Going on a trip? Six tips to help you pack.

When you find out that you need to go away for work or pleasure, do you immediately go into panic mode? Is packing a nightmare for you? Here are some tips to help make traveling much easier by being prepared and organized.

Tip #1: Make a list.
As with many organizing chores, it is a good idea to start a list of things you will need. It is never too soon to start planning for your trip. If you really want to be on top of things, get a folder and put everything about the trip in there including any email confirmations for reservations. Passports can go in the folder as well.

Tip #2: Avoid over-packing.
Try to bring one bottom (skirt, slacks, jeans) for every two tops. Think ahead about where you are going and what you need. Take only the clothing, outerwear, footwear and jewelry you need. If you and another family member use the same shampoo or toothpaste, just take one and share.

Tip #3: Use all of the available space.
If you have shoes in your suitcase, put smaller objects in plastic bags and put them inside the shoes. A toothbrush or hairbrush can fit nicely inside of a shoe. Socks can be rolled and inserted into shoes.

Tip #4: Think ahead.
Bring a few empty plastic bags or use the hotel’s dry cleaning bag for your dirty clothes or wet bathing suits. Then your clean clothes and dirty clothes do not have to sit in the suitcase together. Consider the weather and what hair care and personal products you will need.

Tip #5: Do as much packing as possible ahead of time.
The day before your trip, you should be able to pack just about everything except your medications and grooming supplies. If you are driving, it is always easier to get gas the day before.

Tip #6: Check your list before you leave.
You do not want to have to come back for something. Make sure you have everything packed that you will need. Check the coffee maker and any other appliances you used in the morning to be sure they are turned off before you leave.

Follow these simple rules and you will be sure to have a stress free trip. If you forget something on this trip, remember it for next time and get your checklist started early. Without worrying while packing, you can focus your efforts elsewhere and enjoy the trip.

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