Packing tips

    When planning your spring break adventures, packing your bags may be the last thing on your mind. These tips will help keep luggage from becoming a vacation nightmare.

    1. First, consider whether you’ll be moving around or sticking to one location. Your bag should be easily carried, so try to stick only to things that are important enough to cart around.

    2. Divide everything you want to pack into two piles on your bedroom floor — the stuff you “need” and the stuff you “want.” Pack the essentials first (underwear is a must) and the stuff you think you can’t live without (magazines? Jenga?).

    3. Aim for versatility in your choice of clothing. Think about what activities you’ll be doing, and then pick clothes that are most flexible for all events.

    4. Invest in a set of plastic mini-containers/bottles and use these for shampoo, conditioner and any lotions. Or, you can always buy everything you need in mini size. Deodorant, toothpaste, mouthwash and other toiletries can be found in the miniatures aisle at Target at a bargain price.

    5. Put all items that could possibly spill into Ziploc bags, including shampoo, conditioner and hair gel. All of these could possibly explode in your luggage en route and ruin everything! A Ziploc bag could save you some unnecessary stain removal later.

    6. If traveling with a friend, try to share items such as shaving gel or sunscreen.

    7. Pack shoes separately. Instead of pairing them together, place a single shoe in each of the crevices that you can’t fill with clothing. Stuff your shoes and purses with socks and underwear.

    8. Try rolling the shirts that you can’t fit so they’ll squeeze into the sides of your suitcase.

    9. Make sure to pack the stuff you will use first on the top of your luggage. It will save you having to re-pack the entire suitcase every day.

    10. If you only need certain sections out of a travel guide, photocopy the pages or just tear them out. You may also want to consider keeping a photocopy of your passport or flight itinerary in your luggage or giving a copy to your travel companion in the event of it getting lost.

    11. Shower thongs are essential if you will be staying at a hostel or sketchy hotel.

    12. Those who will be traveling to foreign countries that require passports should invest in a money belt, keeping your passport and perhaps even credit cards and some cash safely hidden under your clothes. This is especially important in areas where pickpocketing is an issue.

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