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Pack light and easy for stress free holiday travel


Delsey Air Style Luggage; Photo:  Kohls

Holiday travel is here!  With more airlines charging for bags and extra weight in your suitcase, it pays to carry-on and to pack a lightweight bag as sparsely as possible to allow for the goodies you plan to bring home from your trip. 

Here's how to pack judiciously to fit everything you need in that carry-on:

  • 3 pairs of pants.  Match these to the trip, but ideally one should be a pair of jeans, one should be midrange, and one should be dressier. 
  • A jacket that can be dressed up or down.  The menswear blazers that are currently in are great for this, and a lightweight velvet or velveteen works very well for this.
  • 5 shirts.  Again, match these to the casualness or dressiness of the trip.  Ideally you should also have a variety and at least one that is dressier or can be dressed up.  If you take a casual black shirt in a nice material and a statement necklace this fits the bill of a shirt that can be dressed up and packs easily.
  • Gym clothes and shoes if you intend to work out.
  • A few lightweight sweaters in neutral colors, preferably cardigans.  These can always be thrown on if you get cold and can also dress up an outfit.
  • If the trip demands a dressier outfit a dress is always nice.  
  • I never take many shoes, but always recommend packing at least two pairs in addition to gym shoes.  You want to have a dress pair and a pair of casual flats.  
  • At least 5 sets of underwear and 5 pairs of socks.
  • Fold any jewelry you plan on wearing into a jewelry case, but don't put expensive jewelry into a carry-on.  Expensive jewelry should either not be taken on your trip or should be work on your person if you must have it.
  • Always take a small umbrella!
  • Enough sleepwear for the trip.
  • Cell phone and laptop chargers.
  • First aid kit.

In addition to your carry-on you should carry a large handbag with your personal supplies just in case you somehow get separated from your suitcase.  This can happen even if you don't check luggage. Make sure you have:

  • Your toiletries in airline approved sizes, plus hair grooming tools.
  • Your prescriptions in their original containers with your name on them.
  • Any personal electronics you care to take with you.

For more info: Lightweight luggage can be purchased at major department and discount stores, including Kohl's and T.J. Maxx, for great prices.  Great carry-on handbags can be found at major department and discount stores, including Macy’s and Target.