- Start with a packing list-plan out what you are going to need for each day’s activities while you are gone and make a list. Review your list to see if there are items you can re-wear or match with other pieces to make a new outfit. This will prevent you from over packing.
- Before packing, lookup your destination’s weather during your trip. This will help you decide if you need a jacket or an extra pair of pants.
- Begin packing by placing your shoes in the bottom of the suitcase. Then place your socks, belts and accessories in between your shoes. This keeps the weight at the bottom and is a super space saver.
- Pack your personal items and toiletries several days before you begin packing your clothes. Breaking out this task separately will make the chore of packing less overwhelming.
- Pack for your kids first if they are too young to pack for themselves. If they do their own packing, be sure to “review” the items in their bag before leaving. Kids have a tendency to leave out important items or over pack.
- Use a luggage scale to check the weight of your bags before leaving for the airport. Most airlines charge a huge fee for bags more than 50lbs. Go ahead and pack your scale to weigh your bags for your return flight!
- If you are traveling by air, save time by printing out your boarding passes and checking your flight’s gate information before you leave home.
- Download the GateGuru App for your smart phone. This app provides a listing of major airports and the amenities in each one by gate number. If you land at JFK for a layover, GateGuru will pull up the restaurants and stores closest to your gate. It will also tell you the TSA wait times, current flight and gate information.
- If you are traveling internationally, review your mobile plan. Sometimes adding an international data plan can be just a few extra dollars for a month. You can always turn it off when you return home.
- For your safety, share your itinerary with a family member or friend who is not traveling with you.
- Be sure to have your hotel, car rental and tour confirmations with you.
by Sara Genrich
For specific packing tips see our video:
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