Over 50s Lifestyle Travel

8 tips to make packing for your vacation a breeze

September 16, 2018
8 tips to making packing for your vacation a breeze

Are you good at packing for a vacation or do you take more than you need and come home with half of your garments not even taken out of your suitcase?

I probably fall into the second category and always take more than what I really need.  I’m off on a two week cruise in October, so I thought I would enlist the help of Christine Blundell, Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond’s Fashion Editor, to give me some tips on making packing easier.

8 tips to making packing for your vacation a breeze

In a survey conducted on women going on holiday, they packed an average of 44 garments. On return these same women on majority revealed they wore an average of only 22 of those garments. That means most of us take twice as many garments as we need and wear. That’s a lot of extra baggage!

You may find the following tips helpful when planning your next holiday:

1. Plan a core wardrobe that mixes and matches with other colours.

Choose 2 or 3 plain basic colours to build on. In Sue’s travel wardrobe plan, we are using black, navy and white.

2. Wear the same outfit on your return as you wore to travel to your destination and wear the heaviest and bulkiest garments and shoes as this takes up less space in your luggage.

3. Instead of folding garments, roll them as they crease less and take up less space.

4. Check out the climate before packing and plan your wardrobe accordingly.

5. Are there cultural considerations that need to be respected?

6. Activity level –will it be predominately work, walking, hiking or relaxing? Beach or country or both?

7. A cross body bag is a great idea as it leaves your hands free.

8. From personal experience, if you have a health condition and/or on medication, ask your doctor to print out details to take with you, as in an emergency it can be difficult to think clearly and if in a foreign country, trying to deal with language barriers.

What are your tips for making packing a breeze?



8 tips to making packing for your vacation a breeze

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  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au September 16, 2018 at 23:26

    I’ve travelled with my mum and she packs four times what she’s likely to wear! I’ve never seen such a big suitcase and watching her trying to close it and fit in the extra things she inevitably buys just messes with my head! I usually have a few things I don’t end up wearing but better safe than sorry.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 17, 2018 at 06:21

      Hi Leanne, I’m getting better at packing and make a mental note after each holiday what I actually wore and what I didn’t. I also might try the rolling clothes idea to see if that makes a difference. The most difficult part of packing for me is when we visit between seasons and you need to pack for both warm and cool weather. I’m sure your Mum is a ton of fun to travel with. x

  • Reply Janet Mary Cobb September 17, 2018 at 01:59

    I’m an extremely light packer – perhaps left over from my days wearing a habit. But when helping my kids pack for to/from school, we often use ‘space saver’ bags to condense the clothing. It does make a huge difference!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 17, 2018 at 06:22

      Hi Janet, I was only talking to my husband about those bags yesterday. Not in the context of travel but for some of my winter woolies which are now ready to be packed away for next year. Another benefit of light packing is that I can actually lift the suitcase without putting my back out! Have a lovely week. xx

  • Reply Donna September 17, 2018 at 04:11

    I’m also a light packer. The older I get, the lighter my suitcase has become. I am happy to hand-wash clothes in the evening which is a real lifesaver. I believe that packing light is a mind-shift. As soon as you do it once, you wonder why you never did it before!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 17, 2018 at 06:24

      I usually do some hand-washing Donna and you are right about the mind shift. We don’t need as much as we think and once we get used to that idea it becomes easier. My husband is an excellent packer, something he learned when he was called up for National Service for Vietnam and lived in a tent for 12 months. He also travelled for work often so became an expert in knowing what to take and how to pack effectively. He just shakes his head when he sees how I pack LOL:)

  • Reply Terri Webster Schrandt September 17, 2018 at 06:18

    I’ve learned to pack lighter over the years, but these are great tips! My hubby over packs (who brings a jacket to San Diego in July??). I wear my travel clothes tow and from like your suggestion says and stick with a color scheme!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 17, 2018 at 06:26

      Hi Terri, my husband is the expert packer in our family. I usually have about three attempts before I’m happy with what I’m taking 🙂 I’m with your hubby though and always pack a jacket as I can feel cold in any season. Have a great week! xx

  • Reply Natalie September 17, 2018 at 07:20

    All good tips to follow, Sue. I’m a light packer and haven’t felt that I missed anything on all the trips that I’ve done. I invest in a sturdy lightweight suitcase and some lightweight/ fast dry clothing that have been worth every penny. For accessories, I pack items that serve multi-purposes. Have fun packing for your cruise!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 19, 2018 at 08:26

      Hi Natalie, a lightweight suitcase is a great tip. I remember once I had one that was so heavy with no wheels it was almost impossible to lift it on and off the trains throughout Europe. I suppose we learn through experience 🙂

  • Reply Denise September 17, 2018 at 07:54

    I like to lay everything out that I think I want to take. Then I subtract from it knowing that it’s more than what I really need. I also roll my clothes and it makes a big difference in space saving as well as less wrinkles. I rewear my pants several times, and just change up the tops to make the outfits look different. Plus, a scarf or necklace can always change the look! Shoes seem to be my biggest challenge. I have a hard time “believing” that I can get by with just a couple…. walking, dress, and casual.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 19, 2018 at 08:27

      I do that Denyse and then pack and unpack about 5 times! Mike is so good at packing and just shakes his head at me as I keep changing my mind on what to take. He thinks I make it much harder than it should be. 🙂

  • Reply Joanne Tracey September 17, 2018 at 08:13

    Great tips. I’m a last minute packer, but also a very light packer. I follow the single outfit for travel there & back idea & always wear my bulkiest shoes to do that. I dress up and down with scarves and earrings. We’ve invested in super lightweight cases and hubby always repacks what I’ve just shoved in.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 19, 2018 at 08:28

      Hi Jo, yes Mike is a perfect packer and I’m hopeless. I’ve cut down on what I take but never really feel comfortable with what I’ve chosen. Then I just shut the suitcase and try to think about the wonderful experiences we will be having xx

  • Reply Bronnie - Maid In Australia September 17, 2018 at 11:01

    If anything I pack too lightly and end up having to buy things, which I hate doing – unless I’m travelling overseas and it counts as a fun souvenir!One good hack I have for domestic travel, and let’s face it, hospital stays too these days, is to keep a small bag half packed with the basics. Then whenever I have to go somewhere in a hurry I at least have a toiletry bag, medication for a few days, undies etc packed and just have to throw a few things in for the occasion . Has saved me many times, especially as I usually run around packing for everyone else and forget about myself. The other tip, which sounds obvious, is to always remember your passport and to make sure it is in date and has enough pages left. I haven’t been guilty, but I’ve lost track of the number of people who have turned up at the airport to find it at home – several hours away – or that one member of the family’s passport is out of date! Not the best way to start a trip!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 19, 2018 at 08:30

      My daughter travels regularly and she always has her toiletries pack set up so it is ready to go. The passport is a good tip but that is one thing I pack first! It is easy though to get caught up with packing and forget the most important thing. Thanks for visiting, Bronnie and enjoy the rest of your week. xx

  • Reply Jody at Six Little Hearts September 17, 2018 at 18:35

    Great list.
    You really do learn as you go. I went to London recently with a huge case of clothes and wore just 2-3 outfits the entire holiday! I was so annoyed that I used up most of my shopping space with useless clothing. I won’t do that next year!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 19, 2018 at 09:06

      I know what you mean, Jody. I was like that in the beginning and especially as we travelled mostly during Autumn and Winter I took far too many jumpers and jackets!

  • Reply Lori Jo September 17, 2018 at 19:02

    Great post, Sue. It is easy to over pack, but I have learned over the years to minimize, very similar to your method. We usually take long weekend trips, but if we were to go away for one or two weeks, I would add options but keep it lean. A friend of mine recently told me that she brings only her old panties and just throws them away instead of bringing them back as laundry, I love that – Enjoyed your tips, thank you!

    Lori Jo – 50 With Flair

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 19, 2018 at 09:08

      I’ve actually thought sometimes of taking disposable underwear, Lori. I think I am improving with my packing but my husband still shakes his head as he sees me packing and unpacking several times before we leave LOL:)

  • Reply Sydney Shop Girl September 17, 2018 at 19:37

    Definitely bringing my favourite crossbody bag on this trip coming up, Sue! They are so handy. Mine also has top handle straps for maximum versatility.

    SSG xxx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 19, 2018 at 09:08

      Perfect SSG. You are going to love Berlin so I can’t wait to read all about your adventures. x

  • Reply Candi Randolph September 17, 2018 at 20:25

    I love the idea of planning a core wardrobe that you can mix and match to create more looks. I always end up with more than I need! The tip about wearing your bulkiest outfit to and from the destination is something I have done in the past and it works really well, along with rolling the garments in the suitcase to make more room. You must be so excited!!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 19, 2018 at 09:10

      A core wardrobe makes sense. It just takes the pressure off wondering what to wear doesn’t it Candi? I am getting excited now although we are going to Japan and I’m not sure what to expect after their typhoon! Still I always enjoy the cruising experience. x

  • Reply suzanne September 17, 2018 at 22:44

    My favorite packing hack is to use Zip-lock baggies (the 1 1/2 gallon size) to pack tee shirts, sweaters, undies, etc. ) Zip slowly, squeezing the air out as you go to create perfect little packages that keep things organized. As Sue suggested, I maintain a color scheme for my wardrobe, but I also limit shoes to no more than 3 pairs. Typically, I return home with a few items that I have not worn, but I’d rather that happen than have to go out shopping for something I left behind. Light weight cases, with 4 wheels and cross body bags are a girl’s best friend!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 19, 2018 at 09:11

      I was only thinking about the Zip-lock baggies yesterday, Suzanne! I’m even thinking of using them to store my winter clothes. I try to get away with no more than 3 pairs of shoes. You right about the lightweight cases with wheels they are certainly much easier to handle. x

  • Reply Debbie September 18, 2018 at 13:03

    I love the anticipation of packing for a trip Sue and I agree these are great tips. I tend to not overpack as much as I used to, it’s all about thinking ahead and planning what you will need. You also need to think about wearing the same thing day in day out, and decide if you like the outfits enough to do so. On our recent 3 months away I had to cover various climate changes plus a cycling tour but manged with a good coat that covered all bases. I ended up posting my cycling things home after the tour was done and a few other items I no longer decided I needed. I like to buy a few things in local shops when I’m away and have to have some room to do so!! Shoes are my major problem area.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 19, 2018 at 09:21

      Great idea to post things back Deb especially if you are away for a long period of time and just don’t need these items for the rest of the trip. I try to stick to 2 – 3 pairs of shoes as they can certainly add weight! I’m starting to actually think about the trip now. We booked it so long ago I sort of put it to the back of my mind and life has been hectic. I’m sure I will be getting excited over the next two weeks. x

  • Reply Denyse Whelan September 19, 2018 at 16:48

    That is a great help for many. I did not know you had a fashion editor. Congratulations. I am a packer in advance who leaves everything out on the bed then adds/subtracts until I know I have all bases covered.

    Thank you for linking up for #LifeThisWeek. The optional prompt next is: 39/52. Last Thing I Bought. 24/9/18. Denyse

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 20, 2018 at 07:27

      Hi Denyse, yes I’ve had Christine on board for a couple of months to write about fashion. It gives my readers a new perspective and that is her field of expertise. x

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