Vacation Packing: What’s In (or not in!) Your Suitcase?

June 17, 2010

Vacations are a time to relax, renew and enjoy life, right? Try telling yourself that while you are madly packing the night before! I mean, who hasn’t run around at the last minute like a crazy person hoping you remember everything and still leaving the house the next day with the nagging suspicion that you forgot something important (and finding out all too soon that you did)!

No one wants to spend part of their precious vacation bouncing around from store to store replacing things they meant to bring with them. We can all recount experiences like that…perhaps it’s your favorite sandals for walking going to the beach, the only sunscreen that won’t irritate your skin, your sunglasses, or your evening clutch so you don’t have to carry your big black tote bag with you everywhere. Aggravating doesn’t even begin to describe it!

Each time this happens you vow that the next time you’ll make a packing list so you can check things off as you pack them thereby reducing the chance of leaving some important detail out. But, once you’re back from vacation the urgency is gone, and it doesn’t return until the next trip. Somehow the list never gets made.

If this sounds familiar, I can help. Years ago I made this packing list (because I’m a Virgo and mildly obsessive about things, and because I cannot stand feeling stressed the night before my vacation begins). And, I just used it on my trip to New York City. After the last time I posted this I got some very useful suggestions to add to it so here is the revised edition (and I welcome more!).

Use it as a guide and personalize it for the next time you travel. It will make your life easier, your packing more efficient, and your departure worry-free!

Have a great summer and happy vacationing!


Handbags (evening, casual)
Wrap or Sweater
Hair Brush/Comb
Hair dryer
Haircare products
Toothbrush & floss
Nail Polish for touch ups
Tampons & Pads
Vitamins & Prescriptions
Camera (for those who don’t have one in their phone)
Contact lenses and solution
Bathing Suit
Gift (if staying with friends)
Dirty Laundry Bag
Exercise Clothing
Sneakers & Socks
Cell Phone Charger
Computer Nightlight (if staying in a dark hotel!)
Ear plugs (if staying in a noisy hotel!)
Airline/Train Tickets/Itinerary
Directions to where you’re going
Passport (remember to check expiration date!)
Mp3 player
Books to Read
Neck Pillow
Snacks for plane
Kids’ Stuff (not my area of expertise, so you’re on your own here)


Lower Heat/AC
Unplug toaster oven and TV
Note to petsitter
Stop mail/newspaper if necessary

Learn how to stop wasting money on things you never wear.
Get Ginger's free e-book and bi-weekly newsletter with fashion secrets.