*Also known as, how to cram as much junk as possible into a suitcase that needs to weigh less than 50 lbs
Your vacation is booked. You are counting down the days – and then it hits you – you need to pack. Not just for you, but for everyone else in your house. And just like that, the picture of paradise has turned in to a sea of suitcases just waiting to be filled.
Packing for a trip, whether it’s in a car for a couple of days or getting on a plane for an overseas adventure, can be daunting. While I am great at planning trips, even I can always use some packing tips to make the experience less painful. So, I asked a few local moms what their secrets were.
Let’s start with how you are getting there. Whether it’s a plane, train, or automobile, make sureyou pack something to keep everyone occupied so that YOU can enjoy the trip. For little kids, consider buying them a surprise they can open on the way; a magic pen book, a card game, notepads and crayons (one tip for the crayons, buy the three-sided ones so they don’t roll off airplane trays or off their laps in the cars – GENIUS).
Ahh… the carry-on bag… While most of us use it to throw in last minute items we forgot to pack, it really should serve a much more useful purpose. Whether you are traveling alone or with kids, pack extra clothes in your carry-on – this will serve multiple purposes – you have a back-up in case your luggage gets lost and you have a back-up in case your kid gets sick…or someone else’s kid gets sick on you. Use your carry-on bags for all of your medication, if your luggage doesn’t get to your destination with you, neither will those medications you need to take. Pack any expensive items you don’t want to be apart from in your carry-on. Even if you are taking a car, put all of these things in a separate bag so you can grab and go if you need to. One last item – an extra bag – preferably one that is foldable and you can take out if need to gate check your carry-on. Use this bag to throw essential items in that you can now store under your seat.
Everyone has items that are particularly important to them – for my comfort when getting to my destination, I need to have things as organized as possible, and to know we are all going to be clean, get through security hassle free, and be entertained while we travel. So as you’ll note in my pictures, we travel with Lysol wipes, and a game the whole family can play together. I organize all of our travel documents in a Knomo portfolio, and bring along some ginger candies “just in case.” And… once we get where we’re going, I like everyone to look their best in family photos, so I pack my own hangers to insure our clothing can stay wrinkle free, and make sure everyone has their favorite tee shirts so they can look cool when making new friends.
And now for the grand finale. Let’s get those suitcases packed. I received so many amazing tips about how to pack effectively and efficiently I’d be here all day writing about them, so I am going to give you the top five.
So now that we have taken the stress out of packing, it’s time to book that relaxing or adventurous vacation. Let me know where you want to go and I’ll get you there.
(SPECIAL THANKS TO THE “PLAINVIEW MOMS” FACEBOOK GROUP FOR THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS TO THIS ARTICLE – NOBODY IS A BIGGER EXPERT ON THINGS THAN THE PLAINVIEW MOMS!)