23 March 2009

pack after reading



this book is jammed full of fantastic travel tips. my mom let me borrow it and i read it cover to cover in an hour. packed in this small pocket-sized book are hundreds of useful ideas on making your next vacation a complete success start to finish.

i loved the idea of putting all of your essentials (toothbrush, soap, shampoo, razor, etc.) in a nalgene bottle for a camping trip. i also liked the idea of using a gardener's tote as your airplane carry-on (perfect with plenty of pockets). keep your earrings in a film canister, keep q-tips in an empty tape cassette case, rebind your travel books with a spiral binding for easy reading, divvy up money in envelopes for each day to keep on budget...

do you have any travel tips? do tell.
a random winner will receive a bag of cinnamon bears.

40 comments:

Dee said...

When we went to Hawaii, we packed a cooler full of powdered lemonade, twizzlers, instant oatmeal packets, chex mix and a bunch of other dry food. We checked the cooler as a piece of luggage and had drinks and treats to enjoy for the week without spending any extra money. I would highly recommend doing this if you want to save on money on your vacation food budget!

amber of TheAmberShow said...

I pack an empty Sigg bottle to fill post-security checkpoint so I don't have to pay for bottled water.

Dee, I love your cooler idea!

Maggie said...

I am a HUGE nerd and I have recently started packing EVERYTHING in Ziplocs. (Gallon or that other random GIANT size.) One Ziploc for underwear. One Ziploc for swimsuits. One Ziploc for tees and tanks. Etc. That way I don't have to dig through my bag in search of things. Things don't end up unfolded and all over the floor. I just pull out a Ziploc and grab what I need. I can always find what I'm looking for. Makes life so much easier. It also helps in case something in someone else's luggage spills on my bag. (Which I have had happen to a dress I was supposed to wear to a wedding.)

My other tip my Mom used to use when I was a kid. When we would go on long road trips, she would give each of us a roll of coins. If we started fighting or causing trouble, we would have to give her one of our coins. Any money we had leftover we had for spending money on vacation. Believe me. When you're a kid, you DO NOT want to parting with ANY coins.

Amy said...

for car travel- I always like to pack our own snacks so I don't feel like I have to spend $25 at each gas station to get a little something for my belly. One of my favorite things to take is microwave popcorn because it doesn't take up too much room when you're not eating it and most gas station stops have a microwave you can stick it in.... plus, it's a little more of a healthy snack so your tummy doesn't get too sick.

SoniaBonia said...

To reduce your packing do this: lay out everything you need. Look it over. Now, only pack half of that. Other suggestions- strips of laundry detergent that dissolve when mixed with water. Also good on camping trips or backpacking when you don't have time to shower for a few days- dry shampoo. I've also found that you should pack extra memory cards for your camera if you don't have a laptop with you. 8GB of memory is never enough! ;)

leni said...

I like to put all of my clothing in those giant ziploc bags. That way when the airport security undoubtedly goes through your suitcase (or worse, your suitcase brakes) you're never missing a sock or picking up your clothes piece by piece off the luggage carousel. (This happened to my friend whose suitcase broke!) The best part, there is comfort in knowing that some stranger didn't touch your underwear if your suitcase is unlucky enough to be "selected for inspection"!

The other thing I like to do is fold clothing together so that there is some "cushion" where they are folded together between the items. This eliminates any folds, creases or wrinkles!

Finally, I like to pack items that can be mixed and matched into several outfits (that way I take fewer clothes!) This is especially important when going away for longer periods of time or for when you have to carry your luggage with you wherever you go.

Sassy Sarah said...

On all my travels, I bring a journal. Daily, I log what I've done along with taking pictures. Years later, I can now go back and remember exactly what I did during travels to Europe, throughout the United States, and even in my backyard!

steph-a-ronie said...

The best traveling advice I have is to pack clothing by outfits...each day's wear sealed in its own Ziploc bag.

Suddenly, you're not the messy Bessy of the hotel/tent/friend's spare bedroom when you're deciding what to wear that morning!

:)

Brad and Kath said...

Sounds crazy, but when I'm travelling up north without my husband I always pack aluminum foil. We don't have Chipotle, Massey's Pizza, etc., where we live now, and when I can get my hands on some for my husband, I wrap it up in multiple layers of foil and bring it home to him. Yes, they will let you bring a whole pizza through security.

Emily said...

Did you know that you can run over a nalgene bottle with your car and it won't break? I used to work at a summer camp that did overnight canoe trips to an island. We read somewhere that you could do that, and so of course we had to try it out with some of the camp's bottles. Go figure, you could.

debby said...

if you have room in your carry-on, try to pack a few things that you would be extra sad to go without if your luggage gets misdirected/lost/delayed in some way. i always have my camera in my carry-on. going to hawaii or someplace tropical? make sure you have a swimsuit in your bag.

Elizabeth said...

I bring a garbage bag to put dirty laundry in each day so it doesn't get mixed with clean clothes (or make the suitcase smelly if it's a hot day.

I also pack gallon baggies for wet swimming suits in case someone wants to take a dip before we leave the hotel.

If our destination isn't really overpriced, we make a trip to the grocery store at our destination and purchase snacks and drinks when we get there. That way we are hauling around a lot of food.

If you're going to Europe, pack pop/soda. Trust me. $5 for a 6 oz. glass filled with ice is nuts. My son went to France with his French class and there was a 5Euro reward for the lightest suitcase. I said pack a 6-pack of Mountain Dew. It will more than pay for the passed 5 Euro! He was glad he did. (hey, I'm just keeping it real--I knew he'd drink pop.)

Renee (srenee213@charter.net) said...

1. Split up clothes between family members so that if one bag gets lost, everyone still has something to wear! Was very useful when my sister's bag wandered off on our way to Colorado.

2. Bring extra plastic bags if you're going somewhere outdoorsy so that the muddy shoes don't get mixed in with the wet swimsuit that dirties the sandy towel . . .

3. Bring the addresses of your besties along so that you can send them a postcard or (if it's a long trip) a little gift! Gifts are always more exciting in the mail, I think.

Kristin said...

I always keep a toothbrush in my purse, so I can freshen up throughout the trip. It makes me a much happier traveler to have a clean-feeling mouth after a long day of fast food and sweets.

Quelly said...

This may sound silly but as I am directionally challenged, when I travel I keep a little compass in my purse. Without the mountains I never know where I am going when I come up out of the subway.

Also, if I am travelling to a location where I know I will be doing a lot of tipping, I start saving dollar bills in the weeks leading up to my trip.

wunderbug said...

i ditto the ziploc idea - i love putting all my toiletries in there (aside from being mandatory for the airlines, they're good for keeping things organized and free from leakage)

my favourite packing tip is the clothing roll-up. i take all of my jeans & pants, and roll them up tight instead of folding them. ditto tops - that way, you have two rolls of clothing that actually saves you room in your suitecase. from there, i backfill any nooks and crannies with socks. anywhere they can fit - in the corners of my suitcase, in the toes and heels of shoes, etc.

fitting ten pounds in a five pound bag? i sure can!

Alisha said...

wow, apparently i'm the only one who does my tip: I use eclipse mint containers for bobby pins and hair-ties. SO HELPFUL. especially with a baby, because it is just like a rattle, he can't open it and it keeps you from looking all the time for pins or hair-ties. (the containers are rectangular and metal.) Added bonus, yummy mints to keep your breath clean as you are preparing for the trip!

Leslie said...

I like the idea of using a 7-day pill container for earrings. I haven't done it yet, but I read it in a magazine and thought it was a great idea.

Ditto on the rolling clothes idea.

Also, if you are traveling internationally with a companion, trade copies of your credit cards, passport/visa with the person you are traveling with in case your luggage or wallet gets lost (and theirs doesn't or vice versa).

Lisa R.D. said...

I'm all about Ziploc bags and of course I always make sure to pack my essentials (toothbrush, deodorant, etc.) in my carry-on bag.

kelley kelley said...

travel fashion is a cinch when you build a basic wardrobe of black and white (check out www.whitehouseblackmarket.com) you can use brightly colored accessories to jazz outfits up easily.... simple & chic!

Stephanie said...

When traveling with my son, we like to take along a coin pouch filled with quarters and shiny pennies. He is always on the lookout for a pressed penny machine to have a small trinket to take home with him. We have a nice collection of pressed pennies from all of our travels and for the most part there isn't a need to buy expensive souvenirs at the gift shop. Definitely a money saver.

Jessica said...

Always pack extra plastic bags and rubber bands. You never know what you might use them for... like keeping cords together. Or small treasures safe. Or clean outfits within grab.

Ghost Writer said...

NEVER pack your phone charger in your check on luggage. Just when you know it, your flight in Denver is cancelled and you are stuck for hours. And then the dreaded happens.... your phone dies.

Evelyn said...

I love all those travel tips! Here are mine:

pack a few cloth diapers or old tea towels - they have lots of uses (providing some shadow for your child in car or stroller, blanket, towel, etc)

a linen tote for laundry (it doesn't get stinky or moldy)

for long flights or road trips: pack a few new toys for your child to keep them happy

pack a set of clothes, underwear and other essentials in your carry on bag, so you have something when your suitcase gets lost

Kelli said...

I have to have that book, cute and effective. My tip is that I have a tote that is always basic with the essentials, toothbrush, toothpast, deodorant, soap, etc. so that I don't have to worry about packing these things when it's time to go, they are already packed! I got this idea from a friend of mine.

Natalie* said...

many things already mentioned:
roll clothes, film canisters for earrings, ziplocs galore.
but also:
- use plastic hotel shower caps to hold dirty soled shoes and keep them away from clothes, if you don't have enough travel shoe bags (or, like in my case, you buy a new pair while traveling!)
- always pack a ziploc with new undies in your carry-on, just in case your bag is lost/delayed - at least you'll have clean undies on.
- ALWAYS put a luggage tag on the INSIDE of your suitcase, in case the outside one gets damaged/lost.
- pack all dirty clothes for your return trip home in the same bag - it goes straight to the laundry room and you don't have to sort through clean VS. dirty.
- when traveling internationally, make copies of your important documents AND your ID and passport - if it gets lost or stolen, having a copy will make going to the embassy and getting replacements issued.

mandydake said...

Great Book, So need this. I am going to Scotland for 14 days in September and have never been out of the states. I need some good tips!

My fave thing is as a scraper to keep all my papers in a large Ziploc to keep them safe.

Also if you are a fan of Ali Edwards, she has some great tips on scrapping on the road! Check them out on her blog!

Hugs, Mandy

Shannon said...

Pack your carry-on with the essentials in case your suitcase is lost because it can and it will. Trust me. Especially necessary with kids. Don't just think of the airplane ride, but have extra diapers, toothbrushes, change of clothes if possible. Whatever. Pack it smart and full. And tag your luggage, they all look the same coming out on the baggage carousel.

Anne said...

Great tips so far!

I like to pack each "outfit" together. For example, start with pants or skirt, lay socks and underwear on top, then add a shirt. When I arrive, all of my outfits are organized and ready to throw on!

I also pack a few plastic grocery sacks for dirty laundry or wet items.

bloggEm said...

How fun! Travel is one of my favorite things. The best tip I can give is to leave a day or two of your trip completely unscheduled and use it to walk around and just see what you find.

But I've also never forgotten my mom's biggest packing trip, it echos in my mind any time I pack for a trip ... always take an extra pair of underwear, because you never known when you are going to fall into a big puddle of mud ...

Sarah said...

boy everyone is sure afraid of dirty underwear! :)

my tip for plane travel with a little one - you have your diaper bag that you drag on and inevitably it is huge and packed full. I keep a smaller bag with the essentials (1 diaper, wipes, bottle, pacifier, toy, burp cloth) that I can just whip out as I'm getting into my seat with my little one on my lap. The big bag can go under the seat or overhead and you don't have to worry about needing something if the little one starts to fuss. Also, feeding the little one during take-off and landing totally eliminated the baby-crying-from-ears-popping situation I was stressing over.

being a prepared and organized parent when traveling with a bambino can keep everyone on the plane happy. nothing like getting off the plane and the grumpy man in the business suit sitting in front of you saying "wow, I didn't even know there was a little one sitting behind me!"

M said...

When I spent a month in Europe and could only take one small suitcase, I rolled all of my clothes, pants, shirts, skirts and placed them standing straight up in my suitcase. This gave me extra packing space, made all outfits easily viewable, and kept things from getting wrinkled. I also recommend buying a travel size tide packet for easy hand washing of clothes when needed.

Sharmyn said...

I always pack a light weight collapsible bag in my suitcase. Think big gymbag size. I pack all of my dirty clothes in them and then I have an "extra" suitcase for all of my terrific finds. Like loads of cinnamon bears when I visit Utah...

Josie said...

Good tips!
Honestly, my favorite travel item is ziploc bags, I use them for everything - toiletries, wet clothes, loose papers, travel scrapbook kits. So easy now with airport security.

Kristi said...

Lots of good comments already.

Remember the camera, take extra undies and snacks.

Mari said...

My travel tip? GO!!! explore. enjoy! [and always pack cinnamon bears for a snack!] :)

Petit Elefant said...

two words: WET WIPES.
Also, quarters for the hotel or local laundromat. Stain sticks, and pack sized tide tablets.

Carlita said...

i always say "simplify packing" and try not to pack more than you can carry. also, wet wipes are a must for easy face washes, hand washes, foot washes... or anything to make the long plane/bus/train ride a little cleaner!

joey said...

when i went on a 1 mth grad trip to europe two years ago, a lovely friend gave me 30 muesli bars in different exciting flavors packed into a ziploc bag. she knew i was on a budget so those bars were great for transfers, train rides, picnics and those sudden cravings. The following year, i did the same thing for friends travelling to Europe. They loved it. :)

deidra said...

One of my favorite travel tips was something I did for traveling friends (going to Ukraine with a crazy long bus ride to Germany). I remembered their trip on a Sunday, so had to make do with what we had in our house.

A fabric tote (way better than gift bags in all situations!) filled with granola bars, trail mix, Crystal Light packets, some magazines we'd already read for him and her, a new tube of chapstick, antibacterial wipes, and a few packs of gum. They said it was so helpful on their long bus ride, especially for her, being the only non-Ukrainian speaker on the bus!

Treats and something to clean up with ALWAYS seem to make the trip go better!

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