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Smart packing tips for your vacation

Before you begin

  • Make a list based on your itinerary. When you know what you’ll be doing everyday, you can plan your packing according to your activities and you won’t be tempted to pack more than you need!  
  • Personalize your luggage. Tie a ribbon or string on your bags so you can easily identify them on the airport carousel.
  • Keep your travel documents safe. Even have a copy of your passport in a safe place such as a carry-on satchel or travel belt.

Smart packing strategies

  • Roll your clothes. It avoids creasing and makes the most of the space in your suitcase.
  • Cross pack. Put a few essential items/outfits in your luggage for your partner and some of your kids in yours. That way, if a bag gets lost, you’ll each have at least one outfit to tide you over until you get it back or you can buy new items.
  • Pack heavy items at the bottom of your suitcase. Then squeeze your thinner, lightweight items inside and around the bigger ones.
  • Limit your shoes. Choose just one pair for each activity you’ll be doing. Wear your bulkiest shoes on the plane to save space in your suitcase.

Toiletry tips

  • Think small for shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, makeup wipes, etc.
  • If you’re flying, remember that liquids, gels and creams in your carry-on bag must be in containers that are 100 ml or less.
  • Pack prescription medication in its original packaging—and bring extra. Travel-sized packs of pain and fever relief, anti-nausea, and anti-diarrheal medicine can be indispensable.
  • Take Band-Aids or moleskin in case of cuts and to save you from blisters if you’ll be doing a lot of walking.
  • Keep liquids like shampoo, conditioner, contact lens solution or shaving gear in a zippered plastic bag, so if there are any spills they’ll be contained.
  • Carry antibacterial wipes or travel-size hand sanitizer, so you can clean surfaces and your hands when there’s no soap and water handy.  

Essentials for kids

  • If you’re flying with young children, make use of your child’s carry-on baggage allowance: Stuff their bags with extra clothing, diapers, a change of clothes for your child and an extra shirt for you.
  • Whether you’re flying or driving, bring more diapers than you think you’ll need. And bring baby food and snacks you know your children like.
  • For older children, take toys, books and games to stave off boredom. Let your kids take along some of their favourite toys in a backpack. You could even pack a few surprises in your carry-on bag that you can pull out if the going gets tough.
  • Don’t pack too many clothes if you’ll be able to do laundry on your trip. But do take a change of clothes for the kids in your carry-on because spills happen.
  • Bring a warm set of pyjamas, as well as a cool one in case you can’t control the room temperature.

Handy items you’ll be glad you packed

  • A compact bottle of travel detergent so you can wash underwear, socks and other quick drying items.
  • A zippered case for cables, chargers and adapters—great for space saving and organizing!
  • An inexpensive plastic poncho for rainy days at a theme park or on a hike.
  • An adapter if you’re traveling to countries that use different outlets.
  • A power strip to plug in all your chargers and devices at once. When abroad, you just need one travel adapter to plug in your power strip.  
  • Headphones and mobile devices so you can watch a movie, read a book or play games while travelling.

Smart packing makes for a successful trip. One last tip: don’t forget travel insurance. It protects you in case of cancelled flights, lost luggage or unexpected health issues. Bon voyage!

For more on this topic, visit:

50 packing tips

How to pack like a pro

How to pack a suitcase

8 ways to make flying with kids easier

Travel insurance

Smart packing tips for your vacation

We’ve all stared at an empty suitcase before a vacation, wondering what to pack. How many shoes should you take? What toiletries do you really need? Read our tips for packing smart so you can enjoy a worry-free getaway.

The Personal refers to The Personal General Insurance Inc. in Quebec and The Personal Insurance Company in all other provinces and territories.

The information and advice in this article are provided for informational purposes only. The Personal shall not be liable for any damages arising from any reliance upon such information or advice.