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The How-To Lounge: Getting Ready For a Vacation

If you’re lucky enough to have taken a trip recently, then you know how dizzying travel can be. I know, it’s supposed to be relaxing and carefree, but getting out the door and to your destination can be a huge hassle. To see my tips for how to make getting ready for your next vacation a breeze, just


  • As soon as you know where you’re going and when, start considering everything that you’ll need. You might have to purchase new items, like a new camera or a bathing suit — and we know both of those can take months of deliberation.
  • Similarly, don’t wait until the night before or (gasp!) the day of to start packing. I’m not suggesting you have your suitcase zipped a week in advance, but I think it’s important to give yourself a few days to start coming up with a list of necessities. You don’t want to be doing laundry in the middle of the night or rushing out to a 24-hour drugstore for some mini shampoo.
  • Do your best to avoid overpacking once you get going. With travel the way it is these days, it’s much smarter to pack on the light side. If you take the time to plan your outfits so that you can mix and match, it won't be as difficult to keep the number of items limited.
  • Try cleaning up your home before you leave. It takes extra time and it's probably the last thing you feel like doing, but there’s nothing like coming home to a tidy house when you’ve been away.
  • Finally, don’t forget the real important stuff like your cell phone charger, laptop, camera, reading material, iPod, etc. These are the things that will keep you from going crazy if your flight is delayed.

Vacations should always be about having a good time, but once you're off your home turf, it's important to be safe — make sure someone knows where you are at all times, and be wary when befriending strangers.


Join The Conversation
sparklestar sparklestar 9 years
I just went away to France with hand luggage only for 5 days. That was a task! I would have thought the new rules on carrying toiletries should be on here somewhere? i.e. 100ml max for some items and you have to have them all in a clear plastic bag or you'll have them confiscated. :D
penguins268 penguins268 9 years
Me too urban chic! I'll be at my destination and be like, "Why did I bring this?? It's so ugly!" Or "Crap! I don't need this and it's taking up soo much room."
urban-chic-101 urban-chic-101 9 years
So true about leaving a tidy house. Nothing is more depressing than coming home to an unclean house... eew. I'm such an over-packer and I always hate all the clothes I bring with me.
lilcat lilcat 9 years
I'm going away in 2 weeks! Can't wait!! I'm already gathering my outfits now! :)
Marni7 Marni7 9 years
I am excited too shopaholichunny! I went to the Bahamas with my boy in April and DR with my fam last december im on an island spree lol..i'll let u know how St.Maarten is :)
FairyPrincess33 FairyPrincess33 9 years
I think my biggest problem is over packing. I live in Hawaii and travel really often and always over pack. I think it's because I live so far and I feel that if I forget something I won't be able to "turn around" and get it. LOL
SusanTeufel SusanTeufel 9 years
Great tips, Skigurl and Dear! I am going to Atlanta for my honeymoon (Yay Dragon*Con! Anyone else going?) in the end of August, so this will be helpful :3
skigurl skigurl 9 years
another tip: if you are like me, you go away almost every weekend (especially in the summer) for short road trips, camping, to the cottage etc. well i got smart and i bought a three pack of ralph lauren clear makeup is small (for everyday makeup), one is medium sized (for travel sized shampoo/conditioner/mouthwash/a toothbrush etc...all the stuff you need for vacations) and the one is large with a handle (to carry the big stuff like hair brush, body butter etc.) and i just keep them packed at all times with extra items so that when i go away, i dont have to worry about packing toiletries at the last minute after i showered, rather i just grab that little tote and go!
skigurl skigurl 9 years
please note that i used to be a compulsive overpacker and with a little organization, i can easily get everything into a much smaller suitcase than before!
skigurl skigurl 9 years
awesome tips! even for short weekend trips (like this weekend) i spend a bit of time coming up with a list of all the things i'll need, including thinking about specific outfits for all the days and keeping with one color scheme (ie: black OR brown, so i only need one color of shoes, one purse, and one belt etc.)...then i open my suitcase in my room a couple days ahead and pack what i can while stroking items off the list. that way you know where everything is, what you need to wash, what you need to buy, and by the time the trip rolls around you can zip it up and go!
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 9 years
Oooo Marni I'm going to St. Maarten and Labadee in November. I'm excited. Thanks for posting this Dear! I need to use them.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 9 years
Las Vegas in September! WHOOHOO!
Marni7 Marni7 9 years
Wonderful! I am going to St.Maarten in 3 weeks with a bunch of my girlfriends :)
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