After my Christmas vacation to visit family across the country, I made note of some things to do differently when planning and packing for my next trip. Overall, though, I think I did a pretty good job of packing lightly and planning thoughtfully.
Here’s a few things I would do again for my next big trip:
Bring a tablet. I have a Kindle Fire and I really enjoyed having it with me over Christmas. I used it for all the expected activities–reading books, browsing the Internet, paying bills. It was nice to not have to borrow my host’s home computer, and it was great to be able to read the backlit screen on dim planes without using the glaring overhead light.
Bring a backup power source. I have an older cell phone with a weak battery, so I brought along two extra battery packs. These were great to have on hand for long flights, day trips, etc.
Pack a small “capsule” wardrobe centered on one color scheme. I don’t have a big wardrobe to begin with, and I buy way too many black tops, so this was pretty easy for me. I was also staying with family members at their home, so I knew I could do laundry at least once during the week. I considered the weather when packing and I tried to be realistic about my needs (i.e., would I really need dressy clothes? Nope!). Even though I packed pretty light (light for me, at least), I still brought a few things I didn’t wear–or didn’t wear enough–to justify bringing them. These items included knee-high boots, two scarves, a denim jacket, a third tank top, and a third pair of sleep/lounge pants.
Pare down products. My penchant for Birchbox and mailbox freebies really comes in handy when it’s time to travel–I have lots of sample-sized goodies on hand. I eliminated duplicates (no need for one lip balm in my purse and one in my makeup bag, for example) and streamlined everything to fit into two bags–a small makeup bag of dry items and a quart-sized bag of mini liquids.
Schedule in a day off at home before heading back to school or work. I got home late on Saturday night and didn’t have to be at work until Monday morning, so Sunday was a day to “recover” from my vacation and prepare to re-enter the “real world.” I slept late, snuggled my cats, unpacked a few essentials, straightened up the house a little, and read. Ahh.
Vacation was great, but it’s nice to be home. 🙂