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Making Light of Vacation Preparation

Careful Planning is Important in Packing for Vacation.

Vacation is something many people, regardless of age, anticipate and enjoy. Whether it is just a two-day vacation or cross-country excursion, there is usually a common thread – Fun and Relaxation. So, preparation is important.  Packing requires planning, and we have a few tips. In particular – pack light!

Most of us, if not all, do not want to drag around an overfilled suitcase or bring an unnecessary extra bag from one place to another. That being said, we do want to carry all important essentials that make us safe, comfortable, and healthy.

Having all the items you need, whether you’re on a plane, train or bus, will make the journey considerably less stressful. Identifying the travel essentials that are needed for the duration of the trip will definitely help avoid any bumps in the road.

Here’s our list of essentials: 

  1. MEDICATIONS – Bring enough medicine to last the entire trip and then be sure to bring extra. Having an emergency supply of medication will act as a buffer against unforeseen hindrances, such as a loss of luggage, flight complications, or damage to medication. Make sure to carry these on board the airplane with you and not in your checked luggage.
  1. DOCUMENTS – Proper documentation is incredibly important. Tickets/boarding passes, VISA, Passports, travel insurance, driver’s licenses, health cards, and photocopies of these documents in the event of loss all make the list. Often overlooked documents are medication and physician documentation. Consider carrying a list with your doctor’s name, contact info, and prescriptions. You may need to explain the purpose of carrying large amounts of medicine.  On the other hand if you run out, you may need that important information.
  1. MONEY – Obviously, this is pretty important. Whatever country or place you visit, always check your cash (dollar or foreign currency). Also, don’t forget credit cards, debit / ATM cash cards, as well as checks as they may come in handy whenever need arises.
  1. REFERENCE – Though one might not think that it’s necessary to bring these, it would be a smart move to bring a travel diary, some dictionaries, local maps and guidebooks in order to assist you. Although you might find some tourism centers in most airports and purchase guides and maps, it still is a wise choice to stay one step ahead.
  1. WARDROBE – Pack according to the climate. Even when traveling to a tropical country, it’s best to bring with you extra jacket as the weather is fairly unpredictable. Don’t forget to pack some extra comfortable shoes or a pair of slippers as well. Again, pack light. You don’t have to bring a month’s worth of wardrobe when you’re only traveling for two weeks. Try to bring the necessities: a nice jacket, a “formal” outfit, and then comfortable clothing. Remember, the more room in your luggage that’s occupied with clothing, the less room you have for items obtained while on vacation.
  1. ACCESSORIES / OTHERS – It’s best to carry with you extra pair of eyeglasses, if you’re wearing them. Bring along some travel size toiletries, a small notebook for jotting down facts and reminders of your trip, denture containers ans hearing aid battery spares. And of course, pack a camera to record all the memories and adventures you’ll be having.

Choosing the Right Luggage

Choose the luggage that best fits your strength and mobility.  Rolling luggage is easily mobile and maneuverable — easily moved down escalators and through crowds. Yet, some companies create lightweight luggage for those only traveling for a few days. Do the research to pick the luggage that works for you.

For your carry-on bag, it should contain items you may need for the whole duration of the flight. Carry on luggage such as briefcases and book bags allow for extra storage. Carrying medications in your carry on luggage is a must.  Adding snacks and ways to pass the time are nice additions.

Having a well-packed carry-on bag and suitcase will help lessen the stress and anxieties that may arise. Pack your needs wisely and happy traveling!


Do you have any packing tips or routines? Share your thoughts with us.


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  • Karen Sievers

    Many seniors now have smart phones, like an IPhone, this will eliminate the need to pack maps, dictionaries and journals/notepads as this all is on the phone. You can also make a list of your doctors and medications and keep this on your phone too. This eliminates the need to carry cumbersome reference materials and also papers regarding medications and doctors making packing lighter.

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