Hello, my friends.
As you can imagine, I am becoming quite an expert on packing for international travel. I am, therefore, going to share my fabulous knowledge with you all, because that’s just the kind of girl I am.
Firstly, if you’ve never traveled out of the country before, don’t worry. It’s easier than falling off a llama (which, as it turns out, is pretty easy). As long as your family doesn’t abandon you once you get there (a different blog post altogether), you’ll be fine.
When my cousins and I first started boarding airplanes I had no idea what to pack and so I took everything – big mistake. Less is definitely more. First of all you have to carry this stuff and wheels on suitcases only take you so far – you still have to lift it. Secondly, there’s always lots of fun stuff to buy when traveling and you want to make sure you have room to bring it all back.
So, you may ask, how do you fit a week’s worth of fabulous clothing into a suitcase without having a complete meltdown? Just follow Cagney’s Top Ten Tips on Packing and you will be good to go.
1. Check the weather – if it hadn’t been for Mrs Snoops, the whole bunch of us would have taken summer clothes to Peru in June – big mistake. Just because it’s 100 degrees in your hometown, doesn’t mean it’s going to be the same where you are going, especially if it’s in a different hemisphere.
2. Make sure you have a sleep mask. Jet lag is a bore and you will wake up and want to go to sleep at the most inconvenient times. Also, for some reasons, the further north you go in summer, the longer the days. When it’s not dark until gone ten and light by 4:30, a sleep mask can come in mighty handy. My personal favorite is purple, padded and plush with the words – “wake me and I’ll bite you” on it, but anything will do in a pinch.
3. Take one spectacular outfit. Just in case you bump into a glamorous movie star who invites you out for dinner – hey, it can happen.
4. Do not carry anything sharp and pointy onto the plane – they get very upset about this.
5. Don’t forget your chargers and adaptors. Weird thing about other countries, they don’t have plugs that look like ours – that was a bit of a shock.
6. Lay out all the outfits you want to take. Make sure your pants and tops match, there’s no point bringing your fabulous lime green top halfway around the world only to realize you have nothing to match. Pack your favorite outfit first and then keep going until you have one outfit for every day – no more. Jeans can do double duty for two outfits, if you are pressed for space. Don’t forget your PJ’s, a sweater and, although it pains me to say it, sensible shoes.
7. Take something to do for the downtime – which there always is when traveling. Aidan brings books – of course. Lissy is inseparable from that darn laptop and Tess – duh – brings food. Just make sure whatever you bring it’s not too bulky or heavy, or if it is, it’s edible.
8. If you’re going to England – take an umbrella.
9. We cannot always choose who we travel with, so bringing ear plugs to drown out your travel companions constant information dump is always advisable.
10. Finally, don’t forget to mark your luggage really well. After several hours in the air, the last thing you need is to have problems identifying one of the gazillion black suitcases gliding around the carousel. I’m not going to go over the top like Tess – whose baggage, as you can imagine, is hard to miss, but subtle is not the way to go either. A bright ribbon attached to the handle in your favorite color is always a good start, or a luggage label with an unusual design. My luggage label states – BACK OFF MISTER, THIS IS MINE! Subtle, but effective, I find.