The Essentials: Handy Packing Tips For Your Next Vacation Packing is usually the moment an upcoming vacation feels real. It’s the exciting moment when we gather up all of our travel gear and pick out what we want to wear as we prepare to make new lifelong memories. For some, this is second nature, and for others, it can prove to be a bit more challenging. Whether you are not sure how to begin this integral part of tour preparation or just looking for some new ideas, we have gathered a list of smart, essential advice to help you pack and keep your luggage in good, tidy shape. Prepare a packing list, and don’t forget to double check it Creating a packing list is a fail-safe way to assure you will remember any essential items you may need. Don’t forget to cross off items you have already added to your luggage. It will be hard to forget certain items when you have kept a good record. Double-check your list when you are all packed. Is there anything you have left out by accident? Roll your clothes and consider purchasing packing cubes Make the most of the limited space you have by rolling your clothes. Tight rolls will not only save more space to work with but help organize your apparel and avoid deep wrinkles from setting in. Speaking of organization, consider purchasing packing cubes. Typically a set of polyester or nylon containers, these compartments help sort your belongings into whatever categories that make the most sense for you. These can make a big difference when getting ready each morning on tour. Don’t pack essentials in your checked luggage Be sure to keep your important medication, toiletries, identification, electronics, and other necessities in your carry-on or personal item and not in your checked luggage. You will not have access to your luggage once it is checked in at the airport until you retrieve it at your final destination. Also, consider packing a spare change of clothes in your carry-on in the rare scenario your luggage is delayed. Comfort in flight Whether you find yourself on a long international flight, a necessary red-eye, or even a short domestic it is always important to be as comfortable as possible. A neck pillow can be a great way to catch some Z’s on your flight. There are many options out there so we recommend giving a few styles a try before you buy to see what suits you best. Eye masks and ear plugs are another great way to help promote rest in flight. Be sure to pack a light sweater or something to cover up with if you find yourself a little chilly. Compression socks are another smart travel accessory. They help with leg swelling, keeping you more comfortable. Snacks! While many airlines provide munchies in flight, it doesn’t hurt to pack some fruit, granola bars, or other non-liquid snacks in case hunger strikes. Be sure to pack these items in your carry-on so they are accessible while you are miles high in the sky. Acquaint yourself with the 3-1-1 rule for liquids If it’s absolutely necessary to bring full-sized liquids on your vacation, be sure to stow them in your checked luggage. It’s smart to put them in a sealable plastic bag in case they open or rupture in transit. If you bring full-sized liquids in your carry-on or personal item, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will not allow them through an airport security checkpoint. Instead, keep your carry-on liquids in bottles no larger than 3.4 ounces, keep them together in one quart-sized zip-top bag, and limit one zip-top bag for this purpose per passenger. Standard-size bottles of water are welcome and recommended, but be sure to empty them before entering a security checkpoint. You can always refill the bottle on the other side. Pack for layers Temperatures may vary on your vacation, so consider bringing outfits with light layers. For example, pack an outfit with a t-shirt or another comfy wearable for your first layer, then something for warmth like a sweatshirt for your second layer, then something that will protect you from the elements, like a jacket, for your third layer. Packing in layers will help you avoid bringing bulky items, leaving more space in your luggage. If you must bring a bulky item, we recommend wearing it on the plane instead of packing it. Another “seasoned traveler” tip is to simplify your color palate. That way you can mix-and-match, staying fresh and comfortable every day on tour. Think about your footwear Nothing ruins a vacation faster than feeling uncomfortable. While you may be tempted to buy new shoes or boots in advance of your vacation, we encourage you not to. Wear good, sturdy shoes that you already know are comfortable for walking. Most Holiday Vacations itineraries are fairly casual, so you do not have to pack your hiking boots. However if you are planning on going off the beaten path during your free time, you may want to bring water-resistant footwear. Leave some extra space If you will be bringing home souvenirs, be sure to leave extra space for them in your checked luggage. (Note that you could also mail your heaviest souvenirs home or to their recipients.) Perhaps more importantly, most airlines will charge an additional fee for luggage weighing more than 50 pounds. If your suitcase appears full as you are packing, review its contents and see what you can do without. Anything that you have included “just in case” may be a good candidate to leave home.