Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Grace Sends You Packing

The summer season is upon us, rejoice, rejoice. This often means travel, weekends at the beach or lake, and consequent packing and unpacking. With this in mind, I have 2 words of advice for you, Graces: Travel Light.

I know of what I speak. I got a diamond engagement ring and the accompanying husband out of my ability to pack strategically. On a long ago, 3 week trip to Australia involving 4 distinct climates and activities that ranged from nights at the opera to hiking in the desert and snorkeling I managed one checked bag and one carry on bag. My then-boyfriend (who had brought significantly more luggage than I did) was so thrilled with this arrangement that he decided to marry me then and there. He proposed on the banks of Sydney Harbor, handed over a ring a week after we returned to the US, and by and large, we have lived happily ever after.

Here are my "Greatest Hits of Packing":

1. Roll, Baby, Roll. Just like Jim Morrison said in his iconic hit "Roadhouse Blues" (though in a decidedly different context). Remember the blessed day when the Girl Scout Camping Weekend Trip ended and you rolled up your sleeping bag? Duplicate that method with every article of clothing you pack. A friend's mother once transported a bridal gown using this method. I might not recommend it to this extent, but in general, rolling saves space and prevents wrinkles.

2. Jersey Girl. Whether you prefer the Tom Waits or Bruce Springsteen version (or Bon Jovi--who knew--it's bloody good!), jersey--and all knits--are a traveler's amiga. NOT, God Forbid, a sweatsuit of any fabric (even velour....make that especially velour), but attractive knit pieces. Cotton or silk tees and tanks, knit skirts and dresses, shorts and pants laced generously with stretch all arrive in wearable condition sans wrinkles.

3. These Boots Are Made For Walkin'. Make sure all footwear is comfy, versatile, and neutral. Leave the Blue Suede Shoes behind with apologies to Elvis, no matter how much you love them. And use space inside the shoes--stuff 'em with socks.

4. Back In Black--it goes with everything, can be dressed up easily, doesn't show dirt, and is slimming. What's not to love? If all black is too monotonous or somber for you, choose one or 2 accent shades that intermingle with everything. White is a no brainer, varying shades of greys and khakis work, or bolder, brighter hues of pink and green. Just make sure everything can mix and match.

5. Box of Rain--Bring your own in the form of an Evian Spray Atomizer. I refuse to board a flight longer than 90 minutes without one, and they provide a lovely refresher at the beach. Those clever folks at Evian make a handy 1.7 oz can, which will keep your skin hydrated while your fellow passengers and beachgoers dry up like those shrunken head dolls. Give yourself a spritz every hour or so.

Bon Voyage!

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