Tips On How To Pack For Vacation

how to pack for vacation


Some people think Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. I agree, but so is packing for a vacation. 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.  I remember when I used to carry a garment bag.  Seriously, 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!
Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that I was foolish.  Furthermore, 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?  When I traveled for business.  I usually drove myself to the airport for business trips.  Additionally, I was on per diem when I traveled.  As a result, my company would not pay for daily parking.  So, I was forced to park in the satellite parking lot.  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 who jump up to assist you.  No sir, I was on my own getting everything in the car, out the car, on the shuttle, off the shuttle through the airport and back into my car.
I realized that it was unnecessary for me to take so much.  I had to learn how to pack for vacation and business trips like a pro.  Have you noticed that we’re the cause of the majority of our own 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 I’m glad I arrived.
Here’s a few of my packing tips and tricks on how to pack for vacation:
1.  Make a list with 4 columns –  One column is for what I have to take like medicines, phone charger, 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.  I use a cross body bag. It holds the essentials: money, hairbrush, keys, lipstick, a credit card, drivers licence and money.  I pack a larger bag in my suitcase.  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.  Mixing and matching pieces has become second nature for me.  Using the same shoes, but different accessories will give you the change you need with your outfits.  For example, I take a black skirt that I can wear with 2 different blouses.  I just use different accessories.
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.  Additionally, zip lock bags are great for your lotions and wipes on the beach or by the pool.

5.  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 or two 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 that you will need as well.

7. Pack neutral custom jewelry  –  Learning how to pack for vacation includes zip lock bags.  Using zip lock bags to pack my custom jewelry allows me to see what I have.  I place the zip lock bag in a cosmetic bag for extra protection. With the exception of my rings, I do not take my gold jewelry with me.  I also don’t remove my rings when I’m traveling.

8. Take 2 swimsuits and a plastic tote – How to pack for vacation includes a tote, which I place the tote on the bottom of my suitcase.  I use the plastic tote as my beach bag. I’ve been carrying the same plastic 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 in my carry on.  I don’t like to be cold on my flights, so 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.  If you don’t want to deal with tissue paper.  Get a travel spray bottle, and fill it with Downy Wrinkle Releaser.  This stuff is great.

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.

I hope these tips on how to pack for vacation will help you pack more efficiently too. They certainly have helped me to keep it simple 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.