Packing for a Trip

When traveling having everything you will need convenient and easy to find, can be a challenge. This guide is about packing for a trip.

June 28, 2011 Flag

I always pack my luggage over twenty-four hours in advance when I am taking a trip. I pack everything that I need in the bags. Then I take out the necessary cosmetics, medication, toothbrush, etc. from the bags that I need during the day and night. This way if you have forgotten anything, it is pretty easy to rectify. It is easier to put things into the bags at home than to buy them while you are traveling (and cheaper).

By cheaperthancheap from Boston, MA

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March 11, 20130 found this helpful

This is a great tip 'because it works'. I have been doing this for as long as I can remember and, when I realize that something hasn't been packed that should be packed, it's never too late to toss it in.

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May 27, 2016 Flag
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This guide is about packing light when traveling. Carrying only what you will need can be a challenge when taking a trip.

Small packed suitcase open against a white background

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July 10, 2008 Flag

In 1998, when we were expecting our first grandchild, I made a list of everything I needed to take with me to stay for a week, including my tooth brush and underwear.


Our daughter called while I was at work and said, "Mom, are you ready to be a grandma? My water just broke!" She herself was at work and being a nurse, they sent her right on up to the maternity ward.

We had a 4 hour drive to make and were packed and on the road within an hour, thanks to my trusty list of everything I needed to take with me. We made it in plenty of time to be there when our granddaughter was born, an experience I will always cherish and never forget.

I still use this list when getting our things together to go on a trip. It is quite worn now and over the years I have penciled in many items. I know exactly where my list is and I can be packed and ready to go in just a few minutes and have everything I need.

I would be lost without so I've got to take the time to retype it and save it on my computer.

By Betty from NC

July 18, 20080 found this helpful

Thanks Linda. The secret to my memory is: Write it down!


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July 22, 20080 found this helpful

I've made lists for our family vacations and for our daughter for summer camp. Mine were done on the computer, and I just print the list I need for the particular trip we're taking. I added a page of "trip preparations" like arranging for someone to feed our pets, errands like checking out books to read on the way, filling the gas tank, picking up snacks for the road, etc. I also added a list for when we get home and I write reminders about what's coming up so that I don't get too vacation-minded and forget important things that need to be done when we get back, bills to pay, appointments, etc.

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October 10, 20080 found this helpful

January 13, 2010 Flag
1 found this helpful

What kinds of food should I bring on my trip? I will be spending two nights at a hotel and will need about 7 meals total. I need some food ideas (besides tuna and bagels) that I could bring with me so that I don't have to spend money eating out. Thanks!

By Bella Swan from Forks, WA

January 18, 20100 found this helpful

We always take dry granola and fresh fruit for breakfast and snacks. Water and juices for drinks. Canned meat: small hams (if you have a larger family), canned tuna, canned chicken, a small package of pepperoni, and some cheese with bread or crackers. I'll bring along a couple of tomatoes, a small jar of olives and pickles. Maybe peanut butter. I take a roll of paper towels and some paper plates and glasses--think, PICNIC. We often look for a store rather than eat out, and if we need to pick something up, we look for a pizza, since we can all eat it and it's cheap.

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January 20, 20100 found this helpful

When we go to Walt Disney World, we always stop at SuperWalmart to pick up food to eat while we are there.

For you, I'd go to a grocery store at my destination and pick up the food. In the deli section, there will be already prepared foods you can take back to the room to eat. My grocery store has pizza, soup, salad, roasted chickens, subs, etc already prepared and ready to eat. Its much cheaper than eating at a restaurant and the food is freshly made. Plus you dont need to worry about keeping things cold or hot.

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January 26, 20100 found this helpful

October 14, 2008 Flag
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You know those storage bins that you buy with the lock on lids? Well when they are not in "use" and it is time to go on vacation, use them as your suitcase.

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March 30, 2010 Flag
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When my children were small, I would put together an entire outfit for each of them for every day we planned to be gone. I would include panties or undershorts as well as socks for every outfit. I would either put each outfit in a clear plastic bag or wrap and label them so that I could tell at a glance which child it belonged to and what it was. If one had an accident of any sort (like falling off the dock into the water), I had extras of everything for every child.

I'd roll each piece of clothing instead of folding anything, and surprisingly, they'd get less wrinkled, no matter what type of fabric. After being worn, I had white 13 gallon bags that were for dirty clothes only, and if we were in a place where we could do laundry, I'd include small plastic baggies of soap and dryer sheets right in that bag.

Those bits and pieces of organization was worth all the time it took me to put it all together. Shoes were all placed in clear plastic bags too, and they were never returned to their bag without being cleaned of all loose dirt etc. They went back into the bags ready to wear again.

It takes a bit of planning and some work before you leave home, but I found if I worked it all out on paper first, I could finish packing so much faster.

Each child had his or her own plastic bag with toothbrush, small toothpaste and any other personal toiletries they wanted to take. Into each of those bags went a clean washcloth to soak up any water or spilled liquid that escaped. I can't tell you how many times those washcloths saved me from having a wet luggage interior.

It's nice if every child can have his or her own small piece of luggage, but that's not always possible and unless each child is old and responsible enough to keep up with their own things, it just ends up making more work on Mommy and Daddy.

I still do most of the packing when I'm around my grown children and they are getting ready to take short car or long plane trips. They love having all their outfits right ready to put on. If they do change their minds about what goes with what, at least, everything is in clear plastic bags, and easy to see. I still roll everything and thank you to all those people who invented the new fabrics that don't even wrinkle. Be sure to make a current list of what is no longer allowed on airplanes so that when you start to pack, it's right there in front of you so that no mistakes are made.

Traveling, especially with children, can be made so much more fun if you plan carefully and prepare to take life a little easier. Don't forget that you're there to have fun too. It's also your vacation, so be ready to enjoy yourself.

Be sure to take along all prescriptions and an Emergency Kit of whatever you're allowed to carry on board if you're flying. You can add to it when you reach your destination if you need to.

Happy Vacation

By (Pookarina) Julia from Boca Raton, FL

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March 30, 20100 found this helpful

I used to pack for my 2 girls the same way. The bags made everything easier. This also taught them how to pack and now at 13 and 16, they pack for themselves. I have never had a problem with them doing this themselves, once they saw how to pack the right way.

Now with the flight restrictions and charges for baggage, my girls also know how to pack one carry-on for a week of travel. If there is a laundry where we are going, even better.

This summer we are going on a 10 day trip and then a week long cruise. We should have just one carry-on each for each vacation. Our 10 day trip will include a laundry for part of our vacation, so we really don't need to worry about running out of clothes. The key is mix and match clothes and packing correctly.

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March 31, 20100 found this helpful

Hi Julia, I really thnk we were made from the same mold! I used to do the same thing when my kids were little! It sure made it easier on trips!

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March 25, 2010 Flag
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When traveling, I always throw in a few extra quart size zip lock bags. Then when I buy something on the trip, such as lotions or perfumes, I put them in the bag to avoid any dripping or spilling on to my clothing.

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July 13, 2006 Flag
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Mini Zip Bags for Travel Tip. My husband and I just got back from a trip to the west coast to attend our son's retirement from the Navy after 24 years, then on to our daughter's wedding as well as visiting friends and family.

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May 31, 2006 Flag
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When my 5 kids were younger and we were going to my mothers for a visit, I made a packing list. This was to make sure I took everything we would need. For each child I put how many clothes he/she would need, such as 4 pairs of underwear, 3 t-shirts, also toys, etc.

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August 3, 2008 Flag
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I hate packing! There's so much to do before a trip that this chore is just an added nuisance! So those items that will ALWAYS go on trips with me, I just have them specifically designated for trips, instead of packing them when the time comes.

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May 30, 2008 Flag

My boyfriend lives out of state, and I'm flying down to meet him for an overnight trip. Does anyone have any picnic ideas I can pack and bring with me?

Here's my perimeters: I'm allergic to eggs, dairy and gluten/wheat. We won't have a refrigerator, though I can pack a small cooler with frozen things in my suitcase and check my suitcase.

I know my requirements are annoying, but I've wracked my brain and come up blank Could be because it's the end of the school year and I have report cards to finish! I'd hate to waste one precious second with him navigating traffic and dining out.

Shellee from Carson City, NV

June 2, 20080 found this helpful

black bean dip or salad, corn tortillas,cheese---if you have some heat source to melt the cheese. Corn chips and salad, deli meat or fajita steak or chicken with salsa and the same chips. Guacamole ( check for other options...type in gluten-free). Have a great time. There's also ham and cheese with rice crackers.

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June 3, 20080 found this helpful

I love raw, unsalted cashews, which I buy in bulk, a kilo at a time, and transfer to a lunch box, muesli bars, bananas and other fruit. If you take sultanas or dried fruit, wash first, as it gets the grit out.

Keep a bottle of cold water with you, and refill every chance you get. Borrow a story tape or CD from the library because you'll be between your fave stations on the radio. And take your own soap, antiseptic wipes, first aid kit and toilet paper in separate zip-lock bags, "just in case".

Suggest, too, that you 'phone him at certain major areas, pre-arranged. No matter the temptation, DO NOT USE your mobile whilst driving unless you are being threatened by another driver. Recent statistics show that using a cell phone is equivalent to being drunk whilst in charge of a vehicle. And enjoy your private "me" time, as well as the anticipation of seeing your boyfriend. Rest if you get sleepy. Remember, he would rather see you arriving alive but late than see you in a coffin or hospital bed. Sorry, I'm a Mum, it comes with the territory. lol

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March 28, 2005 Flag
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When traveling with children, use a plastic zip bag to hold one outfit together, from underwear, socks to clothes. The children can dress themselves and be coordinated.

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June 30, 2011 Flag
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How many outfits do I pack in one bag? Don't forget the hairdryer, the straightening iron, soap, hairbrush, comb, shampoo/conditioner, makeup, and cream for the face. I am just trying to pack everything in one bag. Thanks.

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