By Chuck Mai, AAA
There’s a real art to traveling smart – not only in knowing where the best vacation spots are but also in buying travel at the cheapest price, leaving the house well-protected when you go … and in packing. Yes, packing.
Ellen Paderson is the founder of Smiles and Miles Travel based near Boston, Mass., and has more than 20 years in the travel business, In addition to ‘where to stay,’ clients often ask Ellen for packing tips, tricks and secrets. Here is her “Top 10”:
1. Roll your clothes. Tightly roll most items into compact pieces. Fold stiffer and dressy ones.
2. Use soft-side travel bags (such as Packing Cubes from Eagle Creek). They use every square inch of your travel bag. Plus, they compress when zipped, minimizing wrinkles and maximizing space.
3. Invest in inflatable hangers for hand laundry. Pack with individual packets of Woolite. The vinyl hangers fold small and inflate with a few breaths so you can drip-dry creaselessly.
4. Plane sheets. Aircraft seat covers make your seat more comfortable and germ free.
5. Silk travel blanket. They’re as warm as a regular blanket, yet take up much less space. The pocket at the bottom keeps feet toasty; the blanket rolls up and tucks into a 12” x 4″ pouch you can toss in your carry-on.
6. Carry wet wipes. To sanitize seats and trays on the plane, and for a million other uses in your travels.
7. Pack sealable plastic bags. Use different sizes to handily store snacks and small electronics and to keep them safe from the sand and sea.
8. Pack light. Take along as few clothes as possible. Pack a pair of black, beige or white pants and shirts or tops that will go with all three colors.
9. Collapsible cooler. Pack snacks when out on excursions (this one idea can pay for itself in one day).
10 Comfortable shoes. Try to limit each person to two really comfy pairs.