Traveling to a new place is an exciting and pleasurable experience for most people. Many folks spend weeks beforehand planning, making up itineraries, figuring out expenses, deciding on wardrobe, and so forth. Packing properly for your vacation is one important way of ensuring that your trip will be a happier one.
— Nothing ruins a trip faster than losing vital documents, credit cards, or money. If you are going abroad, make sure to scan your passport into a computer and save the file to your email account. That way, if the passport is lost, you will be able to access its information from any computer. When you are going somewhere where you suspect you may not be able to find a computer readily, keep paper copies of your documents in your suitcase (separate from your passport itself).
— Do not keep all of your cash, credit cards, and travelers' checks together in one place. If your wallet should be stolen, you will still have other options. Keep credit card emergency numbers separate from your card as well.
— Deciding what kind of clothing to take is always a difficult decision. Think minimally. If you are going on a long vacation, you couldn't possibly lug a different outing for each day. You should plan on doing a certain amount of hand washing of undergarments, socks, etc. With that in mind, nylon underwear washes easiest and dries fastest when hung in a bathroom. Polyester fabric dresses and skirts can easily be rolled up in luggage and will not require ironing.
— Because of the recent changes in airline regulations, packing toiletries has become a challenge. Remember that all liquids must be in containers with a volume of no more than 3 oz and be put in a quart sized zip lock bag. Put the bag in the exterior pouch of a carry-on bag for easy access at security check. If you are going on a long trip and risk running out of shampoo or other liquids, simply purchase as many as you think you will need and put them in your checked luggage.
— Whenever possible, do not check luggage at all. That way, you will not need to worry about airlines losing your bags at all. By keeping clothes and shoes to a minimum, and rolling instead of folding garments, many savvy travelers are able to even go overseas without bothering with checking bags.
Because two carry-ons are allowed, everything may be fit into one small suitcase and one backpack (tuck your purse inside the backpack for the flight). Dirty clothes may be separated from clean ones on the way home by putting the soiled garments in the bottom of the backpack.
— If you plan on purchasing souvenirs, consider packing a flattened canvas tote or duffle into your suitcase. You can simply fill the duffle with your items and check them through on your way home.
A week before leaving on vacation, practice packing a few times to make sure your system works for you. Your home will be chaotic enough as your departure time nears: a little advanced planning will eliminate the stress of packing. Bon voyage!
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