It’s officially summer and I am dreaming of getting away
While it’s been decades since I was in school, when June comes around I still long for a summer break. My consolation is getting away for a few days, on either a trip or a vacation. (In my book, anything that includes family is a trip, not a vacation.)
But as much as I love getting away, I dread the stress of getting ready
There’s so much to do—trying to get work wrapped up, taking care of all the household details, packing…
And flying just makes things worse
Pre-flight screening continues to get more complicated and airline luggage policies more restrictive.
It’s become very important to pack light and right
One of the biggest challenges for me has been getting everything to fit into one carry-on bag. After a little bit of researching and experimenting, I think I’ve got a good system in place.
Fight the desire to pack as if preparing for Armageddon
- Unless you’re actually heading into the wilderness, you don’t need to pack as if you were. It’s pretty easy to pick up anything that you may not have packed, or have it delivered to you.
Pare down to a minimal amount of toiletries
This has been my greatest challenge. How do I get everything to fit into one small bag? I’ve found a lot of great sample sizes that work really well, like this skincare kit from Dr. Houschka for mature skin. And if I’m going to a sunny location, I buy my body sunscreen there.
Focus on what you know you will wear, not when you might wear
There are clothes that we know we will wear, and those we might wear, given the right occasion. Leave the latter at home.
- I find it helpful to do a “pre-pack” a few days before I leave. The night before departure, I review the weather forecast, go through everything and take out about a third of what I had packed.
Get and stay organized
There are many sources that show how you can roll or fold clothes to maximize space in your suitcase, but honestly that’s never worked for me. What has worked are packing cubes. I know that I can fit the set I have (see below) and 2-3 pairs of shoes into my carry-on luggage. I use:
- The smallest for underwear and socks
- The next smallest for swimwear and workout clothes
- The second largest for going-out clothes
- The largest for my everyday outfits
The set also comes in a handy storage bag that doubles as a laundry bag.
Once I reach my destination, I only unpack what needs to be placed on hangers and store all my dirty clothes in the laundry bag. This makes repacking a snap and I am much less likely to leave something behind.
And keeping my jewelry in pill bags means that I only need to pack a small and light pouch that I can safely stow in my purse.
I hope that these tips and products help make your travels less stressful.
Some of my favorites