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Pack Like A Pro For The Holidays

12/01/2015 05:53 EST | Updated 12/01/2016 05:12 EST
AnikaSalsera via Getty Images
Young woman standing on her knees on overfilled suitcase, trying to close it.

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Isn't packing for your trip the best part of vacation? Yeah, not for me either.

With the holidays and winter vacation just around the corner we could all use a few tips to ease the packing process. I travel quite often, and usually with both kids. As a result I have learned some little tricks along the way. So read on if you would like to make the packing process easier.

1. Packing Cubes

Using packing cubes are by far the easiest way to organize your travel. They are these awesome durable, zipable, smushable bags that fit into your suitcase, usually the top is made of mesh so you can see right through them. I have been using them for quite some time for my family of four. I use one packing cube per person, that way everyone's clothes are divided before you go. It makes the unpacking/sorting process way easier when you get to your destination, especially if you are staying in separate rooms. You can pop out each person's cube and give it to them. Smaller packing cubes can be used for shoes, toiletries, etc.

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2. Roll It Up

If you want the most bang for your suitcase-space buck you need to roll those clothes. They take up a lot less space when rolled and they are less wrinkly when you arrive. Win win.

3. Don't Over Pack

I know we all like options, especially when on vacation, but try not to go overboard. If you have access to laundry facilities while away (and it's either free or not crazy expensive) pack enough for four days and wash your stuff. Most of the time when we travel we stay with friends or family or in a place with laundry, so this tip is key for us. I pack all of our stuff in one large suitcase for a seven to 10-day trip, or one medium suitcase for a long weekend. Less stuff = less stress. Trust me.

If you can't wash your clothes while away try to pack very versatile, easy to mix and match pieces. And LOTS of underwear. You CAN re-wear the same outfit. People won't judge you (well maybe they will but who cares). It's probably the minimalist in me talking, but seriously, I have never run out of clothes while traveling and I'm always way happier to be pulling my one suitcase in an airport than I am watching everyone else struggle to cart all their stuff around.

4. Travel Toiletries

Economically speaking travel products are a huge rip-off. Why on earth would you pay $1 for one-tenth the amount of product that costs $3? That math just doesn't add up. That being said, travel toiletries are super convenient. Especially while traveling by plane. I have a few solutions to this. Save your samples and re-use your bottles: I end up with tons of free samples throughout the year. Shampoo, body wash, face wipes, etc. I save them all for travel. I hate buying new travel sized products, so I will save the containers my samples come in and re-fill them with the full size stuff. Make sure the bottles close very well and they won't leak and you're good to go. To be extra safe I usually put leaky, soap stuff in a plastic baggies and then into a packing cube.

Bonus tip: Separate your travel toiletries by type and keep them separate from the rest of your stuff. I have ours in labelled bins in the linen closet. That way I can just grab and go as needed.

5. Don't Bring What You Can Buy (within reason)

Listen, when we're heading to an all inclusive in the Caribbean I am bringing enough of everything. There is no way I'm going to pay $20 for $8 sunscreen at the resort or $30 for 10 diapers (okay, maybe it's a bit of an exaggeration but I'm not that far off). If we are travelling within Canada or to the U.S., I just bring enough for a few days and supplement as needed. I'm not going to waste precious suitcase space to pack a week's worth of diapers, snacks for the ride home, or anything else I can easily pick up while away.

Have a great travel tip? Get in touch and tell me about it.

Happy organizing and happy travels everyone!

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