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Taking a Summer Vacation? Try these Packing Tips

Updated on July 9, 2012

We’re in the midst of the summer travel season. Nothing is more fun than taking a summer vacation or any vacation for that matter. I absolutely love to travel. I am very fortunate that my husband does as well. He is a great travel companion. But whether you take a family vacation or go solo, efficient packing is a must.

As the vacation planner and organizer of our duo, I am also the packer. Packing for a trip can be extremely challenging if you are a lover of clothes as my husband and I are. Do you have to carry the shoes that match the outfit or will another pair work for several different outfits? Do you have to have a different outfit every day? What about cosmetics, purses and jewelry? Now with the airlines charging for luggage, travel packing has become a skill and it takes planning and forethought. Here are some of my packing tips for travel:

A Maui Sunset from our Hawaii vacation Dec, 2011
A Maui Sunset from our Hawaii vacation Dec, 2011

Packing Tips

  • Check the weather forecast of your destination. This will help you decide what to pack. Rain gear can take up a lot of packing space. Be prepared.
  • Start early. I start packing at least two days before the trip. Last minute packing will surely lead to mistakes-- like forgetting something.
  • Make a list. I cannot over emphasize what a list does for you in planning. I actually start the list days before I start packing. As I remember something, I add it to the list.
  • Review the list and ask the question, “Can I live without it?”. Why pack a hair dryer if each hotel room has one?
  • Mix and Match outfits. Settle on a couple of bottoms and mix with an assortment of tops.
  • Pack shoes that will match with different outfits.
  • Leave hangers at home. Before I got married, I went on a cruise with a few friends. One of my friends luggage was overweight. She had to lighten it immediately or pay a fine. When we opened it up, she had clothes on hangers! We couldn't believe it.
  • Roll up your clothes. There are other methods, but I find that rolling clothes takes less space and is easy on wrinkles.
  • Pack your larger items first. Use smaller items to fill spaces around your larger items. Fill shoes with socks to save space.
  • Invest in some good durable luggage. I prefer luggage that have "all direction wheels". These wheels roll in whatever direction you pull the luggage instead of just rolling in one direction.

More Travel Tips

  • Pack travel-size toiletries and place in a plastic bag to guard against leaks and spills.
  • Take exttra plastic bags . Use them for dirty clothes and toiletries as well as souvenir gifts.
  • Wear your bulky items on travel day. Jeans and sneakers are heavier. Wear them. Remember your suitcase will probably be weighed. Keep it as light as possible.
  • Keep a pair of clean undergarments, a toothbrush and other vital toiletries in a carry-on bag. If your luggage is lost, you’ll be glad to have it with you.
  • Be aware of quantities of liquids you carry-on the plane. Go to the Transportation Security Administration website for more for more information.
  • Leave room in your luggage or carry an extra carry-on bag to pack the souvenirs you purchase. If your luggage is already full on the way to your destination, you won’t have room to bring back your shopping items.
  • When your reach your destination, unpack as quickly as possible. This will prevent further wrinkling of clothes. Remember to repack the same way to reduce space.

Enjoy your vacation and have fun!

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