Travel season is in full force. College students are heading home, whole families are off on winter holidays and everyone is on the road to visit relatives. How would you like to avoid last minute packing and overstuffed bags? Here are a few tips from a professional organizing consultant to help alleviate some travel stress.

  1. Keep a cosmetic bag or shaving kit with one week’s supply of travel size essentials like toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, and shampoo packed at all times.
  2. If you cannot find travel sizes of your favorite products, make your own by filling hotel samples with your shampoo, conditioner or shower gel.
  3. If you are traveling with a companion, minimize duplicate items by only carrying one hair dryer, sewing kit, and travel iron.
  4. Choose one color scheme (navy, black, and beige) for the outfits on your trip. This will cut down on the number of accessories and shoes needed. Create new outfits by mixing and matching basic pieces.
  5. Keep handy a checklist of “must pack” items: tickets, essential toiletries, medications and passports. Review the list and check off items as they are packed. Save a copy on your PC to print before each trip or keep a laminated copy and use a dry erase marker to check off items.
  6. If you are constantly over packing, keep a list of items you carry but never use. Then try to eliminate these items from future trips.
  7. Always get a thorough weather report for all destinations on your trip. Only pack clothes that are suitable for that climate. At weather.com you can get a full report by entering the zip code or name of your destination.pillbox
  8. Pack vitamins and medications in daily dispensers or pillboxes so you are only carrying what you need. This will also help you decide if you need a refill before your trip. Caution – You may want to keep some medications in their original packaging if the bottle contains important safety information, also never use the same container for pills that look similar.
  9. Clean out purses, shaving kits and make-up bags before your trip to eliminate carrying unnecessary items.
  10. Do you come home from travel with more than you originally packed? Bring an empty duffle bag or backpack with you to store souvenirs and other purchases on the return trip.