How To Pack For An International Trip

I always read about people who pack an entire month’s worth of travel into a carry-on bag, and although part of me is impressed with how clever that is the rest of me is horrified at the thought of wearing the same thing over and over!
When people tell me they pack one black dress and the next day wear it with a blue scarf and hey presto! a whole new outfit! I always just think “no, you are wearing the same now dirty black dress with a blue scarf. No difference.”

I actually do work relatively hard to have items that mix and match and create lots of different outfits, based on a neutral palette, but that also bores me silly. There is this part of me that thinks a trip overseas is a major deal, and therefore I want to wear clothes that I love and feel happy in. And for me that tends to be bright colors that don’t necessarily mix and match. So how I pack everything becomes a little more important because even though I wear everything I take with me,  by most people’s standards it’s too much.

Buy a really good suitcase. 

I am clearly not a backpack or duffle girl, although when I first started traveling I would happily have been.
A couple of years ago I changed suitcases and bought a 25 inch Samsonite suitcase.
When you are shopping for suitcases look at the construction over all else. The shops are full of super lightweight cases, but most will crush if a heavy bag lands on them, which means anything breakable you have inside, will break. My Samsonite is relatively lightweight, but super sturdy. Find a Samsonite like mine on sale  here and similar suitcases on sale at The Container Store here.

Don’t buy black.

When you are standing at the baggage carousel after 10 hours flying and you are exhausted, watch how many black suitcases go swirling by you. They all look the same, which makes it easy for another weary traveler to pick up yours and head out into the world with it.
I bought a red suitcase, last year one of my travelers brought an orange one. They were easy to spot, and there were very few circling by us in the same colors.

Allianz Travel Insurance

Get 360 degree wheels.

Sooooo crucial! The difference in maneuverability is incredible, and the decrease in stress on your back is worth its weight in gold!
This is another reason to buy a quality case though, because you want wheels that stay on and don’t break when your suitcase is being thown around by baggage handlers.
I found plenty of cool looking, chic cases that had flimsy looking wheels or cheap plastic wheels. Samsonite stands by their product and repairs any breakages, so should I have one at least they will fix it. My red suitcase has done multiple trans-world trips and so far nothing has broken.

Size matters.

I really can’t do anything smaller than a 25 inch case, but I definitely won’t go any bigger. I have friends that travel with a 23 inch, but that is too small for me. Always keep in mind how you are going to get your bag on and off the baggage carousel, and how you are getting it to and from where you are going. The bigger the bag, the more you will fill it.

Don’t use a hard case carry on bag.

This may sound odd. For years I used a hard-sided rolling carry-on bag. It was genius in the airport, right up until I got my suitcase off the carousel, at which point it was hell. Especially traveling in Europe where you are getting on and off trains, maneuvering along cobble stoned streets, and climbing stairs to get to your apartment.
I now use a soft carry-on, and as soon as I have my suitcase at baggage claim I put the carry-on inside it, leaving me with just one suitcase and my handbag. Frankly it is one of my best travel hacks ever!

Our Travel Sale is taking off!  We have first class travel items at coach prices.  Take advantage of up to 20% off select Travel items!

Roll your clothing.

My mother is a world traveler, and is super chic. She told me years ago to roll my clothes when I pack them to stop creasing and to maximize space. It took me a while to get on board with it, but now I roll all my clothes.

Use packing cubes.

This is the best thing ever, especially if you need clothes for different occasions and climates. I use the Eagle Creek packing cubes, and I have them in a variety of sizes. I compartmentalize clothes for different parts of each trip, or breakdown clothes into categories and have one cube for lingerie and swimwear, another for T-shirts and tanks, another for skirts and sundresses – you get the picture. It makes travel so much easier. 
I also have a small cube that I use for all my chargers and electronic gadgetry. I always know where everything is, and I never have to rifle through a suitcase to find anything.
I always pack a cube with three days worth of outfits and necessities in case my suitcase doesn’t arrive with me. Again it keeps everything super organized.

I bought my Eagle Creek packing cubes at The Container Store.

FYI The Container Store has a travel sale on right now, which would have been perfect timing for me, except that I already have everything. Except for maybe one of these Tab Messenger Seat Back Organizers. They look pretty cool.

The Container Store

This blog uses affiliate marketing. If you order anything from links in this blog chances are I may make a few pennies…

6 Tips For Planning A Trip To Venice

Are you planning a trip to Venice?

Tips-For-Planning-A Trip-To-Venice

Hopefully you have read my blogposts on traveling in Venice (click here) and have a better idea of some of the amazing things to do in this unique and spectacular city, as well as a few of the pitfalls to avoid.

I adore Venice. I went there for the first time in 1987, and fell in love with her. I’ve been back many times since. 
For those of you who haven’t been, or who are thinking about going back on your own (as in not with a tour or on a cruise ship), I have a few pointers for you.


Here are 6 Tips For Planning A Trip To Venice

* Before planning your trip check out the monthly weather averages. Although some parts of Italy seem to have perpetual sunshine, Venice is not one of them. There are months where it rains hard, and when it floods, it really floods!

* Avoid traveling to Venice in July and August. It is so crowded at that time, the lines to get into the churches and palaces are huge and take forever! That means you stand around forever and don’t get to see too much.
Also when the days get hot and the sun beats down on the lagoon it gets smelly!

Venice is moody and magical in the rain

* Venice gets rainy. Pack a travel umbrella and/or a rain poncho.
The minute the skies open umbrellas go up in price. Last year I left my travel umbrella back in Florence and had to buy one in Venice when the rain started. Everywhere charged 10 euros for a junky little umbrella.
I can’t ever be bothered dragging around rain coats on the off chance it will be wet, so either packing a travel rain poncho or a travel umbrella makes life so much easier.

* Wear shoes you can walk around in. Venice is a walking city and you don’t want to miss out on the good stuff because you have the wrong footwear.
Also when it rains it can get slippery if you are just wearing sandals.

* Try and stay a few days in Venice. There is so much to see and do, and 80% of the 13 million+ travelers who go there each year are in Venice for 8 hours or less, and miss most of it.

* Travel within Venice is by boat, so you need to have easily maneuverable luggage. You also need to condense your luggage. The fewer bags the better.

Check out my other travel posts about Venice here
Read about The Lagoon Islands here
Read aboout the Dorsoduro here
Read about Ca’ d’ Oro here

If you have enjoyed this blogpost, please share it on your social media! I would love to hear about your Venice travels in the comment section.