Packing Tips

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Where to get the best tips for packing? Boy is this a tricky business! We all travel so differently, there’s not one size that fits all.

I remember back in the day, when people traveled dressed up – men wore suits and ties, and women wore hats, gloves and shoes. Today, the variety is wide with no limits, although I personally wish people tried a little harder to look nice when they travel, but that’s just me. Today, we see it all – dressy, trendy, athletic, minimalist, parents with kids, carryon only, backpacker, tropical, winter, road trip, snow, water sports. That means there’s no one right way to pack.

I was motivated to add my post today after reading an article from SFist, prepared by Starwood American Express and some of their users – “What do you pack for a holiday trip?”. I was excited to discover this article, but I immediately noticed that none of these lists were “me”, but maybe you’ll find some good things to know?

Below is what I’m taking for this trip, but I use my own list that I update constantly, so I’m prepared, but not over-packed.

Packing List for Winter Travel


Here’s the article I mentioned above.

I like to be prepared for a variety of situations that might include a slightly dressy event, but I also be fit in like a local, so I’m not targeted as a tourist when riding the metro, for example. Because I travel in the winter a lot, I need to be prepared for rain, cold and snow. I’m not a big beach fan because I had melanoma while living in San Diego, but frankly, I don’t miss it. Laying on a beach sounds relaxing and all, but I’d rather be walking around, taking photos, visiting museums, interesting shops and hanging out in a cafe for some serious people watching. I love going into odd places to get in touch with the local culture first hand – hardware stores, grocery stores, furniture stores and places the locals go, just to see the differences between my world and theirs. The point it, I like to be prepared to go most anywhere without feeling I’m out of place or have to go back to the hotel to change.

Maybe you’ll like my packing style? Maybe not?

These simple tips seem to work for everyone:

  • Stuff sox and/or underwear into shoes to save space.
  • Roll clothes to save wrinkles and space.
  • Use silk or synthetic microfiber underwear to save weight and space.
  • Pack only 3 or 4 changes of sox and underwear and wash in the hotel sink every few days.
  • Take only colors that work well together.
  • Wear the heaviest or bulkiest items on the flight, which saves space in the suitcase
  • Use carryon for valuables, computer, tablet, camera, phone, earbuds, etc.
  • Take a “freshen-up” kit in the carryon – toothpaste, toothbrush, eye cream, wipes, shaver, etc.

Here are my detailed list of packing tips as a FREE document you can download:

Packing List for Winter Travel


Below is what I’m taking on this 3 week trip (San Francisco t0 Stockholm, Copenhagen, Berlin, Paris and Düsseldorf).

These three base outfits will let me go most anywhere, but I’m not limited to only the combinations shown her. I’ve included a v-neck sweater, a John Varvatos round neck sweater with leather trim and elbow “patches – all black, and a Banana Republic three button pullover, black. To add more variety, I’ve also included 3 shirts from Armani Exchange, which I can wear alone or under one of the sweaters. They’re all made of a microfiber fabrics for fast wash-in-the-sink and dry-by-morning, with snaps instead of buttons – a white with light gray pinstripes, a black with light gray pinstripes and a white with thin black stripes. They all work with all the other items, so it’s easy to mix and match. I also include a pair of black leather vans, just in case it’s nicer weather and wearing boots won’t work, or I want to dress down a bit.


On the plane: 

(Since I don’t like sleeping in my clothes, I’ll often slip a jogging suit into my Tumi backpack/carryon to sleep in, then change back in the morning.).

Down Moncler jacket, mottled dark gray Diesel jeans, black boots, black turtleneck, newsboy hat, black scarf.






















For snow and uber cold:

White down jacket, white waterproof lined “athletic shoe style” boots, skull cap, black scarf, black Diesel jeans, black turtleneck sweater, black leather gloves.






















For rain:

Gold Diesel jeans, black wingtip boots, black sweater, Kangol “Havana” hat, Burberry “plasticized” raincoat.






















Which suitcase?

I have 3 Rimowa suitcases – small black business trolley, medium Champagne carryon, large 26″ dark brown. I tried putting everything in my medium carryon and it worked, but was a little tight. Since I like to leave room for a few spontaneous purchases, I decided to go with the larger one this time.

The small black business trolly is perfect for short trips, or use as a carryon for my MacBook Air, iPad, Sony NEX-7, lenses, power adapters, valuables, etc. It works great after checking a larger suitcase, but the last two trips, I’ve used my nice Tumi backpack, which is a bit easier to manage on the plane. The backpack can be close at hand, while the case has to stay in the overhead and grabbing a pair of earbuds, for example, is a little more bother than reaching into the backpack.





























AND, here it is packed:

Again, the outfits I’ve shown have a lot more possibilities by using the other items I listed, so you won’t feel limited. While this is for men, women can also grasp what I do to save space without sacrificing style and convenience.

IMG_2350 IMG_2355























Bon Voyage!!!

Here are other documents you might find useful – all FREE and tested over time (and constantly updated):

Trip Planner Countdown To-Do List Packing List for Winter Packing Tips




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On December 24, 2015

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