Packing advice from a lapsed world traveler

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It’s been several years since I traveled regularly but I still remember all my tips and tricks for packing well. Besides, I do still have the family beach trip every year and occasional weekend getaways to keep my packing prowess in shape.

Here’s what I do to keep packing from becoming an overwhelming chore:

Consider your luggage.

If you are flying, can you afford the money to check a bag? Or do you need to go carry-on only? When I was traveling regularly, checking one bag was still a free option with most airlines, so I traveled with one checked bag and one small carry-on. Now, if I needed to fly I would most likely choose to go with just a carry-on. When driving to my destination, I still try to keep it to one main bag and one smaller bag.

You’ll also need to consider what type of bag to carry. For trips of a week or more, I prefer a suitcase. For weekends, a duffel bag will do.

Plan out your wardrobe.

Look at your itinerary. Are you spending your days at the beach, and only going out at night? Will you be visiting museums and historic sites? Hiking? Shopping? Once you know what you will be doing each day, it’s easier to plan your wardrobe.

Also, consider your destination. For Egypt, I knew I needed a more modest wardrobe than for my cruise to Hawaii.

Take only clothes that you actually wear.

We all have those clothes in our closets that we think we will wear some day. Resist that temptation to take them with you on vacation. If you don’t wear them at home, you probably won’t wear them while traveling. And you’ll end up with a suitcase full of nothing to wear. Traveling can be stressful at times, so your wardrobe needs to be one less worry. Pack your old faithfuls and the things that you love wearing.

Pack clothes that you can mix and match.

I usually pack three to four bottoms with a top for each day. And I try to make sure that my tops can be worn with all my bottoms so that I have more options. Any sweaters I take, need to go with as many tops and bottoms as possible, so I usually select neutral colors for these layers.

I take no more than three pair of shoes. A good walking shoe that can be worn with everything, flip flops for the pools or beach, and a dressy pair for nights out.

Also, a good rule of thumb is to pack for seven days, even if your trip is 14 days or more. Then just plan to do laundry.

Make a packing list.

Once you’ve figured out your wardrobe, it’s time to make that packing list. There are several free printable ones online, and I offer one for download here. But I actually prefer to hand write my own and make it specific to my trip. This is the most important tool in keeping your packing stress free. So, write down everything that you need to take, from tweezers to sunscreen to underwear. Just make that list!

Keep a toiletry bag ready at all times.

This is something that I’ve learned in the last few years. I keep my toiletry bag stocked with travel size versions of all my personal items. I just have to toss in my facial lotion and cleanser, which I don’t have travel versions of, and go.

Think about what you can really do without.

Do you really need a whole arsenal of makeup? All your hairstyling tools? Every gadget that you own? I can go for a week or more without my laptop. But I need something to read, so my kindle is a must. I rarely pack a camera anymore, my phone takes good enough pictures for me. Take a look at what you really need, because trust me it’s not as much as you think. Take it from a girl who use to pack every gadget that she owned. Now I just need my smart phone and Kindle. All the other gadgets stay home.

So, where are you going for vacation? Do you have any advice for travelers? Let me know in the comments!

Homosexuality and the Christian

I think homosexuality is a sin.

I never said it in social media in any form before.

Because I know people will see it as hate.

And I don’t want people to look at me, someone who claims to be a Christian, and see hate. I don’t want them to say, I don’t want to be a Christian because all they do is hate, they know nothing of love.

Not when we know the greatest love of all. The love of Jesus Christ.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. – John 3:16-17

Not saying anything at all was beginning to feel like a cop out. Like I was being cowardly, and I don’t like that feeling.

I believe homosexuality is a sin, but I don’t hate homosexuals. And I can understand where they are coming from, I wouldn’t want the government, or anyone else, telling me who I can or cannot marry.

We are all sinners. I am a sinner saved by grace. Are you? And if you are a Christian, do you find it hard to talk about these issues? How do you deal with everyone believing that you are full of hate if you stand with the Bible?

Five things I’m excited about

These T-shirts and Tank tops

Land’s End has the best T-shirts. They wash and wear well, and they last for a long time. I love these new ones. They have a relaxed fit with a slight U neck. So comfortable with lots of great colors.

I usually buy ribbed tanks but lately I’ve wanted less fitted ones. These slub tanks from Old Navy are perfect. They’re relaxed, and the straps cover my bra!

Tees and Tanks for Summer


Canceling Cable

Last year, I cancelled cable for three months. Not having that bill was so nice. But when the new fall TV season came around I let myself get suckered into a new promotion. I’ve regretted it ever since. Next month the promotion is up and I’m cancelling again. It’s Netflix and Hulu Plus for me! Plus, an extra 60-70 dollars a month.

The Beach

I love the beach! Next month, I’m going with my sister and brother-n-law to Florida. We found a dog friendly beach so Buffy gets to go too! I’m ready for sand, sun, and relaxing by the water.

Writing again

I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time, and that’s made me want to write. A lot. I’m excited again about the blog and just writing in general. I’m making a little time each day, even if it’s just 30 minutes or so to work on the blog. And it feels great!

This guy

I saved the best for last! I call him Cap, because his gentlemanly ways make him seem like he’s from another era. Just like Captain America! And that’s also his favorite superhero. Cap is cute, smart, nerdy, talented, and funny. He works really hard, and knows how to take care of those he loves. He treats me like gold, and has made it clear that I’m a priority in his life. He’s made me so happy! I can’t wait to see where this goes.

So, what are you excited about? Let me know in the comments!