Organizing in Advance for Traveling

Getting ready for a trip used to be such a hassle for me. Trying to gather up all the necessities, hoping I didn't forget anything, invariably finding out I did forget something. Plus I'd wind up taking 4 huge suitcases for a 3 day trip because of everything I was taking. Then I decided to get organized.


Now I have a bin in my bathroom that I have labeled "Travel". In it I have travel size bottles for shampoo/conditioner, lotions, mouthwash, a small spray bottle for hair spray, and all the other things. There's even a mini hair dryer in there. In this bin I also keep travel size pet food dishes, and any other travel size pet needs. And there are 2 seven day pill dispensers for any meds I may be on.

On my computer I have a file titled "Travel" and 3 sub-files under it titled "Summer", "Winter", and "Spring/Fall". Each sub-file has a list of everything I will need for a trip during that season of the year. The only thing I have to do is go through and put how many of each I will need depending on how long I will be gone. Then I print out the list and put it in a page protector and put it in my suitcase.

As I pack I refer to the list, checking each item off as it gets packed. The night before leaving I go through and recheck the list against the suitcase just to be sure. This way I know I have everything and nothing is forgotten.


Now if a last minute trip comes up (which happens a lot in our family!), I can be packed and ready to go in a matter of 1-2 hours, and not have forgotten a thing.

By Cricket from Parkton, NC

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March 18, 20100 found this helpful

Storage the list in luggage is such a good idea. Never thought of that.

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March 18, 20100 found this helpful

Have been doing this for years. I take it a couple of steps further: have the basic list on the computer for each season, short or long trip, and start revising it a few weeks ahead. That way, if I think of something to add/delete, I can do it in advance. I love making lists, and my family is rather amused by them, but no so much when I have everything I need for that specific trip and they have forgotten something. Then, too, I love the anticipation of a trip and this just adds to it. Great idea to share with others.

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March 18, 20100 found this helpful

Great idea about 'seasonal' lists,I hadn't thought of that! I think it would be great to hear other travel tips! I do a lot of the other stuff too. I keep all my travel size stuff you listed in a large toiletry bag, along with a toothbrush,small hairbrush, nail clippers, etc & never unpack it. Another neat thing (especially with kids), is to put together entire outfit (socks, undies, clothes) & put each outfit into a gallon ziplock bag-partially seal it, then put it on a chair & carefully sit on it to remove the air & zip it shut.


Doing it this way takes up way less space in the suitcase,& when you take the clothes off at the end of the day, you re-pack in the bag -keeps the dirty stuff separated!Kids can just grab a bag & have their outfit without making a mess going through everything. You can get 1 1/2-2 gal ziplock bags for adult size stuff & a funny thing, if you fold the clothes right, they come out of the bags with very few wrinkles, unlike packing in a suitcase, so you don't need a travel iron! I've even done this with my favorite pillow so I can take it!

Another thing, I have 1 overnight bag, where I pack 1 outfit & night clothes for every family member, along with the toiletries, contact stuff, etc that we would need for the night if we are stopping overnight on the road. I also add a healthy snack to hold the kids over in the AM while we're getting ready to leave the hotel-that way when we check in,we don't have to haul a bunch of luggage in for everyone, just 1 bag!

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March 20, 20100 found this helpful

I keep a filled travel bag in the suitcase. Remember, though, if you take the 7-day med case to make sure it is empty until you get to where you're going.


According to the laws, Meds need to be in their original bottles.

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