Brad and I are just under three weeks away from our 2016 FriendCation with our dear friends, Nathan and Julie. We’re all getting super pumped, and constantly sending each other Disney gifs and stickers. That’s normal adult behavior, right?
Anyway, it’s time to start thinking about what to pack! I honestly love packing for a trip. It makes all the anticipation and planning seem real. Here’s some of my tips for packing the perfect suitcase!
1. Make A List
I always make a packing list several weeks before I begin actually packing. It helps me get my head around how much laundry I need to do. I sit down and handwrite everything I can think of in one sitting. Then, over the course of a week or so, I add items to the list as I think of them. This way, I don’t feel like I’m in a rush or trying to remember everything all at once. And, since I always forget a few things in my first sitting, having time to add to my packing list is essential.
2. Start Early
Don’t leave your packing until the last minute. Trust me, I know this from too much experience. It’s way better to get the bulk of your packing done ahead of time, so you only have to throw in last minute essentials like your hairbrush and pillow. That way you can actually get a good night’s sleep before you set off for vacation. I wouldn’t know what that feels like, because I rarely take my own advice and never get enough sleep.
3. Roll Your Clothes
Roll your clothes instead of folding them to reduce wrinkles and use less space in your suitcase. The room in your bags is precious and anything you can do to make the most of it is crucial. And if saving space means fewer wrinkles on your clothes, well that’s just a bonus!
4. Keep Phone Chargers and Liquids Handy
Don’t bury your phone chargers somewhere in your checked bags, or at the bottom of your carry-on. Flight delays or poor wifi connection can drain your phone’s battery. Save your sanity and make sure all chargers are easily accessible so you don’t need to unpack and repack your whole bag at the airport terminal. The same goes for your Ziplock bag of liquids. Keep these in an easy place to take out while in line for security. I’m guessing you don’t want your queue mates to see your undies. If there’s anything else you know you will want on the plane or in the terminal, make sure you can get to it quickly.
5. Don’t Unpack
This may sound weird, but I don’t completely unpack after vacation. Sure, I unpack my clothes and everyday toiletries. But there’s a lot of things I leave in my suitcase. Things like my “park bag,” a gallon size ziplock bag that holds bandaids, moleskin, lens wipes, a Shout Pen etc that we bring with us to the parks. During my packing phase, I check on these items to make sure I still have enough. But otherwise, they stay together so I don’t have to hunt them all down before every trip. You could do the same with ponchos, Mickey ears, or anything else you only use on vacations.
6. Plastic Bags
Always pack a few plastic bags, both grocery bags and Ziplock bags. Put phones and wallets in a seal-able bag before riding Splash Mountain or Kali River Rapids. Then, put those wet clothes in a plastic grocery bag. At the end of your trip. Repack all your dirty clothes in plastic bags for the journey home. No matter what other things your individual family needs, everyone needs to bring plastic bags.
Packing can get quite stressful, so instead try to focus on all the fun you're about to have in these clothes, rather than an endless stream of oh-my-God-I-can't-find-that-other-sock-where's-those-shoes etc. Remember, you can always do laundry at the hotel if don't bring enough clothes!
Do you have any packing tips you want to share? If so, let us know in the comments below, or Tweet us @Dis_StateOfMind.