Ah . . . dreams of sitting shore side and listening to the waves crash on the beach or cooling off under the cascading shade of the mountains. Wherever your vacation leads this summer, the one thing that I can guarantee is that you’re going to have to pack! No one loves this task: remember trying to stuff that last cover-up into a bulging bag and then realizing that you forgot to add your toothbrush at the last minute?
Sure, we all have to muddle through the packing process, but there are some ways in which you can make it easier for yourself. Here are several suggestions that have worked for my family and me over the years:
1. Create a packing list. Make one & stick to it. And, don’t think just clothes. Remember you phone charger, toiletries, first aid items.
2. Plan to reuse wardrobe pieces. For instance, pair as many outfits with one pair of shoes as possible to cut down on space.
3. Use reminders: I recommend placing a sticky note in the area you get ready and list all the products you will need as you are using them.
4. Roll Your Clothes: Believe it or not the backpacker’s method of packing saves room for all travelers. The rolling method works well with pants, skirts and T-shirts. Lay the item face down, fold back the sleeves and then roll from the bottom up.
5. Protect your clothes from your shoes: To ensure that your clothing stays clean until you are ready to wear them, stick shoes in clear plastic bags and place at the bottom of the luggage or in an outside pocket.
6. Use a separate bag for critical supplies. Keep any medication, important papers, and items you will need as soon as you arrive to your destination or during stops in-between in your carry-on or front seat bag.
7. Bring an empty activity bag (or make sure one of your packing bags will work for this) that you can use for your daily activities. For example, if you’re sightseeing in the city, you’ll need a water bottle, camera, map, etc. Or, if you’re going to the beach, you’ll want to take along your sunscreen, a book, a towel, etc. Make sure you have a bag along that will hold these items and refill it each night before going to bed to make your morning run smoother.
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