I will be the first to admit I am not an A+ packer. Much to their chagrin, I’ve come to rely heavily on the neurotic over packing of friends and family when it comes time to put it all together. Thank goodness for them because it seems I am always missing something VERY important. There was the time I forgot my hairbrush on a Spring Break ‘95 trip to Destin. Eventually, I got a hold of a friend’s brush, but I think it really set me back with the few boys I was crushing on. There was also the time I forget to pack athletic shoes for a girl’s spa weekend trip. I’d failed to consider that, aside from pool lounging and massages, there would also be hikes and workouts. I ended up having to borrow sneakers from the hotel that were two sizes too big. I’m grateful that cell phone cameras did not exist then.

Whether pre or post Mardi Gras Day, many of us will be traveling, and in an effort to avoid some of the aforementioned mishaps there are things we can do to maximize the entire process. I have checked in with local experts to give us their favorite travel organizational tips and products recommendations! Maybe it’s genetic and I’m simply missing the ‘packing gene.’ But, perhaps you just need to create a packing system to stick with over the years. Sorted, A New Orleans-based professional organizing service suggests these three things before you start packing, “Make a list, check the weather, think about the events you are attending while you are there.” That seems doable! Felicia Schimpf of The Neat Method swears by packing cubes. “The secret of the cubes is they help separate outfits by person, category and also maximize your packing capacity by expelling excess air between clothing.” Felicia also suggests folding clothing using the “file fold” method to prevent unnecessary wrinkling. Another great tip from Jennifer Burck, a local travel consultant for Castles and Cruises Travel Company is to keep portable chargers on hand. She loves the Anker brand as well as the compact kind by Energy Cell because they are as small as a lipstick tube!

Last but not least we must make the actual travel experience as comfortable as possible. A comfortable yet cute outfit, sensible walking shoes and multi-tasking carry on bag should do the trick. Felicia of Neat Method recommends the Tumi Backpack because of its many pockets. Feet First has several shoe brands like Rollie Nation that are cute and made for comfort and durability! Don’t forget to dress the part. You never know who you might see at a gas station on 30A or in the ladies’ room at MSY! Mariah at West London Boutique recommends wearing a soft day dress or cute matching sweats. Check out the rest of their great recommendations below. Happy Carnival and safe future travels!


Carry On Gear:



Packing Cubes, Massey’s

Cross Body Bag, Azbys

Mophie Power Boost Charger, Ace Hardware

Backpack, Tumi

MZ Wallace Garment Bag, Febe

Stride Cinch Backpack, Tasc


Get Comfortable:



Day Dress, West London Boutique

Short Sleeved Jumpsuit, Pied Nu

Recycled Tencel Pants, Marine Layer


Tread Lightly:



Rollie Loafers and Sneakers, Feet First

Alpaca Slides, Shop it Pronto

Leather Clog, Weinstein’s

On Cloud Shoes, Perlis