Taking trips are greater than three nights here, five nights there, all seems great, right? But, when you have to plan a more extended vacation, like two weeks or more, it can be stressful. What do you wear? Where are you going? What do you need for the evening? It gets even more stressful when you are planning a family vacation. One person is easy, and it gets more tricky when you have to figure out what to bring for four people. Lucky for you, I recently went on a long trip and came up with some exciting tips for packing for long trips.
Wash your clothes at least three days before your trip.
People usually wear comfortable clothes most often, so you will probably be needing those clothes for your trip. Cleaning clothes that you just wore are most likely the ones you will be packing for your trip. So, having enough time to wash time is key to a good packing task.
Create a family packing checklist.
Making a family packing list is critical for long trips. You can visit our other packing list in this post: VACATION TIPS TO MAKE ANY FAMILY VACATION HAPPY. We also share tips on how to get the family involved in this adventure.
If you are going on a cruise, check out my post on Cruise Packing List for you to print for you and your family. I developed this one when we went on a cruise with the kids, and it helped us remember what we needed for specific cruise activities/events that were happening that week.
Some people may be going to the beach, and this next packing list is perfect! If you are going to the shore and renting a house, we also have a HOW TO EASILY PACK FOR A SHORE VACATION WITHOUT STRESS checklist to share with you.
Keep in mind that you can easily pull from either one of these to customize it to your family when making your packing list.
Create large signs one for each day that describes your day's activity.
I did this particular tip for my family trip where we stayed on land and a cruise for the better part of ten days. Using a sheet of paper for each day of the trip, I wrote what each day's activities would be, then printed them out. This helped me and the family pack the different clothing for precisely the day in question. After I finished packing, I gave the sheets to the other people going on the trip; they then could read it and pack accordingly. There is no need for me to help explain the activities/events, saving time for me to do other things.
Reduce the Volume of Clothing By Using Compression Bags.
This is my favorite tip! I use travel compression bags all the time on long trips. If you get a large amount of these smaller bags, each day could be compressed into its bag, keeping you organized on the trip. And, after you wear the clothes, you can place the dirty clothes into the bag, keeping the other items clean. Below are just some varieties I found on Amazon (affiliate).
Add one complete outfit in a carry-on bag.
This tip had helped me over the years when a bag was lost or misplaced by the airline by accident. Pack a complete set of clothes in your carry-on bag. It also helps when the kids have an accident. You can quickly grab an extra change of clothing instead of rushing around trying to buy something for time to wear. Below are some carry-ons I found on Amazon (affiliate) that could store this outfit.
Place all your liquids in your luggage.
And lastly, your carry-on liquids need to be pulled out when going thru security, so be the caretaker of the liquids. Place all of them in a quart zippered bag, one for you and one for your partner to hold for the entire family. Toiletry bags are for one person, so having more than one bag will take too much room. Try to fill up the two bags with the kids' stuff, so you reduce the number of bags you need to carry. Below are some I found on Amazon (affiliate).
***AD*** Boutique Rugs: Looking for rugs? Check out their wide variety of beautifully designed rugs.
Read the information from the all inclusive travel provider.
If you are going on a cruise or a tour trip, or an adventure trip, be sure to read all the recommended information from the cruise line or tour group. They give you a lot of information that would be useful for packing. Print out essential instructions, directions, jot down notes, or add to your mobile device for reference.
Additional tips on packing for long trips.
Carry case for the electronic cables. There may be several cables and chargers with a family, so keeping them all together in one case is helpful. Below are some electronic pouches I found on Amazon (affiliate) to help you keep them organized.
I hope these tips help you make your vacation packing process more relaxing and less confusing. Did I miss anything? Please let me know by leaving a message below.
NOTE: The links above are to Amazon.com. If you wish to buy them, I will receive a referral fee from Amazon.
Great tips, Sabrina! Packing can be so stressful for people. I've often helped my clients to prepare for a trip. I'm a huge fan of the packing list. I use an electronic one that I alter for each trip. I save them on my computer so that if in the future I take a similar type of trip (location, length of stay, purpose), I just refer to my previous list and edit as needed. I like to pack things that I can mix and match to get maximum use out of each piece.
These are so great tips! I'm moving to Canada for a while and these tips seem to work perfectly for me. Packing for a longer time has always been a big problem for me and here's a good bunch of ideas on that. Thank you for sharing!
I'm glad you were able to find this useful. Good luck Christine on your trip.
Great tips, especially the check list. I know I have trouble planning a trip, and being able to sit down and anticipate what I need is vital for me not to forget something. Thanks for sharing.
Love all the tips. We've gone from the space bags to - rolling up all clothing items except for slacks or pants. It's both a space saver and a wrinkle preventer. There was a youtube video on the how tos for doing it the best way, by an airline attendant!
Always good stuff from you Sabrina.
That's great, I will check that out too. Thank you so much Patricia! I really appreciate you stopping by.
I have a list on my computer that I always use for packing for trips. You have given some great suggestions to make packing easier and more efficient. Thanks!
Great tips Sabrina! For many years I worked in international hotel sales and spent a lot of time traveling, usually for 2 to 3 weeks at a time. So yep, any little tips and organizational tools one can use are always helpful and make the trip so much easier.
Thank you for the packing tips. I have done a great deal of traveling and have kind of worked my packing down to a science so that I never bring more than I need. I like your idea to pack an outfit in your carry-on bag in case your checked luggage gets lost. My bag only got lost once and I got it back the next day but an extra outfit would have come in handy.
Packing for a long trip is always scary. There is always that lingering feeling that you forgot something important. I used to have to pack for longer trips as an actress when I went on tour. I had friends who went out on year long tours, and they showed me how they would pack for that. They would stack their clothes starting on the bottom of the bag and build up to the top, like you might find clothes stacked on a shelf. That way, when they unzipped their bags, they could see their entire wardrobe all lined up. Fascinating.
I do like your idea of packing a spare change of clothes in case your luggage gets lost. You always need to be prepared for that unfortunately.
Here's an offbeat travel packing tip that came from my father. (I wouldn't necessarily recommend it.) If he was going on a long trip he would buy new underwear because he said he could never make it as flat as it is in the original packaging. Guess it's not a bad idea if you needed new underwear anyway.
That is a clever idea Ken. Thanks for sharing.
I print a checklist a week before and I tick items off as they are placed in our suitcases. This ensures I do not leave a key item behind.
I have often pondered splitting our garments into each suitcase. If for any reason a suitcase was lost in transit we would still have at least a few clothes/shoes.
Wow! I never thought of the space bag idea! That's fantastic...will save so much room! And I did learn the hard way about packing a carry on with one outfit! But like you, I make checklists when I used to have a trip for 3 weeks. I'm not sure I could have packed without one!
I like the idea of writing out planned activities for each day. Some trips may not be that planned in detail, but you may still have some expectations of activities. It sure can help sort out what clothes are most appropriate. I will do this for my next trip. I still tend to pack too much and am learning to pack the clothes I am most comfortable in and like the best. Ones that I don't tire of wearing so I can wear them several times and reduce what I pack.