The Knack of the Pack

I’m married to Mr. Travel, a guy who is willing to go anywhere at any time.  (You can see some of the pictures from our latest trip to Oahu and Santa Barbara, California, below.) My goal is to keep up with him and to cut down on the anxiety of packing, I’ve developed some strategies that make the process a lot less painful.



First, I keep certain items in my suitcases—some in my carry-on and some in the luggage to be checked. I have duplicates of deodorant, a hairbrush and a makeup mirror in my carry-on. (Plus a big scarf I can use if the plane’s too cold.)  I’ve also got stuff like allergy medication and Advil. And in the packed luggage I have a cloth bag with a scissors, nail clipper, sewing kit, and tweezers.
The night before I leave, I pack my medicines, leaving the morning dose in a tissue on my dressing table. As I put on makeup, I stuff each item into one of two bags—the normal one and the clear plastic one that FAA requires for liquids. (Tiny amounts, naturally.)

Of course, it’s easy to forget something. If I’m traveling in the U.S., that’s not a huge problem. I can always buy what I need, although a trip to the store might be inconvenient. But in a foreign country, an essential item could be unavailable.

That’s why I’ve learned to go over my packing list before we leave. A lot of the items on it are things I’ve left at home on previous trips.

Book bag for my travel computer
Dry Eye drops
Plastic laundry bag
Rebecca York booklets
Badge holder
Nighttime moisturizer (easy to forget because I’m not putting it on in the morning)
Good purse


I get out the clothes I think I will need at least twenty-four hours in advance. Then I pack everything in plastic bags by category—underwear, everyday tops, good tops, slacks and shorter pants, shoes, tee shirt and cutoffs to sleep in. (A friend of mine uses transparent bags so she can see what she’s got. I like reusing bags I’ve brought home from shops and hotels.) And I pull out a few items of clothing to pack in my carry-on, since there have been times when my luggage didn’t arrive at my destination when I did. (Try traveling around Greece with no change of underwear and only the clothes on your back. That happened to Mr. Travel. I was prepared with my emergency stash.)

Packing doesn’t have to be an ordeal, if you get organized first. Do you hate to get ready for a trip? What are some of your tricks for making the process easier?

Rebecca York’s latest Decorah Security Story, “Can She Get Home for Christmas?” is in Love, Christmas – Movies You Love (The Holiday Series Book 2)  a collection now on pre-order at Amazon.

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About Rebecca York

NY Times & USA Today best-seller, Rebecca York, is the author of over 150 books. She has written paranormal romantic thrillers for Berkley and romantic thrillers for Harlequin Intrigue. Her romantic-suspense series, Decorah Security, is set at a detective agency where agents have paranormal powers or work paranormal cases. She also writes an Off-World series where each story is a science fiction romance taking place on a distant planet in the far future.  She also writes the Unbound series for Changeling Press.  View website

10 Replies to “The Knack of the Pack”

  1. Hi, Ruth:
    I very much enjoyed your post and the helpful tips for travel and destinations. My packing habits are similar to yours, because Joe was always particular about having a change of clothes in case, and others I will put into place that you shared, like the medicine thing. We love to travel, and have a FLorida trip after my son’s wedding this month, and we got married in Oahu on the beach. Anyway, thanks for a nice ‘trip’ down memory lane.

    Sue xo

  2. This was so helpful and such an enjoyable read. We used to travel a lot but after our house move we’ve been enjoying the beach hut. But hopefully we shall be off again soon.

    • Yes. You see me wearing it in both pictures of me. It’s denim and packs beautifully. It’s very old–probably 15 years old and is starting to get battered, but it’s held up really well. I love it. I wear it backwards. I know you’ve seen similar hats, with flowers on the front. But I turn it around to get the shade from the brim. Based on my experience, I’d say a cloth hat is your best bet.

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