Summer Vacation Packing Tips for the Family

   By lisasamples  May 12, 2011

Packing can always be a tricky part of our summer vacations.  If we are traveling by car the challenge is fitting a family of four and luggage for the week into our vehicle while still being comfortable while traveling.  If we are flying to our summer destination we are always tasked with bag and weight restrictions. 


Here are some handy tips to keep in mind while preparing for your summer vacation this year:


Always call ahead to your hotel to find out if they offer hair dryers, shampoos, beach towels, etc.  If they do (and most do), don’t bring your own.


Color coordinate your wardrobe.  By choosing your wardrobe around limited colors and accessorizing your outfits for a fresh look you minimize the amount of clothing you need to bring to complete outfits.


Baggies are your friend, so make sure you put whatever toiletries you bring that could leak in a sealable baggie. 


Roll with it from the hemline to the waist.  To make extra room while packing fold your pants/skirts in half and roll them from the hem to the waistline.  This will save you a ton of room and some ironing as well.


Order is everything when packing.  If you hap-hazardly throw everything in your suitcase chances are you will never get it to close or worse yet you will open it only to find a mess.  Shoes should go on the bottom, followed by layers of clothing, with toiletries and other smaller items tucked in as you go. If you have fragile items make sure you don’t put them on the top or bottom, but cushion them between your clothes.  Be sure to utulize the smaller sections of your luggage for your under garments and smaller items.


These suggestions will make your summer travel much simpler but aren’t all inclusive.  There are tons of tips and tricks that help when packing – enough that I could write an entire series on packing.  Our final suggestion is to pack roughly one week prior to your trip.  If you pack any sooner you are bound to forget what you packed (make a list) and tend to over pack.  If you pack any later you will tend to forget important things due to the stress of rushing.  If you pack about a week in advance it also gives your suitcase a chance to "settle" and often times you will find some unexpected room available to ensure the inclusion of any last minute items without having to struggle. 


What are your recommendations?  How do you save room when you travel?

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kwilty611 by kwilty611 | SUSSEX, WI
Jun 07, 2011

It is great to color coordinate on vacation. I pack mix and match tops and bottoms. Even the shoes are easier to pack if you stick to one or two colors and a basic color like white. I even keep it in mind when I shop for summer clothes.

Azigel by Azigel | ALBERTSON, NY
May 13, 2011

I am the worst packer! Anyone else wish there was a service that could pack for you? Lisa are you available :)

ladyvdzine by ladyvdzine | Hazelwood, MO
May 13, 2011

We are going on vacation real soon, so I appreciate the tips. I roll, but I hadn't thought to call ahead to avoid packing unnecessary items.

HazelCCobb by HazelCCobb | NEW YORK, NY
May 13, 2011

I don't mind packing, I just hate re-packing. Nothing ever fits the second time around. I never tried the rolling method. I'll have to try that.

dnuncio by dnuncio | Elmhurst, NY
May 13, 2011

I'm SUCH a roller - my mom taught me her "rolling" tricks when I studied abroad. Saves so much space! And I'm a big Ziploc fan - whenever I travel I carry extra bags in my purse JUST IN CASE!

jerseygirl1 by jerseygirl1 | MAPLEWOOD, NJ
May 13, 2011

I hate packing. It makes me dread a trip, since I have to pack for myself and also my 2 boys so it takes me forever. I never know what I need so I always pack way too much. I love your baggies and rolling suggestions. Only thing worse then packing for a trip is unpacking when we get home!