Joanne Lichten, PhD
You can pack everything needed for a 10-day vacation into a single 22"-x-9"-x-14" bag that complies with today’s strict airline carry-on rules. Of course, you won’t be able to wear a different outfit every day or get really dressed up for dinner, but frequent travelers find the convenience worth it. What to pack...
In addition to the clothes you wear, you need pack only a core wardrobe of two outfits if you do the following...
Pick one color scheme. Select a neutral color -- black, navy, brown or olive -- and pack only clothing in this color or that goes well with this color. This makes it easy to create new outfits by mixing and matching pants, skirts, shirts, etc. Avoid lighter neutrals, such as tan and white, which are more likely to show dirt.
Buy wrinkle-resistant clothes. Garments made from high-tech fabrics that resist wrinkles can be worn several times during a trip without looking messy. A wrinkle-resistant T-shirt is particularly versatile for men and women -- it looks great with jeans or under a sport coat.
You may want to bring a microfiber T-shirt and a pair of shorts as workout clothes. Microfiber is breathable and fast-drying. You can wash it and wear it again the next day. A large microfiber T-shirt works as a nightshirt and a bathing suit topper. You also may want to bring microfiber socks and underwear (enough for each day of the trip).
Wear a pair of sneakers or walking shoes, and pack one pair of dressier, but still comfortable, shoes in your carry-on bag.
If you must bring a coat, make it a compact, wrinkle-resistant, all-weather raincoat. With a sweater underneath, it’s good even in 20-degree weather if you’re not outside too long. Examples: TravelSmith’s Men’s Packable Classic Raincoat ($169 to $179) or Women’s Packable Microfiber Classic Raincoat ($149) provides lightweight wrinkle-resistant warmth.
If you need a suit or sport coat, check for wrinkle resistance. Roll or knot the suit sleeve. If it still looks good when it’s straightened out, it should work well during your trip.
Buy travel-size bottles for toiletries, if you’re not staying in a hotel that supplies them. The Container Store sells plastic bottles perfect for small supplies of shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and aftershave. Cost: 79 cents and up, depending on size (888-266-8246, www.containerstore.
com). Small bottles comply with new US air travel rules, which ban bottles that hold more than three ounces of fluid from carry-on luggage.
Helpful: Magellan’s sells compact brushes, curling irons, toothbrushes, etc., that save additional room.
Bring paperbacks or magazines -- reading material that you can throw away when you’re done.
Wear a watch with an alarm if you don’t want to rely on a hotel alarm clock. Or use a cell-phone alarm.