Packing Tips and Tricks

Packing Tips for Your Vacation

The flights are booked, car rented, hotel reserved, and you leave tomorrow - time to pack! Here are some helpful suggestions to make your life....a little easier!. And always remember for that long flight, pack extra bottles of water so you do not become dehydrated on the plane.

Getting Started

Packing is not a matter of simply throwing necessities into a bag. Just as important as what you pack is how you pack. With that in mind, here are some general packing tips:

  • To avoid last-minute anxiety, make a thorough packing list before traveling.
  • Avoid over-packing. Do not bring things just because they might come in handy.
  • Pack mix-and-match clothes to help minimize baggage and yet enjoy variety.
  • Take things that dry quickly, like synthetic fabrics and lightweight cotton.
  • Iron before packing and then roll – don’t fold – clothes.
  • For bulky items like sweaters, stuff the rolled garment toward the foot of a pair of pantyhose – it makes a tight container that takes up less space.
  • Leave dry–cleaned items in their plastic bags to help avoid wrinkles.
  • Hang clothes immediately after check-in to prevent wrinkling. If clothes do wrinkle, hang them in the bathroom while taking a hot shower to steam them smooth.
  • Consider bringing "disposable" clothing, such as older socks, underwear, T-shirts, and even old shoes. Before departing, donate them or throw them out to make room for souvenirs.
  • Layering is a great way to make a wardrobe more versatile and accommodate changing weather.
  • Place anything that could ruin clothes, such as liquid make-up, shampoo, and toothpaste, into a sealed plastic bag.
  • Pack a small lint brush.
  • Take along your eyeglass prescription in case you lose or break your glasses. Consider buying glasses that darken in the sun to eliminate the need for sunglasses.
  • If you plan to take along items such as an electric razor or hair drier to a foreign country, check with your hotel to see if you'll need an adapter.
  • Even the lightest traveler should bring a day bag. A small backpack can hold your umbrella, camera, book, souvenirs, and whatever else you want to carry while you go exploring.
  • A security pouch is essential. Worn concealed under clothing, it is the safest place to keep money, travelers’ checks, passport, and other valuables.
  • Don’t forget a small "first aid kit" of bare necessities: aspirin, antibiotic cream, cotton swabs, anti–diarrheal, and cold medications.
  • A small, inflatable pillow is indispensable for avoiding a sore neck on a long overnight flight or train ride.

Packing for an Adventure Vacation

Just because you'll be covering some rough terrain doesn’t mean you should bear all the bruises to prove it. Pack clothing to suit the adventure. For instance, if you are going on a tour through areas of varying elevation, pack clothing layers so you can adjust what you wear according to the temperature.

  • Comfortable, sturdy hiking boots
  • Thick cotton socks
  • Durable nylon trousers, quick to dry and allow your skin to breathe as you perspire.
  • Loose fitting, comfortable T-shirts and/or sleeved shirts.
  • Sport sunglasses
  • Sunscreen if applicable
  • Backpack to carry supplies

Packing for a Beach Vacation

Cool, comfortable and casual is generally the rule on most beach vacations. Slightly more formal wear is a good idea for dining and evenings out.

  • Shorts
  • T-shirts
  • Short sleeve shirts
  • Lightweight slacks or a summer gown for town
  • Jacket and tie
  • Sweater for the evening
  • Swimsuit
  • Extra large beach towel
  • Sunscreen
  • A small, portable radio
  • Sandals
  • A good pair of walking shoes

Packing for a Ski Vacation

Though some ski destinations actually have temperate climates, while you are skiing it will get cold, so be sure to pack plenty of warm clothing for protection.

  • Warm sweaters
  • Fleece jacket
  • Gloves or mittens
  • Long underwear
  • Knitted wool cap or other warmth-retaining headwear
  • Hair-band to keep your ears warm
  • Waterproof or quick-drying nylon pants
  • Scarf