Proper packing makes traveling easier


It's been a long time, 12 years, to be exact, since we regularly watched that American Tourister gorilla show us just how hard he could hurl our luggage around. The advertising campaign, which was introduced in 1970 and ran till the early '80s, was a Clio Award winner in 1981 and is in the Clio Hall of Fame.

"The gorilla advertising has always had terrific recognition among consumers," says Frank Steed, American Tourister president.

So it's no surprise that, like so many things these days, it's being resurrected, but with a twist. This time we're treated to a simian family, including chimpanzees, a mandrill, an orangutan and, of course, the gorilla.

Speaking of luggage, packing it can be a true study. "Travelers shouldn't overlook the importance of packing efficiently, which can mean the difference between a hectic trip and a smooth one," says Ray Schultz, president and CEO of Promus Hotels. According to Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites, there are rules for short-trip packing, and others for extended-stay trips.

For short trips

* Don't pack more than you need. Limit packing time to an hour, or lay out all the clothes for the trip and then put half of those things back.

* Avoid bulk. Pack light, wrinkle-resistant clothing and wear the bulkier clothes while en route.

* Roll and tuck. To make the most of limited space, roll socks

and belts to fit inside shoes, and tuck lingerie into the corners of a suitcase. Get travel-size versions of toiletry items.

* Over and under. Use small, lightweight luggage that can be carried on the plane to save time upon arrival. Also, look for rugged, soft-sided luggage, which is flexible and can be easily stored.

For extended-stay trips

* Make a list before packing to eliminate excess and make sure important things aren't left behind.

* Double duty. Pack multipurpose shoes and clothes in one or two color schemes. Wear basic garments more than one time.

* Top to bottom. Layer clothing and accessories according to when they will be used, placing the items immediately needed at the top.

* The comforts of home. Pack items such as prescription medicines, a travel iron and an alarm clock. "Comfort" items, such as a family photograph, an inspirational book or a pillow from home are also beneficial.

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