Packing Tips

We all love the chance to get away once in a while. Whether it's a short trip or a long vacation, most of us love the thought of traveling. Unfortunately, the joy of traveling is often diminished by the thought of having to pack and managing our luggage.

But, packing doesn't have to be a chore or something that is to be dreaded. By following a few handy tips, your next vacation can start the moment you first pick up that empty bag.

Probably one of the most important tips you can follow is also the most basic: packing light. Limiting yourself to one, 20 pound, carry-on sized bag can take much of the stress and frustration out of travel. This single decision will eliminate the need to managing multiple, heavy pieces of unneeded luggage. Why waste time dealing with checked luggage when you can quickly manage one suitcase by yourself?

This small suitcase might not seem like much space at first, but be assured you it is. Some of the most reputable travel experts recommend traveling in this way. Many headaches can be avoided and even last minute changes can be managed easier when fewer bags are involved.

By limiting travel to just one carry-on, navigating through airports will suddenly become reasonable. Besides, your belongings will be safer since your luggage is less likely to be stolen, broken, or lost. It can be easily carried from one area to the next, placed on your lap, or stowed safely beneath your seat.

By limiting the size of the bag at the beginning of the packing process, you will find that there are many things that become easier to leave behind. You will find that it is no longer practical to bring along the first three volumes of the latest teen romance novel series in hardcover that all your friends have be reading. Suddenly those stilettos you "might" wear become easier to just keep in the closet.

Compressible vacuum seal bags are a great way to squeeze in some extra clothes when space is at a premium. These cheap items are designed to hold several pieces of clothing and are very inexpensive compared to paying the airline for an additional piece of luggage. When compressed, these bags let the air escape, but do not let it come back in. It's common to easily fit twice as many clothes in your suitcase this way.

Speaking of bags, ordinary zip-lock, storage bags can help to eliminate clutter and keep your other belongings safe from items which contain liquid or might otherwise spill. Multiple plastic bags can even be used to separate toiletries from potentially toxic convince items like bug spray or suntan lotion.

Wearing your heaviest shoes and jacket can also make room in your luggage as well as make it lighter. There is no need to lug around these or other items if they can be carried along with in this way. In addition, electronic devices like portable music players and game systems can easily be placed in a jacket or shirt pocket.


- Choose clothes in plain fabrics rather than prints, so they can be easily mixed and matched. 

- If you will be doing a lot of sight-seeing or shopping, bring comfortable but durable footwear.

- Consider your activities and events, as well as the weather and climate; this will help you plan your wardrobe. Pack only the clothes you need. 

- Bring travel-sized toiletries. Store all liquids in resealable plastic bags.

- Utilize the space in the shoes you pack. Use it to store socks, toiletries or other small items. 

- Store footwear in fabric shoe bags or old socks, to keep them from soiling your clothes.

- Always keep valuables and travel documents on your person, never in the checked luggage. This should also be the case for necessary items such as keys, extra eyeglasses and prescription drugs.

- Pack cameras, film and laptops in your carry-on luggage; never check them in to avoid unwanted damage.

- If traveling overseas, remember to bring electrical adaptors for your electronics and other devices. 

- Don't forget to bring your chargers or extra batteries.

- Pack a collapsible bag. This will be very useful for carrying extra items on your trip back, such as shopping acquisitions or dirty laundry.

- Do not bring expensive jewelry or any irreplaceable family items. Leave all your extra credit cards, library cards and other things in your wallet that you will not be using. Lock away all valuables in a safe place.

By following these tips, planning ahead, and keeping a positive attitude, your next vacation or short trip is sure to be a success.