Tips On How To Pack For Vacation

vacations, packing for vacation, packing tips

Some people think Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. I agree, but so is packing for a vacation if you do it correctly. Previously, I tried to pack everything that I owned. For some insane reason, I really thought I needed 2 – 3 outfits per day and 10 pair of shoes to go along with all of the outfits.  Back in the day when I used to carry a garment bag, I had bruises on my shoulders because the bag was so heavy. You think I would have learned, but no I didn’t pack less.  I purchased new luggage and filled that to capacity too. Foolish right! I didn’t realize that I was foolish, I had the nerve to look at people at the airport and wonder how they traveled with so little. Now I realize that they were probably looking at me and wondering why I was dragging around my closet. 
Want to know what turned me around?  I’ll tell you. When I traveled for business, I usually drive myself to the airport and parked in the satellite parking lot. My company didn’t pay for valet or lots close to the airport. When you park in satellite parking, you have to take a shuttle to the terminal to catch your flight. I soon realized that the world isn’t full of gentlemen anymore who jump up to assist you, and I don’t have the strength and endurance that I once had. No sir, I was on my own getting it out of the car, on the shuttle, off the shuttle through the airport and back into my car. Not a pleasant task.   
Not only was it not a pleasant task, it was really unnecessary for me to take so much. Have you noticed that we’re the cause of the majority of our problems? The light bulb finally came on and I accepted that I didn’t need half of what I packed. I don’t know what took me so long, but guess what I’ve learned how to pack light and live with what I take. 
Here’s a few of my packing tips and tricks: 
1.  Make a list with 4 columns –  One column is for what I have to take like medicines, phone charger, toiletries, tickets, address for the hotel/resort and confirmation numbers. Another column is for things that I would like to take like my laptop, Kindle, camera, additional batteries etc. The third column is for activities that I have planned and the fourth column is for clothing, shoes and accessories based on what I have planned. I check out sights that I would like to see prior to my trip so I can plan accordingly.
2.  Assess your luggage – Most airlines will allow 2 bags on the plane, so I will have my tote with my laptop and another carry on. The tip here is to place your small purse into your tote. My purse is small, I cross it over my shoulder and it just holds the essentials: money, hairbrush, keys, lipstick, a credit card, drivers licence and money. If you’re checking your bag, remember the weight limit so you don’t incur additional expense.  
3. Decide on a color theme – I lay everything that I want to take based on the activities on my list. I cut everything down to half and place the excess back into my closet and drawers. I settle for pieces that I can mix and match and use the same accessories and shoes. I take a black skirt that I can wear with 2 different blouses. I also pack sundresses that I can wear casually or dress up with a necklace, scarf, and cute sandals or pumps. They’re light and don’t take up much space. Leggings are great too. You can wear them under a casual dress or skirt from the above group, pair with a shirt or wear with a tee to lounge around in for the day. Throw in a few pair of shorts and tees. You can pair these with sandals.  

4. Pack toiletries in zip lock bags –  Pack body wash, hand wipes, toothbrushes, shampoo, toothpaste, sunscreen, tanning lotion etc. in gallon zip lock bags. Take extra bags with you too. I always have one handy for my wet loofah after showering the  morning on my return trip. It’s never dry enough to just toss in the luggage, and they’re great to use on the beach or by the pool.   

5.  Assess shoes –  I take a pair of black pumps to wear if I want to dress up, a pair of walking shoes for sight seeing, and a few pair of sandals that will go with my final selection of clothing.  

6. Neutral hat  – When I’m heading to the beach or a tropical location, I always take a neutral hat that’s made specifically for travel. I can pack it and not worry about it losing its shape or getting damaged. Make sure that it will give you UV protection as well.   

7. Pack neutral custom jewelry  – I pack my custom jewelry in zip-lock bags and than place it in one of my cosmetic bags. I love the zip lock bags, they allow me to see exactly what I have. With the exception of my rings, I do not take my gold jewelry with me.  

8. Take 2 swimsuits and a plastic tote – I place the tote on the bottom of my luggage. I use the plastic tote as my beach bag if I want to head to the beach or pool. I’ve been carrying this tote for years. It can withstand the sand and I can wash it off to repack on the return trip.  

9.  Pack a wrap or blanket  – I always pack a wrap or light weight blanket that I can wrap around my shoulders just in case it gets cold on the plane. I just fold it and place it back in the bag after I land. 

10.  Roll your clothes –  Roll your clothes instead of folding them. It give you more room and less wrinkles. Rolling your items in tissue paper keeps down the wrinkles too.    

11. Buy sturdy luggage  – Purchase or use luggage that can endure your flight.  Make sure your address and cell phone number are on your luggage tag.  I also tie a piece of red ribbon on the handle of my luggage. The ribbon helps me to identify it on the carousal if I check it. 

I hope these tips will help you pack more efficiently too. They certainly have helped me to keep it simple and light when I travel now. 

You may also like:  Traveling Solo As A Female




  1. I think travel bloggers are doing amazing things, really very interesting blog.
    keep it up . thanks

  2. /Very great points!!  I always took ten times more than I needed and have finally reached the point that I can now travel with minimum baggage.  I usually end up wearing the same capris for more than one day so why pack a pair for each day.

    Great hints.


    • I used to over pack too. I got tired of lugging unnecessary items through the airport and than not using half of what I packed. Hope my tips helped. 

  3. I don't get to travel very often anymore but I am hoping to get to Michigan again soon and I appreciate all the good ideas!

  4. You would so laugh at me. I must be the world's lightest traveler. I pack the bare necessities. I get anxious when I am going somewhere that requires more than I care to pack. These were great tips, in case I ever "need" them.

    • Lol, I have to take more than the bare necessities. I hate having to spend money when I arrive because I failed to bring something.  I'm sure I could a few things from you though.  Thanks for stopping by. 

  5. I don't travel much anymore but did enjoy your tips. I have heard that it's best to keep medications in your carry-on bag too, just in case your checked bag gets delayed.

    • Yes J, I always put my meds in my carry on. I place my meds in one of those Sunday-Saturday boxes so I don't have to carry the bottles. Saves room that way too.