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Packing it in
Eva Lanska tells Passport’s Anna Kulyagina what’s in her suitcase.

Is there anyone who relishes packing for a trip? The process can be a challenge for even the best organized among us. And for the organizationally challenged…Well, let’s not get into it. So many little decisions to make, so much to remember.

Will all this fit into one bag? (Well, yes, but will I be able to lift it?)

Wait! Is there anything I’ve forgotten? (You haven’t lived if you’ve never had the pleasure of arriving at your destination after a long trip, to wash, remove your contact lenses, and discover you’ve forgotten your eyeglasses.

There are, however, those who have refined their packing routine to a science. One such person is Russian TV journalist, author, and frequent traveler Eva Lanska (pictured above). She recently spoke with Passport about the trials and tribulations of packing and how she has learned to maintain a Zenlike harmony between suitcase and soul. Below is a “travelsize” version of what she said.

I always…

Read up on my destination before going somewhere. I check the Internet, ask advice from friends who have been there.

Make hotel and restaurant reservations in advance. This gives piece of mind and saves time when you get where you’re going so you can do other things. Also, advance bookings can lead to some nice discounts.

On Packing:

“I like traveling and do it a lot, so packing a suitcase is something I do often – at least twice a month. As a result, I’ve developed some guidelines for myself.

The central one is bring as little as possible – include all the necessities but leave anything extra at home. Of course, the hard part is figuring out what qualifies as a necessity. Planning your outfi ts carefully and thoroughly helps to clarify these categories.”

My basic wardrobe for a trip includes…

  • at least two cocktail dresses and two pairs of shoes (one pair of heels and one pair of flats)
  • a pair of jeans
  • a jacket
  • a light coat
  • a swimsuit
  • workout clothes and sneakers
  • my favorite pajamas (they’re soft and comfy)
  • a comfortable pair of shoes that I don’t mind wearing all day

Other things I bring are…

  • cosmetics
  • more books than I can finish
  • a strand of pearls that belonged to my grandmother — as a kind of good luck charm
  • my notebook (I usually write while I’m traveling)
  • my iPod with music by Serge Gainsbourg, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and the Beatles
  • a mobile phone charger
  • a blow-dryer (I don’t trust the ones in hotels)

I usually…

Spend a lot of time in bookstores when I travel. So, I tend to come home with a lot of new books and posters.

I never…

Buy a new pair of shoes for a trip. What if they turn out to be uncomfortable?

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