Packing for vacation? Coordinate your wardrobe, mind the little things

I carried my clothing in trash bags on my first summer vacation. That's because I broke the hinges on my suitcase when I tried to shut it. Since then I've learned a bit about packing.

You don't need three of everything. Coordinate your wardrobe before your trip by putting everything that you plan to pack on the bed. Then pack only half.

If you are taking a two-week vacation, pack several beach outfits, several dinner dresses -- either long or short, two skirts, two pairs of pants, a tennis dress, two pairs of shorts, six blouses, and three T-shirts. If you take an accordion-pleated skirt, remember to roll it and slide into one leg of your pantyhose to keep those knife-edge pleats.

For any vacation, four pairs of shoes are enough: walking shoes, high and low heeled sandals, and sneakers, but remember to pack them in knit shoe bags. Plastic bags will destroy shoes in humid climates.

I use the roll method of packing in which complete outfits are rolled in sets so that complete beach sets, lingerie sets, and nightgown sets may be lifted out together.This is an excellent method of packing for children who tend to throw everthing on the floor while looking for a special T-shirt on the bottom of the suitcase. Fold the outfits in thirds and then roll tightly to control the wrinkles along the body lines. A quick steam in the shower will remove any wrinkles that remain; so will a hair dryer. Iron stubborn wrinkles with your curling iron.

Pantyhose makes good stuffing for the extra pocketbook you need on vacation.

Pour your cosmetics into small plastic bottle, only three-quarters full if you travel by plane. Since planes aren't pressurized at seal level the liquid will expand.

Aerosol cans can be packed safely if they have been used several times.

Use a powder puff to hold your pierced earrings.

Remember to pack several plastic bags for wet bathing suits along with travel packets of insect repellent, and suds. Scotch tape hems a dress at the last moment. A balloon blown up and taped to the table makes an excellent wig stand.

Once you've finished your packing, lock your suitcase so that it won't open accidentally, and see that it has some form of personal indentification, or a racing stripe that will make it readily identifiable.

Put your name and phone number on all your luggage, but leave your home address off. Professional burglars masquerading as baggage men have been known to check luggage tags to see who is leaving town.

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