Summer Packing: Don’t Forget Your…
May 24th, 2011

I have an oddly large number of packing tips. Maybe it’s because I do a lot of packing for travel, or because I keep a continuously updated packing list on my computer or simply because I’m generally over-organized when it comes to travel. I have a packing tips that I offer clients specifically for summer travel, and I thought I’d share a few my top via my blog. This is not an exhausted list and I am always looking for new tips, so please feel free to share yours as well. Enjoy!

1. Bring extra changes of clothes and undergarments. We have a joke in my family because once when packing for a trip, one of my family members – I won’t embarrass them here – remarked “I think I’ll bring extra underwear, just in case.” The obvious counter to this statement was “just in case what?” While we joke about this, it actually was a smart decision. Think about walking around all day in 85-degree (F) heat. Then think of wearing those clothes to dinner the same night. Would you be comfortable? Would anyone want to actually sit next to you? Clothes can get sweaty quickly in the warm weather, especially if you’re used to cooler temperatures. Best to bring a few extra changes of clothes – not just underwear but shorts/bottoms and shirts as well.

2. Choose your footwear carefully. It can be easy to throw in a couple of pairs of sandals if you’re headed to a warm destination, but consider what activities you’re planning while there. If your destination is an all-inclusive resort where you plan to lie on the beach and relax the entire time, than sandals should do the trick. If you plan to do a decent amount of walking, though, make sure you have shoes that have some sort of support and aren’t likely to cause blisters, which is what often happens when the straps of sandals rub against your foot. If you’re determined to only bring sandals or open-toed shoes, make sure at least one pair is fit for more than sunbathing by the pool.

3. The fabric debate. It’s well known that fabrics like cottons and linens are well known for keeping one cool. It’s also widely observed that these light materials, cotton in particular, are more likely to show sweat and dry less quickly than some other materials. In addition, linen is very quick to wrinkle which you can almost guarantee will happen in a suitcase. Other fabrics might not keep you as cool, but they may be better with showing sweat and drying more easily. Look at your activities and pack accordingly. If you have a fancy event, or are planning a nice dinner out, it might be best to go with something that will not wrinkle and look sweaty. For the times that you’re just relaxing and sightseeing, comfort might be more key. In addition to fabrics, colors are important. Dark colors draw in heat but show less sweat. Light colors are the opposite. Red is rather bad for both (unfortunately for those of us who love red).

4. Sun screen, sun screen and more sunscreen! I will admit I’m one of those people that resists it in the name of a good tan. However, I’ve seen people’s vacations ruined because they get sunburned or worse sun poisoning on the first few days of a vacation and are miserable the rest of the time. Just because you’re not lying on a beach doesn’t mean you won’t get burnt. In fact, you may be more likely to because you’re not as conscious about it. A hat also helps, as keeps sun off of your face – an area that’s most likely to burn on many people. If you’re concerned about it’s affect on your skin, choose a sunscreen that’s specifically for the face or sensitive skin, or a natural organic sunscreen that will be kinder to your skin.

5. Pack a bathing suit. If you know me, you know this is my personal favorite, as I love bathing suits. However, it’s a handy tip as well. You never know when the hotel might have a great pool or hot tub that you can take advantage of on a rainy day, when you might stumble upon a lake, river, waterfall (the small kind you can swim near, not Niagara) where you can swim. So many times I have heard people say that they wish I’d brought their bathing suit. It takes up a small amount of space and there’s really no other item of clothing to replace it, unless you’re in a country where nude beaches area common and even then the feasibility might depend on who your traveling companions are.

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