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On The Road Again

While one of my life goals is to master the art of carry on, for a week in NYC, I'll take a 'short trip' suitcase in addition to the trusty carry-on combo. My travel strategy is to begin a week or so out, try on a bunch of things and put the pieces that make the cut on a rack. Then I play around with the things on the rack, moving items in and out.

I fly out of Medford, Oregon, a small airport with small planes and very small overhead compartments, so they take the roller bag at plane side, but it also means that computer and camera gear must go on the plane. Careful planning is a must. Nothing extra. The duffel holds what I need on the plane, the rolling bag holds overnight gear, toiletries, a change of clothes and electronic cords.

What you see on the rack are the clothes that went in the suitcase - plus a few extras that got tossed in at the last minute!

The two Groom bags are my handbags. This trip I'm taking a Large Black Microfiber Backpack and a La Petite microfiber cross body bag, a perfect combination as it keeps my hands free, essential while carrying a camera. The backpack holds 'stuff', and the small bag, which I never take off, holds $$, credit cards and a lipstick. I keep both pared down, making it a daily ritual to empty both bags and re-pack to keep things to a minimum. When out and about, I tuck a light weight shopping bag into the backpack just in case. When boarding the plane, I leave space to tuck both into the duffel carry-on.

These are tips, techniques and systems I use for short and extended trips. The goal is to have not too much, not too little. I keep some of the bags always packed and ready for the next journey.

In prepping for a trip, I keep a basket handy and toss things into it as I think of them, books, maps, whatever. Then when the final packing happens this gets sorted and packed, so there is less chance of forgetting something.

Walker mesh bags make organizing a snap. The Carry-On Everything bag goes into the duffel bag that fits under the seat in front. The minute I take my seat on the plane, this comes out along with the small ipad and I'm set for the flight. I keep this bag packed and stored in the carry on small duffel, make sure the earphones battery is charged up.

The Bedside Everything Bag goes into the roller bag. If I have an early morning flight, as I do on this trip, I spend the night before the flight at an airport hotel, so this bag has all I need to tuck into bed, then it is easy to pack up and pop in the suitcase in the morning.

I go back and forth on the phone charger, it is heavy, but when I am out and about all day, I put it in my backpack, just in case. I also carry a plug with a short cord to charge the phone if I am in a cafe or office where I can charge it. I've had smaller lighter phone chargers, but they did not work very well. This one does the trick, and if the phone battery is running low, I attach the phone and pop it in the bag with the charger. On car trips or in rental cars, I carry a car charger.

The electrical strip is so handy, found this one through the Magellen Travel catalog. Convenient if you are sharing a room - somehow there are never enough plugs to go around!

I carry both the thermos and the cup, both are totally spillproof, had to look around to find these. Both are old and battered and still working. I like the cup with the handle, which will hook into the airplane seat pocket so I can sip my own tea on an early morning flight. I just read that you should NEVER drink airplane tea or hot water as the holding tanks can be funky. I shopped around for the small duffel that slips onto the rolling bag as cup holder pockets are a must.

Just in case nothing else shows up when famished,

Found this crushable Japanese hat in Paris. It slides into a mesh bag which slips into the backpack. Weighs nothing, easy to pop on if needed.

The one item I made for this trip are my go-to favorite pants, Vogue 9193 in our Bay Laurel Prime Time knit, so comfortable and flattering, perfect travel pants!

I have fun experimenting with different packing methods. For years I relied on packing envelopes and cubes, very helpful if living out of the suitcase. On short trips using only carry-on, I use the Martha Stewart method which is to roll all the clothes and this works too, though it creates some wrinkles. I tried Marcia McClintock's method which is to pack complete outfits on hangers, which go in a lightweight hanging bag which then gets folded into the suitcase. Makes unpacking easy, just pop the whole thing in a closet (as long as there is an empty closet available). This time I folded the clothes in the suitcase, popped some hangers on top and will unpack and hang when I get there.

Love to hear your travel/packing ideas too!

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© Marcy Tilton