When it comes to vacations, packing might not be the most exciting thing to think about. However, if you spend a little time planning beforehand, it can make your departure smoother and your time away more enjoyable.
There are a whole lot of travel packing tips out there, including packing cubes, vacuum-compression bags, and other handy gadgets. But let’s just focus on what you already have and keep this list simple and short (as if it needs to be packed in a suitcase!).
Check out these eight basic packing tips that’ll help you start your vacation off right.
Make a packing list.
It sounds obvious, but this is something you can take care of in advance when you have time to think about it. After all, you’re more likely to forget something in the moment when you’re in a hurry to depart. Having a list and making sure each item is checked off can head off problems and help put your mind at ease.
Keep a to-go set of toiletries.
Bathroom items are easy to forget because you’re still using them up until the last moment. Having a separate set that’s clean, dry, and already packed for travel makes a world of difference. You can also make sure all products are the right size and packaged properly for airport security if you’re flying.
Pack outfits and versatile clothes.
It’s disappointing when clothes never make it out of the suitcase. Instead of just grabbing five favorite tops and bottoms, be strategic and pack outfits you’re likely to wear (you can also choose separates in colors that will combine well). One final tip: Pack the first outfit you’ll want to wear on top!
Roll your clothes and fill your shoes.
You can save space in your suitcase by rolling your wrinkle-free clothes instead of folding them. Try stuffing these clothes, along with socks and underwear, in your shoes. This creates more room and can also prevent your dress shoes from getting smashed or dented (same goes for a hat if you pack one!).
Wear more when you travel.
This is a simple one, but it’s easy to forget when you’re in vacation mode and ready to leave. Instead of packing your bulky coat and heavier clothing items like sweaters and jeans, try wearing them on departure day. This can be especially satisfying if you’re flying, as planes tend to get a little chilly.
Make good use of your personal item.
If you’re flying, you’ll usually be allowed a small personal item even if you decide not to bring a full carry-on. Choosing something roomy and flexible like a backpack or small duffel bag can be less restrictive. One other reminder: Just in case your bags are lost or delayed, be sure to bring a spare outfit onboard.
Bring bags to protect your clothing.
Vacations can involve swimming, hiking, and any number of other outdoor activities. From dry-cleaning bags to simple plastic grocery bags, they’re easy to pack and can be pressed into service at any time to contain wet bathing suits or dirty shoes. You can even take a shower cap from your hotel room in a pinch!
Do laundry on your trip.
This may not seem like a packing tip, but if you can plan for it ahead of time, it cuts down on the pressure to bring enough outfits for the whole vacation. Staying at a timeshare property or resort with in-unit washer/dryers makes this easy, but many hotels either have laundry facilities or offer services as well.
From what to bring on vacation to how to pack a suitcase, there are plenty of great travel packing tips available (you might even come up with a few new ones yourself). Keeping these eight simple ones in mind to start will put you ahead of the game, giving you more peace of mind and more time to daydream about your destination. Enjoy!