A good friend of mine recently went on a business trip to Israel. He jokingly emailed me asking what he needed to pack besides robes and sandals. What hit me was knowing him…he likely really didn’t know what to pack. I doubt a modern hip Mediterranean city is what came to his mind when he thought of Tel Aviv. Especially considering the fact that he has his own unique “fashion” sense….which can be best described as a combo of 50’s Mid-western traveling salesmen at a convention, German tourist trying to fit in…in Hawaii and Finnish Fur-Trapper.

His email triggered my thoughts of how I go crazy on line to check in (when I can’t at a kiosk) when people have 5 trunks and a few carry on sized bags with them. Does no one know what to pack?!? Carry-on is the only way to go (this is geared to week-long vacations and business trips where a Couture Ball Evening Gown is not required…every night) these days. Here are some helpful hints that vary between common sense and road warrior battle field tested experience for both business and pleasure travel…

Buy a bag that is approved for International flights (unless you are from Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, SI, or Jersey and you think Florida is an International location because you have mistaken it for Italy…yes based on true story) I like Tumi. I used a backpack for my “handbag”…feel free to do the same or bust out your favorite Coach/Prada/Spade bag honey…

Buy a travel approved clear plastic dopp kit with travel approved sized tubes to travel. flight001 and EMS both travel great ones and are available on-line. You cannot travel carry on w/o one. Also get a small pill-box for your vitamins, aspirin, allergy medicine, little blue pills, I’m not ready for a baby yet pills, etc…I love Flight OO1’s. Bonus hint: pack some Emergen-C or Airborne for after the flight to replenish lost nutrients and give yourself a healthy natural boost.

Layers…read it again…layers. No bulky heavy clothes. I moved from capilene to smart wool and from big bulky jackets to shells and layers or jackets with primaloft.  You can wear the mid layer as a sweater to go out at night. I like Icebreaker of NZ collections best.

Business trip -1 suit for up to 3 days 2 if longer(applies to shoes) Shirt for each day, roll ties up…keep’em basic.. No need for blazer if you pack a solid gray or blue jacket. Pants act as trousers. 1 pair of jeans and if necessary 1 pair of chino’s. Wear loafers for flights(easy on-easy off) and evenings.

Dress – I’m not exactly an expert on this…however a LBD (Little Black Dress) is something every women should own. For the business dinner, black tie awards, lounge after…On vacation a Sundress…why other then I think women look hot in them and they drive me crazy in a good way…they are light and…you will look so hot in it with your tan. I also think women need to wear more dresses

Even on a biz trip I no longer wear a top coat…too heavy, too much room…I wear a ski/hiking shell…though it helps if yours is a basic color and not neon green and purple.

Khaki’s and Chino’s vs Jeans. There is a number of reasons…more versatile especially in dark and neutral colors for day and night wear, weigh less, and you won’t look like a “gringo”. Exceptions…your business trip is in Texas or you’re a smoking hot woman…who looks awesome in jeans.

Skirts…they are nice too…long for work…not as long for play on vacation…skorts…Never, unless you are from NJ, currently live in NJ and are packing for your business trip or vacation in….drum roll please…NJ!

Sweaters…if you’re going or leaving from somewhere cold use your mid layer. If going somewhere where it may be cool at night a light cotton one works and doesn’t take up much room. Bonus if you’re a “sweater girl”…or to discreetly show off your time in the gym for dudes…Polo Shirt-very versatile due to its collar. Wear w/khakis during day for business casual meeting, wear under sport jacket to get into collared shirt only lounge at night. In USA logo’ed is fine…for outside find some without…I like John Smedley’s for long sleeve and Save Khaki’s for short.

Always pack a swimsuit…never know when you will have time for some laps in hotel pool, dip in ocean, used as shorts in the gym (correct not speedo’s) or get invited to a hot tub time machine party.

T-shirts if you’re on vacation…you are likely to buy some…pack 2 to get by. Packing tip… roll them.

Underwear/Men- likely you will pack 2 for each day aside from a beach vacation where you only need 1. Bamboo and Lycra wear well and wash easy…perfect for surf,ski, hiking etc…wear it, wash it, wear it again. 2xist and Pull-In make them. Women wear your hottest sexist “oh I feel so crazy hot in this”…seriously you shouldn’t be looking for advice here…Cosmo must have an article on this for you…

Socks get packed in shoes…shoe trees stay at home. Stockings…fishnets can be hot…though guess they are difficult to pack in heels…might want to see advice from Cosmo, Vogue, etc…

Hiking shoes…(as in trail runners…not heavy boots) almost always pack these, slip on and off, hit the streets, the trail, the gym…

Havaianas– Obviously for the beach, pool, or spa…yes Havianas not just any flip-flop …

Hat…actually I don’t wear them often. Leave your baseball hat at home…see Gringo above. If on Surf, Ski, or Fishing trip…then buy cap w cool logo from local store,restaurant,bar,surf school, fishing lodge, etc…

Watch – Business trip wear your best…it’s what they (clients and the opposite sex) will notice besides your shoes…On vacation I almost always wear my clunky plastic divers watch. Same applies to jewelry…fine on most business trips, but on vacation my thoughts are be a high risk low reward target. Exception to rule…if you’re a krasivaya Russian girl and you’re dating an Oligarch…wear your best and flashiest…he has 1/2 dozen ex-Spetnaz bodyguards packing heat after all just you so can…

A small umbrella just in case it rains…a light shell that packs in its own pocket if it’s rainy season where you’re going…or London.

Point and shoot camera. Your phone’s camera is not as good as you think and you will look like an idiot using your iPad (unless you’re a cute and under 25 yr old girl) you never know what you might see and want to share…iTouch, iPhone or iPad…whichever you have..you have at least 1…right?!? Listen to music, watch movies, write notes for blogs, check email, block out noise from other travelers on the LIRR so you don’t have to get up and kill them( just joking…of course:)
Your Passport, Visa, plane tickets, itinerary, and vouchers in hard and soft copy. Yes, right…why mention this no one ever forgets theirs…print a copy of your Passport and Visa to keep on you…put the originals in the safe in your room.
If you are going overseas get some cash in that countries currency before you go. Most major banks can order this for you for a nominal fee and good exchange rate. Always call your bank and let them know where you will be traveling if you plan on using an ATM. Also call your credit card company and advise them as well. They are getting very tight lately due to all the fraud going on.I believe the list above should keep you busy.
Do you have any good tips?  Please feel free to put the in the comments section or e-mail me. Oh just in case you’re not sold on going carry on whenever you can… I just read that a new problem at airports is drug dealers working with less than scrupulous baggage handlers and turning you into an unsuspecting drug mule by adding some cocaine to your bag…happy trails:)

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