Most of us haven’t traveled much lately, but I can’t help thinking of a trip we took earlier this year. I know travelling isn’t always easy, but getting ready for one can be.
Whether you’re someone who starts packing a week ahead of time or waits until the last minute, these hacks will ensure that your favorite dress doesn’t get wrinkled and you have plenty of room for souvenirs. Here are 10 vacation packing tips for whenever you hit the road again for a family vacation.
Packing Like A Pro: 10 Family Vacation Packing Tips
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Pack with a Purpose
If you know you’re getting off the plane and going straight to dinner or a meeting, plan your outfit and put it into your suitcase last. That way, when you arrive, you won’t have to dig through everything else to find it. Putting the items you’ll need asap in easy to grab spots will save you time.
Bag Your Liquids
You know the drill: Stash any liquids you want to keep in your carry-on bag in a separate, clear bag so you can easily pass through security. Not sure which liquids you can bring on the plane? Remember TSA’s 3-1-1 liquids rule: Products must be 3.4 ounces or less and they all must fit in a one quart-size bag.
Bag Your Shoes
I like to bag our shoes with nice shoe bags . Our shoes are covered with germs and are just dirty. I find bagging our shoes helps keep our clean clothes from getting dirty.
Also try to go lightweight with shoes. Ditch the heels you might wear for one fancy night out and instead opt for dressy sandals that are comfortable enough to wear while sightseeing as well. Or pack a pair of all-purpose sneakers that can easily go from day to night.
Corral Your Jewelry
The last thing you’ll want to do when you arrive at your destination is detangling your jewelry. Kathy Roberson from Travel + Leisure says, “Buy ‘snack size’ plastic bags for packing necklaces. To prevent tangling, give each one its own bag and fasten the clasp.”
Roll Your Clothes & Pack the First
This is one of my favorite vacation packing tips – the best way to prevent creases and make the most of your space is to use the roll method. Lay tops facedown, fold in the sleeves and roll from the bottom up. For pants, put the legs together and roll from the waist down. Once you’ve rolled everything, place pants and tops in your suitcase before shoes and accessories; then, fit in other oddly shaped items like hair tools.
Use Packing Square
We love to use packing cubes when traveling. These blocks keep your suitcase organized and stack together easily — no more trying to fit in oddly shaped items like a puzzle. Plus, the durable cubes are lightweight and thin so you won’t lose any precious suitcase space.
Pack Your Steamer
Plan to Wash
You can wash and wear just a handful of outfits for the duration of even very long trips. If you’re staying in a hotel, call in advance to see if laundry services are available and how much they cost.
If a laundry service is unavailable carry a bar of laundry soap and wash soiled items at the end of the day in your hotel room sink. Now lay out a bath towel, put the damp item, that you’ve wrung out thoroughly, on the towel. Tightly roll and press the towel; it will absorb even more water leaving the item barely damp so that by morning if hung in a well ventilated place, it’ll be dry and ready to pack or re-wear.
Avoid Over Packing or Under Packing
I know this might be hard especially when kids are involved. When traveling with kids pack everything you’d like to take with you, and then remove half of it. This will help you figure out what you actually need for a trip and just bring the essentials.
Once you have empty spaces. You can fill empty spaces with dry cleaner bags (and fill them later with mementos from your trip). It’s important not to over-pack either it can make it extra tricky to repack when you’re going home — or heading off to another spot.
Have a Ready to Go Health Kit
I find that it is inevitable that someone will not feel well when traveling. For this reason, I keep a toiletry bag ready to go stocked with Band-aids, Neosporin, pain relievers, cold medicine, medicine for stomach trouble, itch relief ointment, antibiotics (you can ask your doctor for an emergency prescription before you travel), etc. If you never have to use it, all the better, but its great to be prepared. Check out this well equipped Health Kit for an example.