Before you leave for vacation, there are some loose ends you should tie up like make sure you contact credit card companies so they don’t decline transactions, alert neighbors to look out for strange people around your home, shut things down like gas valves, water lines, set alarms, and lock doors and windows.  Along with the “before you leave” list, you also need to know how to pack properly, and what to take with you.  Here we are going to cover the most basic tips to help make your vacation as stress free as possible.

The best advice I can recommend if you are flying is that you pack as light as possible.  A couple of years ago, I flew into a major airport that closed down due to an ice storm, (and had decided to check my bag).  Well,  the airport was closed down for 24 hours, and the airline lost our luggage, not for a day, but it was almost 2 weeks before I recovered my belongings.  Along with that most airlines are charging consumers nowadays to check luggage so doing the “carry on part” will save you money and headaches in the long run.

Make sure to set aside extra cash so you can pack a little lighter, and buy additional items you need down at your destination spot.  This will help to ensure that you are able to pack a little lighter.

Make sure to carry ID’s, passports, credit cards, important documentation, and valuables on your person, and don’t pack these items away.  If the airline loses your shirts and pants, its way easier to function than if they lose your ID’s or money.

Make sure to check with the airlines you are flying on any rules and restrictions like what size luggage you can carry on with you, you don’t want to get to the airport and find out they won’t accept your luggage as carry on.

Prioritize before you pack, medication, glasses or contacts, things that are critical go first, start with irreplaceable items and move on from there.

Wear your bulkiest items on the plane; big shoes, thick coats, etc.  Limit shoes, thick coats, sweatshirts, and other bulky items.

Plan to utilize the laundry facilities at the hotel.  Don’t pack an outfit for each day or possible scenario, especially pants;  limit pants and shorts to neutral colors to match shirts and accessories.

Take some sleep wear or t-shirts that you can discard at your vacation spot if you have to gain room on the trip back (for purchased items).

Bulky hair dryers or curling irons should be limited (all hotels have hair dryers).

Remember, personal hygiene items (if liquid) must be in a bottle no larger than 3.4 oz, unless you are checking the bag.  All bottles must fit into a quart size see through bag, and that is the maximum number of liquid bottles you can bring on with you.  There is an exception for medication, especially in cases for someone who has diabetes.  Also if you are travelling with an infant, the airlines will allow you to bring formula, breast milk, and juices for the young one.

Do not overpack.  If you do have to go through an inspection, the airport inspectors may not be able to fit everything back in your bag if it is a tight fit, (and they probably won’t try very hard).

Tag your luggage well and buy a bag that’s individual.  Choose a color other than black.  use stickers or anything else that will differentiate your bag from the masses.

Make sure when travelling that you check the weather and pack the proper clothing that you will need for the trip, as you don’t want to go into a place where it is snowing with sandals.

Do your research months in advance for local activities, possible coupons or savings and even things like phrase books (if you are travelling somewhere with a different language).  The more prepared you are means the less stress on your trip.

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