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Expert Advice

A Guide to Smart Vacation Packing

Find the balance of simplified preparation when you pack for your next trip

Carol J.

We’ve all been in the position of not knowing what and how much to pack for our vacation. Moreover, once we arrive, we either realize that we’ve forgotten something important or we’ve over packed.

Smart vacation packing and proper planning will make the task much easier for you.

Below are some suggestions for you to consider prior to your trip:

Prepare a List

When first planning your vacation, consider what you usually do in a day. This is a good start to knowing what you will need to bring with you. For instance, if you like to start your morning reading the news on your tablet, don’t forget to pack it. If you take certain medication every day, write it down so you don’t forget it.

Check the Weather

Regularly check the weather forecast for the dates you will be traveling and pack your wardrobe accordingly. If for instance, you’re traveling somewhere warm, remember to pack sunscreen and sunglasses. If the weather is calling for rain, bring an umbrella and/or a rain poncho. If the weather is going to be colder, bring heavier clothing, gloves and a hat.

Plan for Your Activities

Think about whether or not you’ll be chilling by the pool or attending social functions. This will determine what you need to pack, such as mix and match outfits that you can wear more than once.

Research whether or not your hotel or your room has laundry facilities. This can mean bringing less clothing altogether.

If you plan on attending a social function, don’t forget to pack that little black dress or a pair of dress pants and a sports shirt with a collar.


Packing smaller toiletry items is key to reducing the size and weight of your luggage. For instance, if you have a favorite shampoo or cream that you like to use, pour some into smaller containers. If you’re not particular, then you are probably better purchasing these items once you’ve arrived at your destination.

Another good practice is to select clothes that don’t crease and you can roll into a ball. These take very little room and are considerably lighter.

Consider Your Footwear

If you plan to do a lot of walking, consider comfortable footwear designed for long-distance walking. If you plan to do some mountain climbing, you’ll need proper footwear. Usually,  two to three different shoe options are all that is required for a week-long vacation.

Consider What Else You Need

One thing people often forget is to charge all of their electronics before their vacation. I’ve been in the middle of a movie on the plane and my tablet ran out of battery. Unfortunately, I was left with nothing to keep me occupied for the balance of the flight.

Plan properly for all of your electronic equipment including phone, tablet, cameras and whatever else you plan to bring along. Download plenty of movies and music to pass the time. This is especially important if you have small children with you as it will also come in handy on those rainy days.

Don’t Forget ID

Don’t forget your necessary identification such as bank cards, health cards and your passport. In the unfortunate event that your luggage is lost, it’s important that you carry these with you, not in your suitcase. Placing them in a handbag or a carry on onto the plane is best.

Lastly, don’t forget to consider which luggage to bring!

Hopefully, I’ve provided you with enough tips to get you packing and sent off to your next vacation adventure, albeit a little lighter.

Happy travels!

Carol J.

An owner since 2013, Carol loves the sunrise views at her home resort, Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Anderson Ocean Club in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She treasures having a full kitchen there, in which she enjoys cooking farmers market cuisine, such as fresh fish and garden greens. Carol travels with an iPad in her carry-on so she can always capture her favorite travel moments and use several travel apps to help make her vacations more seamless. While on vacation, she appreciates waking up with the sun to savor a cup of local coffee on her balcony. Carol is getting ready to retire and will focus her life on exploring her home country, Canada, as well as visiting new international destinations and writing all about them.

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