Last week I started a new blog series on How to BE Organized by sharing with you a printable packing list that you can use when preparing for a family vacation. Today I am going to take it a step further and share with you some of my best packing tips to help you BE organized, even while on vacation!
Duffel or Suitcase?
When heading out for a family vacation, I prefer packing our clothes and gear in duffel bags over suitcases because I find that they are easier to fill up and fill out! I find that you can more easily find nooks and crannies to stash underwear and socks in a duffel than in a suitcase, and they are also easier to stack on top of each other in the back of our car. Fortunately all of our large duffel bags have wheels- a feature that I consider to be “a must”!
Pack Bags “By Person” or “By Day”?
Well, it depends. Generally I like to pack our bags so that they contain everything needed for one, two or even three people (depending on the length of the trip, and size of the bag!). However, if we are going to be spending just one night in a hotel perhaps on the way to our final destination, then I pack a bag just for that one night. If we are going to head to just one destination for the entire trip- I pack by person. But I do have a few exceptions to that rule…. swim suits I always pack in a swim bag for quick and easy access. And shoes go into one shoe bag- again for the ease of finding what we need once we arrive!
Pack by Outfit or By Category of Item?
When we are headed to a place where I will be able to unpack all of our items, then I like to pack by category- all tees shirts in a pile (for one person), all shorts in a stack , all underwear, etc. But if we won’t be able to unpack when we arrive and will be pulling things out of suitcases for the entire trip, then I pack by outfit, actually thinking through the order of outfits so that I can properly stack and pack them in order of use.
While on Vacation… Plan to Do Laundry or Not?
Oh hell no. This is vacation, right? (Okay, unless we are traveling for multiple weeks, and then I really have no choice do I?)
So Then…. What To Do With the Dirty Clothes?
Well if you are able to unpack everything into dresser drawers and closets- then by all means, unpack when you arrive and then throw your dirty clothes back into your empty suitcases as you wear them. This will certainly make packing up to return home a quick task!
But if you are unable to unpack then I suggest taking along a pop-up hamper.
You can throw everyone’s dirty clothes into the hamper as you along, and once it is filled, then it is time to empty out one of the duffel bags (shifting its contents into your other less-full duffels at this point), and empty the contents of the pop-up hamper into the duffel. You an continue in this manner for the entire trip- filling / emptying / shifting, and again, when it is time to pack up and return home- it should be a fairly quick task!
I would love to hear any tips that you have for packing for a family vacation! Please share them with us in the comments!