Travel

General Packing Tips

I admit it! I am a second generation over-packer! I have so many memories of my mom stuffing multiple suitcases for every trip. Then when it was time to load everything, my dad would gripe about how much she packed. Every. Single. Time! Now that I’m an adult, I tend to pack generously as well! So when I travel with my parents, dad really gets annoyed with my mom and I both!

Dad, Mom, and I on the Carnival Freedom

When going on a trip, it always seems difficult to find enough room in your suitcase for all of your stuff.  If you are flying, you must be careful to stay under the weight limit of your airline or you will be charged an extra fee.  With a little help, you can reinvent the way you pack! These tips will save you space and hassle along the way.

  1. Keep your outfits sorted. There are many options to help keep your outfits sorted.  You can use vacuum bags that will also save you tons of space in your suitcase.  You could also use extra-large Ziploc bags, dry cleaning bags, etc.  The only downside to placing the clothing in a bag is they will often get wrinkled.  If you don’t mind using an iron on your trip, this will not be a problem for you.  If you decide to not place clothing in a bag, you can simply pack each outfit together to keep your bag organized. The Ziploc bag option works great for kids since their clothes are smaller.  When packing for my daughters, I will place an outfit, new panties, socks, and a hair bow in each bag for our trip.  Then it makes getting ready super-fast when we are ready to begin our day.
  2. Tangled and loose jewelry. When you arrive at your destination, the last thing you want to find is your favorite necklace in a tangled mess or lost earrings.  Earrings can be stored in pill organizers.  You can keep necklaces from tangling by storing them in a drinking straw cut in half or by taping the necklace to an index card.  You can also store small jewelry in Ziploc bags, Tic-Tac containers, or Altoid boxes.  All of these tips take up very little space in a suitcase.
  3. Wallet doesn’t fit in travel bag. If your day-to-day wallet won’t fit in your travel bag, consider using a smaller wallet for your trip. You likely won’t need everything that you normally use while at home (like a checkbook).  Try and find a small, sleek wallet that will only hold the essentials: cash and credit cards.  This will save you vital space in your travel bag and will also keep it light to carry on your trip.
  4. Dirty shoes. No one wants to take time washing, ironing, and neatly packing your vacation clothes and then throw a pair of dirty shoes on top of it all.  Instead, slip a shower cap over your shoes.  This will help keep your shoes together during the trip, as well as keeping dust from getting on your clean clothes.  This is a very inexpensive tip that will also not take up any extra room in your suitcase. You can often find a pack of 10 disposable shower caps at your local dollar store.
  5. Exploding or leaking liquids. Sunscreen all over your clothes is a terrible way to start a vacation. Don’t let it happen to you! To ensure this does not happen, you can take a small square of Saran wrap and place over the opening of all of the toiletry bottles and then replace the cap on each bottle.  You can then secure each cap with a piece of tape.  I always like to go a step further and place all toiletry items in a Ziploc bag.  That way, if there is a spill, it will be contained in the bag and won’t end up all over my clothes.
  6. Carry-on bag.  I always have my carry-on bag for double duty while on vacation.  I will use a larger beach style bag as my carry on instead of a backpack and a purse.  I will fit everything I need into the bag.  Then when I am heading to the beach or out to explore the city, I use the large bag to carry all of my essentials while I am gone for the day.  My bag typically carries water shoes, a beach towel, a few water toys, sunscreen, my passport, and cash. My family loves to cruise and visiting the beach, so I nearly always travel with these items.
My trusty beach bag! I love the blue chevron pattern!

Hopefully you will find these travel tips helpful on your next adventure!  What are some tips that you have found helpful on your travels? I would love to hear all about them!!

Our view at dinner of the beautiful Galveston shore.

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