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Packing question

brampton, ontario
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234 posts
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Packing question

How early do you pack? (or rather accumulate to pack)

I have an empty drawer now that the kids have moved out, and when we decided to come back to Maui LAST year for THIS year, I started to fill it. Storing clothes when I cam across them. Like finding a bathing suit in November that you know you'll need for your trip. I now have enough clothes stashed for a 3 month stint!!

There have been lots of threads on WHAT to pack, but when? how early? how late? select, then sort? one colour scheme? heck! if it fits it's packed? pack for events or activities? And, for the women (like me) how many shoes????

What nuggets of packing info can we gleam from our TA gurus?

Birmingham, Alabama
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5,697 posts
39 reviews
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1. Re: Packing question

The night before. Shirts, tees, sundresses and swimsuits. Super easy!

New York City, New...
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1,308 posts
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2. Re: Packing question

Going in 3 weeks. Have started during and since I can't get shirts locally I have ordered some online. Now it's when I state making lists do I don't forget anything.

We do carry on only and my condo had a washer dryer so i pack light.

Learned last time not to bother with hair dryer or iron or much makeup.

The advice I got here last year was pack your bag. Take out half. Then take out more and your will be good.

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9,263 posts
43 reviews
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3. Re: Packing question

We travel a lot...so usually just lay things out the day before.

Due to the frequency of our travel we tend to have a good number of bags go AWOL, every now and then.

One time ......lost for 5 days!

Now , we pack entirely differently. If travelling with another member of your household....mix your belongings between your two suitcases. That way, you will both have clothing if ,say....only one bag is waylaid.

Needless to say our carry-ons contain a change of clothes and swimsuit.

Inside the checked bag is a note listing the destination address with dates, plus home address. If bag tag goes missing, the Airport staff will open to try and locate owner. It takes a moment but has been helpful to us.

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10,709 posts
23 reviews
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4. Re: Packing question

My best piece of advice would be to attempt to pack as light as possible. I will not get into the checked bags vs. carry on only debate because our vacations vary in length from eight nights to a planned vacation next spring of 33 nights. I will say that I am a "more is better" person, we do make purchases on vacation and I do not get to wear my summer clothes as long as I would like......those three variables added up to us leaving Maui last fall, after three weeks, with three checked bags and our limit of reasonably sized carry ons. Our young adult son had one carry on for his one week trip with us. It was too much and felt bad.

You will feel better if your departure isn't a mess of baggage at the airport. I will fine tune my packing for our upcoming vacation the best I can and it will help that I am choosing a "no shopping" trip this spring.......experiences only. Have fun and good luck. Deb

Boston, MA
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4,670 posts
6 reviews
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5. Re: Packing question

My wife starts packing 1 week out. I start packing the night before. I consider it part of my "strategy" to stay up late, then sleep on the plane, then try to stay up late the first night in Hawaii, to reset my clock. My wife calls it "procrastination".

In any case, I have learned that if I choose to follow my strategy, it means that I cannot wake her up to ask where my flipflops are. Ask beforehand, or buy a new pair when we get there!

Oklahoma City...
Destination Expert
for Oklahoma, Grove
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5,077 posts
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6. Re: Packing question

DH and I were just discussing this last night. On our last trip, we stayed for 5 weeks and I took one suitcase between us and carried on one suitcase of "in case our luggage gets lost" items like swim suits, shorts, t shirts and fav flip flops. We ended up wearing everything out to the "just in case" suitcase and hardly any of the full suitcase so this year we are carrying on only for our 6 weeks. It helps that we have a washer/dryer near our condo and used only by people in the complex, but also we don't do much that requires clothes besides swimsuits and shorts. So it depends on what your itinerary looks like, I suppose. I pack the night before.

La Verne, Ca.
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657 posts
5 reviews
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7. Re: Packing question

I usually pack about 2 months before but not all at once, If I buy a shirt or shorts that I think would be great to take on my vacay then I put it in my suitcase, so I don't wear it LOL but usually the night before we leave I will eliminate certain items, but I love packing early like that it makes it exciting and I get all happy looking forward to my trip ☺

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
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54,671 posts
422 reviews
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8. Re: Packing question

My advice is pack like you would for any trip........ once you are done, remove half the clothes in there since you won't wear most of them, especially if you are staying in a condo.

DW takes two pair shoes, one athletic for walking and one casual flats for eating in nicer places, then she has sandals and slippahs (slippers) for all the other times.

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1,237 posts
25 reviews
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9. Re: Packing question

Eh, a day or so before leaving. Generally, most of our trips anywhere have us staying in condos so having the washer and dryer really helps. When going to Maui, my problem isn't clothes....it's our toys! Snorkeling gear, water stuff, beach bags, small packages of food for the pantry, etc.


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67 posts
7 reviews
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10. Re: Packing question

We have 2 little ones and I keep our luggage and bags open in the spare bedroom starting about 4 weeks out. I throw things in here and there before our trip. Things that we won't be using in those 4 weeks before the trip. i also start our food/snack bag shopping then as well.