No matter where you’re headed—a sunny island resort or a lake house in Michigan—you’ll need to pack a few essentials. Unfortunately, this process can be a bit tricky since you want to make sure that every possible situation is covered. You’ll need beach clothes, swimwear, cosmetics, shoes—the list is never-ending. On the bright side, there’s a way to have everything you need and still feel like you’re being a smart traveler.
If you’re having trouble deciding on what to bring, here are 5 tips to help you pack for your next vacation. By keeping things simple and organized, you’ll be ready for anything!
1. Make a List and Check It Twice
One of the biggest problems that travelers face is realizing they’ve forgotten something important after it’s too late. The best way to avoid this is to make a list of everything you need or follow an online list for reference! Having something to follow will make last-minute packing much easier and you’ll be less likely to forget the favorite sweater you had dry-cleaned especially for the trip!
2. Travel Light
Depending on which airline you choose to fly with, you’ll be able to have one carry-on bag and one personal bag (like a backpack or purse). With those two things alone, you should be able to fit everything you need. Keep in mind, people tend to wear the same outfits when they’re on vacation. This becomes even more true when you’re sitting on the beach all day in your bathing suit! You want to pack articles that are functional and diverse. For example, try packing clothes with similar colors to allow flexibility in your looks. Also, bring a garment that serves a purpose—one specifically for a nice dinner in town or shopping at a promenade. Having too many options can be overwhelming, so pack light and stay versatile.
3. Avoid Checking a Bag
Although it’s sometimes inescapable, choosing not to check the second piece of luggage will help keep your travel plans efficient and stress-free. Airport wait times during holiday seasons are notorious for being long, and by ditching the checked bag altogether you can make your way right to the gate. Besides, when you’re packing, knowing that you have extra room in a checked bag can lead to over packing. You’ll wind up bringing 6 pairs of shoes, too many jeans, and those workout clothes you swear you’ll break in this time around. Remember, the whole point of your vacation is to relax and have fun, so when you bring less stuff, it leaves more room for awesome memories.
4. Roll Your Clothes, Don’t Fold Them
Backpackers all over the world are able to fit tons of clothes in their compact bags because of one thing: rolling their clothes instead of folding them. Rather than stacking thick sweaters on top of jeans and toiletry kits, try taking each article of clothing and tightly roll it like a fine crepe. Doing this will allow you to fit lots of clothes into every nook and cranny of your luggage while having plenty of room to still put things on top. Plus, another great benefit of rolling your clothes is that wrinkles become easier to remove when you unpack. Folding clothes can leave hard lines and creases that can be a pain to get out when you’re pressed for time, so ditch the old packing habits and let the good times “roll!”
5. Pack Everything You Want to Bring, Then Remove Half of It
Lastly, a great piece of advice to follow for any vacation is to pack your bag with everything you want to bring and then remove half of the load once you’re done. This simple trick will force you to choose items that are absolutely necessary and cut out the extras. In addition, having a bit of extra space will be great for bringing back any new purchases or gifts for friends and relatives! It can be tough to decide on what to bring when you’re visiting somewhere new, but rest assured that you’ll be more than prepared with a modest foundation.
More than anything, you want your trip to be one you remember. By following these 5 simple tips, you’ll spend more time experiencing new things, eating new foods, soaking up the sun with the people you love, and less time worrying about your luggage.
Now that your bags are all packed, don’t forget to enter our sweepstakes to win 2 round-trip tickets to Hawaiian Airlines! You have until Aug 31 to enter to win the summer trip of a lifetime!