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Pack your bags


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LONDON, England -- As a CNN anchor and reporter, Hala Gorani has travelled the world. She shares her suitcase secrets.

Q. Do you keep a packed suitcase?

A. I don't keep a suitcase packed at all times but I usually manage to get ready for trips at lightning speed. If I expect to be away five days, I grab five tops, two or three jackets and up to three pairs of trousers, including an old pair of comfortable jeans. I then throw in a small toiletry bag, which is only for travelling purposes and is ready at all times. On the whole, this exercise takes about 10 minutes.

Q. What sort of case is it?

A. I usually carry a foldable weekend bag. For longer trips, I take a small suitcase with wheels small enough to fit in a plane's overhead compartment. It makes for a much quicker journey if you can walk out of the airport without having waited half an hour for your baggage to arrive.

Q. What essential do you pack, and is there anything you never travel without?

A. My tip for quick packing is to think in body parts: top, bottom, socks and underwear. I check off everything mentally and I rarely forget anything essential. This allows me to be efficient and not to over-pack. However, I systematically forget my toothbrush since it is the last thing I use before leaving. I think I have bought about 20 new toothbrushes at various airports this year alone. Obviously I try not to forget taking plug adaptors and my mobile phone charger every time I travel. I own a bag of electrical and telephone adaptors which I carry with me on most trips, just in case.

Q. When and where was your suitcase subjected to the most rigorous search?

A. I've travelled extensively over the years, particularly since I come from quite an international background (I'm a U.S. citizen with Syrian and French parents), but I've been lucky enough to have been rarely stopped at customs.



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