Travel in Style

Diane Von Furstenberg once said, “If you manage to pack lightly … you manage to live lightly.

Today we are faced with many restrictions which force us to rethink how we pack
and what we pack when traveling.

In the midst of these decisions, most women are still concerned about the image they project at their destination, be it for work or pleasure. The wonderful news is that fashion does not have to be compromised to meet security regulations. Paring down is a daunting task while trying to maintain one’s sense of self and fashion, but savvy travelers can accomplish these objectives by “capsuling” their wardrobes.

African Safari or Mission Trip?

Perhaps you’ve dreamed of taking off to Africa. This dream became reality for two of my clients, whose excitement turned to anxiety when they learned they could take no more than 40 pounds in one approved, carry-on bag. One client, Michael Norris, is embarking on a three-month mission trip. Her allowable 40 pounds must include clothing as well as protein foods for everyday, toilet paper, a supply of feminine products, a mosquito sleeping hut and other necessities. Another client, Cindy Howard, is headed for a resort-style safari and will be stopping in Madrid and London as well. Both travelers present their own unique challenges: Cindy desires to be stylish the whole trip and Michael wishes to feel womanly, yet understated, given the tribal community she will be working with while in Sudan. Michael also chooses to take articles of clothing that she can leave there for the women in the village.

Packing for these trips is a challenge, yes, but I am excited to report: it can be done!

Weekend in Las Vegas or a Week’s Work + Play?

A group of women at the Junior Austin Woman’s Club recently enjoyed a fun style show demonstrating how to select styles for a weekend getaway to Las Vegas or Chicago; a week’s skiing in the mountains; and a week of work and play in San Diego – all without having to check a single bag. Each traveler had plenty of fashionable outfits, stayed within weight restrictions, and left room to bring home a few souvenirs.
At the show we were able to prove that one could take 14 wardrobe pieces, including two ski outfits, and have at least 24 outfits to wear while there; including two pairs of after-ski boots, slippers and another pair of shoes, as well as foundations, pajamas and toiletries. The weeklong trip to San Diego featured 16 wardrobe pieces, including two belts and three pairs of shoes, to assemble more than 27 outfits.

There was a day when women could devote an entire bag to packing shoes. You can still choose do so, but it will cost you – and it might cost you a lot more if that bag doesn’t make it with you.

One of the wonderful things about being a wardrobe consultant is walking away each and every time with a satisfied customer. Packing for a trip shouldn’t be daunting – it should be filled with excitement about your trip and a sense of relief that you will have all that you need once you get there. What you are going to wear should be the least of your concerns, especially if you are headed for a jam-packed trip combining business and pleasure. One client, Chris Hester, a realtor specializing in high-end real estate, was headed to a luxury home event in Miami. We spent just two hours determining exactly how she needed to accommodate casual occasions and several cocktail events as well as workout sessions. We wanted her to feel fashion-forward and convey a sense of professionalism while staying in Miami’s trendy resort area, South Beach.

It Pays to Weigh

In addition to considering how much our clothing and personal items weigh, we also need to rethink how much our luggage weighs, so keep that in mind if you are considering buying new luggage any time soon. One of the best options is a wheeled duffel bag; these tend to be lighter than traditional luggage, roomier, and have the convenience of being easy to transport. There are also duffel bags that can be converted to backpacks, which is what my client Cindy is required to use for her African safari trip. Standard luggage comes in a variety of sizes, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) no longer allows any bags to be larger than 62 inches in length, width or depth. However, I have found that if you take a bag larger than 53 inches, you will almost always overpack.
As for carry-on bags, we are now limited to no more than 40 pounds, and many airlines have restrictions of no more than 22-by-14-by-9 inches for these bags. Also, when traveling with connecting flights, determine ahead of time if any plane you will be on has limited cabin space and will require you to check your carry-on bag at the cabin door prior to boarding, as this may affect any fragile items you’ve packed.

There are also duffel bags that can be converted to backpacks, which is what my client Cindy is required to use for her African safari trip. Standard luggage comes in a variety of sizes, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) no longer allows any bags to be larger than 62 inches in length, width or depth. However, I have found that if you take a bag larger than 53 inches, you will almost always overpack.
As for carry-on bags, we are now limited to no more than 40 pounds, and many airlines have restrictions of no more than 22-by-14-by-9 inches for these bags. Also, when traveling with connecting flights, determine ahead of time if any plane you will be on has limited cabin space and will require you to check your carry-on bag at the cabin door prior to boarding, as this may affect any fragile items you’ve packed.

Helpful Sites
www.ci.austin.tx.us/austinairport/traveltips.htm
www.tsa.gov
www.southwest.com/travel_center/pod_chart.html
(They list other carriers and their charges.)
www.eurail.com
www.amtrak.com