Back to Vacation Planning Resource Center

Vacation Packing Tips

Wondering what to bring on your vacation? Having trouble deciding how to prepare for anything without lugging too much? Consider these factors when packing for your upcoming journey.

Over or Under Packing

How much is too much, or not enough?

First, collect everything you can’t live without, the non-negotiable items, and determine which luggage pieces can accommodate these essentials. Neatly fold and/or roll your clothes, or use compression bags, to maximize baggage capacity. If you’re already short on space, reconsider your must-haves or check out other luggage options. If you have room to spare, either downsize your bag or begin adding nice-to-have items.


What are the weather conditions at your destination during the time you'll be there?

Check the regional forecast in the days leading up to your departure to find out if you’ll need to prepare for precipitation or any unseasonal temperatures. Keep yourself comfortable and be sure to protect your skin from sunburn, particularly if you’re planning a beach vacation.


How many nights are you staying, and how long will it take to travel there and back?

Pack enough clean outfits to last the entire vacation or half of your stay with a plan to wash your clothes midway through the trip. You may have time to kill while you travel, so include a few compact items (things you can get a lot of mileage out of) to help occupy your time. And definitely bring a camera so you can capture moments in time to enjoy later.


What do you plan to do during your trip?

Make a list of anticipated activities and then gather clothes appropriate for each occasion. Also determine if any of your plans will require special gear or equipment. You might be able to tote some of those items with you, but consider instead renting or borrowing the things you need, which could significantly lighten your load.

Flying Logistics

Can you bring everything you need and abide by airline regulations?

Check with your airline about the maximum number of luggage pieces allowed, as well as size and weight restrictions. If feasible, limit your bags to a single carry-on and a personal carry-on, so you can forego waiting at baggage claim or risking delays retrieving lost luggage.

Ground Logistics

After arriving at your vacation spot, where will you go first and how will you get there?

Pack light if you anticipate walking long distances with your baggage in tow, or if you're traveling as a family or with a large group. Most taxis can accommodate your luggage, but be prepared to hop into multiple cabs or pay a little extra for a larger vehicle if you have several large bags.

One last thing - you might want to leave some empty space in your luggage if you intend to return home with some souvenirs or special keepsakes. Good luck and bon voyage!

View Activities Disclaimer

Vacation Packing TipsVacation Packing TipsVacation Packing Tips
Vacations for heroes - you've earned it