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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Travel Tips - Packing Checklist For Busy Last Minute Vacation Travelers

Packing Checklist For Busy Last Minute Vacation Travelers
Are you the type of "packer" that starts your packing for a trip or vacation days in advance or do you start your packing at the last minute? Personally...I start 2 weeks in advance as I like to be organized and I like to make sure I pack everything I think we "might" need.

Often times when I speak to others about their packing habits many people tell me they are last minute packers and usually start the day before! Many of these folks just take things out of their drawers and closets and throw them into a suitcase and out the door they go. The bad thing about this is that when you arrive at your destination your items in your suitcase are a wrinkled mess and/or you realize you forgot to pack some important things that you need. Then you have to scour an unfamiliar area to purchase the items you forgot or you have to pay a laundering or hotel service to wash, dry and iron your clothing.

To solve all of those problems I sat down a few years ago and drafted up my own vacation checklist of items that we will always need when we travel. Then approximately 2 weeks before our departure time I get that list out and start our packing. If need be, I head to the store to pick up items that I need to replace or "might" need while we are traveling. Here is an example of our Travel Packing List:

___ Seasonal Clothing for ___ amount of days.
___ Non-Seasonal Clothing for 1 day. (just incase the weather changes).
___ Outerwear (coats, jackets, sweaters, hats, gloves, scarves...depending on destination).
___ Two Pairs of Shoes Per Person
___ Haircare Items (blow dryers, curling irons, shampoo, conditioner, etc.)
___ Toiletries (soap, shower gels, shaving gel, razors, face wash, deoderant, dental care, etc.)
___ Prescription Medications and Over the Counter Medications
___ Eyecare (glasses, contacts, solutions, sunglasses, etc.)
___ Rainy Day Activities For Adults (hand-held electronic games, puzzle books, reading books, games)
___ Kid's Activity Bag (games, toys, arts & crafts supplies, books, etc.)
___ Linens (if appropriate, pillows, beach towels, bath towels, bed linens, etc.)
___ Snacks and Beverages for the Family.
___ Empty Tote Bags, 1 Empty Duffle Bag, 1 Empty Wet/Dry Bag (these can be used to bring wet clothing/towels home or to carry souvenirs back home).
___ Traveling Essentials (passports, hotel reservations, airline tickets, documents, maps, etc.)
___ Equipment (any equipment needed for activities)
___ Miscellaneous Supplies (mending kit, first-aid kit, extra money, etc.)
___ Other ___________________________________________
___ Other ___________________________________________
___ Other ___________________________________________

You can tailor my above list to suit your own family's needs or according to your vacation/trip destination.

Getting yourself organized and starting your packing 2 weeks in advance saves you a lot of time, stress and money once you arrive at your vacation destination. Prepare your packing ahead of time and enjoy your family's vacation time together.

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