Tuesday Tips: The Dos and Don’ts of Packing for the Holidays

Traveling during the holidays can be stressful with long lines and sneezing seat neighbors, so take the stress out of packing by following these DOs and DON’Ts as you prepare for your next trip.


the DOs

1. do combine your purse with you carry-on for in-flight ease – Most airlines only allow for two carry on items and I usually travel with a suitcase, tote bag, and the purse I want to use when I arrive at my destination. I’ve picked up the habit of leaving room for my purse inside my tote bag which helps skirt the airlines’ rules and it means there is one less bag to lug around the airport or worry about fitting below the seat in front of me.

2. do plan your outfits – When you’re traveling away from home, you can’t afford to take your closet with you. A couple of days before my departure, I make a list of the outfits I’m going to need based on the activities I’ll be doing and then I try on several different outfits as I determine what I’ll pack. I like to bring pieces I can mix and match so that I don’t necessarily have to wear what was planned, but I still won’t overpack.

3. do use space wisely – To make the most of the limited space and weight your suitcase allows, use little tricks like rolling, not folding you clothes and using smaller bags to pack toiletries within your suitcase. I also suggest packing socks and undergarments last, so you can squeeze them into the small spaces.


the DON’Ts 

1. don’t overpack toiletries – Pack only the essentials such as a toothbrush, makeup, and any medications. Hotels and most hosts will have basics like shampoo and soap that you can use during your trip.

2. don’t smash the Christmas gifts – If you put gifts in your checked or carry on bag you should assume that they will arrive smashed or damager at your destination. I suggest waiting to box and wrap gifts until you reach your destination, packing them carefully between your clothes, or ship the presents ahead using USPS or UPS.

3. don’t get your jewelry tangled – Use jewelry travel cases to keep necklaces from getting tangled and earrings from getting lost. And always remember to carry on or wear valuable jewelry you are traveling with. You don’t want to risk loosing a checked bag that carried any expensive or meaningful jewelry.


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