The arrival of summertime means that school is out and everyone is itching to get out of the office.  Whether it’s a mountain adventure or relaxing on the beach all day, summer vacations are great for helping us relax and refocus our brains.  Unfortunately, packing for a trip can be a little stressful for some people.  With some helpful tips, there is no longer a need to worry about whether you’ve packed your essentials or how wrinkled your clothes will be upon arrival.  Here are some ways for you to pack like a pro for your next vacation:

First, Pick the Right Luggage

luggage

There are a lot of things to consider when purchasing luggage for your trip.  Bigger is not always better.  You may think that leaving room to bring back souvenirs is a great idea, but large luggage makes it easy to over-pack, and it can be difficult to carry around.  When you purchase your luggage, think carefully about the qualities that you want.  Do you prefer one with wheels, or would you rather carry your bag?   Will it be used for flying or driving?  If it is used for driving, you may want to consider a suitcase that is pliable so that it can be easily stored.

Make a List

Woman with checklist

If you are like many travelers, you probably worry about forgetting something critical every time you pack for a trip.  Making a checklist of the items you need can help ease this feeling.  For the best results, you will want to be thinking about this checklist at least a few days in advance of your trip.  This will give you plenty of time to remember everything that you need so that you can add to your list.  However, make sure that you don’t plan for every possible worst case scenario.  This will simply cause your checklist to be much too large and will lead to over-packing.  The only realistic worst case scenario that you should pack for is lost luggage.  Keep a spare pair of clothes in your carry-on just in case!

Wrinkled Clothes?  Not Anymore

One of the biggest problems when it comes to packing is avoiding wrinkled clothing when you open up your suitcase.  Forget the typical folding method—it’s time to start bundle wrapping.  Bundle wrapping involves wrapping your clothes around one central object in a way that eliminates folds—which can lead to wrinkles.  This method uses tension to cut the wrinkles from your clothes.  While it may take a little more effort than your typical folding method, it is worth it.  This step-by-step guide shows you exactly how to bundle wrap your clothes so that they are ready to wear once you step off the plane.

Choose Versatile Pieces

Picking clothes that can be mixed and matched will help you save space in your luggage.  In addition, it will also be less frustrating for you to find something to wear while on vacation.  Shoes take up quite a bit of space, so make sure to pack those black flats that go with everything and a good pair of tennis shoes—especially if you plan on doing a lot of walking.  A neutral-colored cardigan can be worn over a nice dress or over a more casual outfit.  Sticking with versatile pieces will make your trip much less stressful, because you won’t be constantly worrying about running out of things to wear.

Protect Your Lingerie

If you have been stuffing your bras and panties carelessly into your luggage, it’s time to rethink your strategy.  Luggage can go through some rough handling, and your bras could get bent or smashed inside.  It would be a good idea to purchase a bra protector that will protect and store your bras as you travel.   This way, your adorable lingerie that you just purchased won’t take a beating when you go on vacation.

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Properly Store Fluids

As many unfortunate travelers have discovered, one of the most effective ways to ruin a vacation is to have your personal care products spill in your suitcase and ruin your clothes.  Do yourself an enormous favor and store all of your liquids and creams in zipped plastic bags.  If you are flying, read the airline’s policy on traveling with liquids, and make sure that your liquids are stored properly.  Some provide clear plastic bags for travelers, but it is easier to do this beforehand so that you don’t need to rummage through your luggage.