Summer Vacation Packing Tips

Every time the control freak house packs up for a trip I intend to take photos and blog about it, but then I forget….

Finally I remembered!  Last minute we decided to take a trip to the shore for Memorial Day weekend. (In case you are wondering we say down the shore, not to the beach in this neck of the woods).  Luckily we found a studio condo for a long weekend of fun in the sand and sun.

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A beach baby is born. #ocnj

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Here are some tips of how I prep and pack:

  1. Create and Save an Electronic List
    There are many fancy free printable lists out there to serve this purpose, but I use old reliable excel.  Since we pack the same items for almost every trip, I created a list in excel and saved it. The list contains a check list column for each person in the family. The best part is you won’t have to create the list for your next trip, you will already have it.Vaca List
  2. Don’t Wait Till the Night Before to Pack
    This may work if you fly solo, but definitely not with a family. Start to pull list items during the week and place in an area out-of-the-way of your daily business. This will prevent a last-minute scramble to purchase or launder needed items.
  3. Suitcases Aren’t Always Best
    This may be personal preference, but I can’t remember the last time we used a suitcase (except for when we fly). I have found Thirty One Utility Totes to be a great option for luggage.  A lot fits in one bag, they stack nicely in the trunk, and are easy to carry. Each control freak family member typically has one bag for clothing and toiletries, it’s almost always enough.  For longer duration trips shoes will be placed in a separate bag to allow for more personal item space.
  4. Load Your Car the Night Before
    First off, packing your car is like a puzzle, you want everything to fit in snug. Secondly, do yourself a favor and load the car the night before you leave. Most people will depart in the morning, early morning. Waking up early and getting a family moving and out the door is enough to tackle. If you had to load your car on top of that you’d never get to your destination. Do it the NIGHT before. Some other factors to keep in mind when loading the trunk. If you won’t be checking in to your accommodations immediately, be sure to pack items you need in easily accessible areas.  For example, hitting the beach before you check-in to your hotel?  Be sure to leave the beach bag and supplies on top so you can grab and go. That’s what we did Memorial Day weekend!
    DSC_0284 DSC_0288
  5. Pre-pack Beach Bags
    What are you taking to the beach?  Whatever it is pack it in the bag it’s going to the beach in. That’s one thing off your check list when you arrive at your destination.
  6. Clean Before You Leave
    So I know the last thing you want to do is clean, but just imagine how good it will feel to come home to a clean house! All you have to do is unpack and sit back, let’s face it coming home from a trip and getting back into the real world is enough to worry about. 

Happy Packing!

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