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Travel Channel S Samantha Brown Shares Her Top Packing Tips

Chances are packing properly won't make or break your next vacation-unless you forget something major-but it can still be more important to a pleasant voyage than you think. With constantly changing security regulations, here are some tips from Travel Channel's Samantha Brown on getting your vacation off to a good start:

• Don't overpack. It's better to rewear clothing than to carry around items you don't need, and as a last resort you can always shop at your destination. Try to pack so that each piece of clothing can be paired with everything else, every top with every bottom.

• Start with a base of one basic color. Black, brown and navy are versatile. Even in Europe, dress codes are relaxing at many restaurants, so you may only need to pack jeans (but if you have a specific restaurant in mind, check with it or your guidebook before going).

• Colorful accessories brighten up both day and night outfits. A scarf or pashmina can double as a sash or wrap for your shoulders.

• Buy small plastic bottles for your toiletries so you are not lugging around your six-month supply of shampoo.

• Clear plastic bags let security inspectors go through your luggage more easily without having to unpack it. It has to be done, so you may as well make it easier for everyone-including yourself.

• Try to pack clothes that don't have to be ironed. Vacation should be an escape from housework, and not all hotels have ironing boards available.

If you need inspiration to use these tips, Brown's show, "Passport to Europe," airs Thursdays at 8 PM (ET/PT) on the Travel Channel. From stomping grapes with the locals on the Greek island of Mykonos to indulging in a traditional meal of fondue and Swiss yodeling in Geneva, Switzerland, Brown's travels allow her to meet the locals, explore the cities and immerse herself within the cultures. In addition to practical information and tips on getting there and getting around, Brown connects with a variety of local experts who provide unparalleled access to the must-see sites, the unknown treasures that aren't in the travel guides and the places to eat that only the insiders know.

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