Whether you are traveling out of town, out of state, or out of the country, packing for a trip can be a real challenge. First, you will need to make a comprehensive list of everything you need. Think about important items like paperwork such as: passports, travel insurance policies, toiletries, medication, and undergarments. Once you have the list compiled, go back through and think about what you really need. Will two coats really be necessary? Think about the weather and what kinds of clothes you’ll need to bring. Then, bring just one or two “back-up” pieces like a light jacket or long sleeved shirt in case it gets cool. Over packing can be cumbersome, time consuming, and heavy. Bring smaller, travel-sized shampoos, lotions, and toothpaste. This will make boarding a plane easier, and won’t be as much weight or bulk when you pack your carry-on bag. Put them all in a plastic, waterproof zip top container so they do not spill and leak onto your clothes. If you’re bringing a laptop, a neoprene or soft carrying case is recommended to keep it protected from damage.
When packing for your trip, remember that lighters and cigarettes are now prohibited at most airports when it comes to bringing them onto the airplane. If you have a PDA or cell phone, bring it in your pocket or purse so you have it close to you at all times. Packing the suitcase can be the most challenging part of getting ready for any vacation. Put paperwork such as business documents and your travel insurance policy in a safe secure place, such as your purse or briefcase in the event that your luggage gets misplaced, you will need to find them quickly. Use the rolling technique to roll your sweaters, shirts, and pants or jeans into tight rolls, and then pack them into the suitcase. For dresses or suits, it’s wise to use a separate piece of luggage with a hanger so these items do not get wrinkled. Socks can also be rolled and packed; underwear and bras can be stored in a plastic bag. Then, when they’ve been used, you can put them back in the plastic bag for the trip home to prevent any odors from spreading to your clothing.
If you plan to bring food, never pack this with your clothing. Instead, bring it on the carry-on bag so you can easily get to it, and nothing will spill. Following these simple tips can make packing for a trip a breeze.