12 Packing Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Vacation

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Poor packing work (not enough undies, wrong shoes) can ruin your vacation. Here, personal stylists and experienced organizers share their tips for a smartly packed suitcase. There is a lot to consider when packing for the wonderful vacation, such as weather and day-to-day activities, but things are going to look a little different now with the additional pressure of coronavirus.

Knowing that, it is crucial to reach out to your destination for any coronavirus-related information.
We talked to travel specialists who provided tips on eliminating common mistakes when traveling, even in a post-pandemic world.


Mistake: You have a “when in doubt” mindset

“We don’t need to take our entire wardrobe with us nor do we need to take our entire shoe collection,” says Suzanne of Philatravelgirl.com. “The key is to pack around a color scheme and pack layers for day and night. As hard as it is, three pair of shoes is generally good—every day, sandals, and dress shoes.” You ‘re probably likely to wear your pants more than once, so pack more tops that you can wear with the same pair of jeans.


Mistake: You wait until the last minute

“Then you’re stressed and can’t think clearly, so you end up packing too many options and don’t have what you need,” says Dacy Gillespie, a St.Louis-based personal stylist, who runs mindfulcloset.com. Start packing a couple of days in advance. Make a list of the things on your itinerary to figure out what you need: comfortable shoes vs. sandals, dressy vs. casual, etc.


Mistake: You forget to check your destination’s weather

Put your weather app to good use. “This way you won’t be stuck with all pants if it’s hot or no jacket if it’s cool,” explains Yasir Shamim, executive at Purevpn.

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Mistake: You fold instead of roll

“The biggest suitcase mistake I was guilty of before my husband finally (lovingly) harassed me out of it was folding instead of rolling,” says Jennifer Walden, director of operations at WikiLawn. “Folding just made more sense to me, and I assumed it wouldn’t make that big of a difference. But I actually had more problems with wrinkles when folding, and certainly less space overall. ” Tightly rolling your clothes would also make it easier for you to fit a lot more into your suitcase than if you were to fold.


Mistake: You don’t make the most of your shoes

“I love to stuff small items like jewelry, underwear, or socks in my shoes. This saves a lot of space,” says Gillespie. Slip each pair in a Ziploc or plastic grocery bag to prevent dirt from spreading.


Mistake: You don’t factor in souvenirs

Don’t overdo it on shopping, because your suitcase might not zip up on your way home, or you can add an extra bag on your way home. “If people tend to buy many souvenirs, the best practice is to carry a separate bag,” claims Jeremy Owens, CMO of Seriously Smoked. “However, you need to make sure that you can handle your possessions after buying the souvenirs. Before going on the trip, fill the souvenir bag with mock items, and carry it with other belongings. You need to let go of some items if the total weight is more than you can handle.”

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Mistake: You buy a whole new wardrobe specifically for your trip

“Don’t try a new look on vacation!” says Gillespie. New clothes that you’re not used to wearing may not suit as well or look as good as they did in the dressing room before you purchased them. Instead, “stick with trusted outfits you know you look good in,” she says. Pay close attention to fabric — knits and denim travel well, while silk and linen wrinkle easily.


Mistake: You want one whole suitcase all to yourself

When you’re traveling with a partner, it seems appropriate for each of you to bring your own suitcase. But if a piece of luggage is lost, one of you is left with nothing. “If you are traveling with your partner, it would be best to put half of your things in their suitcase and vice versa,” explains Jeremy Harrison, founder of Hustle Life. “In case you lose your luggage, you still have half of your stuff to use!”


Mistake: You don’t keep your toiletries well contained

If it is possible of leaking, assume it will. Place all non-solids like hair gel, shampoo, or mouthwash in a zip bag to keep your stuff safe from any possible spillage. ”Don’t just put your shampoo into your suitcase and expect things to turn out fine,” explains Walden. “Even if you’ve never opened it. Put toiletries in a zip-top bag! If you don’t want certain products mixing, use several different bags. Press the air out of them before sealing. Sometimes I’ll even put them inside a plastic grocery bag, too, just to be extra safe.”


Mistake: You throw out your packing list

A packing list will help make sure you don’t miss something important, so don’t throw it in the trash when you’re finished. “Make a list a week in advance,” says author and etiquette expert, April Masini. “Go over it several times throughout the week. Put your packable items out the night before. Go through them the next day. And then, when you’re sure you have everything you need, pack your suitcase.”

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Mistake: You don’t bring enough masks

Even if masks are not required in your hometown, they may be needed elsewhere, particularly if you are traveling by plane or by public transport. “Even if you’re using cloth masks, you should pack several,” explains Walden. “You can’t rely on being able to wash them where you’re staying, and no one really wants to do laundry on a vacation anyway.”


Mistake: You don’t bring your own cleaning products

You may not want to rely on anyone to keep spaces clean for you, so it’s best to pack extra hand sanitizers and disinfect wipes to ensure clean surfaces, particularly in a hotel room. “Post-coronavirus I am including a pillowcase as well as a fabric sanitizer for bedding,” says Amra Beganovich, CEO of A&E. “Even though many places have imposed a stricter cleaning regiment during the pandemic, taking additional safety measures can help you feel at ease.”

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