If you’re like me, you’re so busy that packing for your vacation is done frantically the night before you leave. If you’re not like this, and are one of those super organized sorts that have everything packed well ahead of your departure, don’t bother to read on.
Packing for a trip can be a tricky thing. People usually fall into one of two categories—the under-packer or the over-packer. I’m not sure what’s worse, but at least the under-packer can buy things when they arrive and not be weighed down with lots of unnecessary items.
The trick is to have your clothing serve more than one purpose. Of course, what you bring depends on the climate and what you’ll be doing. Packing for a beach vacation is very different than packing for a touring vacation where lots of walking is involved. Bringing a good comfortable pair of shoes is a must when you’ll be doing lots of sightseeing. I once made the mistake of choosing fashion over comfort on a trip to Italy, and will never do that again. No one cares how pretty your feet look and there’s nothing worse than sore, blistered feet.
Another mistake is to bring too many clothes. A sundress can be worn in the day while sightseeing and then jazzed up with jewelry and glitzy sandals for the evening. Men can get away with one pair of chinos and a couple different shirts that will transform the look for day or night. Two bathing suits are plenty. Limit your shoes to three pairs—one for comfort, one for evening, and sandals. When it comes to toiletries, bring small sample sizes rather than the big bottles. Most hotels have hairdryers, don’t use up valuable suitcase real estate if you don’t need to.
Traveling light is such a pleasure compared to lugging around a huge suitcase full of things you don’t need and won’t use. Not to mention the extra fees that airlines now charge for bags over their weight limits. Make sure you can actually carry around your luggage comfortably if you’e going to have to handle it yourself. A backpack is a great solution for the carry on items you want to have with you.
Remember to bring a spare pair of glasses or contacts and keep your medicines with you along with a list of all medications in case you misplace or lose any. If you bring electronic items, make sure to bring an adapter if you need one. Take at least two credit cards in case one is lost or eaten by an atm. Bring a sweater for the plane—they are very stingy now with blankets and pillows.
Try packing a few days before you leave when you are less stressed and can think more clearly. List making is always helpful beforehand. Keep a notepad next to your bed so when you think of something you want to bring you can jot it down.
Don’t let last minute packing stress you out. With a little more effort, you will find you have everything you need and you’ll be starting out on the right foot.
Our travel club sends out packing tips for all of our singles adventures so if you come with us we help make it easy!Read More »
It’s true – I lay my shame before you dear reader but I am an over packer. If I take a weekend trip, I have enough to last me 4 or 5 days instead of two. I like choices. When I’m at home, I lay out clothes for the week. Instead of 5 outfits, I have 7 or 8 laid out. This is because I might wake up and look at those clothes and decide that I do not want to wear any of them. So I need an alternative, this is especially crucial when you are on a trip and do not have the luxury of your entire closet to choose an alternate from. I envy the type of woman who can throw a week worth of travel items into one small bag. Much like men, she usually requires no makeup, no hair products and looks cute when she’s wrinkled.
I’ve pondered my packing list each and every time I’ve traveled. I aspire to streamline and lighten my load and somehow manage to still over pack, despite my best efforts. What are the essentials you say? Let’s break it down for a sample trip with a reminder that this is for women who aren’t gifted with that natural, wholesome beauty but need a little more work. I will use a recent 5 day trip to Texas to work this out.
- 3 pairs of shorts – weather was averaging 103-108 degrees, jeans and tennis shoes were not going to be popular.
- 4 tank tops – see above weather
- 1 tee shirt – I figured I wouldn’t wear it most of the time just here and there, maybe for the plane ride home.
- 2 cute tops – for dinner out, dancing
- 2 pairs of sandals, one brown and one pretty silver (silver could alternate as cute shoes to cute tops)
- 1 sundress – in case I didn’t feel like wearing the shorts or the cute top one day
- Bathing suit – 2 tops, 2 bottoms (1 dries while you use the other)
- Extra wear around anywhere shorts
- Pajamas and essentials
- 1 pair of fuzzy warm comfy ankle socks
- Wear jeans, top and sweater with slip on tennis shoes on the plane