15 SMART PACKING TIPS FOR SUMMER VACATION

May 4th, 2017 | By Amanda Thomas

15 Smart Packing Tips for Summer Vacation

Definitely the most traveled time of year, summer freedom brings vacation thoughts!! Among those thoughts are, “Where should we go? How should we get there? and last but not least – What should I pack?”. Miss MOXIE to the rescue! Here are 15 Smart Packing Tips you can bank on to get everything you need to your summer vacation destination!

Packing Prep

1 – Make a Packing list thinking: HEAD TO TOE. Once for clothing – once for toiletries/sundries. This is how I taught my kids to pack efficiently. Start with your head; floppy sun hat. Trunk; swim-suits, lingerie, tanks, light sweater…etc. For the toiletries/sundries; Head: shampoo, conditioner, curling iron, brush, earrings, facewash, makeup, sunglasses etc. Either write EVERYTHING down, or take everything out and lay it on the bed. (And ALWAYS pack extra underwear! ) Easy and thorough!

2 – Wash, Dryclean, and Prepare. Do the laundry, and set your favorite vacation clothes aside. Dryclean that rain jacket you want to take, and buy Billy those new shoelaces and baseball hat you’ve been meaning to get. If you spend a day preparing your belongings, you’re vacation shopping time will be for souvenirs instead of extra socks!

3 – Consider Monochromatic Color Choices! A color scheme like black/white/khaki allows for mixing and matching everything – clothes, shoes, jewelry and outerwear, therefore you can pack less of everything!

Arrive at the airport AT LEAST 90 minutes early!
Carry your EMPTY water bottle through security, and fill at a fountain on the other side!

4 – Check your Luggage for Damage! Whether you will be backpacking across Europe, or lying on a Southern California beach, you will have to lug your stuff there! A broken suitcase wheel or a torn backpack zipper will make you crazy!

5 – Savvy Carry-On Prep:  BRING: Water bottle – (empty before security, you can fill it afterwards), a light snack, a book or magazine, your phone charger, any prescription meds, any expensive (or sentimental) jewelry, minimal make-up, a toothbrush, and a change of underwear (in case they lose your suitcase – because, sorry, it happens!), and mini-tissue packs for an un-stocked restroom. I always pack my handbag in my suitcase and take my wallet in my carry-on. Your documents: Insurance card, passport, driver’s license.

The Nuts and Bolts

6 – TRY to go Easy on the Shoes! (I’m talking to myself here!) One pair for walking, one for the beach, one dressy.

7 – ZIPLOCS save the day! You can scrunch all your underwear into a ZIPLOC bag and squish-flat the air out! Use it later for dirties or wet swimsuits. Use them for all your toiletries, or anything that can leak.

8 – ROLL as much as you can. Roll your pants and shorts, shirts and socks. stuff socks into your shoes. Rolling takes up much less space.

Suitcase of shoes
RESIST THE URGE to pack too many shoes!

9 – DON’T take Brand New Shoes! Can you say BLISTERS?

10 – Condense Toiletries or Buy Travel Sizes! While you may be tempted to take the full sized shampoo, conditioner or hairspray, unless you have six kids and are traveling the whole USA, you won’t need them! Buy travel containers in the $1 section at TARGET, along with travel-sized body wash, deoderant, contact lense solution, toothpaste, etc. If you travel often, grab a toiletry bag too and keep it fully loaded in your closet for next time. Remember: The TSA liquids carry-on rule is still in effect! Here are the TSA Guidelines. If you don’t want your expensive bottle of perfume tossed in the trash, think SMALL!

Stuff you don’t want to forget…

11 – Pack the chargers! What electronics are you taking? Pack all your chargers: phone, laptop, tablet, iPod, KINDLE device, and camera. Use a 1 qt. Freezer ZIPLOC bag – they are sturdy. OR – LIVE DANGEROUSLY and leave the electronics at home and focus on each other!

12 – Don’t forget your important documents: Passport, Driver’s license, Insurance Card, etc. Here is a super helpful checklist for you to use before you go.

13 – Avoid junk-food en route. Yes, it’s your summer vacation. Yes, chips and candy can be fun, nevertheless, these treats might also cause energy spikes and stomach trouble. Stick with grain or protein snacks like cheese sticks or nuts, granola bars and dried fruit or apples.

Travel Book
Fodor’s Travel books available on Amazon.com

14 – Pack info. about your destination. Yes, an iPhone can do all things, but I’m a book girl! I love my “walking tour of Manhattan” book! I found the best out-of-the-way restaurant once from a picture in a travel book. Just a thought…

15 – Pack extra plastic grocery bags. You know, the cheap kind? They are great for packing dirty clothes, sandy shoes, collecting trash, wet swim suits, and take up almost no room in your suitcase.

Remember: DON’T take what you won’t need! I know- sounds like a no-brainer, but go through everything one more time and take out the extra stuff..you won’t need that blow-dryer, or 3 extra pairs of shoes, ‘just in case’. Take it from Miss MOXIE – these tried and true tips will turn ANYONE into a worldclass smart summer vacation packer!