Now since you’ve got your trip planned…it’s time to pack! With a few tips it won’t be as bad as you think it will be.

Packing your suitcase:

  1. Roll, don’t fold your clothes. Takes up less space & puts in less wrinkles. You can even use tissue paper around them for an even less chance of wrinkles.
  2. Another option is to pack each day’s outfit in a Ziploc bag and suck the air out of it. It’s nice & flat then. Couple of perks with this method:
  3. Each day has its own bag, so no hunting for outfits.  This is especially great for the kids.
    • Can put dirty clothes back into the bag, so they’re not loose in your suitcase.
    • I normally don’t have much that wrinkles this way either. Or maybe it’s because I don’t like clothes that wrinkle 🙂
    • Best thing – if you’re flying and the TSA gets in your suitcase, they aren’t digging through all your clothes. And if your suitcase is too heavy it’s easy to move items from one to another (experienced that one in Orlando!)
  4. Packing Lists! You can either make one on your own or they have tons of apps for that.       Have multiple ones to make it easier for certain destinations. Some of ours include:
    • Visiting family
    • Camping
    • Beach
    • Out of town sporting events
  5. If you’re staying in some kind of vacation rental, you normally have access to a washer & dryer, so that’s an option. If so, don’t forget your detergent & fabric softener. It’s especially useful at the beach with all the towels we go through!

If you’re flying:

  1. Know the baggage fee policy.
  2. Review current TSA guidelines for carry-on luggage.
  3. Use your personal item wisely! Think large purse, not the wallet I normally carry.
  4. With so many places charging for checked suitcases, try to pack it all in a carry-on & personal item.
    • Even when we drive this is good advice. We each get one suitcase and if doesn’t fit in it you leave it behind or beg someone else to put it in theirs!

Travel Tips:

  1. Use a cooler as a toiletries bag or the car snack bag, then when you get to the beach you won’t have left the cooler at home.
  2. We always have extra Ziploc bags – they come in handy for everything.       Sometimes I just wait until we get there to buy a box from the grocery store.
  3. This one is from my 15 year old, who I swear acts like she’s older than me, is needle & thread. We have needed to use it on more than one occasion. Nothing like having your kid say, “I told you so”!
  4. Talk to the locals about places to eat & visit.
  5. Stop where there is wi-fi to pull down maps on your phone – less bandwidth you’re using, plus it’s normally quicker.
  6. We use a flexible, divided pocket folder for keeping things like maps, itineraries, tickets, receipts, etc. in. This keeps everything organized and easily transportable. Otherwise it ends up all over my purse, if I’m actually carrying one.
  7. Download any apps you might need
    • Parking Panda for garage parking locations & cheaper pricing
    • Yelp/Trip Advisor
    • Packing Lists – I like the “create my own” kind
    • Any maps or info for where ever you are going.


Got any more ideas and tips to share?  Leave them below!