When going on a vacation of more than one week, it is often difficult to know which items to pack and which to leave at home. Below are some tips for packing that can lighten your load and make packing a breeze.

Personal Care Items

Do you really need to pack soap, shampoo, conditioner and a blow dryer? If you are staying in a hotel that provides such things then the answer is “no”. Packing shampoo and conditioner can be a hassle. These items can leak, are often heavy and can, at times, cause your bag to be searched when it otherwise would not.

Call ahead to the hotel to verify which items they provide to their guests and then leave your own items at home.

Check the Weather

You do not need to bring every piece of clothing that you own. While it is true that you may not be familiar with the weather in the area that you will be visiting, you can check on the internet. Some still feel they must pack clothes for every contingency because weather can change. While there is some truth to this, a good rule of thumb is to pack for the weather that is forecasted and toss in just a few extra items in case there is a sudden change.

Roll Your Clothes

Many clothing items will make it to your destination with less wrinkles if you roll them, rather than folding, before packing. This also allows you to fit more items in the suitcase and to have a better view of what you have when you begin to unpack.

Of course, some items will still wrinkle, but rolling your clothes will save you from having to iron every single thing in your suitcase.

Carry On

Knowing which items to include in your carry-on bag can be tricky. After all, the allowable bags are not very big, but they might end up being all that you have should your checked luggage get lost during your trip.

Here is a list of some suggested items to try and keep in your carry-on bag.

One to two changes of underclothes

One extra shirt

All prescription medications

Fragile electronics such as your laptop and camera

Important paperwork, such as passport and credit cards

Leave Some Room

If you plan to buy several souvenirs during your trip, you should leave plenty of room in one of your suitcases in order to accommodate the extra goods. In order to stop your items from moving around a lot in your half empty suitcase, consider filling the space with a pillow or two that you don’t mind leaving behind.

If You Lock It…

If you choose to place a lock on your checked baggage, make sure it is the type of lock that is approved by TSA. If it is not, then the lock will be cut in order for screeners to access the bag should it be selected for screening.

Flag It

To make finding your luggage a bit easier after you land, add a colorful and unique luggage tag to make your suitcase easy to spot.

Of course, you will still want to verify that it is yours by checking the label, but the colorful tag will just make the process a bit easier.

The above packing tips can help you pack only what you need and in a way that will mean less hassle throughout your trip.

Tagged: Stuart