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Clever Vacation Tips

Summer often means vacations. And for those who wish to travel light with few surprises, here are ten clever vacation tips.

The 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 rule. Having trouble packing light? Consider using a popular online technique called 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. There are a number of versions of this packing technique. Simply choose one that works best for you. Here is a typical example: 5 socks/underwear, 4 shirts, 3 pants/slacks, 2 pair of shoes, 1 hat, toothbrush, brush, sunglasses, toothpaste, razor, shampoo, jewelry, etc.

Dryer sheet in your luggage. As your trip goes by, your luggage is going to start filling with dirty clothing. A separate bag with a dryer sheet enclosed can help mitigate the stale smell of your soiled garments.

Bring old clothes. Bring old t-shirts, underwear, shorts and socks. As they are soiled, leave them behind or donate them. The added space in your luggage can be used for newly found treasures.

Leverage hotel disposables. Use a shower cap to store dirty shoes. Use their plastic laundry bag for your own to keep the dirty away from the clean. Find missing toiletries (like toothbrush, toothpaste, and combs) at the front desk.

Use plastic. Place plastic wrap under the caps of things that can leak. Store toiletries in plastic storage bags. Bring a small trash bag for laundry and to keep wet things away from dry.

Carry on snacks. Place some snacks in your luggage and other pre-packaged snacks in your travel bag. As long as they are sealed and not liquid, these low priced alternatives to airport fare can get through security.

Keep an emergency set of clothes. If checking a bag, keep one set of clothing in your carry-on luggage. It might be just what you need if you end up at a destination different from your baggage.
Keep copies of valuable items. Back up your computer, phone and other electronic devices prior to leaving on your trip. Make copies of your passport, driver’s license, credit card numbers and other valuables. If things are then stolen, you can quickly get the information to those who need it.

Roll rather than fold. Rolled clothing in suitcases have fewer wrinkles than items that are folded.

Worry with priority. Everyone usually forgets something when leaving for vacation. Keep a short list of must haves and then go through a mental checklist of these “few” items prior to walking out the door. They might include: Picture ID (and/or passport for international travel), Cash, Credit Card, Tickets; confirmation numbers

As long as you don’t forget the kids, most everything else can either be replaced or you can live without.  Enjoy your vacation!