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Packing for a Trip

Category Travel
When traveling having everything you will need convenient and easy to find, can be a challenge. This guide is about packing for a trip.
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June 28, 2011

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).

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By cheaperthancheap from Boston, MA

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By 1 found this helpful
March 25, 2010

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. They're also great to put any jewelry in that you might take on your trip.

By Rita from Rossville, IL

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July 10, 2008

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.

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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

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October 14, 20080 found this helpful

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. When hubby and I go to the beach, we pack all of our clothes and necessities in these bins, put them in the back of the truck (does not matter if it rains, they are waterproof) and off we are.

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Not a lot of cumbersome luggage and at the end of your vacation, put all your dirty clothes in these too. Easy packing, easy traveling. If the lids do not fasten real tight, secure with a bungie cord. Happy vacationing.

By Julie from Liberty, NC

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July 13, 20060 found this helpful

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. It was a two week trip and we needed to take lots of clothes and accessories with us. One thing I found most useful was to place my earrings in those mini zip bags that you can buy for next to nothing at any craft store. I then placed all the bags into a small make-up bag to keep them all together. That made it so easy to find what I needed when I needed it. I don't know why I never thought of it before.

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By Judy from Birmingham AL

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By 0 found this helpful
March 30, 2010

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.
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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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May 31, 20060 found this helpful

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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By 0 found this helpful
August 3, 2008

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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March 28, 20050 found this helpful

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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May 27, 20160 found this helpful

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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By 0 found this helpful
May 28, 2012

Use the plastic pillbox/cases to store small pierced or clip on earrings. The larger sized pillbox/cases will hold larger earrings, rings, pins, etc. This method keeps jewelry organized and takes up very little space in the suitcase.

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October 30, 20040 found this helpful

When traveling, putting small items such as brushes, toothpaste, and undergarments in large zip lock bags, makes room for the larger items that have to be taken with you. By Della Gray

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 1 found this helpful
January 13, 2010

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

Answers

January 13, 20100 found this helpful

Lots of motel/hotels offer microwaves so why not make some casseroles and use the disposable containers to pack it in. tuna noodle, Mexican rice with beans and meat, left overs, etc. another easy one is fried chicken. Pack it in a doubled up gallon storage bag, or some type of tight container. If it reaches the water in a cooler, gross! Cans of soup, and some sandwiches.

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January 13, 20100 found this helpful

The easiest is peanut butter (Jelly optional) and a loaf of bread. Breakfast can be cereal and milk. Many hotels provide a little fridge and microwave. Canned soups can be heated, microwave popcorn is a good snack.

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January 13, 20100 found this helpful

My family drives down to Florida each year. I always pack enough food for two days. One thing that I always pack is a calzone. I just take some pizza dough stretch it out, put ham (or any other meat) and then cheese. Roll it up and bake it at 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes. This travels really well and it tastes better than a sandwich. You can put any type of meat and vegetables in the calzone.

Another thing I pack is oven fried chicken. I just bake the chicken before we leave and put it in a container. My family likes cold chicken, so this is a good meal for us.

Also in a cooler we put: drinks, snacks, salad, homemade cookies, quick bread and fruit.

For breakfasts we pack Sweet Bread, Banana Bread, Muffins. I also pack coffee or tea in a thermos. Sometimes you can get hot water for the thermos at a hotel or rest stop. I hope this helps!

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January 13, 20100 found this helpful

My son plays paintball so he & I find ourselves in a hotel for a couple of nights on a regular basis. I try to find hotels that have breakfast but a couple suggestions I can think of: sausage biscuits (bake biscuits before you go and cook sausage patties as well), heat in microwave & include a piece of fruit. Flavored instant oatmeal packet, cereal & milk. Bagel & cream cheese or peanut butter.

Lunch is pretty easy for us. We take pepperoni or summer sausage (cut at home), cheese (also cut) & crackers. If you are taking bagels, take some pizza sauce, cheese & meat to make a pizza bagel in the microwave. Individual servings of soup are good. You could take salads.

Dinner - I like the previous idea of casseroles. Tater tot casserole reheats great and it is one of my son's favorite. Spaghetti, chili.

If the hotel for sure has a microwave, you could also buy frozen meals that would be compact & travel well.

As said before, I pack a cooler and take a thermos of hot water with me. I take a 2-liter of pop to drink in the hotel. It is much cheaper than cans or bottles. I take hot cocoa mix & tea bags for the hot water. If I find them on sale, I will also buy Capri Sun for the car. I take 2 travel mugs with lids that can be used for hot or cold drinks.

I also take some fruit snacks, home baked cookies and a few other things for snacks. As my son is 15, he is always hungry.

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January 13, 20100 found this helpful

Well my input would be: don't count on a microwave being available. And take stuff easy to eat in a car.

Peanuts (preferably not salted so you don't get dry mouth)
Granola bars
Cheese crackers
Apples
Bananas

Lunch meat in a cooler with an ice pack, put some mayo or mustard in a ziplock bag and pack some bread to spread it all on. A nifty trick, I once packed more lunchmeat than I had bread for. I stopped at McyD's and purchased a McChicken for a buck. Asked for some BBQ sause. I took the chicken out of the sandwich and ait it like a oversized McNugget and then used the bun with the lettuce and mayo left over from the McChicken for a turkey sandwich (my leftover lunch meat).

Take some gum. Helps divert the urge to munch while you drive. I don't like gum, I pack Bit O Honey.

Look for some coupons for places you like to stop and eat just incase you HAVE to stop and eat. Hardees has coupons on line; Burger King might. If all else fails McDonalds has the dollar menu.

Pack a jar of ice. It will help your cooler stay cold and you can either use the ice for drinks or let it melt and drink it.

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January 17, 20100 found this helpful

If you're driving, it may be easiest to just find a grocery when you reach your destination. Also, I'd definitely phone the hotel beforehand and find out if a microwave is available.

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January 17, 20100 found this helpful

Personally if it was me and all I was going to be gone is two days I would not worry about taking enough food. You can find restaurants that have specials that don't cost much. Most motels/hotels serve breakfast. Call and see if the hotel you will be staying at does,if it does then all you have to worry about is lunch and supper. If you don't want to do this then I suggest you wait until you get there and go to the grocery store then you don't have to worry about keeping ice in you ice chest for the food.

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January 17, 20100 found this helpful

I have a plug in hotpot meant to heat water for instant coffee.
In such a pot you can heat all kinds of canned soups and you don't need a microwave.

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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

Tortilla spread cream cheese lay a layer of budding meat then slice a pickle up length wise roll around your pickle. Wrap in plastic wrap. I used sweet pickle, hubby likes dill. If you have a lunch bag pack in there with a small cooling item.

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May 30, 2008

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

Answers

By guest (Guest Post)
May 30, 20080 found this helpful

How about a grilled chicken, steak or salmon salad? Just wash and dry your greens, pack some dressing in small containers or maybe get some" to go "packets from your deli./ You could even freeze whatever meat or fish you'd like to use and wrap it in foil. By the time you get to your destination it will probably have thawed out and be just right.Throw in some cold beverages and some of your own safe to eat snacks and you are set. Have a safe trip!

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June 2, 20080 found this helpful

You should try recipegoldmine. YOu can get recipes for certain dietary restrictions there. Here is the link for gluten free recipes. Good luck with your trip. Hope you and your man have a wonderful time.
http://www.reci  /glutenfree.html

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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 recipezaar.com for other options...type in gluten-free). Have a great time. There's also ham and cheese with rice crackers.

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By guest (Guest Post)
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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June 5, 20080 found this helpful

OK again! What's a picnic without fried chicken. PERFECT luke warm. So pack it VERY COLD with an ice pack. Hard boiled eggs,a box of fresh strawberries a container of soft chocolate and ask him to bring a cold bottle of bubbly! Then ENJOY!

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By 0 found this helpful
May 21, 2012

How do I pack for 10 days without too many clothes?

By Marilyn K.

Answers

May 21, 20120 found this helpful

First, take only easy to hand wash and quick to dry clothes. Coordinate, coordinate, coordinate - each item should go with several other items. Second, what can you buy there? Toothpaste? Soap? Etc. Buy when you get there.

This will save space in packing. Use shoes as containers - stuff little things into the shoes as undies, etc. Check the weather where you are going and what you are going to do.
Lay out everything you want to take, and then reduce to half.

Back to coordinate. Select a main color for clothes and pack only that color and things that will go with it. This will give you more time for other things when you reach your destination as you can just grab something to wear knowing it will go with whatever else you have.

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July 31, 20170 found this helpful

I always pack too much! Will you have access to a washer and dryer? If so, that can help you cut back. Otherwise, try to pack things that all coordinate with other so you can wear an item twice, but with a different piece.

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June 30, 20110 found this helpful

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.

By c.c. from Seattle

Answers

July 1, 20110 found this helpful

Depends on the size of the bag. Actually your clothing would probably be better off in one bag and your hair and face supplies, etc. in another bag.

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July 1, 20110 found this helpful

Depending on where you are going, will you need the hair dryer? Many hotels have them, and if you are staying with someone you know, you can likely borrow it. If you have sample sizes of the products, they won't take much room, and if you don't have sample sizes, you may be able to put a couple of day's worth of each product into a smaller container, which will save a lot of space, as well. Your underthings can be put into a ziploc bag, flattened well, and the air let out, so that they make a very flat package. Don't forget about shoes; you can put bagged sample-size bottles of your products in them, or socks or undies. Choose clothing that can do double-duty. Skirts can go casual as well as be a little dressier, depending on what you will be doing. If you will have your own room, you won't need a robe. Don't forget you will be travelling in an outfit, which can be used again. (There is no If you will be taking a sweater or jacket, wear it to travel, you can always take it off and hang it over the seat.

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