Does the thought of packing for your next trip fill you with dread? Getting everything prepped and ready is a daunting task. Then you have to pack! It's no wonder you start the journey exhausted!
Whether you are going to the beach or the mountains, no matter if you travel a little or a lot, the following ideas will ease some of the stress of travel so that you begin the trip ready for adventure! We're sharing the top 10 travel tips from our organizers!
1. It's no surprise that the first tip we have is to make a list. Mary Crawford suggests you make a list of everything that needs to be done before you leave, such as washing clothes, buying snacks, refilling toiletry containers, pulling out the luggage, etc. We also recommend making another list of what each person will need on the trip. When you go to the beach, you need different items than going to the mountains. Making a list will ensure you don't forget anything and everyone will have what they need. As kids get older, you can give them a checklist to prepare their things.
2. A seemingly small but essential tip from Jenny Kearns is to pack by day. Rather than pulling out three pairs of pants, four dresses and five tops for a three-day trip, she recommends pulling out all the clothes you think you want to take, picking out an outfit for each day then putting everything else back up. Now your suitcase is filled with less and only what you need for the number of travel days.
3. As you begin to pack your bag with an outfit for each day, Ceci Rivera says to coordinate them so that you only pack two pairs of shoes. Shoes can be bulky and heavy, taking up a lot of clothing real estate in your luggage. Taking fewer makes getting ready quicker and your suitcase lighter!
4. Rachel Henrion likes to use packing cubes for travel. She used them on a trip with frequent stops and did not have to unpack her suitcase. She recommends getting different-sized ones and packing items by size. Keep a large one for dirty clothes, making unpacking easy too!
5. Lori Rahlfs is a frequent traveler and encourages you to roll your clothes and nest as much as possible when packing. Choose an outfit for each day and roll the outfit all together. When you pack your shoes, place socks inside to take up even less space in the suitcase. Nest anything that can be nested and tuck in small items around odd-shaped things to utilize every available space.
6. When taking a road trip with an overnight stay at a hotel before reaching your final destination, Leslie Fitzgerald recommends packing a small backpack or duffel with items needed for the night such as toiletries, pj's, a change of clothes, and a swimsuit for a hotel pool. That way, it's easy and quick to unpack and repack the car without having to unload ALL of the big bags!
7. For those who will be flying as they travel, Jenny Dietsch suggests setting an alarm on your phone 24 hours before the flight so you can check-in early. This will ensure you do not get pushed off an overbooked flight! One less thing to stress about!
8. When traveling to a cold destination, Debra Clark likes to stuff a sweater or light jacket inside a bigger, heavier jacket to carry on the plane. Once you are on the plane, place the coat in your seat and sit on it during the flight. This way, you have more room in your suitcase, making for a softer seat cushion on the plane. Everyone in your family can do this and be responsible for their own coats.
9. Taking a trip with kids adds another level of packing as you try to keep them entertained, whether on a plane or in a car. Mary Margaret Neff's tip is to pack each child their own little backpack filled with random surprises for them to open on the plane, not beforehand. The novelty of opening new things will keep them occupied throughout most of the flight and they won't fight over having to share since they will have their own! Include simple things like fidget spinners, water coloring books, reusable stickers, mini-games, and treats. Don't forget their iPad, headphones and a charger. Once they are of the right age, each child can be in charge of their bag.
10. Mom often ends up with a bag full of items everyone needs. To keep her bag organized, Ashley Purnell uses a gallon-sized zipper pouch or baggie for all chargers, cords and headphones, so they are all together for the entire family. You will also want to label the chargers with everyone's name. This way, you'll know who lost theirs when they try to steal their siblings!
Traveling organized will make your trip so much smoother when you can find what you need when you need it. You'll find yourself more relaxed and able to enjoy the time away with your family. If you have more travel tips to stay organized, we would love to hear them! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with 'My travel tips' in the subject!