How to Pack for Your Next Vacation

Written By alex spirer Published March 5th, 2010

When people think of vacation they think of relaxation, but sometimes the stress of packing makes the vacation seem like more of a chore than an escape.

I will outline for you tried and true ways that have helped me in making my vacation and travels whether in the US or abroad less stressful.

Step 1: Make a list of what you will need on your vacation

This is key. When I am getting ready for vacation I always write a list of everything I will need for my trip, including how much clothing I will need toiletries etc.

Step 2: Making Sure You have all tickets, documents etc

Once I book my vacation/trip I make sure that I have all of my travel documents together so I am not scrambling looking for them right before I am supposed to leave for the airport.

If I am traveling abroad, I go to the travel store and buy a passport/document holder that I can carry all my important documents in around my neck. This way I don’t have to wear that unattractive uncomfortable money belt and everything is all in one place. This can also apply to domestic travel but when I am traveling within the United States I carry everything in my purse.

About 4-5 weeks before your trip look at your license for domestic travel and passport for International Travel and make sure you have a valid license/passport.  To obtain a new license you can either renew your license on line at www.dmv.com or for a passport go to your local post office. You can go to www.usps.gov for locations and more information.  In order to travel internationally, your passport must have at least six months till expiration as countries are strict on letting you in with a passport that may be expiring close to your trip or right afterwards.

Next, make several copies of your passport or license and give a copy to at least one family member. I always do this in case my passport is lost or stolen and the same for my license. I then take the other copies and put them in my luggage so if necessary I can go to the DMV or American Embassy to prove my identity and get a new one.

Step 3: For Travels Abroad Purchasing Currency

When I travel abroad I always want to have some of the country’s currency with me in case there is limited access to ATMs my first few days there.
About two to three weeks before I go away, I go to my local American Express office to purchase a few hundred dollars in currency and if the country exchanges them travelers checks as well.

I like traveler’s checks because if they are lost or stolen you do not lose the money and American Express will overnight them or get you to a location where you can get new ones.

In addition, I always carry my debit card and one credit card for emergency purchases.

Step 4: One Week before I leave

The week before I leave is when I start going through my list of clothing, toiletries and start assembling them together.

I go through the list and get together all the clothing I will need for my trip. Once I have that all ready to be packed I check that off my list.

Next, I look and see what toiletries I have and what I need to get. I then make a separate list of items I need to get and go to the local drugstore such as CVS – www.cvs.com or Duane Reade – www.duanereade.com and stock up.

Two key toiletries I bring are toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Depending on the country you are going to, there may or may not be toilet paper and/or soap. So I buy the travel size toilet paper rolls and stick them in my bag when I am away. Next I bring hand sanitizer as most places don’t have soap.

Step 5:  Packing

Three days before my trip or sometimes earlier I begin to pack all of my clothes and toiletries. As I pack each item I check it off my list until my list is complete and I am all packed.

The night before I leave I put together my bag for the airplane which includes a complete change of clothes in case my bag gets misplaced for a day or two, books on where I am traveling too, chargers and adapters for different countries if needed, all documents. I also call the car service or shuttle service to confirm they have my reservation and are picking me up.

For domestic travel I get to the airport about 90 minutes (an hour and a half) before and for International 180 minutes (3 Hours) before to allow myself enough time to check in, go through security, get a bit and get to the gate without rushing.

Step 6: Relax and enjoy the flight and vacation!


Roger Due

Investing in Your Destiny® & Coaching Program - Wealth Building Summit Dallas, Texas

My name is Roger Due and I am from Albuquerque, New Mexico and I am the owner of the Monsano software company. This has been an absolutely fantastic conference. This is the best I have ever been to.