Emily shared in a previous post how she uses her Vera Bradley Jewelry Case to pack her cosmetics for travel. I wanted to elaborate on her post by sharing how this all came about and how I use mine.
Emily was so frustrated with me because my packing and traveling techniques were impacting her as well as business time schedules. It took days for me to pack for a trip. It didn’t matter if the trip was an overnight or for weeks. Then once we arrived at our destination, it took me much longer than normal to get ready to go anywhere. But I never built in extra prep time, thinking “I can get ready in the usual amount of time.”
However, regardless of what I thought or what my past experiences had been, I could never find what I needed when I actually needed to get ready to go somewhere. I wasted so much precious time searching for a tube of this or a swab of that.
The situation was always the same. I could not get out of the house without spending days preparing to leave. Then when I arrived at my destination, I was totally disorganized. Both coming and going, it took Emily’s help to keep me on any kind of schedule. Something had to change.
So if you are still wondering why we would seemingly repeat a post like this one, I offer the following reasons:
1. My new and improved packing technique has honestly changed my travel life (and the stress I feel before and during a trip). I am now completely organized and I don’t
- waste valuable time looking for items
- spend hours packing
- Need Emily’s help
2. I wanted to show how “the over 50 crowd” can utilize my packing technique. We tend to travel with a plethora of interesting items (more than the under 30 crowd). Emily’s case looks so much different than mine.
3. I traveled on an overnight with my mother recently and saw the “old me.” Mom was having trouble finding all of her little tubes and swabs. She complained about how long it took her to pack for an overnight. She was very interested in my new travel technique.
4. I am hoping that Vera Bradley will reintroduce this case or something similar because it is SO handy used in this way.
To get started you will need a few important items:
- Small plastic containers that have been “time tested” to have a tight seal. These can be contact lens cases or small containers ordered from Amazon. Think carefully about how many you will need. The containers pictured are the ones I have used successfully.
- Label paper (adhesive on one side)
- Clear tape
- Tiny plastic zip lock bags (the ones with extra buttons attached to new clothes, earrings when purchased, in flight packaging, etc.) I do not throw these zip lock plastic bags away. Some are very sturdy. I either use them in my cosmetic bag (to organize band aids, wardrobe strips, q-tips, and my face powders). Or I store them in my bag because I will need one at a later date. We have collected sand from the Mediterranean, the Dead Sea, Abu Dhabi, Egypt, California, Florida, and the Outer Banks using these very sturdy plastic bags that are otherwise trash. I have also used them to store a cosmetic item that is leaking.
- Mini sizes of some of your favorite items (Tide stick, tooth paste, eye liner, pencil or mascara, etc)
Use the smallest font possible to type the name of each item that you will be putting into the small “time tested” containers. Place a label on each of the containers and then use clear tape to secure the label and also keep the label from smearing or tearing off.
Next you will need to fill your small containers with your creams, jells, liquids, foundations, lotions, etc. that you use daily.
Some staples that I keep in small containers include:
- Vicks VapoRub. Not only is this good for colds, it also works for sea sick sensitivities.
- Baking soda. Great little item if you want to wash out some unmentionables with the hotel soap. Baking soda is terrific for rinsing items so they are fresh and ready to wear the next day. I also use baking soda as an eye rinse when my allergies are acting up.
- Sun screen
- Lip balm
Now, organize your bag so that you can easily see everything in the bag.
I always carry a Sharpie because when we travel I often need to write something in permanent ink — often on hotel keys. (Never write your room number). But if you are traveling in a group, it is handy to have a Sharpie to write names on keys so the keys do not get mixed up.
I would not leave the house without a Tide stick. It has saved a wardrobe crisis more than once.
Wardrobe tape is another essential item. The strips are too long for my needs, so I cut them before I pack them so that they are ready to use. I use them to secure footie socks or keep clothes in place. A must have.
My band aid stash — a staple.
The one thing I find that I forget is mouthwash because it is packed in a separate leak proof case. So I have attached a note on this case to remind me to be sure to pack it. I recommend that if you do need to pack items eleswhere, that you make a note of those things.
It now takes me minutes to pack instead of hours. I can see everything I have and can put it all back in its place every time I use it. I know what I need to replenish and do it as soon as I get home so I am ready for the next trip. Life is good!