It's almost as fun as the trip.
We are preparing for some much-needed sunshine and relaxation. We find the pre-travel planning almost exciting as the trip itself, the key word there is almost . Here are a few of our tips to get you ready for next sunny vacay.
1. Check your passports.
Be sure you physically locate them, do they expire soon? You are going to want to allow for sufficient time if you need to renew.
2. Do an inventory and inspection of your luggage well in advance.
Do you have the right pieces for the type of travel you will be doing? Ask me about my latest experience, it added unnecessary stress a couple weeks before our departure because we changed the type of travel last minute to carry on due to all the recent horror stories of lost luggage. Unfortunately, we didn’t have what we needed and were scrambling to get it on order and here on time.
We like to maximize our luggage so if we are going carry on, we do a carry on and a personal item. If we are doing longer travel and checking luggage, then we do mid-size checked suitcase and then a larger size bag that is somewhere in between personal size and carry-on size like a weekender bag. If we are doing extended travel well, we might do all three medium checked suitcases, carry on suitcase and a personal item.
Make sure you always check your size restrictions with your airline as that could cause a bit of a kafuffle if your bags are oversized and they make you check them. Bonus tip, we don’t purchase the largest size checked bag and opt for the mid-size as there are weight restrictions on checked baggage and the larger suitcases in my experience are always overweight. If you need luggage, it’s my personal preference to build a quality set that will take some abuse and use, luggage can be pricy and who wants to have to replace it every few years. In addition, have different size options in your collection.
3. Start planning and compiling your outfits early.
I like to think about any specific items of clothing, swimsuits, shoes or any other items I might want for my trip a month or so ahead of time to give me time to order or purchase anything I need. The earlier the better especially if you’re travelling over busy holiday shopping times. I will start laying outfits out on the bed as early as a month in advance in some cases. Now this is not a set packing commitment, I’m just setting some possibilities aside, final decisions come closer to the trip and how I am feeling about certain styles at the time lol.
4. Try on your outfits.
Especially if they are new or if you have not worn them for a few seasons. The last thing you want to do is stuff your suitcase and use valuable real-estate on outfits that don’t fit, or you just won’t wear. I always go back to the words of Meredith Shaw, "pack for the person you are not the person you wish you to be."
Oh, and did that hit home for me. I remember my first trip to Hawaii, and I was selected for random bag search and the fellow doing the inspection was mocking me for how many pairs of shoes I had in my suitcase, did I wear all the shoes absolutely not. I liked to think I have learned and evolved as a traveler now.
5. Packing your toiletries.
A couple weeks prior I like to start thinking of the toiletries I'm taking, if I'm traveling carry on those changes. Things like suntan lotions, shampoos, etc typically can be purchased once your there to free up space for your must have most loved necessities. For me a good face cream, face sun block as well as a few others are top priority. I don’t wear a lot of make-up generally and on a sunny beach vacay its even less so a good face cream with SPF, mascara and lip gloss is about all I really need, however, I usually throw in a few extras but I leave all the foundations, and fancy brushes at home. I like vacation to be simple and like to get ready in a few minutes and get out in the sun.
Now as you heard above in the past shoes were a bit of an issue for me. I love shoes, a self-declared shoe addict. However, narrowing it down to a select few comfortable and versatile shoes is best. I spend the time in advance to get them all cleaned up to as I don’t want dirt shoes on vacay, but that’s just me.
7. Let’s talk extras.
Now I think these items may be of differing opinion for different people but for me I can leave things like a blow dryer, and clothes steamer at home. I’m not a clothes steamer at home so I am not going to be on holidays. I find if they are fairly wrinkle free and you roll them when packing and then just hang in the bathroom after a hot shower they will be just fine. If you really need a de-wrinkle you can always find an iron in most hotels and accommodations. I would rather have the extra space for outfits or to bring a little something home from the trip.
8. Final steps.
Get it all packed and ready a couple days prior to leaving to ensure you have not missed anything and that everything fits.
Make sure all your reservation details for stay, car etc are in one place should you need them. Check flights to ensure there are no changes, this is something you will want to keep on top of until you’re on your plane
Chill and get ready for relaxation.