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04/28/14

Package deal: Why travel often is plagued by over packing

Tis the season to start thinking about summer vacations or where you want to plan your June, July or August getaway. In addition to picking that perfect spot, you also have to give some serious consideration to exactly what you want to bring with you, and often that is more difficult than figuring out your destination.
Are you the person that is only going away for the weekend but for some reason is flanked by five or six bags? Or maybe you're the guy or gal that has a two week cruise on tap but is just fine toting around a gym bag that barely covers day number one.
So why is packing so strenuous for some?
Truthfully, traveling is traditionally stressful, and very few people actually take the time to plan out the specifics of the trip aside from where they're going. That typically leads to indecision when it comes to what to wear while you're away. If you're heading to the beach, maybe all you'll need is a swim suit, beach towel and something to wear at night this is a little dressier than shorts and a T shirt.
If you know you're heading to the beach, but aren't exactly sure of your itinerary, that most likely leads to packing everything you own and uttering the phrase "just in case" after stuffing your suitcase full.

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Your best bet is to pack light and try to include clothing that is eclectic enough to fill the void for relaxation or a late night dinner.
And what about the staples that every travel bag should include?
No matter where you're headed, you should always have ample amounts of cash on hand. No, that doesn't mean you should drain your bank account and carry around thousands of dollars, but rather just enough for things like tipping, equipment rentals or perhaps incidental purchases where you're staying (to avoid charging it to your room).
Having cash with you also eliminates the issues of overusing your credit card and not only putting your identity in jeopardy but potentially having your credit card company stop purchase if they don't recognize where they're being made. The latter half of that sentiment also should be a reminder that if you plan on using a credit card, you may want to let Visa or Mastercard in on your plans.
As for the always forgettable little things like toiletries, the tendency is to pack the shampoo, conditioner and every possible hair product in your bathroom. Keep in mind you're on vacation, and that includes feeling the need to spend hours upon hours doing your hair and makeup. There's nothing wrong with a modicum of make up or skin care such as facial scrubs, eye shadow or lipstick, but you probably could do without your leave in conditioner balm.
When in doubt, you can always rely on the hotel for the gratuitous mini shampoo, conditioner and body lotion if you're attempting to save space in your bag. And your hotel has soap, so you can leave your bar behind. .
No matter what essentials you start packing, make sure you're keen on the rules of travel as far as airlines and the clear baggy rule. Nothing ruins a flight quite like being pulled aside and having your bag inspected accordingly.
The summer months make for phenomenal travel, but don't let traveling, more specifically packing, envelop and eliminate the fun that you're about to have. If that's going to be the case, go ahead and do yourself a favor and bag the entire vacation.

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