So you’re planning a family vacation during spring break! The very thought of vacation conjures up images of relaxing, exploring new locations, and just getting away from the daily grind and responsibilities that comprise our busy lives.
And anticipating the upcoming vacation feels pretty great, too. Two more weeks, one more week, and before you know it, the departure day has arrived.
Some people don’t prepare in advance, then rush and pack just hours before leaving; others take their time and start to prepare a week or more before the big day. But regardless of how you do it, there’s packing to be done.
Here are some practical suggestions from the professional organizer in NYC that will get you organized and enable you to pack like an expert traveler:
- For starters, don’t wait until the last minute, especially if you are packing for your children as well as yourself. There’s nothing worse than packing an hour or two before departure, rushing to get everything into your suitcase only to find that several of the items that you wanted to pack are at the dry cleaners. Packing with no time to spare usually means that you will either over pack (maybe I’ll finally want to wear that flower print shirt) or under pack (why didn’t I think to bring an extra pair of shoes). Neither situation is good.
- Before you actually begin packing, you should make a list of everything that each member of your family will need. Don’t forget accessories, jewelry, toiletries, outerwear, and anything else you might want or need. Remember that you can (and probably will) pare down the list once you have it written down.
- Don’t forget that you have to pack with your destination in mind. That means you should check the 10-day weather forecast so that you will bring the right clothes for the weather that is predicted, not necessarily for what they are experiencing that very day.
- Limit your color palate for your wardrobe. Stick with neutrals (beige, black, grey, brown, navy) and liven things up a bit by using accessories and fun shoes. Be careful with the light colors as they can show the dirt and may not wear as well as the darker colors.
- Select items that are made of fabrics that don’t easily crease and will look like (almost) new when you take them out of the suitcase. Wash and wear is terrific and affords you even more flexibility with your vacation wardrobe.
- Don’t follow the just in case philosophy of packing. (I better take that just in case.) A good rule of thumb is to pack enough clothes for four days of travel. Remember that you can mix and match the clothes and combine them into new outfits.
- If you intend to pack immediately then place everything on your bed; if you are going to accumulate the items over a few days before filling your suitcase, find a convenient spot in your home to lay out the items for the trip. Make sure your list is close by and check things off as you pack them in the suitcase.
- Think you can carry-on? Fantastic, and the first thing you need to do is check with your airline to make certain that your bag is the correct size. If you intend to carry-on, you must be scrupulous about what items you intend to take and what stays home. Remember that the 3 ounce rule is still in effect and so all of your toiletries must be 3 ounces or less in order to carry them on. Most hotels have bathrooms stocked with the essentials so don’t go overboard and take your entire bathroom with you.
- Experienced travelers know that mishaps occur and on the off-chance your luggage is not waiting for you when you arrive at your destination you will want to have a carry on that has a change of clothes and a spare set of underwear. You may not need it but you’ll thank me if you ever do. As they say, better safe than sorry.
And the packing is done! Congratulations on a job well done. The professional organizer in NYC hopes that you get a chance to relax! Bon voyage!