Divide clothing evenly between all suitcases; this way if one bag gets lost, you will still have clothes.
Do NOT pack valuables in checked bags. Put any valuables, such as ipods, cameras, laptops, etc in yout carry-on.
Make sure you have your name, destination information and home information on the inside of your luggage. This way if your bags get lost and the tag comes off they can still reach you.
Roll your clothes, they will fit better in your suitcase and won’t wrinkle as much as when you fold them.
Put heavy items at the bottom of your suitcase (i.e. shoes) to keep your bag from being top heavy
Pack things within other things, like your underwear in your shoes. You want to save as much space as possible.
Buy plastic shower caps and wrap around the bottom of your shoes to keep your clothes clean or put your shoes in newspaper bags. Newspaper bags work great to bring home sandy flip-flops!
Place plastic wrap between bottle caps and the bottle to help prevent spillage in your luggage, then place bottles in a plastic bag as added insurance that they won’t spill in your luggage.
Mini First Aid Kit – Suggested items: activated charcoal (excellent at easing hangovers, and stomach issues) DayQuill, Nyquill, cough drops, Pepto Bismol, Imodium, Tylenol, Neosporin and Band-Aids, Benadryl Cream, Benadryl pills, eye drops, ace bandage in case of falls and sprains. Some countries restrict over-the-counter medications, such as Sudafed. If in doubt contact your agent.
Prescription medicine, you need to bring these in their original prescription bottle. However, I would only bring enough for your vacation and up to 14 days extra in case you get quarantined and leave the rest of your pills at home. Fill the bottle with cotton to keep the pills from breaking up. Be sure to carry prescriptions with you, do not pack them.
Probiotics: many clients swear that you should start taking a good quality probiotic 2 weeks before you travel and continue taking it while on vacation. It is extra protection for the alcohol, rich foods that you are likely to consume on vacations.
Games – bring a deck of cards and a couple of travel games. Good to have to play with family or new friends during a rain shower or in the evenings.
Chip clip or laundry clip to help keep the drapes together.
Nail clippers and nail file – suggest that you carry on the plane with you toenail clippers as some airports will zip tie the zipper on your suitcase and you will need the toenail clippers to clip the ties. Do not carry a pocketknife with you!
Zip Ties – speaking of zip ties. You can buy a TSA approved lock and use it on your luggage. Only TSA approved locks can be used. Or you can simply buy a few zip ties and ziptie the two zippers of your checked bags together. This will prevent anyone from easily accessing your checked bags and if TSA needs access to your bags they will clip them and leave you a note in your bag saying they opened your bag. Be sure to put the extra zipties in your checked bag, because you cannot carry them on the plane with you!
Trial size bottle of Woolite or laundry soap. If you can’t find any trial sizes, then fill a travel size bottle with the detergent. You will want this to rinse the salt and chorine from your swimsuits each evening.
Nightlight – put this in the bathroom so you can find your way around there in the middle of the night without having bright light shock.
Power Strip – If you have a lot of electronics, you might consider bringing a power strip so you can easily plug in all your items at once
Some destinations will require voltage converters. Ask your agent if your destination will require one.
Hair Dryer – Most resorts will have a hair dryer. Check with your travel agent if you are not sure if they will have one. No need to pack one if you don’t have too.
Shampoo and Conditioner – Most properties will supply you with standard items like bar soap and shampoo and conditioner. These are typically inexpensive no-name brands. If you are particular about what kind of shampoo and conditioner you use, please bring your own with you.
Jewelry – please leave your expensive watch, earrings, etc at home. I even wear a fake wedding ring when I travel. No need to take a chance that they are stolen, lost or damaged while on vacation.
Packing tips for all-inclusive and beach vacations:
Pack a carry-on with your swimsuits, toothbrush and one change of clothing per person. This way should both your bags get lost you will have some clothes until your bag can be delivered. Plus, if you arrive before check-in time, you have full use of the resort as soon as you arrive. Grab your swimsuit and hit the pool and beach!
Most resorts will have at least one restaurant that will require men to wear long pants, collared shirt and closed toe shoes (not tennis shoes). If you are not familiar with your resorts dress code or you need some tips on affordable and comfortable options, I will be glad to help with some ideas that work for us.
Silicone straws if you drink frozen drinks as most resorts are not using straws anymore or they give you paper ones that dissolve before your drink is finished.
Floats for the pool and ocean, Take back to your room each day, and when ready to leave the resort leave them with resort, typically the towel hut will take them.
Sun block for body and for face. Start off strong as you don’t want to burn, then you can always decrease the strength as the days go by.
Aloe (because you didn’t reapply the sunscreen as often as you should have!)
Chapstick with sunblock
Sunglasses – I always recommend that you bring at least one extra pair of sunglasses with you, as you will likely lose or break at least one pair!
Wear a hat – not a visor! If you use a visor your scalp will get burned on the part.
Books/Magazines/Kindle Great to have when you are traveling or relaxing poolside or on the beach. Many resorts even have a library where you can borrow or exchange, or leave your book for someone else to enjoy.
Swimmers ear drops. The best way to prevent ear problems is to get the salt and chlorinated water out of your ears. You don’t want to fly home with an ear infection!
Mosquito repellent – For those “no see ums” that come out at night.
Bug bit relief – just incase you get a bug bite!
Fingernail polish and remover – recommended that you get the remover that comes in handy single use packs, similar to handy wipes. Sand and the bottom of the pools will destroy the paint on your toenails.
Chlorine Shampoo – I travel with a small bottle of shampoo called “Utraswim”. It is great if you spend a lot of time in the pool or the ocean. It will take the chlorine and salt out of your hair and then you can condition with your good conditioner
Damp Rid - never done this myself, but has been recommended that you bring the hang up bag kind and hang it in the room. it will remove the humidity and keep your smelling fresh.
Have a jetted tub in your room? Bring two dishwasher pods. Fill the tub with hot water, toss in the pods and run jets about 15 minutes. Will clean the jets, as they probably never get cleaned.
Extra tips for European Vacations:
Wash clothes are not supplied at most European hotels. If this is something you like to use, you might want to pack a few or bring disposable facewipes.
A scarf or shawl may be required for women when entering temples and other religious buildings
A packable jacket may be required for sudden weather changes
A neck pillow is great for those long flights
We encourage you to wear compression socks on long flights. This helps to keep your legs from swelling due to extended seating.
Wine bottle opener.
Most importantly, don’t forget to include your sense of humor, your flexibility, and sense of adventure . . You are on Vacation! If you have any ideas that you would like to add to this list please be sure to let me know what they are as we are always looking for recommendations from our clients as to what worked for them while they were on vacation!