Pack Like a Pro

Packing just the right amount and including items that will make your trip more comfortable and enjoyable is a fine art. Here are some tips from some of the world most frequent travelers.

Pack Like a Pro

Packing just the right amount and including items that will make your trip more comfortable and enjoyable is a fine art. Here are some tips from some of the world’s most frequent travelers.

An informal poll of industry professionals reveals that packing cubes have become a big favorite. Available in sets of various styles and sizes, packing cubes are rectangular zippered “boxes” into which you fit clothing items, usually grouped together such as shirts, socks and underwear. “Love them,” reports one travel advisor. Others chimed in: “They’re like file folders for clothes.” “A great way to stay organized, especially if you are on the move and never have time to properly unpack.” Hint: keep one for dirty laundry.

Frequent travelers also know to pack a carry-on with medication, basic toiletries and a change of clothes in case their luggage is delayed or mislaid.

Here’s more advice from two travel industry road warriors:


Alycia Oliphant, business development manager, Cunard Line, said she spends up to 50% of her time on the road.

“In my carry-on, I always have my itinerary, earphones, a ‘real’ book (I don’t like e-readers), a medicated cream to combat in-flight dryness and two inexpensive shawls: one for my lap and one for my shoulders. I never wear sneakers or lace-up shoes in case I’m asked to take off my shoes at security because they’re a nuisance to take off and put back on. And I always wear socks: who wants to walk barefoot going through security!

Packing like a pro

I keep a set of toiletries packed for travel and I have my tech stuff down to a science and keep it all in one pack. One gadget I love is a miniature goose-neck reading lamp that plugs into my laptop. It gives a softer light than the white one from the screen.

Packing for a cruise is different, of course! Lots more shoes, handbags and jewelry. You pretty much have to have two outfits per day, which is great for me as I love to dress up.


Christina Annese, regional sales executive, Icelandair, travels frequently on business. She brings ballet slippers because they fold up into almost no space and are flexible fashion-wise. She travels with a neck pillow (“I thought they were nerdy, but now I love mine!”), disinfectant wipes and a handbag with a zip-top, so nothing falls out when it gets put in the bin at security.

As someone travels regularly to Iceland, Christina suggests packing clothing for colder climes that can be worn in layers. Here are more of her packing tips:

Clothes never go straight from my drawers into my suitcase. First, I lay everything out on the bed and estimate what will fit into my suitcase. Then, if I have to cut back, I don’t have to do a deep, disturbing dive into a carefully-packed case.

I’m a fan of packing in vacuum bags: tough, clear plastic zippered bags. You zipper them almost shut, roll them up to compress the clothing and squeeze (or pump) out the air. Bulky items like sweaters end up about half their regular size -- especially helpful if you are going the carry-on-only route. Each set comes in various sizes, so they are like space-saving packing cubes!

I pack a separate, small bag in my carry-on with in-flight comforts with reading material, a shawl, neck pillow, breath mints, tech needs, moisturizer and snacks. I also bring a small plug-in night light for my hotel room to avoid stubbed toes and a hand-held paper fan on jaunts to warmer climes.


If you use a shower cap or facecloth, you may want to pack them since many hotels no longer provide them.

A classic jacket, such as a blazer or a jean jacket that can be dressed up or down, can be a versatile addition to your travel wardrobe.

Your travel advisor can provide you with more time-tested tips that are tailored to your upcoming journey.

By Martha Chapman, freelance travel writer

American Society of Travel Advisors

123 N Pitt St, Ste 400, Alexandria, VA 22314 U.S.A.

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