You have the trip of a lifetime coming up or just a weekend getaway and you’re panicking….” What do I pack?” Well, no worries, here are my top tips after years of traveling solo, with my hubby, with the kids in tow, or with a large group. I’ve got you covered with a few of my favorite reminders.
Start with a list. Every time you think of something, put it on the list.
Have a list for each person you are traveling with and you are responsible for. You are bound to forget something, but less likely if you start a list.
I type my list out and save it. And each year I pull up the previous trips list and I have a starting point.
Pack outfits, actual outfits that you will wear. Don’t just throw in a bunch of shirts and shorts and say “I’ll figure it out when I get there” ….NO…figure it out now. You do not want to spend your vacation trying to figure out what to wear, get that done before you go.
If you’re packing for littles, put their outfits together. The top, bottom, socks, underwear, all of it and put in a large zip lock bag. That way all you have to do is grab a bag and you have everything you need to get them ready. You can even pack a hat, hair bow, earrings, whatever you need in that one bag for that day. Do this for their swimwear as well, that way you have something to put it back into when it’s wet and you don’t have time for it to dry.
Have your older children roll their outfits together and place a large rubber band over it or a ribbon. Because if your teenager is anything like mine, their suitcase is a mess. This will keep their outfits ready and together….and hopefully wrinkle free.
Be practical….with your shoes/handbags
We all love to wear shoes that make our legs look longer, show off our calves, or match just perfectly to our outfit. But are they really comfortable?
Plan shoes that feel good whether you are going to Disney, the beach, hiking or trekking around your favorite city. You really only need 3 good pairs for a weeklong trip, plus you’ll save a ton of suitcase space and weight. Your body will thank you each night too.
Do you really need a handbag/purse to match every outfit? Really? You’re going on an adventure you won’t have time to switch out bags every day. Pick something practical and versatile. Something that you can take what you need but won’t weigh you down.
Fanny packs or a mini backpack are my go-to for theme parks. Fits the essentials and I don’t get stuck carrying everyone else’s stuff.
Be reasonable…with your toiletries and jewelry
This is always an issue with my crew. They think we need to take a ton of toiletries and a bunch of everything. But in all seriousness can your hair survive one week without your special shampoo so that your family can share the same one. Think about it, why are you packing so much?? Then when you don’t finish it you feel obligated to pack it back up and bring it home.
If you really cannot survive without your specific, special toiletries, then get a travel pack from the dollar store and bring just what you will need for your trip. Save that space for souvenirs!!
Now, on to jewelry. Keep it basic. Pack what you know you will wear. You already picked out outfits that you are planning to wear (right??) so pick jewelry that you can use with multiple outfits.
Also, if this is expensive jewelry or has special meaning it goes in your carry on. It stays with you, or it stays home. This goes for medications and anything valuable-phones, laptops, cameras-keep it with you in your carry on.
Remember no matter where you are going, go with an adventurous spirit. Have fun, soak in the little moments, sit on a bench, take a deep breath. You will forget to bring something, but unless you are going to some secluded 3rd world island, chances are you can get what you need.
**Be sure to check for more travel and packing tips from myself and our other travel pros. If there’s a topic you would like more info on, please reach out and we’ll do our best.**