Just got back from a two week vacation, but I haven’t taken a vacation from thoughts on organizing. Here are a few organizing tips that can make your travels easier.

Traveling light means choosing right.

With the airlines charging for extra luggage checks these days, traveling light makes more sense than ever.  To get everything into one bag, you have to make some really tough choices.  For instance, just how fancy do you need to dress for dining out? If you can keep it casual, you can save a lot of space by skipping a set of formal clothes and shoes.   Also, we brought a tiny bottle of Tide concentrate, to give new life to old clothes.  Sure it’s a chore to do a little hand washing before bed, but it’s a big space saver.

carry-on-bagMore mileage from dual purpose.

Getting dual purposes from the items you bring, can double your space.  For example, my flexible laptop bag made a great day bag.  I could fit my camera and a bottle of water in it, since my laptop was able to stay in the hotel room.

Don’t bury the vitals.

Pay particular attention to the little items that go in your carry-on luggage (in my case, the laptop bag). Here are some examples: an extra pair of contact lens, medication, eye drops, lip balm, facial tissues.  The airplane can be a really uncomfortable place without these items.

bathroom-kitZiploc around the clock.

When you’re dealing with a large number of small items, small Ziploc bags keeps things findable.  In the photo to the right, you can see how I subdivided my bathroom kit.  I have to admit it felt a little fussy labeling the categories, but it made things a lot easier.

Take your running and sitting files along for the ride.

Filing can’t take a vacation.  You bring papers you need to find AND papers you need to make a point of acting on.  In the months leading up to my trip, I collected all papers I needed for my vacation in a thick clear envelope, as a project corral.  I then had all the files I needed to find in one place and it came with me in my carry-on bag.  Every day I extracted the files I needed to have handy to act on and transferred them to my “Today” folder.  I was never overwhelmed or at a loss for the papers I needed.

Learning from my experience.

Were there things that I wish I had packed? Of course! I really wish I had packed a highlighter.  It’s not something one thinks of when making a packing list, but I really found myself wanting one for train schedules and other listings. Here’s one I didn’t think of, but fortunately my mother did (and I was supposed to be taking care of HER): aroma therapy.  Mom had a tiny little vial of this wonderful citrus oil, that came in really handy on the return flight, when an unbathed passenger parked herself in front of me.  It was a sold out flight, so I had nowhere to go.  Mom grabbed an airsick bag (which fortunately I didn’t need) filled it with dinner napkins and the citrus oil and gave it to me to breathe from.  Sanctuary!

I guess I’ve taken a side trip from the subject of organizing. Oh well. Who can think clearly in this heat? Bon Voy-organizing!