What to pack for vacation varies based on multiple factors. For instance, items you pack for your summer vacation in July will differ for a winter getaway in December.
Deciding how much to pack for a trip comes down to your destination, the length of your trip, the weather, and the types of excursions you'll be taking.
CREATING A PACKING LIST
If you’re unsure about the best way to pack for a trip, we highly recommend starting with creating one or more packing lists to get (and stay) organized – and ensure you don’t miss anything important.
YMT Vacations has several suggested packing lists based on different destinations, such as how to pack for trips to Europe. These lists will guide you in the right direction and take the headache out of determining what you should and should not pack for specific destinations.
Essentials Packing List
No matter where you’re headed, there are certain essentials you’ll want to bring with you. For this reason, it’s a smart idea to have an essentials packing list that you can refer to for every trip you take.
Below are some examples of items to include on your essentials packing list but, of course, you’ll want to adapt this list to your specific needs:
- ID (driver’s license for local trips, passport for international)
- Airline tickets / e-ticket flight confirmation
- Itinerary / accommodation / transportation confirmations
- Copies of medical insurance coverage (copies)
- Prescriptions or medications
- Mini first aid kit
Useful Carry-on Items
Wondering what to pack in your carry-on bag? Some of the items you’ll want to consider keeping on you for easy access include:
- Electronics (phone, computer, camera)
- Portable chargers and adapters
- Non-perishable snacks
- Ear plugs
- Travel-size toiletries (such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, tissues, etc.)
- Prescription glasses
- Outfit to change into after a flight
Also refer to this list of items to never pack in your checked luggage. Keeping these items with you can help prevent potentially stressful situations.
How To Pack For LONG TRIPS
If you’ll be taking an extended vacation, before you start adding items to your suitcase, follow these tips for how to pack for a 7-day trip (or longer).
Even if you are planning to check a suitcase at the airport, pack your carry on bag as though it is the only bag you are taking on your trip. In the event your luggage gets lost on the way to your destination, you will have all the essential items needed to continue your vacation without feeling anxious.
Mix and Match
Instead of packing a completely different outfit for each day of your guided tour, select a color scheme for your attire. Pack several tops and bottoms with this scheme in order to mix and match throughout your trip. Three tops and three bottoms create nine outfits!
Choose Layers Instead of Bulk
When traveling to regions with cold weather or multiple climates, dress in layers. One bulky sweater will take up more space than a long-sleeved thermal top, a scarf, and a cashmere cardigan combined.
Wear Your Bulk
If you have several bulky items that you really want to use on your vacation, wear what you can on the plane in order to utilize the extra room for other clothes or toiletries that are a “must.”
Edit Your Luggage
Another fantastic tip for how to pack for a trip is, after you have completely packed your bags the first time around, go through the process of repacking a few times. Try to omit items you don’t foresee yourself wearing more than once. You want to leave room in your suitcase to bring back mementos, after all!
Utilize Packing Cubes
Pack similar items in the same cube to keep your luggage organized. For example, pack tops and bottoms together to make selecting your outfit of the day easy. Keep shoes, belts, and shawls in the same cube to accessorize after you have chosen your core attire. Utilizing packing cubes can also help avoid your clothes getting wrinkled.
Pack Lightweight Shoes
Packing shoes for a summer vacation is fairly straightforward. You probably don’t need anything beyond a pair of sneakers and open-toed shoes. Winter vacations can get tricky, especially if you plan to participate in hikes because you will need a pair of boots. There are many weatherproof options on the market that are lightweight with rugged traction and comfortable cushioning.
Keep Your Clothes Fresh
If your trip is longer than one week, take a small bag of potpourri or laundry sheets to keep your clothes smelling pleasant. This is a more manageable solution versus over stuffing your suitcase with as much clothes as you can fit. For long trips, you'll also want to have a plan for doing laundry while on vacation.
Everyone has his or her own version of the best way to pack for a vacation due to personal preference. It is a good idea to not wait until the last minute to pack and give yourself a week or more in advance of your departure date so you can remove or swap out clothes and toiletries as needed. Trust your instincts when it comes to the items that are “must haves” because they will make you feel more comfortable as you embark on your exciting YMT Vacations guided tour!