How to Pack for Your Next Vacation Like a Pro
Updated: Mar 9
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Summer is right around the corner, and I hope you have some fun trips planned. Whether it's camping, a staycation, a beach trip, or just visiting family - packing for a family can feel daunting. Here are 8 simple packing tips for a vacation that will make your trip preparations even easier.
Vacation Packing Tips
File Fold - You know I'm a fan of file folding when it comes to clothing, closets, and dresser drawers. But file folding is a great way to save space when packing a suitcase. It also means items are easy to find and there is less potential for clothing getting thrown every which way.
Packing Cubes - Use packing cubes to separate each family member's clothing, especially if you're all sharing one suitcase. If each family member has their own suitcase, use packing cubes to separate categories like outfits, swimsuits, underwear, etc. Not only do they maintain separation, but they also save space.
Pack Outfits Together - For yourself and for your kids, pair outfits together. Roll or file fold them into each other and then place them into packing cubes. You can go as far as including underwear and socks in your packets so everything is ready to go.
Bring a Reusable Laundry Bag - Pack a small reusable bag for laundry, so you can keep your dirty and clean clothes separate on the trip home. Even better - try to do laundry on the last day of your trip so you're not bringing home a bunch of smelly, dirty clothes.
Pack a Few Days Early - If you're using packing cubes, it's easy to pack a few days ahead of time and keep each packing cube in the designated suitcase. Packing ahead of time keeps that last-minute stress to a minimum, and helps me not forget important pieces.
Use Zipper Pouches - Zipper pouches may be my favorite travel accessory. I keep one pouch for important documents (passports, plane tickets, rental car reservations) one for masks, one for chargers, and others for sunscreen or other weather-appropriate necessities.
Have a Set Packing List - For my kids, I use a printable packing list (you can download that HERE). For myself, I use my notes app. I keep a master packing list of all the necessities I need on most trips. Then, for each individual trip, I copy and paste that list into a new trip list and delete or add anything new. I check off each thing as I pack it. This system is also great when I'm packing up to leave the vacation, I can make sure I have everything ready to go home.
Retrospective Notes - This tip can apply to any family event. I do this for vacations, day trips, holidays, outings - everything! For example, after our yearly trek to the rodeo, I pull out my notes app and write down anything I would have done differently. I'll write down if I wish we had arrived earlier, later, what snacks we should have packed, etc. For vacations, I do the same thing. When we recently went to Mexico, I wrote a note detailing everything I was happy I packed, things I didn't need to pack, or things we wish had. This will be super helpful when we take a similar trip in a few years.
Are you ready for your summer trips? I hope this list helps you have a stress-free and fun vacation.
Jen is the founder of Reset Your Nest, a Professional Home Organizing business in Utah (Salt Lake City, Park City, Ogden, Logan, Utah County, and St. George), California (Bay Area, Los Gatos, Hillsborough, Atherton, San Jose), Denver, CO, and Phoenix, AZ. She loves creating order and systems out of chaos. Her specialty is finding a way to continue the aesthetic of any home to every cupboard and drawer. She shares her tips and tricks on Instagram @reset_your_nest.