You’ve booked the trip. You’ve counted down the months, the weeks, the days, and for some of you, down to the last second. You begin to sense it. Panic is rolling it’s ugly head in. Then you remember a very important detail: I haven’t packed my bags yet! What am I supposed to pack?!
Don’t worry! It’s not as bad as you think it is. Most people procrastinate on packing for their vacation. Many factors come into play here – their job, their kids activities, the dreaded L word (laundry), and so many more. Let me help you here – a little.
Our family of Disney Mini’s loves a good trip like the next person so at this point we have it broken down to a science. We have gotten to the point where we get it all in one bag! You read it – my family of four packs in one suitcase! Could we have more? Absolutely – but why have a bunch of luggage if you can condense?
Here are just a few tips to making it easier on YOU when packing for a vacation. You will have to tweak it a bit to adjust for your family size and culture so take that into consideration when you are reading the list.
- Important Documents. How do you expect to travel anywhere if you don’t have your documents in tow?! Make sure you have emergency cash/cards, emergency contact numbers, and let family/friends NOT traveling with you know your itinerary. Be sure you have at least 6 months of validity on your passport when traveling abroad and all of your citizenship information filled out prior to boarding your cruise.
- If you are like us, we enjoy theming our clothing to go with each day of our trip. This is when zip lock bags come in very handy! Separate clothes by day using gallon zip lock bags. Label them and write the day you want them worn. When you get to your destination, place them in the drawers for easy removal. No screaming every morning “Mom, what am I going to wear today?” or “Dad, where is my underwear and socks?” It all goes in the bag! My girls are currently 9 and 12 so I can get both of them in one bag as long as they are folded nice and tight.
- Shoes. The ever-burning question of how many shoes should I pack? That depends on what you are doing on this vacation! Are you just going to a theme park? Are you going on a cruise? Are you going hiking in the mountains? These are all important questions to ask but I’m here to tell you (Ladies I’m speaking to you too) LESS IS MORE!!!! Theme Park: a pair of comfortable walking shoes is all you need. If you want to pack some flip flops to wear to the pool, place those into your backpack. Cruising on this vacation? Flip flops, a pair of dress shoes and IF you know you plan on going to the gym or plan on booking a shore excursion that has a moderate to high activity level then you will need tennis shoes. Nowhere did I say pack 12 pairs of shoes. Friends, been there. Done it. Wore one pair of shoes the entire time and had wasted space in the suitcase I could have used for something else more important.
- Laundry bag. Did you know that most vacation hot spots have accommodation options that include a washer and a dryer OR have a laundry service?! WHAT!!!! That is one thing when you book your vacation with me, you can specify any detail you want in your quote request! If you do not have this option, I recommend packing a laundry bag to place your dirty items. This way, when you travel home, grab the laundry bag and take it immediately to your laundry room – it will be the quickest unpacking you have ever done in your LIFE! Another option, those of you that chose to pack in the gallon bags I mentioned earlier? Put the dirties right back in those bags and empty when you get home (toss the gallon bags away after vacation – they aren’t expensive to purchase so no need to keep them).
- Snacks. Unless you just have to eat every crazy minute, pack only a few little munchies for the road. If you don’t have/ don’t want a dining plan in place for your vacation, try out Instacart or another grocery delivery service! Your first delivery is FREE and you choose exactly what you want. They will deliver to the main lobby at most resorts.
- Typical Toiletry Items and The What If. Sunscreen, lip balm, makeup, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo (for those that are very particular) but what about the “what if”?! Always have on hand an emergency bag. Could be a zipper pouch, a zip lock bag labeled or just thrown in your suitcase, but keep on hand tylenol, pepto, motion sickness meds (consult your physician if you have not used these before) hand sanitizer, bandaids, things for the ladies if we have an unexpected “aunt” visit. These are just a few ideas of things to keep in your emergency kit. Don’t go crazy and put a huge massive box of all of these supplies. If an emergency arises, you will always be able to find a drug store or a Target but this is just so you have something until you can get there.
These are just a few items that are on my must-have list. Clients that book their vacation with me, I share the Everything Packing List so that every item is covered.
Until next time friends! Thanks for traveling with me – have a magical day!
Sybil, Your Traveling Fairy Godmother