How to Pack: Get Organized for Travel

luggage-checked-bags-lost-luggageI’ve received requests from clients and friends about how to pack for their upcoming travels.


There are two polar opposite views when it comes to packing:


1)      Take everything under the sun with you in multiple checked bags.

2)      Take the bare minimum in a carry-on.


My method isn’t for everyone, but I thought I’d share.


The last time I checked my luggage on a flight was in 2004. That was when I arrived in Vienna, and my bags did not – until two days later. Fortunately, I packed enough necessities for the first 48 hours in my carry-on. I learned from that trip to 1) always stay in the arrival city for at least 48 hours so that your bags can be delivered;  and 2) maybe I should just travel light and not worry about lost luggage.


When I go overseas, it’s usually for 2-3 weeks. I pack enough clothes for seven days, with an outfit to wear on the eighth while my clothes are getting washed. If I’m not staying in a hotel that offers laundry service, I head on over to a Laundromat and blend in with the locals. I bring take-out dinner, some dessert and kick back and relax while writing in my travel journal. I think of it as a café with the aroma of fabric softener.


I’m able to squeeze all of the clothes I need into my carry-on by rolling up my thin “wicking” clothing. Wicking wear is awesome! It’s designed to keep your body dry, which also makes it great for overnight washing if you get in a bind. It’ll be dry after hanging overnight. In the winter, I pack Under Armor instead of thick sweaters. My jacket serves as my blanket on the airplane (instead of using their possibly cootie-filled blankets), so I don’t need to pack it. My day bag has one set of clothes, my toiletries, medicine and electronics. If I ever had an emergency (we’ve been in a few strange places), I would be able to bolt with just my day bag and leave my roller board behind with my clothes. (I can always pick up more clothes no matter where I am.)


For more details about packing, here are two resources:

1)      My oldie but goodie video on how to pack.

2)      My personal packing list.


What other packing questions do you have that I can help you with?

About Helene Segura

Helene Segura teaches go-getters how to use their time more efficiently in order to have a more peaceful life. For details about her, be sure to visit

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