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Submitted by kima on


Great podcast on packing! However, women have a few different needs. Here are some additional thoughts form that perspective:

* Pack black slacks/skirts and black shirts. No other colors. All interchangeable. Find some that fit you correctly, hold up well, at a reasonable cost, and buy several of the same ones. When you're on the road for business, you don't really need dresses and 12 pairs of shoes to look professional.
* Use the money you've saved from buying interchangeable slacks and shirts to invest in a few great jackets. I like Exclusively Misook jackets. They pack "thin" but never need ironing, can be washed in a sink and always look professional. They're pricey but layered over lower cost slacks and shirt look great! If you can't afford full price, look on ebay. Some women collect, get tired of the ones they've got and sell them cheap. They look sharp forever. And I never need to waste my time ironing.
* Think "free gift with purchase." Most high end cosmetics have regular promotions where you get small versions of their regular product. Usually enough for 5 to 7 days. I can fit these tiny versions of foundation, eye shadow, mascara, powder, face cream, etc. ALL in the same zip lock bag as my travel shampoo etc. The hardest thing to find is travel size mousse. Sometimes Amazon has it or If you don't normally buy the high end brands, look on ebay. The free gift sizes are always available there. Also, Estee Lauder sales clerks have a tiny vial available for giving you free samples of things like foundation. Become a regular customer and you can get them free. One vial holds at least a week's worth of foundation in about a half inch of space.
* I use a Tumi 20" "international" rolling packing case. Fits in most overheads, even on international flights. It holds four of my slacks, four shirts, four Missook jackets and my other essentials. I put my makeup, meds, and laptop (including a small Tumi briefcase) into a matching Tumi carryon that fits under my seat. When I get to my destination I pull out the small briefcase for meetings but if I get delayed, I have my toiletries and meds with me. Both Tumi bags are expandable in case you acquire items to take home (but then you might have to check them) When I go through Heathrow (which allows only ONE carry one, including a purse, I use my underseat bag and check the rolling one)
* I only bring one pair of good black shoes. I have a "special" pair of leather slip ons that are very comfortable (but look reasonably professional) that are easy for airport security and comfy for the plane.
* Sometimes when I travel I want a purse for evening events like dinner but I never carry one in the daytime to meetings. So, I invested in a small Coach bag that is totally flat and fits in my carry on. When I need a purse, I pull it out, it looks great, but takes almost no packing space.
I only use it when I travel so it still looks like new a year later and I just feel more professional not hauling a big "lady" bag wherever I go.

Going through security, I simply slip off the shoes (nothing to tie), pull the laptop out of the side pocket of the Tumi bag and my ziplock of cosmetics and I'm done. These two small bags have gotten me through two full weeks of international travel.


rgbiv99's picture

I haven't had any trouble finding tiny mousse at Bed Bath & Beyond. They have a whole section of travel toiletries these days.

Finding cute shoes that are also comfortable is more of a challenge though : )

kklogic's picture


THANK YOU!!!! I have a difficult time packing and was so impressed by Mark's ability to do so. However, as noted, women have more "stuff" we have to bring along for the ride. Great suggestions on your part. I hope more women chime in on this thread.

One note - I don't think it's a good idea to only bring one pair of black shoes. I tried this on a trip and my feet were killing me. With heels, if you wear them on back-to-back days, they are hitting the same pressure points (even if they are normally very comfortable shoes) -- so they start to hurt. (Edit to add: yes, I know you can just do flats, but I'm a nylons and heels gal)

jhack's picture

I was once caught in an amazing rainstorm in New Orleans, and really wished I had brought a second pair of shoes.


davidleeheyman's picture
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[quote="jhack"]I was once caught in an amazing rainstorm in New Orleans, and really wished I had brought a second pair of shoes.


Same same but Bangkok. Try finding size 13 shoes in Asia. I ended up with a size 12 pair of Timberlands that made the back of my ankles bleed for a few days until my shoes dried out.

MsSunshine's picture

I mostly agree with this except for the shirts. Black close to my face makes me and many people look like they are dead. But if the skirts are neutral and the shirts go with the jackets, you can get them in other colors. (I don't like wearing pants to work so that doesn't apply for me.)
I also have some thin knit dresses that pack really well and are all sorts of colors. Those provide variety on a long trip.

In the summer, my variation is white skirts. I have two white background print jackets and shirts that match the colors in them.

I agree on two pairs of shoes. Even if they don't get wet, I find that wearing the same pair multiple days is not good for my feet or the shoes.
Working out is also a must for me. I bring running shoes, one pair of nylon shorts & nylon top. They rinse out & dry really fast. The catch is the socks. They don't dry well. I bring one at least 3 sets.

Another trick I learned from a frequent traveler for long trips is to throw away the dirty underwear/sock. Especially for kids by themselves this works. But I've done it for a two week trip to a bunch of locations where I was on the move a lot. You buy cheap & pack enough for the whole trip. Instead of washing them, they throw them away. This gives them enough space for gifts to bring home...and I really didn't want to wash my 16 year olds dirty socks/underwear after sitting in the suitcase for 3 weeks! (FYI he did a 3 week trip around England, Scotland, Wales & Ireland where they were almost never in the same spot for two nights. So rinsing out was impossible.)

asteriskrntt1's picture


How long did it take your heels to dry out? :wink:


jhack's picture
jaijacob's picture

Thanks for your packing tips .It would be really vital for all women as they are fond of carrying lot of clothing stuff along with them while going out.I usually carry 2-3 jeans along with lot of tees and black colored slacks which matches with any shirts.Have a peek over here for trendy tees and accessorize which will help you to carry while going out .