Packing: Home for the Holidays *List*

blue_luggage_2As a professional packer, I thought I’d share my tips with you on how to pack for a 3-5 day trip home for the holidays. Here’re a few guidelines that meet with TSA approval:

How to Pack Gifts

  • · Take gifts in your carry on – After all that strategic shopping, you don’t want to risk your bag ending up in Lost Luggage and arriving empty handed.
  • · Do not wrap gifts – Wrapped packages as a TSA no-no. I bring holiday gift bags and tissue with me –no tape and scissor needed – and wrap gifts upon arrival.

Suitcase Suggestions

  • · 2 Bag Limit – I recommend only taking 2 bags, both carry ons: an overnight suitcase and your computer / day bag.
  • · Extra Bag option – I then stuff an extra bag in my suitcase in case I need it to haul home holiday loot.

Packing Philosophy

  • · If you’re switching climates, dress for the colder weather and dress in layers so you can add or remove the sweater / scarf / rain jacket.
  • · Choose one main color for your wardrobe for the weekend and build around it. This will especially help you limit the number of shoes needed.

Borrowing is Best

  • · Leave the Toiletries – Since you’re probably staying with friends or family, I leave most toiletries at home and simply borrow a hair dryer / shampoo / lotion.
  • · Snow Gear – if you’re visiting a snow region, most people have a ton of extra cold-weather gear like snow pants, boots, jackets, gloves. These are all too bulky to pack and are not so size-specific.

Clothing Essentials

Here’s what I would pack for a 3-5 day trip to cover meet ups with friends, down time with the family, and a couple of festive outings:

  • · “nice” jeans – for general social fun
  • · black pants – for holiday parties
  • · lounge pants (or sweats) – to watch TV in
  • · 1 – 2 nice sweaters – one bulky and casual, one higher-quality cardigan
  • · 4 – 5 tops – all bright, festive colors (why not add some a gold lame?)
  • · 1 – 2 fancy scarves – to add more color
  • · Clutch purse – a glittery one to dress up your outfits
  • · Sparkly Jewelry –chandelier earrings, big rings, lots of bangles will be festive
  • · Bathrobe – depends on your family’s take on nudity, but best to play it safe
  • · PJs – you might be sharing a room
  • · Exercise clothes – so you can relieve some stress
  • · Pair of black boots (wear on the plane)
  • · Paid of black high heels
  • · Running shoes

That’s your easy guide to packing for the holidays! You now have extra strength to enjoy your family’s holiday traditions — like grandma’s fruit cake, Uncle Larry’s eggnog, and your cousin’s combative Scrabble.

Have lots of holiday fun!

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This entry was posted on Saturday, December 11th, 2010 and is filed under What to Pack.

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