How To Pack for Summer Vacation

By Stacy Wells — June 03, 2012

Summer time is VACATION time! Yeah! But how to pack for Summer Vacation? Here are some helpful vacation packing tips to help you get organized and out the door. (The best new hints are underlined.)

Make good luggage choices…think lightweight and functional.

Airlines fees are not the only reason to think about smaller, easier to handle luggage. Not only can you fit them in that silly measuring box thing at the airport gate (carry-on measurement = 22 x 14 x 9) but you can actually lift it over your head (and more importantly take it down without whacking someone in the head), squeeze it into a cab, and cart it around wherever you need to go.  Avoid heavy rolling bags – you want your clothes to be the weight, not the bag. Look for rollers with shoulder straps or even backpack-type bags for easy carrying over rough terrain or crowded locations.

Make good use of your two carry-on items… totes, smaller rollers and folding bags are practical options.

Airlines allow two carry-ons – one traditional bag and one purse or personal piece. Consider packing your purse in your larger bag and using a laptop bag or larger tote as your personal item until you reach your destination. These bags are more secure – compartments close with zippers or clasps. They are larger and have pockets to organize all of your necessities. Use front pockets for your wallet and liquid items that you will need to access at the airport ~ ID, cash, bag of liquids (for security). (Be sure to store your liquid items in a secure, waterproof bag (watch those slider zip bags…they leak!). This is also a good place to keep your camera. Save a little space in your larger bag for tiny convertible bags, available at most luggage stores, in case you need extra room on your way home (they unfold into totes, backpacks and more! Have the male in your party – who clearly only needs one bag, count it as his on the way home!).

Make smart clothing choices!

Take time to consider your destination, itinerary, special plans, etc. Let these two quotes from famous travel guide Rick Steves be your guide to packing smarter: ”Don’t pack for the worst scenario. Pack for the best scenario and simply buy yourself out of any jams and When in doubt, leave it out.” Choose basics items (things you normally wear) in one neutral color theme – black, navy, khaki. Pack accessories (which are lightweight and small) to add variety to your looks.

Pack thin, light weight items in wrinkle resistant fabrics and plan to layer. Wear your heaviest clothing item (coat or sweater) and bulkiest shoes on the plane. Here’s the hardest suggestion: only pack two pairs of shoes (tuck smaller items like socks into your shoes & put your shoes in plastic grocery bags to keep clothes tidy).

Here are two new hints that just might work: pack your items that tend to wrinkle inside out as inverted creases are harder to see and bundle your clothes instead of folding or rolling.

Pack only your basic makeup and toiletries. Vacation is NOT the time to try new makeup or expand from your regulars. If you’re someone who really loves their own pillow – try bringing your own pillow case instead, your soft, familiar pillow case may make all the difference (bring a colored one to avoid confusion with hotel white sheets). You can also stuff a few airline pillows into a standard case to make a pillow that is much more comfy & reduce the ‘ick’ everyone has been using this factor.

Make note…

Be sure to remember chargers (for cell phones, e-readers, camera batteries,etc.), cords, batteries (check airport security restrictions), medications, glasses (sunglasses especially!), and things that are more challenging to replace.

Leave items that are difficult to replace, and not needed (extra credit cards, very special jewelry, etc.) at home. Consider bringing an e-reader – Amzaon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple iPad, etc, instead of books and magazines. One small reader replaces POUNDS of reading material! Think about security… put your liquids in one, easily accessible spot, do not bring questionable items, tuck your personal items and unmentionables into closed spots in your luggage to avoid embarrassment in the event of a suitcase check.

If you are going someplace unique, search the web for specific packing list suggestions for your event, destination and even time of year ~ examples you can find: packing for your adoption trip to China (I even found some for specific cities in China), your Disney cruise, Hawaii, your trip to Ireland in the fall…wherever you go, there’s a list for that!

Bon Voyage & Happy Summer Travels looking hot, hot, hot!

Luggage: eBags - CalPak Champ 21” Rolling Duffle, eBags - Athalon Plane Case 16” Carry-On & Tote Set, eBags - Netpack U-zip Lightweight Bag, Luggage Pros - Tumi Pack-A-Way Backpack, Orvis - Baggallini Rolling and Travel Totes

Clothing: - Women’s Ros Hommerson Lite, Piperlime - Gathered Brenda Dress (blended fabric less wrinkles), Piperlime - Joe’s Jeans Trouser Shorts, Piperlime - Sanctuary Peace Pant, - Women’s Ros Hommerson Dejon

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