As someone who travels quite a bit, I thought I'd share some tips for vacation packing and include my free printable packing lists. These packing lists have saved me so much worry over the years. I hope they are helpful to you! Traveling is so much fun, but it can also be stressful. We went to Puerto Rico a few years ago and as my nieces were going to be in Orlando the day before we left, we drove over and spent the day with them so they could have a cousin slumber party with my girls. They had a blast!
What this meant is that we would have our suitcases packed for Puerto Rico, but we would also need a day bag for Orlando. In case you aren't familiar with the term, a day bag is just a smaller duffel or suitcase for the day and maybe one night.
On cruises, you should always have a day bag as you probably won't get your luggage until sometime in the evening. You'll want to have your bathing suit, a cover-up, medications, toiletries, and anything else you would need before your luggage arrives.
When my husband and I went to Europe last year for the Viking Romantic Danube Cruise, we were rerouted and our luggage didn't arrive for three days. Fortunately, we did have a day bag, and the Viking team laundered our clothes every day, even when we returned back to the ship late! Having that luxury when traveling is rare!
It's not a bad idea to make up a day bag to carry with you when you're flying, too. I went to a conference in Arkansas a couple of years ago, and as I was rerouted when there was an issue with the plane, my luggage didn't get on the new plane with me.
Not having my luggage meant I would be attending the cocktail reception in jeans. Though I probably wouldn't have packed my cocktail dress in a backpack, at least I would have had my toiletries so I could have been able to freshen up.
As it was, the car that picked me up had a can of air freshener under the front passenger seat and when I put the seat back, it sprayed all over my legs, making me smell extra nice. I will always be remembered at that event for smelling like pine trees. Travel is not always fun, but it is always interesting!
6 Tips for Vacation Packing
1 Pack a Day Bag
Always try to pack anything you might need the first day in a bag you can take with you.
2 Roll Your Clothes
Tightly roll your clothes and pack items closely together. This really does prevent wrinkling. I love these packing cubes I got a couple of months ago.
3 Check the weather
I can't tell you how many times we have been unprepared. It does get cold in Florida in the winter. Bermuda is just off the coast of North Carolina, so don't think it's warm all year. Check the weather!
4 Pack Dirty Clothes in One Suitcase For the Trip Home
When packing for your return trip, pack your dirty clothes (in plastic hotel bags) all in one suitcase. This makes unpacking so easy. If you're not staying in a hotel, bring a laundry bag or two or plastic grocery bags.
5 Bring an Extra Tote Bag
Pack an extra large tote bag that folds up in a pouch. You can use it as a beach bag and carry home extra purchases. On one occasion I had a suitcase that was over the free limit on Southwest. I took out one of the bags of dirty clothes, placed it in my tote bag, and my suitcase was then under the weight limit. I think it saved me $75. Sweet.
6 Use a Packing List
I've got you covered on that one! You will be so glad you didn't forget anything!
Of course, not all packing lists are the same. Depending on where you're going, you may need a bathing suit and snorkel, or you might need gloves and a ski mask. Wherever your travels may take you, I hope there is a packing list here that helps!
Kids bring a host of other necessities, so there's a special list for them, as well as a list just for cruising. Just click on the list you need and print. Happy travels!
Printable Vacation Packing Lists
The trick is to use these lists! I travel a LOT, and when I don't use a list, I spend my entire drive to the airport wondering if I forgot anything. When I pack using a list, I can relax, knowing everything is checked off.
Warm Weather Printable Vacation Packing List
Cold Weather Printable Vacation Packing List
Printable Vacation Packing List for Kids
Printable Vacation Packing List for a Cruise
If you are looking for ways to save on your vacation expenses, check out my 8 Steps to Almost Free Travel and how to save on food when traveling. Cruising? You'll want to read these cruise packing list tips.
What other ideas would help you with getting ready for your next trip? Let me know and I'll try to address them. Thanks for visiting.