Travel Tips: Packing for a Vacation
The days when bags were part of the airline fare are gone. Some airlines are charging $100 per bag if you want to check them. Most travelers load up when they go on vacation and may have two or three bags to check. That means your budget takes a big hit before you leave your home city. Packing for a vacation is another important part of the travel budget, fewer bags means you have the more money to spend on the trip.
Packing for a trip to the beach or to an island resort is easier than packing for a 5 city sightseeing adventure, but if you follow a few simple rules you can pack one bag to check or have one carry-on that conforms to airline regulations, so you don’t have to pay those nasty fees.
Before you start packing clothes, check your travel documents. Make sure that your passport and visa, as well as other travel documents are up-to-date and you have a secure place to carry them, which is usually in a hidden pocket or leg pouch that’s out of sight. Travel insurance is a must for some travelers, so check you policy and make sure you have coverage. Make sure you give your travel itinerary and contact information to a family member or a friend, so you can be contacted in an emergency. It’s also a good idea to visit our website. We offer free travel advice, especially if you’re traveling to a country that’s new to you. Another way to get information is to visit your host country’s website, so you can get an idea of what the country has to offer in terms of local festivals, new sites to explore or changes in custom regulations. All of those details can have an impact on your travel budget.
When you start to pack for the trip, think about what your daytime and nighttime activities will be. During the day you usually dress casually, so t-shirts, jeans, shorts, athletic shoes, flip-flops and sunscreen are the essential items. If going on a seven day trip, all you really need is three t-shirts, 2 pairs of shorts, 2 pairs of jeans, a pair of sandals and a pair of comfortable shoes. You’ll also need clothing for dinner and evening events. Most places are casual, so a couple of dresses, 2 casual shirts and 2 pairs of pants will work at any resort or city you visit. A light jacket or sweater may be needed and fresh undergarments and sleepwear round out your travel attire.
All of those articles will easily fit in one bag, and if the bag is the right size it can be a carry-on, which saves you money. If the trip is longer than a week, you have the option of using laundry facilities on the trip or you can pack more clothes and pay the price. You can also send a bag ahead and the hotel will hold it for you.
Toiletries can no longer be carried on a plane unless they are less than 2 ounces. You have a couple of options if you need to bring personal items that must be checked. Send those items to the hotel in a bag of clothes a couple of days before you depart. Use a delivery service and mark them “Hold for Guest Arrival.” Your bag will be waiting for you when you get there. Sending items ahead makes sense as long as the cost is less that the cost of checking them.