Planning a vacation requires a wide range of considerations. Although packing is often a last concern, it is an important part of ensuring that the vacation is a relaxing and happy experience. Packing for a vacation is different than packing for business or a move. It does not require the same volume of items and needs to consider comfort along with the aesthetics of items
Keep the Bags Limited
Packing for a vacation does not require taking the entire closet. The amount of clothing, shoes and other items that are needed is often limited to one or two weeks rather than an extended stay. As a result, it is possible to use one piece of luggage and one carry-on bag to plan for the entire trip
Keeping the bags limited will allow more flexibility at the airport or through any preferred mode of transportation. A single checked bag is also less expensive and is the only requirement when planning a short trip. An extended vacation should plan around two check bags if it is not possible to pack everything in a single bag
Although it is not pleasant to clean clothing on a vacation, it is also not necessary to pack the entire wardrobe. As a general rule, having enough clothing for one week is the best way to plan. It is possible to clean clothes on a vacation through a hotel laundry service or similar options. By limiting the clothing to a week's worth of outfits, it is easier to carry the bags and the amount of space required is limited
Avoid Extra Shoes
Unless the vacation is planning around two or three shoe requirements, it is generally better to avoid taking an extra pair of shoes while planning a relaxing trip. Extra shoes take up a large amount of space in a bag and might not be worn during the trip. If the trip has plans that require more than one pair of shoes, then it is best to pack shoes that have multiple functions and carry the minimum number possible based on the plans
If the vacation includes a formal event, then packing an extra pair of formal shoes and a formal outfit is appropriate. The trip and activities will often dictate the appropriate number of shoes
Use a Bundle Packing Method
Due to the limited space available when planning a vacation and limiting the bags, it is best to apply a bundle packing method to reduce the amount of space clothing items take up. The goal of packing for a vacation is leaving extra space and weight to bring back souvenirs and special items. That means bundle packing is a useful part of cutting back on the space required for the trip
Bundle packing requires placing similar clothing items in the same pile and folding it as one garment. Start with the larger items and work down to smaller items. This will reduce the amount of space used for packing clothing when compared to putting each item in the suitcase separately. It also reduces the amount of wrinkles by keeping the clothing from moving in the bag
Carry Important Documents
Any identification, plane tickets, reservation details and other information should not be backed in the checked baggage. Always carry important documents and papers in carry-on to avoid losing it if the luggage gets lost. It is also ideal to carry at least one outfit in carry-on in case the checked baggage is lost and takes a day or two to arrive at the hotel
Packing for a vacation requires planning based on the length of time, activities and the amount of space available. By limiting the number of items, more space is available for special items, gifts or last minute necessities.
Kevin Caldwell wrote this article for the site he built www.sanfranciscohotelguides.com. He built the site to help fellow travelers find hotels in San Francisco.