It’s 2018, and for some of us, we can finally start saying “We’re going to Florida THIS year!” So, no time to lose, and to get you in to the feel of things we’re going to give you a quick run-down of how to pack like a pro! We all start packing for a holiday with really good intentions and then suddenly we have packed everything we own, including the kitchen sink, our suitcase is five kilos overweight and we have to repeat the whole process in reverse so that we can shed the excess.
Okay, this is probably an exaggeration but we’re guessing that most of us have arrived home after a holiday with multiple items that never saw the light of day. When it comes to packing, it pays to be ruthless and less is definitely more!
So, first things first: Write a list of essential items in advance then you can add or delete those things that you don’t want or need. Consider how you’ll be spending your days and make a list of outfits. Once you have created a template, stick to it. There are actually some very handy mobile apps that help with this like PackPoint or PackTeo, where you can make a customisable checklist with suggestions, in case you worry about forgetting something.
Here are a few tips to get you started!
This can be tricky, particularly with a long-haul flight. You need the essentials to hand plus you will enjoy the journey far more if you include a few luxury items.
- Passport, Tickets, Money, Driving License if you have booked a hire car and your Travel Insurance Documents. Keep them together in a wallet safely located in an inside zippered pocket.
- Essential Prescription Medication plus a sleeve of headache pills. Perhaps sleeping pills too for the nervous flyer!
- For comfort – Socks or slippers, an inflatable neck rest and a sleep mask.
- Wear your jeans to save weight in your hold suitcase – pack a pair of comfy leggings and a long t-shirt to keep you comfortable during the flight. Temperatures on long flights can drop so take your favourite hoodie to snuggle into during sleep or if you become chilly.
- Folding toothbrush, mini toothpaste, roll-on deodorant, pocket-sized wipes and hand sanitizer to stay feeling fresh.
- Utilize your tablet or phone and download a few useful apps:
• A few good reading books or podcasts
• Any essential travel guides – Take them in e-format to save space and weight.
- Headphones – most airlines provide earphones but they can become uncomfortable over long periods. If you splash out on noise cancelling versions they can cut out cabin noise too particularly when you want to sleep.
- A power bank will keep your electronics functioning, so bring your charger cables on board and you won’t have to worry about being precious with battery life.
- Take a couple of pens and a mini notebook just in case you want to jot down a few notes plus you will have a pen to hand when you need to fill in those pesky forms (CBP – Customs & Border Protection).
- Snacks – a few bits to nibble on will stave off hunger pains. In-flight meals are not always served at the exact time that your body is used to having food. Take an empty water bottle too – the cabin crew will be happy to refill it for you and it will help to avoid dehydration.
Consider purchasing a few vacuum compression bags or packing cubes – they save a huge amount of space and can be useful for storing laundry in for the return journey.
- Lightweight clothes are best for Florida particularly if you are exploring lots of parks.
- Only take one pair of jeans – Florida is hot and humid so you may only need them occasionally in the evenings. You can wear them to the airport to save weight in your suitcase.
- Comfortable flat shoes for your park trips – you will do a lot of walking. (Your socks and pants can be stuffed inside them to keep their shape! I do love my household hints.) Place them inside a shoe bag to avoid damage to clothing. Have a second pair of flats for the journey. Your feet will thank you for a change of footwear every other day. Pretty flip-flops for evening wear are perfect for Sunny Florida. As long as you’re in something comfortable that can take a bit of wear, you’ll be fine.
- Take lots of tops but fewer bottoms – You only need to dress up if you are heading somewhere special. Florida is wonderful if you like low key dress-code.
- Remember that rolling your clothing saves more space than folding. Anything more dressy or fragile should be placed flat on top of rolled items.
- Take an international adapter with a USB slot – this will save packing multiples.
- Use hair ties or elastic band to wrap around the cables and chargers to keep them secure. It also means they don’t get tangled amongst clothes.
- When you pack your medical kit think compact rather than a full operating rooms worth. Remember that pretty much everything, aside from your personal prescription meds, will be readily available.
- Leave a little space for a few resort purchases – you are definitely going to want to bring a few souvenirs back from this holiday.
- If you forget to pack anything you will be able to replace it when you arrive – Florida is certainly not a destination lacking in anything.
Once you master these packing tips, holiday prep will be a piece of cake, and you can bask proudly as you walk right past the people trying to move clothes around their suitcases to balance their weight. And they’ll be going “Aw, man, I wish I was like them, they made that look so easy!” Sorted.