Packing is an art. It takes a little engineering, a little creativity and a lot of trial and error to discover what the perfect suitcase looks like for you. As you begin to discover what you want to include in your masterpiece, you will be confused. Think about it, you are trying to pack your entire life into a 22 inch “mobile home.”
But it can be done. After a few trips, you’ll discover what you have to have and what you can live without.
Here are my top five, tried and true, must have, can’t live without it, items.
1) Bathing suit. I don’t care where you’re going or what season it is, bring your bathing suit. It’s small and takes up no room, but unless swimming in your underwear is a real option for you, there is no good substitution for a swim suit. Your 9 hour over night in MSP could quickly become 22 in MIA and you don’t want to be crying sitting in your room longing for the sunshine.
2) Baby Wipes. These versatile “babies” are more multi functional than a Swiss Army Knife. They can: shine your shoes, get a spot out of your uniform, wipe down your hotel room tv remote, remove your makeup, polish your jewelry, and safely clean your phone or other electronics. You can also “freshen up” with a stack of baby wipes. Yuck, you say? Just wait until you wake up for a 0530 van to a hotel with NO WATER. You are going to be overjoyed to take a baby wipe bird bath.
3) Sun Screen. I pack a bottle of inexpensive face moisturizer with at least an SPF of 15. Face moisturizers are usually smaller than that big bottle of sun bock in your beach bag. You should be applying a moisturizer with sunscreen every morning anyway, so having a bottle of it big enough to protect the rest of your body on a surprise, sunny layover it a good idea. It’s hard enough to smile all day when you feel good. Try doing it with a lobster sunburn.
4) Gallon Zip-Lock Bags. These are great to pack things in to protect the inside of you bag from explosions. And not just liquids. If you’ve ever had an eye shadow crumble and coat everything you own with fairy dust, then you know the true value of a zip lock bag. Tuck a few empty bags into your suitcase, too. They are great for stowing your bathing suit if it doesn’t have time to dry completely. Leftovers from dinner? Take it out of that silly Styrofoam box and put it in a zip lock to keep it safe and dry inside your lunch box.
5) Triple Antibiotic Ointment. How can you spot a FA at the pool? She’s the one covered in bruises. No seriously, flight attendants work in a metal tube, push and pull metal carts up and down a hill, and open little metal cans all day. You are going to get cut and scrapes. Keep a tube of Neosporin in your suitcase. I like the cream formula the best. You can also use it on a blemish to help it heal faster or rub it into your cuticles to keep your nails healthy.
That's my list. So, what is your got to pack it item for your roll aboard?