Do you remember your last vacation? The one where your mother packed for you? The one where you were forced to wear that gross T-shirt, the world's ugliest bathing suit, and those shorts that gave you the meanest wedgie? Well, BeingGirl thinks it's time you took control of packing your own bag. Yeah, you'll lose being able to blame your mom for everything you forgot, but at least you'll be in charge of your own destiny. Packing, whether for a sleepover, a weekend or a two-week vacation requires a bit of skill, a few sneaky tricks, such as a packing list and an overall change in thinking from the, "I must bring everything I might need," school to the, "I will bring only what I will use," camp. We've culled some facts to help simplify the task. Be a good daughter and share them with your mom! Packing List Tips
Make a packing list and check it twice. Give yourself plenty of time to mull over what you want to take along and don't procrastinate. You're more likely to forget key items if you have to make a lot of last-minute decisions. Include everything you "need" and a wish list just in case there's extra room. (Don't count on it.) Pack lightly. You're not moving away, and any item you might need will probably be available at your destination. Carrying fewer bags decreases their odds of being stolen. Plus, there'll be less to misplace, less to wash, and less to cart around. If you have to buy luggage, simple wheeled duffels and oversized wheeled backpacks are functional and economical. Make sure it's made out of strong material (heavy-duty ripstop nylon is a good choice), so it won't tear on the conveyer belt. Since 70% of all suitcases are black, choose one in a different color to make it easier to identify. Pack your bags as tightly as you can. Stick socks in your shoes, roll pajamas, T-shirts, and sweaters and place a piece of tissue paper between each layer to discourage wrinkling. Clothes that have patterns don't have to be washed as often. Remember the old "Garanimals" clothes where you matched tags to match your outfits? Make sure every item you take matches with each other. When it comes to your toiletries, think small. Save up the sample-sized packets that come in the mail or are bonuses from the cosmetic companies. Look for mini-size made-to-go beauty supplies, or package your own —by switching your shampoo, conditioner, and cleansers into small plastic bags. Use two-in-one products: shampoo/conditioners, tinted moisturizer, cleanser/toners wherever you can. If you're staying in a hotel, make a call and check to see if they have a hair dryer. Leave home products with pump dispensers, anything in a glass container, nail polish remover, and bottles filled to the brim. Each has disaster potential. Oversized Ziploc bags are a godsend. They're great for damp bathing suits, extra snacks, smelly socks, and treasured souvenirs. And they're terrific for traveling itself. Whether you're getting there by car or plane, they're perfect for sticking in a book, your mp3 player, some hand cream, chapstick, a hair band, some gum, and your ticket! Protect your valuables in a lightweight money belt worn under your clothes. Don't carry a lot of cash. Traveler's checks, credit, debit, and ATM cards are safer. If you're traveling by plane, remember that the air in the cabin is very dry. Drink water and spritz it on your face. Pop a sheet of Bounce ® fabric softener in your carry-on bag. Use it to wipe static from your hair (caused by dry cabin air).
Find out how to create the best packing list for your vacation at BeingGirl.com.