How to Pack for a Long Vacation

I am leaving for a 10-day European vacation shortly. I am beyond excited to get back to Europe – It’s been too long for me and I will be sailing on my first river cruise which has been on my bucket list for a very long time. However, before I get to enjoy my time away, I have to pack…for 10 days…in one suitcase..and I hate to do laundry on my vacations. I’m there to enjoy the world. Want to know my secrets?

1. Pick a color scheme and stick to it! I wear black and tan pants, shorts, skirts, etc only. This allows me to mix and max tops easily and reuse them as needed. It also lets me limit the number of shoes that I need, which is a big space saver. I pack a pair of good walking shoes and 1 – 2 nicer shoes and a pair of flip flops for the hotel room. Sometimes, I pack “throwaway” clothes – clothes that I know longer like and throw them away after I have worn them. This also leaves room for souvenirs.

2. No extras or fancy stuff- That means no jewelry, shoes that will only be once, nice purses, jackets and minimal make-up. I don’t pack for just “in case.” I take 1-2 light weight sweater jackets that I can layer. I always have a throwaway rain poncho and travel umbrella and of course a travel corkscrew….well… just because.

3. Medicine – I make sure I pack Tylenol, cold medicine, Band-Aids, etc. I don’t want to have to deal with trying to find a pharmacy while I am on vacation. If you have prescription medicines – always pack extra if you are delayed getting home.

4. Bathroom items – Leave the blow dryer, straightener, curling iron at home. They take up a lot of room and with the different voltage, you will most likely ruin them overseas anyways. With a longer trip, some “trial size” items may not be big enough to last throughout your trip. You have 2 options, You can either double up on the small bottle or take a partially used full size container and throw it away if you need the extra room on the way home.

5. My carry-on – I have my kindle or some books, my knitting, my iPad and laptop, earbuds, snacks and water bottle, a lightweight jacket, a change of clothes, medicines that I need and anything else that I CANNOT live without in case my luggage does get lost.

6. Plan ahead – get your clothes, toiletries, carry-on items prepped ahead of time so you aren’t scrambling at the last minute. This is probably the most important piece of advice. Make a list so you don’t forget something important and/or start an area where you collect items you are taking.

What are your packing tips for a long trip?

Sara is the owner of Platinum Travel. She customizes seamless, stress free vacations for people who want to see the world and all things Disney.
She also owns Autism Friendly Vacations where she helps families who have a member on the Autism spectrum get the vacation they deserve. Visit for more information.
You can reach her at 414-377-8611 or to start planning your vacation today.

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