Organized packing for travel (including my 4 must-have essentials)


Do you dream of being one of those carefree travellers who is ready on a whim?


For this blog post in video form, please head to my YouTube channel or check the bottom of this post.

Do you dread packing for work and personal trips? I used to be a victim of over-packing. That all changed after a two-week motorcycle trip down the California Baha; on that trip, I was forced to live out of a tiny bag, and realized that I could keep my skincare regime and still have enough clothes. I learned a lot about packing lightly and how it actually increases the quality of your vacation not having to lug a heavy suitcase around. I also realized the wonderful feeling of arriving home after travelling and not having a mountain of laundry and a big suitcase to unpack.

So, if your dream is to be one of the carefree travellers who is ready on a whim, by the end of this post you will have a fool-proof method to help you pack efficiently and not lose time before, during, and after your trip. I am also giving away a free downloadable chapter of my book that is devoted to travel. This chapter includes all my Packing for Travel tips so download it today!

Planning (even if you don’t know when you’re travelling yet)

I cannot stress enough how important it is to plan your travel bag—and that you should start planning even before you know you’re going to travel.

Why do you need to plan even if you don’t know when or where you’re traveling? The answer is simple: you want to be prepared. After all, whether you’re Steve Martin trying to get home for Thanksgiving or just another busy mom, student, or single professional, none of us really knows for sure one day to the next if we might have to jump in a plane, train, or automobile, for work or for something personal. This mostly relates to your travel size toiletries, maybe a comfortable airplane outfit and nightgown. Whatever you always travel with it is best if they are already packed and ready in your carry-on. My signature organizing e-course helps to really break down the planning and fitting it into your lifestyle including packing for travel.

Carry-on suitcase

These days, suitcases come in a variety of different colours, shapes, sizes, and textures. The brand, style, and size of the suitcase is entirely a matter of individual preference. My recommendation is to invest in a good quality carry-on suitcase. I almost always only use my carry-on suitcase, since I’m too nervous to rely on my luggage to arrive when I do. Plus it saves so much time.

Always be sure, though, to check with your airline before you travel to find the up-to-date travel luggage requirements. Some airlines, especially low-cost ones, limit the size and weight of carry-ons, meaning your ideal bag might not fit. This research will really help save you allot of time during your travels. the lower budget European airlines especially don’t fit the ones that most North American ones allow. Plus, 22 pounds is the limit for most, and if you check in with an agent they will weigh your carry-on, so be prepared.

The journey not the arrival matters
— T.S. Eliot

Must-have essentials

My 4 must-have essentials are really not that exciting, no trendy beauty products but rather 4 staples.

·       A travel wallet – with all travel items that always stay in it

·      A fully packed toiletry bag with travel size liquids ready to go

·      A good quality carry-on

·      An oversized shawl, cashmere square, scarf or pashmina that you can wear, use as a wrap, and/or use to cover up and get comfortable on the plane (or train, or whatever form of probably-not-perfectly-temperature-controlled form of transportation you happen to be taking)


Now you have some key packing tips that I hope will make your trips more enjoyable and more efficient.  As a free gift for you can download my complete travel chapter of my book here.

Next week I will be sharing some key strategies to keep the organizing momentum going and stay organized!

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jane stoller