I like writing my blog (though, I don’t do it as often as I like) and writing my Yelp reviews (over 1250!), but I also enjoy reading other people’s blogs online, too. Here’s what I found to be very helpful when constructing my own packing list, which pretty much gets revised every year, especially because of our little guy, too. (Hubby said to me the other day, “We’ve been to Hawaii ten times and you still need a list?! Yes, I do, I am very much a list person.
Part One- references/inspiration for your packing list
I’ll include some notes before each link.
This is my favorite one- the most realistic for me and my needs, the one I always come back to, and it’s also bookmarked, too. This is for females.
This is another favorite of mine. It’s pretty complete- clothing, shoes, toiletries, protection from the elements, tech gear, and other. This is for females.
This one is good for both females and males. I like how everything is laid out too. Also includes a list of toiletries.
This one is a good list for clothing and shoes. This is for females.
This is clothing only. For both females and males.
This one starts off with the carry-on essentials. A bit longer than the other blog posts but it’s spread out, not in a list format. This is for females and males.
I like this one, but I’ve got to be realistic (we make a couple clothing changes on most days), so I included this one for the “minimalist.” This is a good list for those of you who pack very light. This would be an ideal weekend trip list for me. This blogger has the most comprehensive lists out there; she’s pretty much got a list for every place imaginable (she has been to many different cities throughout the world- yes, I’m jealous, I admit it). Also, keep in mind, this blogger only lists clothing, shoes, and accessories (geared more toward women 20s/30s, but there are guest blog posts, as well). I like her “maximista” lists, which actually suit me better, and would enlist my mix and match skills.
The commonly listed clothing items (average number): 3-4 dresses, 2 coverups/rashguard/ sarong, 5 tops/tanks/tees/tunics/blouses, 2 swimsuits, 1 jeans/pants, 3 shorts/skirts, 2 active, 2 PJ’s, 1 sweater/long sleeve, 2 bras, 8 undies, 5 socks.
The commonly listed shoes were: walking/hiking, flip-flops, sandals, flats, water shoes
Part Two- getting organized- Countdown to the trip:
(1) Write down a goal list (or use ColorNote on your cell phone)- start the countdown (work out, beauty treatments, haircut appointment, alterations for vacation clothing, dog appointment, etc.)
(2) Planning- get everything on paper- must-eats, must-sees- shopping, activities, beach time, etc. Get a rough itinerary. Check out menus online. This might take some time.
(3) Once you have a good idea about your schedule, make dinner reservations- call ahead to get a nice table overlooking the beach.
(4) Keep on working on your countdown goals.
(5) Choose your vacation clothing- shoes- accessories- toiletries- meds/vitamins- jewelry- makeup
(6) If you need containers or other supplies, check out the dollar store (some people use 7-day pill containers as jewelry organizers) and Big Lots before going online to http://www.amazon.com and http://www.thecontainerstore.com
(7) Don’t try tackling everything all at once. Break them down into smaller projects.
Part Three- excellent Packing Tips:
(1) Use a packing list- lay everything out- think about your needs- choose ‘mix & match’ clothing, especially pieces that serve multiple uses (sarongs can be worn as both a skirt and coverup, pashminas can be worn as a scarf or as a wrap when it gets cooler)
(2) Use a carry-on luggage ( I prefer an underseater type)
(3) Wear your heaviest items as your travel outfit (sneakers, jeans, sweater)
(4) Roll your clothes, use compressions bags and organizing bags (store socks in your shoes)
(5) 3-1-1 and the Quart size clear ziploc bag for your carry-on toiletries
(6) Keep your important documents and jewelry in your personal item (handbag) or carry-on
(7) Shoes needed: comfortable walking shoes, sandals, water shoes
(8) Put your heavy items, like your shoes, at the very bottom of your check in luggage
(9) Important must-haves: mini sunblocks, lip protection with SPF, meds/vitamins, hats, sunglasses, pashmina, pads/tampons/liners (this was a pricey mistake I made once), detergent (if you plan on doing laundry), first aid kit (assorted bandaids, ointment, alcohol prep pad, bite ointment), sewing kit (different colored thread on a small card- easy to make yourself), needles, small scissor), beach tote kit, an empty bag or luggage for return trip, any other toiletries specific to your needs.
(10) Everything your kids may need- bib, spoon, snacks, vitamins, sippy cup, diapers, swim trunks, shoes, clothing for both day & night, mini toiletries (but if it takes up too much room, buy it at Longs @ Ala Moana Shopping Center). I also made a “Don’t Forget” list because last year we kept forgetting things at the hotel for our trips at night.
Side Notes: Many people suggest buying some items (towels, sunblock, clothing) you need while on vacation, which we will do (for example, drinks, juice, milk, yogurt), but we are bringing the most important items with us. A few people even make their own palettes to save space in their makeup bag. Some people suggest stuffing your jewelry into your shoes. Some people do not suggest bringing expensive jewelry. Some people have mentioned that many europeans wear the other side of the underwear (inside out) to avoid packing more to save on space.
Part Four- My Carry-On Essentials (you can customize to suit your needs):
(1) Personal Item (crossbody bag) filled with the following: pillow, blanket, wipes, reading material, iPod, cell phone, tickets, ID, cash, cards, makeup, meds/vitamins, glasses, shades, hats, jewelry plus my quart-sized ziploc bag of toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, contact solution, contacts case plus the baby essentials: diapers, snacks, zippy cup with juice, and a change of clothing.
(2) Underseat Carry-On Luggage (I have a separate blog post on the best selections online)
(3) Stroller- this is not counted as a check-in but it goes on the plane, in a separate area
(4) Hubby brings his backpack (electronics) and another bag for his Carry-On items
I have not decided to bring a Carry-On for the little guy since he is going to be in his own seat. Since we have paid for his seat, we might as well take advantage of that space, too. Still debating.
Part Five– On the trip- reminders
At the airport, upon arrival, we take turns going to the bathroom (quick change, brush teeth, change into my contacts), so one of us can tend to the baby (plus gotta get him ready too) while we wait for our checked luggage. I also quickly scan all the free coupons, at this time.
If you get things ready the night before (bags packed, coupons sorted, times for activities double-checked, outfits selected, etc.) before for your beach trips or day trips, there will be less rushing in the mornings.
We make an itinerary every year, but things may change, so we are flexible about our schedule.
Take lots of pictures but have fun, relax, indulge, savor these moments, it’s family time.