ziplocphotoHate packing? Always missing something when you get there? Or worse, do you come home with stacks of clothes you never wore because you over packed?  

I fly about every two weeks, usually with a pile of children in tow. I’ve become an expert packer out of necessity, I still hate it.

Here are my top packing tips:

Pack Toiletries in Ziploc Bags when Traveling
All my toiletries go in to separate plastic bags. Yes, the Kate Spade train case is cute, it’s not so cute when covered in shampoo because the bottle exploded mid-flight.  Now that all fluids have to go in checked luggage, the Ziploc bag is your new best friend.

Photograph Your Outfits Before Packing Clothes
This means you have to plan your outfits–no more just throwing in everything “just in case.” I have a stylist friend who taught me this trick. After I’ve created each outfit, I photograph it; when I’m deciding what to wear, I just look at the photos. This will also keep you from forgetting the heels that go with that dress or the belt for that sweater.

Always Pack a Swimsuit When Traveling

You never know when George Clooney is going to invite you out on his yacht.  Or, more likely, you might find that your hotel has an indoor pool or the spa has a great hot tub that you don’t want to sit in naked (no one else wants you to sit in it naked either).

Use Mesh Bags to Keep Clothes Tidy
Pack your panties in a mesh bag and they will be all nice and neat when TSA rifles through your bag. When you get to your hotel, you just drop the mesh bag in the drawer or if you live out of a suitcase those itty bitty thongs will be easier to find.

New Shoes Come with Bags for a Reason

If you’re really organized, you can stuff the toes with sock balls to prevent your favorite shoes from being crushed in transit. At the very least, each pair gets it’s own bag–this keeps your clothes from getting dirt off the soles. It also makes them easy to find. And again, you’ll impress the nosy TSA agent.

Labels are a Frequent Traveler’s Best Friend
Remember the days when you traveled with a long distance card or a roll of dimes to stay in touch? No? Go ask your mother and then come back.

Ok, now that we travel with enough electronics to launch the space shuttle it’s important to make sure you have all the various power and USB cords to go along with them. Each device gets labeled, each piece goes in a Ziploc bag, all electronics go in a carry on suitcase. I sometimes wonder if TSA thinks I’m setting up surveillance somewhere I have so many devices in my carryon.

I would love to hear your best packing tips as I’m obsessed with somehow making it easier. Post them here and I’ll tweet my favorites!