You might remember last year when I started a weekly series called “Travel Tip Tuesday.” After a six month, or so, hiatus, it’s back! It was always the plan to offer new vacation ideas, interesting travel deals, or why-didn’t-think-of-that tips to help ease your travel woes. But, I need your help!

Do you have a fool-proof travel tip to share with My Bella Vita readers? Was your last vacation so amazing, you can’t wait to share it with others? Did you recently discover a new must-pack item, or an adorably affordable hotel in the heart of Paris? Then, tell me about it! You can either choose to remain anonymous and let me pass on your advice, or you can write it yourself and be featured right here for Travel Tip Tuesday.

But, now, let me share with you one of my favorite travel secrets. How many of you have ever been in this situation?

The night before your return flight home you begin repacking your suitcase, only to find your clothes, shoes, toiletries, because how could you make it two weeks in Costa Rica without your vanilla body scrub exfoliate and accompanying shower gel, won’t fit anymore? The midnight blue heels that never saw the outside of your pack are taking too much room, and the eight new wood-carvings, yes, you plan to share, won’t let you zip your bag.

It’s tough. And, at this point, what can you do?

Well, you can do like I used to do, and buy a last-minute souvenir at the airport gift shop and ask for an extra large bag to stuff everything else inside. Or, you can plan ahead.

Now, whenever I travel with only one suitcase, I fold a jumbo-sized duffel bag into a four-inch by four-inch square, and slide it inside one of the pockets on my suitcase. It consumes virtually no space, but can easily be used at the last minute as your second checked item. Be sure to attach a label with your name and mailing address inside the duffel bag, and check in advance for your airline’s baggage allowances.

And, you’re up! Staying with the packing theme, what is one item you never leave home without?

11 Responses
  1. Che tempismo! Thanks for the advice. I have to pack for myself and the kids tonight. I’m going to Paris and the kids to the mountains. Of course I want to take my entire wardrobe with me and have enough room to take new clothes and souvenirs back. I think I’ll have to pack that extra duffel bag.
    As for packing advice, I always roll up my clothes to make as much fit in as possible. And I stuff the corners the suitcase with socks and underwear and place shoes along the edges.
    And I never, ever travel without my Abba leave-in conditioner, some chapstick and a good moisturizer.

  2. I just saw today, Linda that you are going to Paris. I am so jealous! Thanks for your tip, and sorry to say, but I’m not sure what Abba leave-in is. I gotta check that out!

  3. I never go anywhere without an extra bag hidden inside of my suitcase even if I’m not planning on buying any souvenirs. I without fail always come home with something extra and since I pack my suitcase to sit on it full for the trip, I always need that extra bag.

  4. I love this idea for Tuesdays!! I plan tons of imaginary vacations in my mind.

    I always, always, always pack a camera and a jornal and a good book to read, no matter where I’m going.

    I love the extra duffel idea.

    I also always pack a emergency toiletries (contact case, glasses) and extra set of clothes in my carry-on, in case the unthinkable occurs and I lose my luggage.

  5. Hi Cherrye – I love the Travel Tip Tuesday idea. Here are some that I do:

    1. Take some items that are older, i.e., clothes, tennis shoes, socks, etc. that instead of bringing them home you leave them. Same goes for guidebooks.

    2. Use Pack Mates (they are bags that you squeeze out the air and your cloths are in a compressed cube). They save a lot of room.

    3. I start off with one check-in and purchase an inexpense suitcase for my return trip. I’ve boughten them my last 3 trips to Italy in Florence from a street vendor across from SMN Train Station (15-20 Euro depending on size). I then give it to my church when I return so they can use it on mission trips.

    4. If taking guidebooks only take the section of the book that you’ll be needing. For example if you have a Italy guidebook but are only going to Rome and Florence go to your local copy store and have them cut the spine off and have only the sections you need spiral bound. You then have a lighter book and you now can open it up completely without destroying the spine.

  6. Krystal

    Oh I shop a lot on holidays that when I pack, I pack the middle suitcase of my 3 piece set and put that inside the HUGE suitcase of the set and usually fill the mini one with shoes (my husband had huge feet so kinda have too!!! so I leave with 2 pieces and come back with 3.
    I have a great bag that I use to as my “purse”

    Worth every cent- I have a black one, so when I don’t feel like carrying it- I sling it on to my hubby.

    also I learned this on my next trip- pack snacks!!! Nothing worse than a grumpy husband, because he’s hungry- so looks like I’m going to cram some pop tarts and fruit snacks to tote around for our trip to NYC in June to tie him over as needed… LOL

Leave a Reply