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Smarter Living: Packing Hints For Your Vacation

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It's the end of the school year...which means summer vacation! Are you heading to the beach? Maybe on a trek to visit family? Is this the first trip to Disney World? Or all of the above?

If your household is anything like mine, in days before the trip, you're having a negotiation with those suitcases. How everything you think you - and everyone else - needs for these days away is going to fit in that luggage.

I'm sure you've heard some tricks on saving space when packing - rolling your clothes, instead of folding them in piles, is a biggie that also prevents wrinkles - but try some of these ideas the next time you head out on a trip.

-- Wear your bulkiest clothing and shoes on the plane. If you are bringing a pair of knee-high boots or sneakers, don those for your trip. Wearing that sweater coat can save loads of room in your suitcase for other things. 

-- Bring a shawl on the plane. If you or the kids get chilled, it can act as a blanket (you never know if they have them or not...or how much they may cost extra).

-- Leave the iron, hairdryer, and other items at home if you can. Check with your Cousin Joanna if she has one you can use while you are visiting or call the hotel to be sure they have them available.

-- Look at your wardrobe and pick outfits and pieces that work together with the same one or two pair of shoes. Instead of bring navy, white, leopard print, and mauve sandals, coordinate all of your clothes so they are interchangeable and go with a black pair and a beige pair (or whatever two colors you want). Instead, jazz up outfits with jewelry and other accessories that take up much less room.

-- If your little ones still need diapers and wipes and juice boxes, pack only what you need for the trip, and then buy more when you arrive. Now, if you are going for only two days and staying a hotel, this hint doesn't work as well, but if you are heading to relatives for a week or so, you can save mucho room.

-- If you are traveling and sightseeing and are planning on getting souvenirs and shopping, then toss a packable duffle in your suitcase for all of those extras coming back with you.

-- Spread out the clothes. If you have more than one suitcase, put a few of everyone's things in everyone's suitcases...just in case one gets lots, it isn't all of Dad's clothes or the kids or yours.

-- Bring those lovies with you on the plane - for the same reason as above...take all precautions to guard against those favorite buds getting lost.

-- Keep organized. I love these packing cube-bags from ebags. Each member of the family has their own color, so you know what is where. Or you can grab some Ziplocs in a variety of sizes to store shoes, undies, shirts and the like. Really good for your kid's clothes, so even they will know where their stuff is.

Share your best packing tips! 


by on May. 29, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (11-20):
by on May. 29, 2012 at 10:03 AM
1 mom liked this

 I am going on vacation next week so this was very helpful.

by on May. 29, 2012 at 11:05 AM

I actually am a fantatical packer!  For my kids, I pack complete outfits (shirt, shorts, undies, socks) all into a gallon size ziploc bag for each day and then we have a few extra bags of spare clothes.  PJs and extra undies go into another gallon bag.  Then when they wear the clothes, they go back in the bags for easy clean up.  I do this for DH and I as well.  I can generally pack enough clothes for 1 week for all of us in one suitcase!  

by on May. 29, 2012 at 11:06 AM

These are some great tips. We've gone on a couple of big vacations and just shipped the souvenirs home. We didn't want to worry about how to store them in the suitcase or getting crushed.

by on May. 29, 2012 at 11:36 AM

great tips

by on May. 29, 2012 at 11:42 AM
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by on May. 29, 2012 at 12:19 PM

 I'm a horrible packer thanks for the tips!

by on May. 29, 2012 at 12:21 PM

I think a good tip is to make a list of the things you need and check them off as you have packed them. I always do this before driving down to visit my older children.

I'm thankful for a hubby that loves me, 4 healthy children, a warm
place to sleep and enough food for our meals... God bless America!

by on May. 29, 2012 at 1:31 PM

I pack as light as I can..I mail most of the clothes I'll be wearing the week prior and I buy stuff there...

by Jenny on May. 29, 2012 at 1:42 PM
Good tips!
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by on May. 29, 2012 at 4:28 PM

 I am a thow it all in there and hope it fits gal. Then i'm all "hang on...if i sit on it I KNOW it'll close". I always forget a ton of stuff

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