Kristy Alexander shares her tips on how to pack your luggage in under an hour. With just a few simple planning tools, it does not have to be the stress before the holiday begins…
Packing luggage for a family trip doesn’t have to be stressful or confusing. By keeping two main principles in mind, it’s possible to pack your bags quickly and to do it without leaving important items behind. To pack in less than an hour, you need to have your itinerary in hand and to know what each person needs for general daily use.
General Use Items
The majority of the items you pack will likely be your family’s general use items. These include the clothing for each day, toiletries, medications, etc. The easiest way to make sure that all of these items are packed for each family member is to run through each person’s average day in your mind. Start with the first thing they do when they wake in the morning and continue through to their bedtime routines.
Doing this with each family member will begin with their morning toiletries, including oral care products and other items that your family may use in the morning. Think about the routine you go through each morning before leaving the house. All of the items you use then should be packed. Progressing through the mid-morning, think of the items that may be needed before lunch. Will your family members want special snacks that can’t be purchased on the trip? Do any of your family members take daily vitamins?
Afternoon items may include sunscreen, needed medications and entertainment items. Evening items often include skin-care products, eye-care products and sleep aids. For each day, you must also choose an outfit. To avoid packing too heavily, plan these outfits out in advance instead of taking several clothing choices for each day. Make sure to look over each clothing item for damage. You may need children to try on a few of the items to ensure they still fit. By doing this, you will have plenty of clothing packed and not have to worry that any of it will be unwearable.
· Dental floss
· Face cleansers
· Book/MP3 Player/Magazines
· Contact solution
· Shaving gel
· Feminine products
· Nail clippers
· Hair spray/gel
· One well-planned outfit for each day
· Pajamas – two sets per person
Where are you going?
With all of your general-use items packed, you then must pack all of your trip-specific items. These will vary with the location, the time of year and the specific things you plan to do on your trip. With your itinerary in hand, look over each day and choose the items that you will need for each of your activities. A beach vacation requires a complete set of items to make the trip more enjoyable. These include:
· Extra sunscreen
· Swimsuits – pack two for each person to allow for drying each day
· Beach and water toys
· Lip balm
· Flip flops or other beach shoes
· A beach bag to carry to the shore each day
· A water-proof camera
· Sunburn treatment
If you are taking a skiing or hiking vacation, there are other special items that you will need. These may include boots, coats, extra socks, gloves, insect repellent, sports gear and water-resistant clothing items.
Even if your daily itinerary isn’t detailed, you should be able to tell whether you will need dressy clothing during the trip. If you plan on formal dinners or going to events with a dress code, pack a formal outfit for each family member. In most cases, the formal outfit can be worn more than once.
As you look at each day of your trip plan, also consider things that can go wrong and the items you’ll need if they do. Outdoor vacations may require adhesive bandages, a flashlight, a blister kit, rain ponchos and insect bite treatment.
Traveling With Children
Young children come with their own set of travel needs. They made a few extra additions to the luggage. Depending on the age of the child, these may include:
· Paper and crayons or pencils
· Handheld electronic game systems
· Diapers and wipes
· Wet wipes for hands
· Plastic bag for sticky clothes
· One extra outfit for each child in case of accidents
· Children’s cold and fever medications
· Baby food and spoons
By taking the time to think over each person’s daily needs as well as the items needed for the trip’s activities, you can ensure that nothing is forgotten and that too many extras aren’t packed. Packing light will make your luggage easier to carry and make it easier to find items when you need them.
Have you travelled lately?
What are your quick packing tips?
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Kristy Alexander is a freelance travel writer for HotelClub where you can find great savings on discount hotels in Adelaide and around Australia.