by Kimberly Fisher

I have been known to pack in less than 10 minutes. Yes, less than 10 minutes! It is not a miracle, or an act of God, merely good pre-planning and organization. Whether your trip is 2 days or 2 months, here are some tips to help get you where you’re going… with your sanity intact.

1. Have pre-packed toiletry kit. Nothing is worse than scrambling for product in the middle of nowhere. In my Chanel Toiletry Kit I keep the essentials: travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste, dental floss, shampoo, conditioner, facial scrub, body wash, comb, razor, q-tips, deodorant, baby powder, shaving cream, facial moisturizer, band-aids, toenail clippers, tooth whitener, lint brush and misc. pills for different ailments. For longer trips (1 week plus) I also pack wrinkle-free spray, jet lag pills, spot remover stick, Vaseline and sunscreen. Everything comes in sample size for your convenience!

2. Pre-pack your makeup bag. The grab-and-go approach will do wonders for your pre-packing stress levels! My essentials include: foundation, cover up, eye shadow, blush, lip glosses and moisturizers, powder, lip and eye liners, eyelash curler, and mascara. Tailor your bag to fit your needs!

3. Have a clothing-to-pack list. No matter where I am going, my clothes list stays pretty much the same. Mine is like this: lingerie, jeans, black pants, black skirt, knit wrinkle-free dresses, black dress, knit layering tops, sweater or sweatshirt, denim jacket, lightweight trench, pashmina, tennis shoes, flip-flops, ballet slippers, heels, workout clothes, bikini, evening bag, jewelry bag. It pays to stay with a neutral color palette, so you don’t have to worry about not matching! Make sure all clothes are “easy to wear” and “go anywhere”.

4. Have a “you kit” . Make sure you have all the comforts you need while away. A typical “you kit” could be scented travel candles, eye masks, a great book, packets of your favorite tea and Splenda™, plus mints, candy or gum. On the plane, indulge in your favorite healthy snack, your own bottle of water, travel blanket and your iPod.

5. Personalize a luggage tag. I used to work in the Lost Baggage Department of a major airline…and one of the hardest things to do was relocate passengers’ bags with no nametags! One of the cheapest and most important things you could do is invest in a Bag Tag. Not only will it identify your bag, but it makes it easier to spot on the carousel!

6. Less is more! With today’s travel fees for extra and overweight baggage, who can afford to overload? Imagine the ease and simplicity of traveling when you have one well-packed and organized bag. Planning ahead can save you stress and pointless airline fees. First, make sure you know the weight and size of your bag—it might be time to toss that hard side bag for a lighter, more flexible soft one. Second, pack light! Third, make sure you know your airline’s baggage regulations.

7. Keep important items with you. Never pack the important/expensive stuff (cash, passport, medication, jewelry, and camera) in checked luggage. Make sure it is with you at all times!

8. For your consideration. Some other items you my find useful are a compass, a small umbrella, portable rain poncho, travel flashlight, zip-lock bags, a power converter or a travel alarm clock.

9. Know what to leave out. Leave at home anything that could be questionable to security. Say adios to matches, lighters, and flammable liquids, household items that contain chemicals or any other flammable or potentially toxic material.

10. Be prepared. Traveling is easier when everything’s in order. Check your flight status and baggage requirements, pack ahead of time, and make sure you have important documents on you.

Happy Travels!

Kimberly Fisher is a model and actress based in Los Angeles, CA and Las Vegas, NV. She graduated from Mt. St. Mary’s College and is a part time freelance writer. She is a contributing writer for Trajan Magazine and Tango Diva. Originally from Alaska, she has lived on the West coast for the past 8 years