By AMY BERTRAND St. Louis Post-Dispatch
I've seen several articles with tips on how to pack for a trip. The following tips, from Erica Duecy, deputy editor at Fodor's, are so reasonable, even an over-packer like me can use them.
Here are a few highlights. Find the rest of the list and a video here: http://www.fodors.com/news/story_5766.html.
Before you pack, prep with a quick list.
First, jot down what you'll be doing on the trip, and pair the activities with the clothing items you want to wear. Select items that can do double-duty in a pinch, like skirts that can be dressed up or down. Then review the list, and if there's anything that can't be worn more than once, cross it off. The goal is to prevent over-packing, which happens all too often when you start tossing clothes into your suitcase.
Layer your garments with dry cleaning bags.
For extra protection against wrinkles, save your dry cleaning bags and place one in between the layers of clothing as you pack. The slipperiness of the plastic allows a little movement in the bag, which prevents wrinkles from setting. If you don't have dry cleaning bags, you can also use tissue paper.
Shower caps find new life as shoe covers.
No one wants dirt from their shoes to stain their clothing. Save shower caps from the hotels you stay at (who uses them anyway?) and just slip them over your flats or sandals for an easy shoe cover. Also, always fill larger shoes, like running shoes or boots, with small items like socks so that space isn't wasted. You can even fit sandals into your running shoes.
Repurpose a pill organizer - and a drinking straw.
Store small items like earrings and rings in a 7-day pill organizer, or a contact lens case, to protect them from getting bent, chipped, or broken. For tangle-free necklaces, you can also thread the chains through a drinking straw and store them in your toiletries bag. Your necklaces will emerge from your suitcase untangled and ready to wear!
If you do have to check your bag, weigh it first.
Before leaving the house, make sure your bag is not overweight for the airline you're flying with (most allow 50 pounds, but some are lower). A portable luggage scale costs $30 and pays for itself if it saves you from just one overweight charge, which run $50 and up.