Packing Tips and Tricks

Packing Tips & Tricks

By: Honey Good

My husband, Shelly and I are traveling, again! We flew out of Palm Springs yesterday and spent the night in Chicago. Left early the next morning for Bloomington, Indiana to attend a grandson’s wedding. Back to Chicago Sunday waiting for Thanksgiving and the day after we board American Airlines to Paris and then on to Brussels.

Luckily, having traveled the world with my husband, Shelly, I have had to pack hundreds of times and discovered, through trial and error, a successful packing method.

From Antarctica to India to China and Russia to Indonesia, Japan, Peru, and throughout Europe and beyond I have packed! I have had several different packing experiences! I packed for the cold weather of Antarctica. I have packed for Black Tie parties in Europe. I’ve packed to hike in Machu Picchu, Peru, and for some trips I have had to pack for two weather systems!

So when I close the door of our home for our exciting adventure out of the country or for a short meeting, theatre and dining in New York, I am prepared. 

I will tell you, it did not happen overnight, darlings!

Nothing can be accomplished without a strategic plan. My travel itinerary and the weather determine my wardrobe ‘must haves.’ So my number one rule is: pack with clarity.


I travel with a Tumi suitcase, a carry on, a large handbag slung over my carry on or my twenty-four year old Chanel backpack that I still adore as much as the day I first laid eyes on it!


  • Clothing hangers with cardboard tubing.
  • Small and large zip lock bags.
  • From the cleaners, ( I always have rolls at home just incase) plastic bags- short and long.


  •  Lingerie is placed in separate zip lock 

Bras, panties and panty hose go into separate bags. This saves time and energy when I unpack. When I arrive at our destination I take the zip lock bags out of my suitcase and lay them in a hotel drawer. My drawer is neat; everything is visible; I do not have to take each item out of my suitcase one by one and refold to put into a drawer nor do I have to repack them when I leave. Unpacking takes a few minutes at most.

  • Each complete outfit is hung on a laundry hanger with a white cardboard cover and then covered with a plastic bag that prevents wrinkling. 

I visually see each outfit for my trip. I layer my outfit. First, slacks across the hanger, possibly a scarf, a sweater laid flat across and a jacket.  The outfit is then covered with a plastic dry cleaner bag. I use the same procedure for suits, dresses, skirts and shirts. Clear plastic bags cover each outfit. I then hang all of my outfits on a rack or in my closet so I can visually see my entire wardrobe in front of my eyes! This allows me to choose my shoes and one or two, at the most, flat bags for evening.

  • Each pair of shoes is placed in a large zip lock bag. A flat handbag for evening ware is also placed in a zip lock bag.

I used to use shoe and handbag covers. I got smart fast, darlings!


You should now be curious how I pack a suitcase full of zip locked bags and covered hangers with outfits? It is very simple. At the bottom of my suitcase I place my shoes, followed by my undies and lingerie. Everything is now flat. Take one bagged outfit and fold under at the bottom of the hanger and place at one end of your suitcase. The next outfit is placed at the other end of your suitcase. Keep rotating the hangers from one end to the other until completed. Your layered outfits will be flat in your suitcase and be perfect. If I have extra sweaters, I fold them as flat as possible and lay them on top.


I pack all of my make-up in a flat see-through long make-up carrier that my daughter gave me years ago. It is laid flat in my suitcase sliding it in wherever I think it will be protected and not wrinkle my clothes. I do the same with my traveling mirror. You have to use common sense. 


All of my good belts, flat night handbags, jewelry, and any meds go into my carry on. I am afraid of theft, hearing stories of airport personal going through baggage or a lost suitcase in flight.


You have had a long trip. You’re tired and dreading the chore of unpacking. Not with my plan, darlings! Hang your outfits on their hangers in the hotel closet. Take off the bags. Put your lingerie, nighties, and evening bags, etc. in the drawers. Leave your shoes inside the see through plastic zip locks and put on the closet floor or on a shelf. Voila! In ten minutes you are unpacked. The only thing you have to fold are your sweaters!


My jewelry goes into the safe. I use the same memorized combination for every safe I use. Finished in a minute.

I have figured out a great plan for my make-up. I use a desk in the room instead of storing my make-up the bathroom. Natural light is far better when applying make-up and wouldn’t you rather sit than stand when doing your face? I take a bathroom glass for all my brushes; put my make-up and perfume (I never leave home without my fragrance!) in a desk drawer and put my magnifying mirror on the desktop. I am in business! I watch TV or talk to my husband as I put on my face!!


  • I have found that 99% of hotels provide slipper and robe. I take my chances. I don’t pack either robe or slippers. If I get stuck I wear one of my husbands T-shirts!
  • I put my name, address and phone number in each suitcase (I pack for my husband, Shelly!) in case a name tag falls off.
  • I carry a picture of our passports in my carry-on, when we cross the pond, in case our passports are stolen or lost.
  • A copy of our passports is left at home.
  • I carry a prescribed antibiotic in case of illness.
  • Our black Tumi suitcases have a yellow strap around them to identify them since everyone has the same bag, today.
  • I purchased larger zippered clear plastic bags for nighties. I do not remember where so my suggestion, GOOGLE! 
  • I make sure all the air is out of the plastic bags because space is most important.
  • My girlfriend, Nancy, gave me great advice yesterday. Take a picture of your luggage. I will from now on!

I hope I have inspired you to consider my packing tips, darlings. I have done this for a long time and it is fool proof with a little bit of Nancy’s help! See we never stop learning!

Do Something GOOD today: Book yourself a trip so you can try my tips! AND, always pass tips on to family and friends.

Photography by Hallie Duesenberg

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Packing Tips and Tricks