Tuesday, May 19, 2015

What's In My Resort Bag? Packing Light for Your Flight

Summer Vacation or Sunny Resort - here's how to pack efficiently.
Summer Vacation and Resort Season often include trips to sunny, warm locations where you may be doing lots of various fun activities. This is also the season for exotic destination weddings. The first thing you need to do is get hold of the itinerary. Will there be dinners out at exclusive restaurants? Are walking tours and sight-seeing planned? If you are traveling by car, bus or train you may have a bit of leeway as far as luggage is concerned. If you are flying via private plane or commercial craft, well let's just say you are going to have to be a bit more strategic!

Flying along the eastern seaboard.
On a recent trip to West Palm Beach County, when checking out of the Hotel I was asked "How did you fit everything in that little bag?" I will tell you how I pack:

Flying the Friendly Skies
I've flown for business and pleasure for years and never once checked my bag. Most airlines still allow 1 on board luggage piece and one personal bag to carry on the craft. Keep in mind a coat, umbrella or hat does not count as an extra personal item. Your carry on must fit in the airline's sizing box (some of which have been scaled back to be even smaller) or it will have to be checked and weighed which will entail a fee. United requires all carry on luggage to be 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches max. Since flights are booked at full capacity these days, the overhead bins fill very quickly. They will try to get you to gate check your on board luggage for that reason.

My on board luggage is actually an Overnight Bag weighing only 6 lbs.
Think Outside the Box
Un-box everything possible and stow your items in TSA friendly clear plastic totes. If your baggage is opened, the agent can get a quick visual without ripping everything out. I saw this happen to the woman behind me in the airport security line and it wasn't pretty. Wear shoes that can easily be kicked off prior to going through the body scanner (forget any lace up shoes no matter how comfortable). One of my favorite travel kits that goes with me EVERYWHERE is Pinch Provision's Distressed Skinny Minimergency Kit. It has over 20 flight friendly essentials for nearly any away from home emergency.

Leaving extra packaging behind on as many items as possible will give you more room while lightening the load. Remember that the limit on liquids is 3 ozs so utilize those tiny samples from the cosmetics counter or magazine ads. I especially enjoy flying with my Sublime Beauty Travel Sampler shown below. Just the right size for my favorite skincare and body creams.

TSA Friendly Clear Plastic Tote by Molton Brown.
Organize and Conquer
I have one clear zippered tote for my personal items (I even had space for my Sonicare Toothbrush) and another one for my makeup.  I pack these cases in the outer zippered pockets of my carry on bag because there is always some last-minute item you need to add. As for my jewelry, I don't want it damaged so I would recommend getting a MagBag. It holds your jewelry in place by way of magnets in a velvet lined case. Your chained necklaces especially will love this Cartier treatment! See all the case sizes and colors at GetMagBag.com

MagBag Jewelry Cases for a Tangle Free Flight
Roll with It
Roll socks and place them in shoes which should be separated to maximize space. To maximize space, roll your clothing tightly like a Tacquito! Most every hotel room has an iron and ironing board. You don't need a dozen pairs of undies and bras either. Just bring two or three of each and hand-wash. Same thing with swimsuits. Bring two sets of separates. You can then mix and match the tops/bottoms for different looks every day. Remember to include a "wet bag" just in case your swimsuit is still a little damp when you leave.

Sunsets Separates

SS2015 Sunsets Swimwear Separates Collection. Swim skort in Seaglass.
Personal Luggage
I've always flown with an over-sized handbag as my personal item. While your on board luggage gets stowed in the bin above your seat, your personal item(s) are to go under your seat or the seat in front of you. Just as long as your personal item, shoulder bag or laptop case measures within x 9 inches x 10 inches x 17 inches (22 cm x 25 cm x 43 cm).
My favorite bag for this is my Pierotucci Toscanella Overnight Bag which looks more like a fine Italian leather handbag. Since it stays with me, I keep my travel ballet flats, iPod/earphones, money and other necessities there. The cabin air is very drying so pack a little spray or bottle of moisturizer in your personal bag.

Pierotucci Toscanella Overnight Italian Leather Bag
Packing Those Creature Comforts
There are little things that help make you feel at home when traveling. You will have saved so much space with my tips that you'll more than likely be able to fit them in! My favorite comfy things for summer-resort trips are my Fair Trade Dsenyo Vipambi Pajama Pants in Purple Burst made in Malawi and my Coco-Mat Organic Cotton Slippers. 

Enjoying a snack in my Vipambi PJ Pants

Organic Cotton Slippers weigh next to nothing, pack flat
They feel like air on your feet and are just enough to wear in the hotel room especially when you come out of the shower. They are super light and pack flat. I also like my Luxe Me Now slippers which are so elegant, you can wear them to breakfast at the Hotel lobby or restaurant.

Coco-Mat and LMN Luxury Slippers
Packing List for a 5 Day Resort Stay

3 bras (one should be a convertible) & 3 undies max
2 Sets of Swimsuit Separates will give you 4 different looks
1 Silk Kimona
1 pair cotton or silk pajama pants
1 Paper Folding Sunhat
Lip Moisturizer with Sunscreen
1 pair rubber flip flops
1 pair heeled sandals (can work in place of evening heels)
1 pair athletic shoes (sneakers as we call them in the NYC area)
1 pair bedroom slippers
1 pair socks
1 pair of folding ballet flats
1 tank top
1 tee shirt
1 pair of skirted exercise pants
1 skirt in a neutral color
1 sleeveless blouse
1 white, light-weight cardigan
2 Daytime Dresses 
1 Evening Dress
3 Large Designer Silk Scarves to change up your look
Jewelry, something organic or tropical would be perfect
1 Clutch in a neutral color for evening (textured will work well)
Foldable Tote like a Baggu or Leather Tote from Carrie Dunham. Use for shopping, beach or pool.

All of these items plus my toiletries and makeup fit inside my American Tourister Atomosphera 2 Overnight Bag. I had plenty of outfits with accessories for meetings, a Pilates Class, lunches, tours and dinners out not to mention a full on swim in the hotel pool and lounging in the hot tub.
Remember not to over-pack because you will most likely be bringing home a few souvenirs and gifts from your trip. So pack your flight bag for that resort vacation and travel in style!

Carve Designs Beach Dress & Cover Up. Carrie Dunham Leather Tote.

American Tourister Overnight Bag-Mine
Designer JLo Rx Eyewear-Mine
Swimwear c/o Sunsets Separates, USA
Special thanks to Garden of Life for scheduling/providing my accommodations and amenities during my stay in West Palm Beach.


  1. Cute post Dr. M. Ironically I'm headed to the Virgin Islands on Tuesday and I challenged myself to pack in the most minimalist way possible (6 outfits total for 17 days, interchangeable separates etc.). It was great meeting you. See you online. ~ glamazini

    1. Thank you Glamazini,

      I hope some of these tips helped in your planning and packing for the Virgin Islands but if you are visiting family there, you can always borrow a few accessories. No need to over-pack. Have a great time in the tropics!

      Dr. M