Holiday cheer: shopping, drinking hot cocoa (preferably spiked with peppermint schnapps), catching up with loved ones, hanging out by a warm fire and shopping some more. Not so cheery: figuring out how to pack all those gifts, plus several days’ worth of outfits, before spending all day at the airport and on the plane next to some guy who won’t stop jabbering.
Here’s a hint. Ship those boxes full of presents and use our handy packing checklist to keep your luggage—and sanity—under control. We asked fashion expert Lindsay Albanese, who has styled celebrities including Paula Abdul, Fran Drescher and Lara Flynn Boyle and has done styling for TV shows such as Today, American Idol and Access Hollywood, for the expert tricks she’s come to rely on after years of traveling with her star clients.
Just think: With all the time you’ll be saving, you’ll have more time to—you guessed it—shop! Now get packing!
- Pack complete outfits. It may sound simple, but most people just throw whatever they have in a suitcase with no rhyme or reason. Taking the extra time to pack outfits—for dinner with the family, drinks with friends, a sledding outing—will actually save you time down the road.
- Be a bag lady. Save those plastic garment bags you get from the dry cleaners and roll or fold delicate fabrics between them. Taking this extra step will help minimize the wrinkles that clothes get when they’re packed in a suitcase.
- Roll with it. Make the most of your luggage space by rolling your clothes as you pack them. This technique also helps prevent those harsh fold lines you don’t want to deal with away from home.
- Get steamed. A handheld steamer is a serious lifesaver. Who wants to deal with a shoddy hotel iron or have to go ask your hosts to pull out their ironing board when they have a house full of guests? I pack a mini Rowenta steamer wherever I go. It's a quick and easy tool to get out those creases.
- Organize, organize, organize. You know those bags you get when you buy a nice pair of shoes? Use them to separate bras, underwear, socks, tights, dirty clothes, whatever. They help make things easier to find and can save space, too.
- Cut the static. Pack little plastic bags filled with fabric softener sheets in your suitcase and leave them there for future travels as well. If you get static cling, you’ll be so happy you have them!
- Just hang on. When you can, it’s smart to hang nicer items on those paper and wire hangers you get from the cleaners. Then, besides keeping your clothes in great shape, you won’t have to worry about not having enough hangers in your hotel closet either.
For MORE great fashion articles like this, click here to sign up for our weekly newsletter.