Packing for vacation can be challenging, especially when you are packing for a family. However, there are lots of things you can do in advance to make sure you have everything you need and that everything arrives with you.
Suitcase Packing Tips
Have a system
Everyone has their own way of packing things. I like to roll my clothes into my bag so they fit better and get less wrinkles. Lots of travelers also like to use packing cubes, which are especially useful when packing for kids. For toiletries, I use a hanging toiletry bag (mine is from Vera Bradley) so I can just keep everything in the bag at my destination and hang it on the bathroom door. When traveling on a longer trip, I usually bring along the In-Bag jewelry case pictured above. For anything that may open or break in my suitcase, I use zipper plastic bags or Blue Avocado plastic cases (small one pictured above). I also bring along my own laundry bag, just in case there isn’t a large enough one in the room, and a sealed wet bag for wet bathing suits or ski clothes.
Anticipate what you’ll need
Sometimes, you’ll be able to buy what you need at your destination. But other times, like if you are taking a family cruise, you’ll want to make sure you have every single thing you need – from bathing suits and formal attire to sunscreen and bug spray. When I pack for my kids, I always bring along a little first aid kit since we always seem to need it.
Use packing lists
Whether you choose to use our packing lists, make your own, or find others, be sure to use packing lists so that you don’t forget anything that you want to bring. Also, make a list of the bags that you need to bring with you so you don’t forget a bag at home (yes, it happens!).
Divide up your items among bags
When checking more than one suitcase, it’s a good idea to divide up everyone’s items among all of the bags. That way, if one bag is lost on the flight, everyone will still have a few items from the other bag.
Pack your carry-on bag appropriately
If you are flying, packing your carry-on bags appropriately is extremely important. Currently, you are allowed to have two carry-ons per person – a personal item that fits under the seat in front of you, and a larger bag for the overhead.
There are three major categories of thing you’ll want to pack in your carry-ons – fragile items like cameras and computers, things you need for the flight like baby supplies and books, and things you absolutely need to have at your destination like keys and medications. If you also have room, I’d recommend packing a spare set of clothes for everyone, just in case your suitcases are temporarily lost. Be sure to pack the things you absolutely need to have at your destination in the bag that goes under the seat in front of you. In some cases, larger carry-on bags may need to be checked if the overheads are full. I’ve had that happen in the past, and my carry-on didn’t make it on to the flight.
How do you pack your bags?