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Vacation Packing Checklist - Don't Forget Those Essentials!

Vacation Packing Checklist

Making a vacation packing checklist should be one of the first things one does before packing for a trip. How you pack can play a big role in the outcome of your trip. If you’ve ever arrived at your destination only to find your suitcase splattered with the remains of a toothpaste explosion, you know all about this! Also, using your vacation packing checklist, you will have to organize everything you’ll need while you’re away. Be sure to pack all your belongings into your suitcase in a manner that reduces space while still protecting it from leaks or other damage. To sum it up best, your vacation packing checklist can save you time on both ends of your trip!

Listed Below Are A Few Specific Pointers for Your Vacation Packing Checklist: (It Is an Appropriate List for Anyone Packing for a Trip by Plane, Cruise, Train, or Car).

Your Vacation Packing Checklist

  1. Make a vacation packing checklist of every item you plan to take on your trip. This will include clothing, shoes, toiletries, and paperwork. Also maps, guidebooks, reading material, and hotel or rental car information. In addition, your vacation packing checklist will help you when packing for your return trip back home. Further, you will have a list of everything that you brought with you, plus any purchases you might have made during your trip.

    Vacation Packing Checklist. Pic of a Checklist.
    Pic of a Checklist!

  2. Commonly forgotten items include toothbrushes/toothpaste, socks, sunglasses, sunscreen, hats, pajamas, razors, and deodorant.
  3. Never underestimate how quickly your space will fill up. Will you really need five pairs of shoes for three nights? And four coats? Consider the weather and what kinds of activities you will be doing. You may also want to visit www.weatherchannel.com to check out how the weather will be at your destination.
  4. Plan your outfits ahead of time to avoid over-packing. If you have a decent sense of what the weather will be like, you can be very precise. If not, bring versatile items (e.g. a cardigan or light jacket that goes with several of your tops, some three-quarter-sleeve shirts, and jeans that look good rolled up at the bottoms) that will allow you to adapt to changing conditions. As much as possible, bring items you can get away with re-wearing. Layering is a good way to not only disguise re-worn items but also deal with changing weather.
  5. Stretch your travel wardrobe with color-matching. If you make sure every piece of clothing you pack works with many other pieces, you can create a host of mix-and-match possibilities.
  6. Bring empty plastic bags for dirty items. If you don’t have an opportunity to wash your clothes, tucking them away in a separate bag will keep you from having to mingle the clean with the dirty or sort through your stuff every time you want to change.
  7. Buy travel-size containers for your toiletries, regardless of the length of your trip. This includes your toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc… Also, you can always drop into a local shop to restock your supply of soap and toothpaste. If you are flying, there might also be restrictions on the amount of liquid or gel you can bring on the plane. You may find yourself forced to choose between shampoo and toothpaste while going through airport security. Visit the airline’s website to check out the guidelines.
  8. Put all your toiletries in a secure bag. You definitely do not want an explosion or a leak in your luggage! Oh, and again, these should be in travel sizes.
  9. When staying at a hotel, you can completely skip the shampoo and conditioner and simply use what the hotel provides. (You can buy other necessities at the destination such as toothpaste.)
  10. If you’re going through customs, check your luggage prior to packing. Ensure that it is completely empty (especially if the luggage is not yours). No one is responsible for its contents except you. Usually, suitcases have hidden zippers along the center or side. Open this and give it a good once-over. It is better to be safe than sorry.

    Vacation Packing Checklist- Picture of a large bag of luggage.
    Luggage Ready To Go!

  11. If you are crossing borders, consider using tamper-evident products to seal your case so you can check if your luggage arrives without being breached before you go on to clear customs.
  12. Place heavy items at the bottom of your bag, especially if it is an upright model. Struggling with a piece of rolling luggage that twists and flips in every gentle turn and falls over when you let it go is no way to move around.
  13. As you pack your luggage, check items off your list. Be thorough; you don’t want to have to dismantle your entire bag in a panic to find out whether or not you’ve taken care of something.
  14. Pack clothing using the time-honored “roll” technique. Lay two or three items on top of one another, smooth to flatten, and roll them up like you would a sleeping bag to save space and prevent wrinkles. For added wrinkle insurance, place a sheet of heavy tissue or packing paper between items of clothing before rolling. Don’t worry about wrinkle-prone garments; most hotel/motel/inn rooms have an iron and board in the closet for your needs, not to mention a hotel laundry service.
  15. Pack sweaters, jackets, and underwear in reusable compression bags, which can create up to 75% more space in your luggage. These lock in odors, so they also work for storing dirty laundry. Compression bags work very well. Ziploc sells these. What you have to do is place the item inside, close the bag, and put the included air pump over a little one-way hole. Suck out the air with the pump. It’s that easy!
  16. Place breakable items, like jewelry or glass, wrapped in socks and tucked into shoes inside your luggage. This ensures ultimate safety.

    Vacation Packing Checklist - picture of a big checked Luggage bag.
    A Checked Bag!

  17. Buy wide clip rings. Available at major supermarkets like Target and Walmart, these look like shower curtain rings and can be opened and then clipped onto something to connect them. Clip important things like a passport baggie onto your handbag or carry-on and clip that to your suitcase. Big bulky bags that you must let go of while tending to other concerns are an obvious target for thieves. Keep paperwork, identification, money, and expensive items slung over your shoulder or even hidden on your body (you can buy under-clothing pouches for slim items) depending on the safety of the location. However, don’t hide anything you will need immediately.
  18. Bring snacks in case you get hungry. Bring light snacks for quick trips or places where you can purchase meals and heartier ones for long bus/plane/train/car rides. If you have allergies or conditions that call for certain foods (e.g., gluten-free or nut-free) and won’t have many options while traveling (planes that offer meals usually cater to this), bring more filling snacks.
  19. Bring entertainment in case you get bored. Diaries (and pens), travel-size games, decks of cards, books, and mobile devices are huge boredom killers during long trips.
  20. Remember that trips are meant for fun and rest, not stress! Don’t fret too much about organizing and planning. If it gets too stressful for you, have a traveling agency plan your voyage. Sites like tripadvisor.com or seatguru.com can help you find reviews of places, hotels, restaurants, and airlines as well as good seats and hot deals.

Personal Notes and Reminder: To assist you in packing for your trip, you can print out this vacation packing checklist. Also, remember if your trip takes you to a foreign country don’t forget your passport or any visas!

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