travel packing

Happy Trails To You...My Top 5 Travel Tips

It's summer time, and if you haven't taken your annual holiday, then you may be embarking upon an adventure soon. This year I will be savoring a stay-cation. San Diego is one of my favorite destinations. And it makes sense for my family this year. But, whether traveling a long distance or close to home, it is the  planning, preparation, and anticipation prior to leaving that jump start my adventure and influence my joy while traveling. Here are some of my favorite organizing pearls of wisdom:

  1. Check the weather forecast.

Taking items of clothing for comfort is crucial to your enjoyment. Taking a sweatshirt or sweater along just in case is never amiss. Even if the only chill you feel is on the plane ride, you will be glad to have a cozy sweater or wrap for that leg of the journey.  Bringing a travel size umbrella if there is a chance of rain and a sweater and light-weight wind breaker for when the air temperature changes add layers that can be easily added or subtracted and are simple tools for success.

 2. Take only clothing that mix and match well.

Taking basics streamlines your packing, keeps your suitcase lighter, and makes getting ready for your daily adventures a piece of cake! Putting outfits together that you love and make you feel like a million bucks will give you that glow every day. There is a reason we call them comfort clothes. It IS possible to feel comfortable and to look put together. Taking accessories to change the look of your outfits, takes up little space in your luggage, and is a simple way to add a pop of color and a fresh look. You may even come home with some new ideas after wearing your basics for a week.

3. Know events and activities that you expect to enjoy.

A pair of comfortable walking shoes is a must have no matter where you are going. If acknowledging your penchant for horse back riding means that you will pack your short boots because you love your experience all the more for it, then by all means make room in your suit case for boots. If you will be attending a wedding while on vacation, be sure that you include accessories and lingerie to make you look and feel your best. If water sports are on the agenda, it is likely that all the gear will be available for rent. Consider renting your gear rather than hauling it through the airports and leave room in your luggage for something else. If you are traveling by car, then you have the luxury of taking boogie boards and fins. Remember that the less time you spend packing and unpacking the more time you will have for fun and frolic!

4. Take only what you need.

Toiletries can really add weight to your luggage and there is the obvious risk of spillage if you overload your luggage. Taking only what you need limits your daily routine and adds to your sense of vacation freedom. Be sure that in your haste to limit what stays and what goes, that you remember to take sunscreen and prescription medications. While it is not impossible to obtain replacement items, taking what you need limits the time spent chasing around town for the all night pharmacy or suffering from a bad sunburn, which we all know can make even our most comfortable clothing feel like sand paper. Knowing that you have access to a washer and dryer makes taking less a no brainer. It is a simple task to start a load of laundry to freshen up clothing items mid-vacation.

5. Use a list.

I cannot stress the importance of making a list and using it to keep you organized. It reduces the fear of forgetting the obvious items that you cannot live without. It keeps you honest about what you really need. And, it is an obvious safety net as you are checking one last time before you leave. I suggest you make a list that you keep in your computer and then tweak it before each trip. What you take with you will vary depending upon your mode of transportation, your destination, and the length of stay.

No matter where you are going,  your preparation time before leaving will be time well spent. Happy travels!!

Travel/Packing...and then she said, "Packing is my favorite part of vacation!"

My daughter is incredibly organized in thought and action. And she love, love, LOVES to pack! Go figure.

As for me, it is the the most challenging piece of travel plans whether I am going away over night or for a week at a time. I am guilty of taking too much. And, because I dread it, I put it off until the last minute and end up taking too much. I am a work in progress. Even the most organized people have their achilles heels.

Let me share with you the first and most important pearl of wisdom which has made travel packing more bearable for me. Whenever possible, DO NOT wait until the last minute to pack!! 

Secondly, I have found it helpful to replenish toiletries and essentials upon my return from a trip. Sounds obvious, but there are so many things begging for your attention upon returning home and the empty shampoo bottle, missing razor, and the item you wish you had thought to bring go unnoticed until the next trip when, in the rush, they are left out and you arrive to your destination without them.

Yes, you can always buy them where you are going, but expect to pay too much and to settle for a less than favorite brand or to do without. Not the end of the world which has much bigger problems than hairy legs, but let us not forget the butterfly effect. A happy ripple in the pond of life is preferable to irritability!

Finally, make a list that you can keep with your luggage or in your phone. Add to it, delete from it, take photos of outfits that travel well. And, use it faithfully when packing!


Here are a few of my favorite things for travel:

      Hanging organizer bags with pockets (Container Store, Target)

      Mini lotions and potions (The Body Shop has amazing sales on these)

      Individual laundry soap packets (a huge fan)

      Water bottles


      Travel set of super essential items...i.e., tooth brush and comb

      Packing cubes (Container Store, Amazon)

      Extra memory card and charging cables for my camera gear


Happy travels!