Packing and planning for a trip

Happy belated Thanksgiving! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday with family and friends.  

Next week my husband is taking me to Punta Cana for my birthday present this year.  Yay! FYI: Check out the Excellence Resorts if you’ve never heard of them.  We went to an Excellence resort for our honeymoon in Cancun, so we are really looking forward to going to the same resort chain again.

I’ve been wanting to write a blog on packing and traveling so I thought this would be a great time to publish a blog about it since I used to travel fairly frequently.  Many of you will be traveling for Christmas too so maybe it will help you!

Here are some of my tips for packing and traveling.


  • Keep an eye on the weather


What will the weather be like where you are going? If the weather will be cold, the best way to pack is to create outfits with layers.  You can also rewear some of the layers, for example a cardigan or sweater can be worn more than once. If you’re going somewhere warm from a cold climate, plan ahead to change into shorts/sandals at the airport so you don’t overheat (and vice versa).  I’m wearing my super lightweight and packable winter coat that can roll up into a ball and use as a pillow when I take it off. I’m also packing shorts in my carry on so I can change when I get to the airport in Punta Cana.


  • Make a list and check it 100 times


I used to travel a lot for work, so I have a google doc travel packing list that I keep and I update it regularly depending on where I am traveling. Then, go through the list and make sure you have everything packed.  Check it again! Do not rely on your memory to pack, because you will forget something.


  • Be (over)prepared!  


Since we are going to a resort for this trip and it’s out of the country, I tend to pack things I probably won’t need but if I do I’ll be grateful for not having to spend insane amounts of money to buy them while we’re there.  This includes cold medicine, Band-Aids, Tums, Pepto bismol, etc. At the resort, a bother of sunscreen can cost almost $20! So we’re overpacking that also! I also downloaded kindle books to read electronically, but in case anything would happen, i’m bringing one or two paperback books to read.  If you’re traveling abroad you definitely need your passport and possibly power converters, so don’t forget those things.

Other things to think about:  Alert your credit card company you are traveling so they don’t block your charges.   Make a photocopy of important documents like passport and license and keep a digital and real copy for backup.  Leave an itinerary with someone at home just in case anything would happen. Also, several times when I went to Europe, I downloaded the subway maps on my phone and printed them out so that I knew which subway lines to take ahead of time.


  • Keeping the same color theme


This is key for me.  When I travel I keep one or two color themes and only pack clothes that match those, that way all my shoes, bags, and coats will match and I don’t have to overpack multiples.  


  • Roll your clothes


If you want to save tons of space in your luggage, roll your clothes! Also, rolling clothes prevents them from getting wrinkled.  I also fill up my shoes and hats with clothes to maximize space.


  • Travel health insurance.


If you’re going out of the country and anything happens to you while you are there (even minor like needing stitches), travel insurance will cover those costs. I’ve read about people getting sick or hurt and spending thousands on health care costs because they didn’t get travel insurance.  The insurance was only $32 for both of us! Don’t skimp on this!


  • Pack your important and valuable belongings in your carry on luggage.  


Travel documents, hotel info, extra change of clothes, medications, etc should all go in your carry on luggage.  That way you still have your essentials until your other luggage arrives.


  • Use a carry on you can fit under the seat on the airplane.  


It’s truly annoying to fly, I actually despise it.  But it’s nice to be able to fit all your stuff under the plane seat so you don’t have to get up and root through the overhead bins to retrieve something out of your luggage. So I use a backpack when I travel. I don’t care if I look a teenager 🙂


flying people sitting public transportation

Photo by Skitterphoto on

Is there anything I forgot to add? Do you have any helpful tips for traveling?