Friday, April 23, 2010

Packing for the Jet Plane...

It's time to go Stateside again - I return for my own work about every 8 weeks to the states, but I'm also frequently on the road in London and other locations.  You'd think I'd have packing down to an exact science by now but it's not quite there, though I am getting pretty good.  Inevitably, I always forget one key item but I seem to largely get myself 97.6% of the way there.  In the words of my mother though, as long as you have your ticket, your passport, and your credit card, everything else you can buy on the spot. You'd also think that the ticket portion would be obsolete these days, but I can't count the number of times I arrive at an airport in Europe, or in Africa, and they demand to see at least the paper print out of something....

I have a key packing list that I typically trot out each trip - some adjustments I make for summer vs. winter but I also always turn to this list from Town and Country.  I keep a printed copy in the zippered pocket of my bag and just keep handwritten notes in the margin of my adaptations....Obviously, adapt as necessary based on the functions you'll be attending but this is always a good starting point - you can add or pare back as necessary.

So for those packing and looking to remain in their carry on limits - here's the recipe for success:

What to Bring
· 3 pairs of pants (two for business, one pair of jeans)
· 2 skirts (n.b. i like to pack one black pencil skirt and one black wrap dress instead)
· 2 jackets (a lightweight blazer and a suit jacket that can be dressed up or down)- i find one suit jacket is often enough unless I have several client visits then I take two
· 5 tops (three business, two casual, one of which is a white iron-free blouse)
· 1 white T-shirt, which can be worn under a jacket or at the gym
· 3 cashmere cardigans (one black, one cream, one in a bolder color)
· 1 dress for evening, business or pleasure (a simple shift works best)
· 2 or 3 scarves (they're light and easy to pack)
· 3 pairs of shoes (pack two pairs -- one comfortable pair for business, one for pleasure -- and wear a pair of flats on the plane)
· 5 sets of underwear
· 5 pairs of socks, panty hose or tights
· A few pieces of distinctive (mostly inexpensive) jewelry, plus a small jewelry holder
· 1 envelope purse or clutche
· 1 mini umbrella
· Lightweight sleepwear
· Gym clothing (including yoga pants and packable athletic shoes - n.b. I like the Nike Free series since they can be crushed and are very lightweight)
· Lightweight stretch cord for easy exercises
· Chargers
· Converter (Tumi's electric adapter is particularly versatile)
· First-aid/medical supplies (depending on your destination, consult the "Travelers' Health Kit" list at
· I also always pack an expandable Longchamp duffel bag which I envitably use and check on the return flight if I'm planning to do some purchasing while in the US

IN YOUR TOTE BAG - Typically since these are work trips,  I personally will divide these between a laptop bag and my never-full LV purse
· Cosmetics kit, including liquids in a quart-sized plastic bag - nb. i always pack several extra plastic bags as well
· Comb and brush
· Prescriptions
· Personal electronics: laptop, BlackBerry, iPod, camera or cell phone for US
· Pashmina
· Paperbacks and magazines
· Travel wallet able to hold driver's license, passport, credit cards, itinerary and airline tickets
· Glasses, sunglasses, contact case

· Pair of black pants (microfiber is good because it doesn't wrinkle)
· Cotton or cashmere top
· Suit jacket or cardigan
· Pair of flats
· Pashmina or cashmere stole
· Trench coat or lightweight parka

Full article and photos can be found at Town and Country Travel Magazine.

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