Traveling has always been a passion of mine since I was a child. With sharing my expeditions on Facebook and Twitter, I’m always asked for easy and hassle-free packing tips so I want to share a few secrets that will make your packing experience  a little less chaotic. Bon Voyage!

Wrap It Up: Try tissue paper! Lay the item face down and place tissue paper on top. Fold it up with the tissue paper inside. Use additional layers of paper as you fold the garment so it is completely wrapped in and around paper. To make it easier for unpacking, I also attach a Post-it® with description of what’s in the wrapping!

Head to Toes: Check that you’ve packed everything you need by mentally dressing yourself from shoes and socks up to goggles and hats.

Bling: Leave pricey watches and jewelry behind. If you aren’t prepared to lose it, don’t pack it. J. Crew, Tory Burch and other companies make great costume jewelry.

Accessorize: Pack a few accessories that can make any outfit look smarter. For men, a silk tie, pocket squares and a nice belt. For women, a silk scarf, an oversized shawl-type scarf and a pair of heels. The details can make or break an outfit and you can make casual outfits have some zing with these little add-ons.

Shoes: Pack rolled socks or tights into your shoes (saves space, keeps shoes shaped). Separate shoes in bags and line them along the sides of the suitcase.

Outfits: Think about the number of outfits you need and subtract one. You still won’t wear everything you pack. Pack in color blocks; I limit myself to four mixable colors. Make sure you have things that are interchangeable and you can layer. Black is always safe for a city trip.

What to Wear on the Journey: Something cozy but not schleppy. Translation: Instead of sweats, try cashmere lounge pants or leggings under a longer top or sweater with a blazer, or comfy jeans and a sweater. I always wear flats but always pack a pair of heels in my carry on.

A Sample Week in Paris or NYC:
1 pair of skinny leg black jeans
1 pair of skinny leg denim jeans
2 tank tops (one white, one black)
1 black leather mini skirt
1 black silk slinky dress
1 pair of black leather leggings
1 pair of ballet-style flats
1 pair of black pumps
1 pair of black tights
1 white button front-style shirt
1 white silk tunic
4 Hermes scarves
1 black cashmere oversized shawl/blanket
1 black V-neck cashmere sweater
1 grey Chanel jacket
1 black ¾ length jacket

Charge it: Charge all phones, cameras, iPads, and laptops before getting to an airport. If you do get delayed, you won’t have to stalk outlets, which are always too few and far between.

Rx: Make sure you have enough medicine to cover unforeseen delays. I put mine into small labeled, plastic pouches, which you can purchase at CVS or any drug store.

Contact Info: Mark your suitcases with your email address and cellphone. Never put your address and home phone number because it could potentially be seen by the wrong eyes!

Itinerary: Email friends and family your itinerary, passport number, and insurance documents, and load them onto a private folder on the cloud. Also make a copy of these to keep with you.

Tipper: Make sure you have small denominations in local currency for tips.

The Go Pouch: Pack a zippered pouch stocked with in-flight comfort essentials: earbuds or headphones (to zone out); lip balm, hand lotion, toothbrush/toothpaste, and hand wipes (for surfaces and dirty hands); a pen (for filling out landing cards and swapping emails with your cute seat-mate); tissues, Advil, and extra undies (especially on a long-haul flight).

Toiletries and Make Up: I take the time to transfer all of my lotions and potions into their new individual-sized travel bottles, label them and keep the bag pre-packed.  That way, when I travel, packing up the toiletries will be one less thing to worry about, so I can focus on more important things……like shoes!

Reading list: Long journeys are great for catching up on the reading pile. Instead of packing heavy magazines, rip out the articles that you want to read. (Do this on the drive to the airport.) Voila: Vanity Fair and Vogue now weigh 95 percent less. Alternately, bring magazines that you can leave behind, shedding weight as you go. Of course, you could just load up the iPad with books and articles. 

Movies and Podcasts: If you’d rather listen and watch than read, download movies and podcasts to distract you during long bus treks, plane delays, and train rides. If you subscribe to a local podcast from the region you are about to visit, you’ll be caught up on the news and culture of the region before you arrive.

Snacks and Drinks: Pack filling and healthy snacks for the trip. You’ll feel more with it after eating almonds, energy bars, dried mangoes, apples, Wasa crackers, and carrots than a super-salty bag of chips. Pack tea bags — herbal, green tea, your favorite — as flights usually only offer Lipton. Watch out for coffee: It’s dehydrating and can make you edgy. Obviously, drink as much water as you can. and bring a few vitamin-inflused fizzy drink packets (like EBoost) to add to a water bottle.

Shhhh: Noise-reducing headphones really do make a huge difference in terms of in-flight comfort. I definitely recommend an eye mask for sleeping. And I have been known to put them on to deter chatty seat mates.

Gifts: If you’re traveling with gifts, slide gift bags and tissue and/or wrapping paper and tape into the outer pocket of your rolly so everything lays flat. (You don’t want to have to ask a hostess for tape or wrapping paper.) Don’t pack a wrapped gift in your carry on – that’s an automatic guarantee for security hold up.

Breathing room: Leave room in your suitcase so that if you buy souvenirs, you won’t have to cram your stuff. And stash an empty, fold-down-to-nothing tote in case you do need an extra bag.

Welcome wagon: Order the pick-up car before you leave. There’s nothing better than not having to wait for a car after a long flight.

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