Initial Thoughts, Living with Style, Travel Notes

15 Tried & True Travel Tips

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Time for more Private Newport travel tips!  Such is on my mind as I return from Sea Island, Georgia and Palm Beach and Delray, Florida for talks and book signings. With each trip, the travel logistics get a little bit smoother, which is oh, so sweet…

The more effort we put into travel planning upfront, the better. With that in mind, I offer you all a follow-on to the well-received “Savvy Packing Tips to Keep from Unraveling While Traveling” post.  Such positive responses and additional travel ideas came our way that I want to share them (in quotes), along with some additional tips and products I have been collecting.

All in the color family

“I limit my color palate to minimize accessories. Scarves are the lightweight key to give a few outfits a new look. With this strategy I rarely check my luggage.” ~ J.

Here’s a fab example from Phil Oh’s Best Street Style Photos from the Couture Shows in Paris.

Gift with purchase

“Packing my make-up and toiletries had been a challenge. So those must-haves are now stocked with sample size items from my favorite brands. This way I have at least a few necessary items already packed and time saved.” ~S.

Zip. Pack. Wear.

“I pack my folded outfits in extra-large ziplock plastic bags. Since all of the elements of the outfit are in a single bag, when I arrive I can quickly change into appropriate attire. This works well for multiple destinations in that you do not need to disrupt your entire suitcase each time you arrive at a new hotel.” ~J.

“If I am going to more than one destination, I pack all items for the second or third stop in the plastic bags that are designed to compress when the air is squeezed out of them.  For example, we went on a multi-country cruise in the Baltic on a National Geographic expedition. I packed very casual clothes and shoes for walking. At the end of the trip, we went on to meet friends in Paris where I wanted some dressy, fashionable outfits. I packed all the latter in the plastic bag, flattened it out and put it in the bottom of my suitcase. When in Paris, all were neat and ready-to-go!” ~V.

I also use dry cleaning bags to cover one or two pieces of separates at a time, which are then rolled so they can fit into tight places. I also put clothes on my own hangers covered by plastic bags, and fold them to fit the suitcase. This is efficient because it eliminates that time thief of having to hang each piece of clothing on a hotel hanger when you arrive and then taking more time to remove them from the hangers when packing to depart.

Photo shoot

“I take photos of all clothes I pack. I lay out various outfits, including shoes and accessories, on my bed and snap away. That way, if my suitcase is lost, I can easily provide my insurance company with documentation of what items I am claiming for replacement.  And I also have a record of what I brought on each trip – in case I travel with the same group again.” ~V.

Scan your passport

“If you misplace your passport, the scan can expedite the process of receiving a temporary new one through the local embassy.” ~V.


“I have put together a list of what my needs are from various sources and printed a few copies which I keep with my travel bags.” ~S.

Here’s an interactive packing list  with over 100 commonly packed items ranging from documents, personal items to medicine and electronics. Check off the items, type in additional items, and you’ll have a customized list.

Tech time

Before you leave home, download must-have apps, books, and music.

Remove old flight tags

The reason some bags get misrouted or miss their flight is because passengers don’t remove old tags. Handlers and conveyor belt scanners can get confused. You wouldn’t want your lost bag relegated to Sacramento Airport’s 23’ high sculpture, “Samson”, now would you?!

2 tags are better than 1

It’s a smart tactic to have one tag on the outside, plus one on the inside in case the outer tag comes off. This monogrammed luggage tag is from etsy.

Stay hydrated

Take an empty water bottle to refill after going through security. These are sleek and BPA-free. KOR Aura – 25 oz.

Speed through TSA

  • Don’t put anything on top of your laptop while going through TSA. (They’ll pull you aside to further inspect your laptop.)
  • If you are a woman wearing a long necklace with any kind of metal in it, fling it over your shoulder so the medallion part is on your back. That way, the TSA agent will inspect your back – and not your front.
  • Belts can slow you down.
  • Wear shoes with no laces and socks with no holes. My Pilates favorites come in handy every time.

Close to the vest

Pack all valuables and essentials in your carry-on. This happy traveler is Longchamp ‘Le Pliage’ Wheeled Carry-On.

Know when to hold ‘em

“NEVER pack any jewelry in your check-in suitcase. Always carry your jewelry with you in your carry-on.” ~V.

This is the most practical and well thought out jewelry travel case I’ve seen. Closette calls this the “Birkin” of jewelry organizers. Three ultra-suede pages feature compartments for all types of jewelry, even bulky statement jewelry; snap-together pages allow you to add or remove.

Emergency kit

For starters, it might  include: needle & thread, safety pins, lint brush, plus double stick tape, stain remover stick, shoe pads, heel grips, band aids. This  charming vintage needlepoint brush cover unzips to reveal a sewing kit. 

Final Sweep

“When leaving your hotel room, always do one more check. Grab those electronics chargers and check the backs of doors.” ~G.

Bon voyage!

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About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

4 thoughts on “15 Tried & True Travel Tips

  1. Even a seasoned traveler like me has much to learn and can always benefit from others’ experience — especially when so stylishly presented as these. Brilliant, Bettie, thank you!

    1. Thank you for this stylish comment…and please do pass along YOUR travel tips! The best ones come from my friends. xo B.

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