The planning is done and the day is approaching. It is time for vacation! Here comes the most stressful part, packing. What to pack? Do I need this? Will I wear this? How can I get this all in my bag?
Creative Vacations Travel Consultants have created a list to help take the stress out and get you on your way!
Find out exactly what amenities your hotel will have - Most hotels, resorts and cruise lines offer a hairdryer and some toiletries. Finding out ahead of time what will be available will help free up some space in your bag.
- Know the baggage policies – Each airline has a published policy on the size, weight and cost per bag. Make sure you are aware so you don’t have a surprise when you check in.
- Make a packing list – Take some time to sit down before you start going through your closet to compare your itinerary with what you are planning to take, and write it down. This way you can make sure you don’t take too much by pulling that extra shirt out, or not enough by overlooking that pair of shorts.
- Pack mix and match outfits – If dinners will require a change of clothes from what you are wearing during the day, take advantage of being able to mix and match. Those black pants will pair well with several shirts, and that sweater or jacket can be paired with several things. Get more mileage (and bag space!) by getting pieces that can mix and match.
- Do not pack valuables or essentials in your checked luggage – You hope it never happens, but each year about 3 per 1,000 bags are delayed or lost. Make sure anything of value (jewelry, electronics, money/credit cards) or essential (medications, identification or passports) are in your carry on.
- Combine your luggage – Keeping in mind the chance of lost luggage, share your bag space with your traveling partner if possible. By putting some of your items in each bag, in the event something happens to your bag you won’t lose everything. And make sure you split complete outfits – you don’t want to have only shirts!
- Wear/pack comfortable walking shoes – If your itinerary includes city tours, sightseeing , hiking or you just like to explore on your own, you are going to want to make sure you have comfortable footwear!
- Use shoes as additional packing space – When packing those comfortable shoes, use the space inside them! Store socks, belts or other small items inside your shoes to help conserve space.
- If you put larger toiletries in your checked bag, seal them in a plastic bag – If you are packing toiletries or any other liquids, make sure you put them inside a sealable plastic bag. Pressure changes when flying can cause bottles to break or those with flip tops to pop open. Putting them in a bag will contain the spill should this happen.
- Pack a change of clothes in your carry on bag – A long flight calls for comfortable travel clothes. But those same clothes might not be what you want to wear all day should your bag be delayed. When cruising or staying at some resorts your bags will be transported directly from the airport to your room, sometimes with a delay of several hours. Make sure you have a change of clothes or swimsuit so you can make sure to enjoy yourself from the very beginning!
- Pack a day bag to carry essentials – An extra small shoulder bag can go a long way when traveling. Keep essentials with you and easily accessible with a small day bag.
- Check with your cell phone and credit card companies for currency exchange rates and usage fees, as well as alert them to your travel – Each company has different rules and charges for international use, exchange rates and foreign currency. Make sure you check to avoid costly surprises. At the same time, alert them that you will be traveling so to avoid having your cards frozen due to suspicious activity.
- Make a copy of your passport/identification – Have a photocopy of your identification and then put the original in the room safe or resort safety deposit box. Carry your traveling companions copy, and have them carry yours. That way if your purse or wallet is lost or stolen you have quick access to a form or identification. A copy or list of credit card numbers, contact names and phone numbers is also recommended.
- Pack adaptors/convertors for international plugs – For those electronics and appliances you can’t leave at home, make sure you have converters for the outlets. Confirm which ones you will need and how many before leaving home.
- Be prepared for the security/immigration lines – Have your boarding documents and identification available and make sure you follow the TSA 3-1-1 rule (Liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes must be 3 ounces or smaller in a 1 quart clear bag, 1 per traveler). Medications and some baby items are excluded but must be declared. The TSA has a page with many tips and information to make the screening process go smoothly.
Now you are ready to get packing and go! Have more questions? Creative Vacations’ Travel Consultants are here with resources to help you with anything you may need. Bon Voyage!