Many of the students in the MIM program have extensively traveled the world. However, most of that travel has been for holiday or extended trips. Packing t-shirts, shorts, swimsuits and casual clothing is relatively easy, packing business attire for a one month trip plans to be a slight challenge.
When starting out it is helpful to make a list that includes each day of your trip, the places you are visiting and the type of clothing you are required to wear. If you are visual try creating a spreadsheet, or handwriting your own list. This picture is a great template to get you started. Or, if it is too detailed, try something like this spreadsheet, it might be easier: http://www.vertex42.com/Files/pdfs/1/travel-packing-list.pdf
When choosing clothes follow these tips to eliminate over packing
- Choose a color scheme. Select three colors, a base neutral (black, grey, brown, navy or khaki), and two accent colors (red, orange, green)
- Pack separates that easily mix & match. As an example, 7 pieces (2-bottoms, 1-jacket, 4-tops) can easily create 21 combinations if the tops are layered to create different looks. Packing scarves and changing the accessories will increase the number of looks you can create.
- Look for wrinkle-free fabrics that are easily dressed up or down. Knits and micro-fibers are a great choice.
How you fold and pack large items helps you to maximize the space of your suitcase.
- Shoes can take up a lot of suitcase space, so both dressy and casual styles need to double as comfortable walking shoes. Utilize the space inside your shoes to pack socks and other small items. This will prevent the shoes from getting crushed.
- Tightly roll softer, wrinkle-resistant garments, like T-shirts and cotton pants, and place them along the base of the bag. Jeans should be rolled, too.
- Fold stiffer and/or wrinkle-prone garments like starched cotton shirts and blazers. Layer these folded items over the rolled clothes.
- Fluff and hang clothing as soon as you check into your room. This will allow your garments to breath and any wrinkles to relax.
Susan Forrester is a full-time student in the Masters in International Management program. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Portland State University. After living in Seoul, South Korea for two years she was interested in finding a career that linked Oregon and Asia together through trade. Susan enjoys the diverse background of the MIM student body that allows her to frequently practice her beginner level Chinese.