Over the last few years, I’ve traveled for my career, on-average about once or twice a month. Each trip, I drag out the suitcase and start packing for the trip that sometimes lasts 3 days and sometimes lasts a week. I’ve gathered a few tips that will assist anyone in packing for an upcoming trip.
Printed Items to Bring with You on Your Trip
I have found these items to be helpful when you are traveling. I typically like to have them all printed out so I can reference them if I need them.
- Hotel – name, address, room details, confirmation number
- Car Rental Confirmation amp; Receipt of Payment
- Airline Confirmation with Travel Itinerary
- Contact Name amp; Numbers for Emergencies
- Driving Directions or Maps
- Places to see or points of interest you want to visit
Check the Weather
The first thing I do when I’m heading to a specific location, is I check the upcoming forecast. This seems easy, but it can easily be overlooked. Just because you are going to a city that is traditionally warm doesn’t mean you already know how you need to pack. If the temperature is 80 degrees, compared to 100 degrees, there is a different level of clothing and sun protection you will require. That’s why it’s very important to check the weather forecast to make sure you have the right clothing and protection.
Do you know where you are going and how you are going to get there? Before you board your plane, do you know the directions for your hotel, and how you are going to get there? Do you have a rental car booked, or a relative that will come to pick you up at a specific time? It’s important to know that once you get off your plane, you know what your plans are. It’s also a good idea to print out your car rental confirmation number if you require a car rental.
Pack Your Clothing
This can get a bit tricky, to pack clothing for your trip. You need to assess a few different things. First off, how many days are you staying? Secondly, do you require different outfits for evening and day attire? I have found that there are easily pieces of my wardrobe that I can use again, in the same trip by mixing and matching them with different items. By mixing and matching your clothing you can pack less clothing, which gives you more room in your suitcase, or the option to take a smaller suitcase over a larger one. If you pack a pair of black pants, you can easily pair that with two different shirts, but still cut down on the amount of clothing you are taking with you.
Don’t forget underwear, socks, bras, and swimsuits. It’s easy to overlook items that you don’t always think of packing. Items I have commonly forgot, include underwear or socks. It’s hard to always remember how many days worth of these items you need to pack, so don’t let them slip your mind.
If you have an option to enjoy swimming, don’t forget your swimming suit. Nothings better than a nice swim, or lounging in a hot tub.
Do you like to exercise? Typically hotels provide gym access. If you would like to workout on your trip, don’t forget your workout gear. Mainly, your sneakers.
One last thing to think about. What shoes will you be wearing? If you pack a suitcase full of tan colored clothing, and then board the plane in black shoes. You may find later that all the sudden your shoes clash with all your outfits because you forgot to pack another pair. It’s very easy to pack a pair of shoes on the bottom of your suitcase with clothing on top. Shoes are also important if you are going somewhere that will require a lot of walking, like Las Vegas. Make sure you bring a pair of comfortable shoes so you don’t end up regretting your shoe choices.
If you need any prescribed medications, or even ones that are over-the-counter, like aspirin, it’s a good idea to purchase enough of the medication you need to cover the time span of your trip and then some. Due to weather, flight maintenance, or other reasons you may find yourself stranded or delayed a day or two from when you were supposed to arrive somewhere. Make sure before you leave home that you’ve figured a few days extra into the medications you require, so you don’t have to worry about trying to get a quick prescription in another city.
Make sure you pack items like aspirin, or allergy medication so you don’t have to pay for this medication while on your trip. Finding these medications can sometimes be difficult, especially if you don’t know the city very well, and the cost can be more than you would anticipate.
Don’t forget your toothbrush! I can say that I’ve forgotten to pack my toothbrush a few times, and lived to regret it. Nothing feels more weird than having to stop at a Walgreen’s and buy a new toothbrush or deodorant, because I forgot to pack them. Try to figure out what you need each day, and make sure you have it all packed.
I used to pack a few bottled waters in the suitcase that I checked with the airlines. The problem with that now, is that liquids have been such a problem, that I don’t anymore. I find that I still like to pack a empty water bottle that I can refill at the hotel and not have to worry about the expensive price of the water they leave in my room.
I love to pack snacks in my suitcase for those moments that I have a craving and need something quick-and-easy. I pack granola bars that I can eat in the morning, just in case the hotel doesn’t serve a complimentary breakfast, and I pack snacks for the afternoon and evening. My snacks include peanuts, candy, and chocolate. I buy a lot of 100 calorie snacks so I have easy access to something to take care of my hunger, without having to buy something expensive from the hotel.
Every trip I take, I bring my laptop computer. My laptop works for me in a few different ways. Most hotels offer free Internet access, so I have access to check my mail at night and deal with my work projects. My laptop has a DVD drive in it, so sometimes I bring movies that I would like to watch and my laptop will play them. If I need something fun to do, sometimes I play games on the Internet or chat with my friends or husband that is back at home. Either way, a computer seems like a versatile item to have when you are away from home.
One important thing that you can do with a laptop computer is research your city. For example, if you are staying in Miami, you can research all the recommended tourist stops in Miami, as well as how to get there using driving directions. Let your computer be your guide!
One last thing, never pack your laptop in your suitcase that is in your checked bag. Carry your laptop with you through all your flights, no matter what! If you don’t, you will live to regret it. I have had at least one broken laptop and a lot of bad memories.
With all of these items tackled, you are ready to have fun and feel prepared to your future destination. I hope these steps help you to feel comfortable and at ease traveling. I know it has taken me quite a few different trips to figure them out, but now I do them all without question and never feel rattled by flying to a different destination.