Friday, June 22, 2012

10 Packing Tips for Your Vacation

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Packing. Does that word bring strong emotions to your life? Many times I hear, I don't like to pack or I don't know where to start.

My friend Cindy and I have talked several times about the fact that packing does not overwhelm us. I guess living out of a suitcase for two years will do that to you! I wish I could go back to those days sometimes. I didn't have a whole lot of stuff...and was completely content with that!

Cindy, Sarah, a fellow Encounter member, and I have teamed up to share a few packing tips with you. Sarah has shared some great tips on moving. Cindy has also share some tips for packing for vacation.

Here are some tips that I have come up with.
  1.  Pack as you get ready. If you are anything like me, the thing that I worry the most about are my toiletries. Clothes I tend to over pack anyways, but toiletries I can't live without. I start the day before and start piling up the things that I use. If I have used them the day before, then they probably need to go with me. If I have not used them, they can probably stay behind.
  2. Take a laundry bag. I always pack a laundry bag, a pillowcase works great, too. That was my dirty laundry stays separate from my clean, and it make unpacking easier when I get back. That all just gets put in the laundry.
  3. Pack around your shoes. Shoes tend to take up a lot of room. Pick a key pair of shoes and pack around those.
  4. Don't forget the pockets. I used to pack my suitcase and never stick anything in the outside pockets. These make great places to shove shoes, books, or many other items. Don't forget about those pockets!
  5. Pack food. Snacks are always great no matter where you are going. They can always make a rough day better!
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If flying:
  1. Take an empty water bottle. You can't get through security with a full water bottle, but paying for one past security is expensive! Pack an empty one that you can fill up once you are through.
  2. Put a change of clothes in your carry on. I know with the cost of checking bags, most people are trying to just use the carry on. However, if you do decide to check a bag, make sure that you pack a change of clothes in your carry on. My suitcase got lost on my way to Slovakia. I was without for the first week that I was there. I was so glad for that change of clothes that I had in my carry on!
  3. Mark your bag. Make sure you put identifying features on your bag so that you have n odoubt that it is yours. Ribbon. Duct tape. Spray Paint. Get creative, but make sure no one else is going to pick up your bag and walk off with it!
  4. Pack an extra bag. If you are going somewhere that you might want to buy souvenirs, but don't have extra room in your suitcase, pack an extra bag. Stick this in your suitcase you are taking so that you have extra space if needed on the way back.
  5. Save Samples. Those samples that you get in the mail work great for the little liquid bags that you are able to put in your carry on. Also, you can throw them away as you go and not have to lug around a big bottle the whole time. Save those up if you know there is a vacation coming up.
  6. Bonus--Leave the bullet key chain at home. The last time I flew, I had my keys on me. They have a bullet key chain on them. Pretty sure my bag got searched! I could tell they were looking for something specific. They let me keep it, but highly suggested that I not bring it the next time. Anything not to have to stop at the security!
Any other suggestions that you have for me? I would love to hear them! Happy travels this summer!

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