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Is there a vacay in your future?  Or dare I say it… a business trip? (Ew.)  Either way, it’s important to pack well and light. (Well, only if flying.  I prefer to take the kitchen sink if driving. Know what I’m sayin’?)

Needless to say, I pack like other people shave:  tight and right.  So I thought maybe I should share some of my secrets to making a suitcase user-friendly:

 

Ziploc bags

Ziploc bags

*Toiletries go in Ziploc bags.  Plus, take an extra.  Yes, I know you have a fancy little kit with 50 compartments for Q-tips and body wash, but what happens when a lid pops off in-route?  Guess who’s wasting precious vacation time scrubbing out those compartments?  Exactly.  Instead, Ziploc can go in the trash, you break out the new one, and you’re sippin’ a drink by the pool.  (And if you don’t need the back-up, you can use your Ziploc for your swimsuit that may still be wet after your 3am swim on the last night in Cabo.)

*Roll, not fold.  It’s a little like shaken, not stirred.  When you pack your clothes in your bag, roll them.  They take up less room and although it may sound not quite right, they actually get less wrinkled when you roll instead of fold.

*Speaking of taking up less space, always leave room in your bag on the way there because it never goes back in as easily as it got there.  Well, that and you might have over-purchased souvenirs or packed in 2 seconds in avoidance of having to go home.  There is that.

*I also recommend taking a trash bag or your ginormous Macy’s bag you have from your last shopping spree.  Put your un-used clean clothes in it for the trip home and less laundry for you!  Woo-hoo!

*Pack a sweater.  Supposed to be 100 degrees?  Yep.  Unless you don’t pack a sweater and then it’s 50.

*Call ahead to see if the hotel provides hairdryers, irons, shampoos, etc.  No need to stuff crap in that is already sitting there waiting for you.  (Yes, I’m picky about my hair, too, but if it’s the difference between packing, hauling, re-packing, and un-packing, I can use lavender-seaweed shampoo once or twice.)

*Check to see if there’s a Walgreens nearby.  Walgreens generally doesn’t mark up their crap just because you’re in a tourist trap so if you forget something, don’t want to lug it cross-country, or don’t have a fortune to spend in the hotel lobby snack shop, you know where to go.

*Take comfy shoes.  Yes, I understand you want to look good, but who the hell knows you there?  And if you’re worried about pictures on Facebook, have a waist-up policy of photo-taking.  Easily solved.  Or are you afraid they won’t match?  I can solve that, too:

*Take clothes you can mix and match.  I’m guessing you already know that your bag should be heavy on neutrals – blacks, whites, navy, browns, and khakis.  Then you can be sure to have shoes that go with your outfits and not be so over-packed that it takes a back-hoe to dig out your outfit for the day.  But if you’re headed to tropical nations, be sure to have a pop of color, too.  Nobody wants to see you looking like you’re at a funeral in Cabo.

*Double the panties, double the fun.  Needless to say, the thing you want most of is your unmentionables.  Things closest to your body can’t be worn as many times as the outer layers.  Plus, who wants to hunt down new bras on vacay?  Ug.  I have heard of people that just take their saggy, old underwear with them so they can throw them away and not haul them home, but seriously?  Who wants to be hiking up falling-down bikini bottoms on their hike up the Great Wall? Lol.

*Have a carry-on.  What should be in it?  Anything you can’t easily replace should the rest of your luggage be lost like your 40EE bra.  Not gonna find one of those very readily on a mountain in Estes.  Just sayin’.  And yes, you should have your emergency plane stash of reading material, electronic devices and chargers, and your saltine crackers for a nervous, or hungover, stomach.  (Okay, so some people only take a carry-on, but well, if it’s $50 for checking my bag vs. me smelling like a teenage basketball player who hasn’t discovered deodorant yet on the 7th day of a trip, I’ll pay the moola.)

 

Now pack it up and get the hell out of here!  There’s an umbrella drink calling your name somewhere!

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Do you have any other tips for me?  Have any bad packing experiences you’d like to share?  I want to hear them!