Story originally appeared on www.hiltongrandvacations.com.
A self-proclaimed, long-weekend warrior shares her secret to stress-free packing.
The great thing about vacation ownership with Hilton Grand Vacations is that it isn’t one size fits all . Some people take fewer but more extended vacations, and others find it easier to sprinkle shorter getaways throughout the year.
As someone whose vacation style consists of 10 to 12 long-weekend trips per year, I’ve figured out how to pack efficiently.
Here’s my mini-vacation packing strategy so you spend can less time packing and more time vacationing on your next long-weekend getaway.
Step 1: Keep a handy packing list
When packing, there are four separate categories of things to pack:
- Clothes. This category includes the obvious items like outfits, pajamas, undergarments and accessories like jewelry and shoes. It also includes specialty clothing such as swimwear, winter or hiking gear, etc.
- Toiletries. These items are for personal hygiene and medication, such as shampoos and lotions, and include specialty items like sunblock, bug spray and sanitizing wipes.
- Leisure items. Think of this section as supplemental items you may want to take with you, like books or electronics like a portable speaker, tablet or laptop (charging cables included).
- Food. This category is relevant if you’re going on a vacation where you’re not planning on dining out. Some examples include going on a trip such as camping or spending a long weekend at a Hilton Grand Vacations property where you can prepare meals conveniently in your suite kitchen. You may need to create a separate packing list around the meals you plan to cook and snacks you want to have on hand. Of course, you can always skip this step and have Hilton Grand Vacations stock your fridge for you.
Within these four categories, create a checklist of things to pack and the amounts needed. I have an ongoing electronic checklist broken down by category to reference while I pack.
This way, I don’t have to spend time overthinking what to pack each time I travel. Also, I tend to keep a bag of toiletries only for travel so that I don’t have to keep packing and unpacking these items between trips.
Step 2: Only pack what you need
Worst case scenario, there’s typically a store nearby where you can buy emergency items. My rule of thumb is to pack as if you were flying without checked bags:
- Think about the number of days you will be traveling and pack clothes only for those days.
- Pack toiletries in 3 oz. or smaller containers.
- Allow each person in the family to bring a small bag for leisure items and try as much as possible to consolidate all clothing in as few carryon suitcases as possible.
Step 3: Coordinate your vacation outfits based on your shoes
Silly as it seems- hear me out. Of everything we pack, shoes can take up the most space in your luggage. So, when you’re picking your outfits, stick to a color scheme or style of clothing that centers around one or two pairs (if necessary) of shoes.
The result is lighter luggage and less to think about when it’s time to get ready.