Packing. Sounds daunting right? In my world there are two kinds of packers, those who pack in advance and are super organized, and those who lets just say put it off until the night before. Which one are you? Whether you’re jet setting to Africa like Miss Anna, trekking to Brazil or boating to Japan, one should never underestimate or take lightly the importance of proper packing. How and what you pack truly sets the tone for your entire trip. If you’ve ever gone out of town to find out that you forgot your glasses or the one pair of high heels you needed for that night out, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

How to begin, well first things first it’s best to commence with my favorite a CHECK-LIST. Grab a paper and pen and start listing! A check list of the things you need to bring with you as well as a check list of the things you need to take care of before you leave (i.e. arranging for someone to water your plants, watch your dog, get your mail, you get the idea.) This will help you organize everything you need to bring with you, clothing, toiletries, shoes, maps, guidebooks, jewelry, hotel information etc.

There are a lot of things to consider when creating your check list and packing, things like-

  • Where you will be staying- with friends, at a hotel, with family
  • Length of stay- a week, two weeks, three days
  • Weather conditions and temperatures (I always check the forecast for where I’m going)
  • Who you’re traveling with
  • If you’re traveling abroad
  • Means of transportation
  • Are you familiar with where you’re going
  • What kind of amenities will be offered where you’re going- will there be a hair dryer, iron, washer/dryer

All are important factors in helping you decide what to bring and how much of it. When you’ve been able to compile your list of what to bring its time to put it all into your suitcase (using a suitcase with wheels is usually nice, that way you don’t have to lug your bag around). I’ve read that rolling your clothes, rather than folding them is best. It’s suppose to save space and eliminate those pesky wrinkles. Beginning with the heaviest things at the bottom of your suitcase is also suppose to be a good place to start. When organizing your clothes try and layer your outfits together that way you don’t have to pull ever single thing our of your suitcase when you’re looking for that pink sweater. When I pack I usually try to pack a lot of basics. Like one pair of black pants, one pair of jeans, a skirt etc and then match a couple tops with each, that way I’m saving a little bit of space. I typically bring one pair of sandals, one pair of heels and a pair of comfortable tennis shoes (Or again like Anna you might pack your TOMS :)).  Something I always try to remember is to put all of my toiletries, like shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste etc in a zip lock bag because it’s never fun to arrive to your destination and open your suitcase to find that your lotion exploded all over your clothes. Once your bag is all packed and ready make sure that you’re luggage is all clearly labeled with your name, address, and contact telephone number. You never know when that might come in handy!

Finally I’d recommend if you’re going to be flying on a plane for a long time, (Like Anna!) pack entertainment. Books, iPod, lap top for movies, fun stuff to keep you occupied so you’re not bored out of your mind!

The most important part though of preparing for a trip is not stress out and have FUN.

Bon Voyage! Adios! Ciao! Au Revoir! Farewell!