a carpenter or cook would be lost without their tools, it's important to have the right tools to maximize your packing.
  • List - You might think making a list is an unnecessary step, but it has the following advantages.
    • Never forget an item again - Remember that last trip when you forgot your camera?
    • Avoids last minute packing panic - A list gives you a sense of calm and means you won't spend hours packing
    • File a claim with an airline - If the airline loses your luggage having a list of the items you packed will help you apply for reimbursement.
    • Repacking - Having your list with you on the trip ensures that you won't leave any items, such as your favorite sweater, behind in your hotel.
  • Sealable plastic bags - These provide so many advantages such as allowing you to see your items, containing any liquid items that may break or spill, shield the contents of your luggage from rain, separate dirty underwear or shoes from the rest of your clothes, etc.
Method - How you pack can be as important as what you pack
  • Roll vs. Fold? - Some travelers are firmly in the roll camp claiming clothes wrinkle less because you aren't creating creases and because the clothes will stay in place rather than shifting. If you are traveling to multiple destinations some travelers feel that folding is better as you can access the items you need easier without having to completely unpack and pack at each location.
  • Heaviest Items on the Bottom - when your suitcase is upright the heaviest items will be on the bottom making it easier to roll.
The Best Reasons for Packing Light
  • If your bag isn't overstuffed your clothes won't wrinkle as much
  • You can avoid excess baggage fees
  • You can spend time focusing on the sights rather than your luggage
  • Europe is filled with charming accommodations not all of which have wide elevators
  • You will have a little extra room in your luggage to bring home a special souvenir!
 

* All airline related taxes and fuel surcharges are included. Prices are per person, based on double occupancy, and are subject to change prior to purchase. Some foreign authorities require fees at arrival or departure that must be collected directly from the passengers at the airport. Airline-imposed baggage fees may apply and be due at the airport; please consult your airline prior to departure for the latest fees.

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