It Is A Lot Of Trouble

Packing for a trip is a lot of trouble. However, it gets easier the more often you pack. Make a list of everything you will need to take. Do not worry about forgetting something because you will. When you return from your trip, add that forgotten item to your list. Next time you will forget something else but eventually, your list will be complete.

Use this same list for a long trip as well as a short weekend trip. Just modify it as needed. You will always need most of the items listed. You may decide to forgo some. I doubt you will want noise canceling earphones on a short weekend car trip but they may be a necessity when traveling by air.

When packing for senior travel, remember the cardinal rule: if you can not carry it, you can not take it. Get a good suitcase with great wheels on it. We recommend a samsonite suitcase. They are pricey but the wheels are strong and it lasts a long time. The size is perfect for putting in the overhead luggage bin. The wheels are “spinner” wheels so will go in any direction you push it. You can get a cheaper suitcase but this one will last twice as long so it is better than twice as good.

Rule #1: If You Take It You Must Carry It

When packing for senior travel, remember the cardinal rule. If you can not carry it, you can not take it. Another good practice is to get a good suitcase with great wheels. We recommend the samsonite brand for a suitcase. They are pricey but the wheels are strong and it lasts a long time. You can get a cheaper suitcase but if this one lasts twice as long it is better than twice as good.

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If something will not fit in your case, then you do not need it! Remember rule #1. Yes, the one about having to carry it. Be sure all of your packed clothing articles can be interchanged and still match. Usually, a one color theme works best.

What Can Go and What Must Stay

You might love that green pair of pants but what will you wear it with? If it will only match that special sweater that you must also pack, then don’t. Put it back and stick with the mix and match. You do not need a different outfit every day. You are the only one who will know you wore that shirt 3 days ago.

Only take 2 pairs of shoes, one to wear and one to pack. OK, the flip flops do not count as shoes. They are packable. Try to get all of your beauty products in small sizes. It is worth the extra money not to have to carry the extra weight. If you run out, don’t worry, they have stores where you are going.

Dress clothes are the difficult part. Don’t pack an outfit on the theory that you may need it. Grab a dress or skirt that will go with the other things in the suitcase. Pack something that goes with that extra pair of shoes you packed. If you throw a dress shirt and a pair of dress pants into your suitcase, the shoes are a little less important. Get long pants that cover your shoes. It is not worth packing another outfit as well as another pair of shoes for just one dinner.

Compression Packs

These are the best things since sliced bread. You may need all of your planned items. After all, you will be gone for a long time and have prepared for this trip. Problem is that your suitcase is flowing over..

There are many different theories on how to pack a suitcase to get more in it. No doubt some will work to help you pack your case. We have tried them all. Finding my clothes after a few days is a problem. Getting organized and staying organized are two different things. It is easier to be neat when leaving on a trip than when coming back.

Compression packs make my life easier. The clothes not hung up stay in their pack until needed. I put them back where they belong although not “neatened” till it is time to leave. At least I can find what I need without unpacking everything. 

You unzip a compression pack when needed. Time to pack, fold or roll your clothes and then zip the compression pack into a smaller bundle. The suitcase is more organized and fits all that is needed.

This compression pack by Suited Nomad is great.  Your pillow will fit in the larger size packet with the dimensions of 15 X 11 X 4. Everyone sleeps better with their own pillow, not too hard or too soft. Since you are going to take it anyway, might as well fit it inside a compression pack.

List to Help Seniors Pack for a Trip

This is a starting point for senior travel. You can download a copy of your packing list here. Add to it as needed and subtract those items you do not use. By updating your list, you will not forget the important items.

Antibiotic cremeBathing suitBook/kindle & charger
BandaidsCover upChapstick
ConditionerDress shirtsComputer/tablet & charger
Dental flossDressesCredit Cards
DeodorantHatDriver’s License
Emory boardJacket/coatEmergency contacts
Face cleanserJeansGlasses (reading)
Feminine productsNight gownJewelry
Hair brushPantsLipstick
Make upShirtsMoney
Makeup removerShortsNoise canceling earphones
MedicationsSocksNotebook
MoisturizerSweaterPassport
Nail file/clippersShoesPen/pencil
ShampooHiking Shoes Phone & charger
ShaverAthletic ShoesPillow
Shaving CremeEveryday ShoesProtein bars
SunscreenSandals/flipsReservations
ToothbrushSwimsuitSleep mask/ear plugs
Tooth pasteUmbrellaSunglasses
Tums or anti-acidUnderwearTelephone & charger
TweezersWhite ScarfZip lock baggies
suitcase

More Tips for Packing for a Trip

Miscellaneous items on the list include a white scarf and zip lock baggies.  They are more versatile than you can imagine. The scarf can be used in the evenings if it is a bit cool as your shoulders will welcome the thin layer of protection. If the sun is beating down your face and shoulders can be shielded from the sun’s rays. When you rest for a bit during your trip you can put the scarf in a bundle to rest your head. It can be used as a beach coverup if needed.

Don’t leave home without the zip lock baggies. They are useful if you have wet clothes that still have to be parked. Put your liquid bottles in the baggie for just in case. This way nothing spills onto everything else. It is a great carry all for dirty clothes and you will find many more uses for the baggies. They take up almost no space or weight and you will be glad you have them.

Another tip is that conditioner can be easily substituted for shaving creme. One less thing to carry.

Soon packing for a trip will be the easy part! Now put that favorite shirt back in your closet and stick with the color theme. Plan for your senior travel today.

Read more at GuideForSeniors.com  for all things senior. You can email us at guideforseniors@gmail.com. 

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