Subscribe -- FREE!
Shel Horowitz's monthly Clean and Green Newsletter
Receive these exciting bonuses: Seven Tips to Gain Marketing Traction as a Green Guerrilla plus Seven Weeks to a Greener Business
( Privacy Policy )

Packing Pointers

Shel Horowitz's Monthly Frugal Fun Tip for June, 2005

Travel season seems like a great time to give pointers on packing.

Shel: Pack sequentially, if your trip has several components. Example: Last year, we had a few days in London followed by two weeks in the Czech Republic. We put everything we needed for London into some bags, and stored the rest of our stuff at the airport. Lockers get cleaned out every day or two, but many airports and train stations have a staffed baggage area where you can leave bags, for a fee, for several days.

Barbara: Plan your seasonal travel wardrobes in the same color scheme, so you can easily mix tops and bottoms for varying weather conditions. Two or three bottoms and four to six tops can be enough for a two-month trip (details in book.)

Shel: When traveling by car, a lot of small bags are easier to pack than a few huge ones. But when traveling by plane, where you'll face a surcharge on excess luggage, big bags are better--unless, of course, you can fit everything in your carry-on.

Barbara: Airlines keep lowering their limits for weight, size and number of items. Excess fees can run into hundreds of dollars and your carry-on may get diverted to the hold if it is too heavy. Airlines differ so check airline websites or ask before making a reservation.

Shel & Barbara: Few things are worse than a spill inside your luggage. When packing items like shampoo bottles (plastic only; no glass), pour a little off if the bottle is full, squeeze out a little air, insert a piece of plastic wrap under the cap and tighten it well. Then wrap it in a plastic bag, tie the bag shut, and put it deep inside your suitcase where it won't break open if someone throws a suitcase against yours. Consider packing these in your carry-on, where leaks are less likely because the cabin is pressurized more than the baggage hold.

Barbara: Wrap nail polish bottles in aluminum foil because polish dissolves plastic. Take foil-wrapped packets of polish remover wipes instead of liquid.

Shel: Always keep a spare pair of undies and a comb and toothbrush, at least, in your carry-on. Also, keep with you anything that's essential but difficult to replace: prescriptions, exposed film, etc. I have had lost luggage take as long as two weeks to catch up with me!

Barbara: Carry a water bottle; look for a mesh carrier with shoulder strap that holds up to a 1.5 liter bottle. It folds up small when not in use. Drinking bottled water on planes is safer than using their water dispensers.

Barbara: Be sure you have good protection against sun and insects. Diseases can be deadly. DEET in a concentration of about 30% is effective and a one-ounce bottle or stick will work better than pints of the weaker stuff. Even for a warm, summer trip, pack a long-sleeve shirt and long slacks for sun and bug protection, comfort in air-conditioned spaces and modesty at sites that prohibit bare arms and legs. A visor-scarf (pattern in book) is a very handy item.

Shel Horowitz is the author of a 280-page e-book on having fun cheaply, The Penny-Pinching Hedonist: How to Live Like Royalty with a Peasant's Pocketbook, available exclusively at for $8.50.

Barbara DesChamps' book, It’s In The Bag: The Complete Guide to Lightweight Travel, shows how to take everything you are likely to need, even for a long overseas trip, in just one carry-on bag: $11.95 at bookstores or visit for mail-order info.

Return to the Frugal Fun Tips Archives
Preview Shel Horowitz's Penny Pinching Hedonist: How to Live Like Royalty with a Peasant's Pocketbook a 280-page e-book that shows you how to save a big pile of money on travel, dining, entertainment, recreation, and all sorts of other fun.
This article originally appeared in Shel Horowitz's Monthly Frugal Fun Tips. Please click here for your free subscription.

Share this article/site with a Friend

Bookmark Us

Many of the 1,000+ articles on Frugal Fun and Frugal Marketing have been gathered into magazines. If you'd like to read more great content on these topics, please click on the name of the magazine you'd like to visit.

Ethics Articles - Down to Business Magazine - Frugal & Fashionable Living Magazine
Global Travel Review - Global Arts Review - Peace & Politics Magazine
Frugal Marketing Tips - Frugal Fun Tips - Positive Power of Principled Profit

Clean and Green Marketing

Our Privacy Policy

Disclosures of Material Connections:
  • Some of the links on our site and items in our newsletters are sponsored ads or affiliate links. This financial support allows us to bring you the consistent high quality of information and constant flow of new content. Please thank our advertisers if you do business with them.
  • As is the case for most professional reviewers, many of the books I review on this site have been provided by the publisher or author, at no cost to me. I've also reviewed books that I bought, because they were worthy of your time. And I've also received dozens of review copies at no charge that do not get reviewed, either because they are not worthy or because they don't meet the subject criteria for this column, or simply because I haven't gotten around to them yet, since I only review one book per month. I have far more books in my office than I will ever read, and the receipt of a free book does not affect my review.

Site copyright © 1996-2011 by Shel Horowitz