simplified travel through planning

Last Thursday I flew to San Diego to attend TNNA‘s Winter Trade Show. Over the years I’ve refined how I pack and travel. I like to keep things simple, light, modular, and packed so that I can move easily in a variety of settings.

travel bags packed & readyHow do I fit six days of travel into a carry-on sized backpack and a Tom Bihn Little Swift?

By planning.

Did that surprise you?

I write out what I’m wearing each day and have a backup plan if something causes that outfit to be unwearable– unexpected weather, coffee spills–these things happen.

By and large my clothing is mix and match, while I tend to a black base (I’ve spent a large portion of my life in NYC, black is easy to dress up and keep casual) this trip saw me wearing my finished Stria cardigan, so I opted for a brown base to my outfit choices. It worked out well. Stria is definitely the perfect travel garment! I pack 2 bottoms, wear the third and if I’m working enough tops to cover the number of days. Yes I could limit the tops and wash them, but I’m rarely gone for more than a handful of days. The space one shirt takes isn’t significant. I then accessorize with shawls or cardigans to mix and match and create multiple outfits. I wear my heaviest shoes and pack my lightest running sneakers (don’t worry they’re clean now). I wear pretty much the same thing year-round, for a trip in winter I’d probably switch the cardigans for cashmere turtlenecks and the shells would be longer sleeved.

Stria perfect for travel!

I pack (by rolling most things) in a modular system with fabric packing cubes, and various sized normal plastic zip top bags. Before acquiring the cubes I used the plastic zip top bags that compress, but they were always more trouble than the space they saved. I try to group outfits together so I don’t have to think about them when getting dressed in the morning.

I like to use a backpack because I find pulling a rolling suitcase behind me uncomfortable. Yes, I know there are ones that can be pushed or rolled in any direction, but it’s nice to be able to put my bag on my back and run to catch a connection.

I try to avoid checking a bag if at all possible. Returning from TNNA I always have extra yarn and this trip was no exception. So I packed a box with my dirty laundry and took it to the post office. The cost isn’t that far off what a checked bag would cost, but the benefit is I don’t need to wait for my bags, I walk off the plane, hop in the car, and start home. Plus then I have an excuse for not doing laundry right away! :)

It is amazing what you can pack in a carry-on if you try, remember last June I made it home with a 15″ Cricket Loom in my bag!

The box arrived today and the cats checked to make sure all was ok.

Do you have a favourite planning tip for travel?