4 Tips on Packing for Vacation
by Ginny McCabe
From selecting your wardrobe to packing all the essentials for your trip, here are a few of the top tips when it comes to planning for vacation.
Pack Light. Even if you’re going on a week-long trip, or longer, there are ways to make your trip carefree and manageable. Many frequent flyers today decide to only take what they can fit into carry-on luggage, because it’s easy to travel that way and there’s no extra cost involved. Often, there’s an additional cost associated with checked luggage. Check individual airlines for the latest guidelines on fees and what’s allowed to be carried onto the plane. In packing light, it’s good to start with a suitcase, backpack, tote or duffle bag. There are plenty of ideal choices when it comes to traveling hassle-free and packing light. Rolling, durable carry-on sized luggage is generally a good choice for most travelers.
Make a Checklist. A simple checklist will help you remember to pack everything you need, from toothpaste and sunscreen to your favorite shoes or dress. It’s good to start packing a couple days in advance, because if you wait until the night before, or morning of your trip, you are likely to forget something that you meant to pack, like a camera or a laptop. Making a list also allows you the opportunity to purchase any additional items you might need. And, if you’re going on a particular kind of a trip, like to the beach, you can make note of the essentials you’ll need to enjoy the sun and the sand. If you do forget something, like a toothbrush, ask the hotel front desk. Many hotels have basic items on hand for guests.
Choose Appropriate Clothing. Another factor to consider is what clothes you’ll pack for your trip. I usually start by planning for the number of days I will be gone, and then factor in the kind of activities I will be doing. If I’m sitting all day at a business meeting, I need to pack office attire. If I’m going to a ball game in 85-degree weather, maybe it’s best to bring shorts and a tank top or a baseball jersey. Ask yourself questions like, do I need a T-shirt and jeans for a trip to the zoo, or something more formal for an evening concert or theater event? Once I know what kind of clothes to pack, then I can decide what pieces to bring. Choose a few staples to include that you can’t live without. A basic pair of black pants can be worn for business or in a casual setting. Your favorite scarf or jacket just might be the perfect item to complete an outfit. Look at ways you might be able to mix or match clothing items, shoes and accessories. A jean jacket or a favorite sweatshirt can also add to your wardrobe’s versatility. Remember, it’s easy to overpack, so going over the items you want or need can help you stay focused when it comes to packing. Many travel experts also recommend rolling clothing items, instead of folding them, because it saves space.
Stay Organized. Planning can seem overwhelming when it comes to having the items you need and organizing them most effectively. Toiletries, for example, can go in a clear plastic bag or can be put in a make-up bag. Clothes can be rolled or folded. Shoes often fit nicely along the edge of your luggage. Some travelers choose space-saving bags, others designate a travel jewelry box. Another trick might be placing items like socks and underwear inside a pair of shoes. It’s also a good idea to place a spare outfit in your purse or computer bag, especially if you check a bag. That way, if you’re luggage gets lost or something unusual happens, you’ll be prepared. If you have extra room, pack a snack, travel game, book or a magazine.
Ginny McCabe is a bestselling author, an award-winning journalist, media professional, speaker and teacher. Her work can be seen in publications like Journal-News, Reuters and O, The Oprah Magazine. She serves as president on the board of Greater Cincinnati Society of Professional Journalists. Ginny is also a member of ONA, NARAS, Christian Author’s Network and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. Secrets Young Women Keep is an ECPA Silver Medallion winner and has been featured on the CBA Young Adult Bestseller Lists. Ginny was named “Best Freelance Writer” in 2018 and a Kiplinger Fellow in 2019. Connect with Ginny at www.ginnymccabe.com and on Twitter @ginnymccabe.
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