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Chronic Over-Packing

I admit it.  I have a problem with bringing too much stuff on vacation.  My husband and I joke that I’m a “chronic over-packer,” and it’s true. We obviously travel quite a bit & it takes practice to be able to pack enough to take care of yourself, without trying to fit your entire closet in your suitcase. I’m proud to say, I’m making positive strides, but I’m still a work in progress. That being said, I felt it incumbent upon me to pass along some of the strategies I’ve put in place for myself to try and curb this issue. I know I’m not the only one who packs too much, so here we go! A few thoughts on how to avoid over-packing.

Check the Weather

Whenever we are traveling, I like to start checking the weather at the location we will be going about a week before we leave.  I then routinely check it leading up to our departure date. I do this for a few reasons.  First, if I know what the weather will be, I can make sure I’m prepared. For example, we have watched many people show up in Florida in January & expect it to be 85 degrees every day. It’s Florida, so it’s hot, right? Wrong. Even warm locales have cold spells & if you’re dressed for 85, but it’s actually 55, you’re going to end up very uncomfortable & in need of buying warmer clothes. The inverse is true as well.  Maybe you’re heading to London & you assume it will be 60 and rainy, but they’re having a warm spell, so you’re completely over-dressed. If you check the weather in advance, you can be prepared for what is reality instead of what you assume it will be. It also helps you avoid “packing for everything.” As someone who obviously likes to be prepared, sometimes I go overboard & bring everything I could possibly need instead of paying attention to what I’ll actually need.  Don’t do that! Check the weather!  

Know What You’ll Be Doing

If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know that I am a big proponent for having a plan when you travel. I believe that you will always get more done & do the things you actually are interested in if you just put in a bit of research in advance (see “Planning Never Hurt Anyone”).  That being said, I believe that it will not only help you have the best time possible on your trip, it will also help you with your packing. I like to look at the activities we have planned & make sure I have the clothes that are appropriate for that.  For example, if I know we are going to be exploring trails in a national park, I will make sure to bring good shoes & clothes I don’t mind getting dirty.  If I know I’m going to the theater one night, I’ll make sure to bring a suitable skirt or dress. Having a plan allows you to make sure you have what you need for the activities you’ve chosen, but it also helps you know what you can leave home. Only bring what you’ll actually need & use.

Bring Versatile Items

If you know what you’ll be doing & you know what the weather will be, you can then start making specific packing choices.  As you do this, I recommend looking for how you can re-use the items you pack. This is particularly relevant to heavy items like shoes, jeans, sweaters, etc. Some travel experts say that if you aren’t going to use it at least three times, don’t pack it (underwear not included).  While I can appreciate this, admittedly, I struggle with this one.  However, I am getting better at it & I’ve gotten my own packing to where I will try to only pack things I’ll use twice & it really has made a big difference with my chronic over-packing.  If you need help on figuring out how you could re-use items you pack, there is a whole movement about using minimalist travel capsule wardrobes. Do a simple internet search & I’m sure you’ll find a wealth of knowledge about it.  For me, simply having a plan for my trip, knowing the weather & trying to re-use the heavy items in my suitcase has made a big difference.

Know What Toiletries are Provided

While clothes take up a lot of space & weight in your suitcase, toiletries can make or break you when it comes to packing.  I have naturally curly hair that can be pretty unruly, so I have a very specific routine with very specific products & if I were to try & bring all of my full-size products, there’s no way I would have the space or weight available in my luggage.  I have a few suggestions if you’re in a similar boat as me.  First, take a look at what amenities are available in your hotel.  Do they offer soap, shampoo & conditioner? Most do. Do they have a blow dryer? Most do. Once I have the answer to these questions, I then ask, how can I simplify my routine and bring less than what I use at home? For example, if they have a blow dryer, I will often just take my diffuser head instead of the whole dryer. If they have soap, I just bring my travel-size loofa instead of my normal soap too. I have come to LOVE the travel-size section of the drug store.  They have travel-size toothpaste, tooth brushes, deodorant, face wipes, shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, etc. If you don’t like the brands they offer, they also have empty mini-bottles you can put your own products in.  I would also recommend if you use make-up, try to pair-down what you’re bringing. Trust me. You don’t need all of your eye shadows & lipsticks.  Look at what clothes you are bringing & just like them, only bring the make-up that will go with multiple outfits. Doing these things will definitely help you think about what you really need & are taking, and overall, save space & weight in your luggage.

Invest in a Hand Scale

When all is said & done & you’ve done your best not to over-pack, the last tool I recommend to make sure you’re good to go, is a hand scale. Before we invested in one, it always made me nervous as we checked our luggage because I didn’t know if I’d have to do the mad scramble to unload whatever I could into my purse or backpack so I didn’t have to pay the ridiculous fees the airline will charge you when you’re over the weight limit. Has that happened to you? I know I’m not the only one. I’ve seen many other people in that situation as well. It’s not that fun. A simple $10 hand scale will fix this problem for good. You can find them at almost any store near the luggage section or online.  You can see a picture of mine above. It allows you to wrap the strap around your suitcase handle & by simply lifting it, it will weigh your suitcase. If you’re overweight, you can fix it in the comfort of your own home instead of having the public see inside your suitcase at the airport. Make sure to pack it too so after you’ve purchased all your souvenirs, you can check your luggage weight on your way home too.

Although I don’t claim to be a packing expert, I do know that the suggestions above have REALLY helped my chronic over-packing issue. We simply don’t need as much as we think we do & as with most things, if we just took a few minutes to really think & make a plan, we could be prepared without bringing our whole closets.

Cody’s Summer Raffle and Promotions are Here!

Woodbrey Family Travel is excited to announced his Summer Promotion and Raffle!

Each summer, Woodbrey Family Travel has a big incentive for those who book Disney vacations in the month of July and August along with a Big Summer RAFFLE that takes place on his Facebook page. The details on how to enter the raffle and the booking offer are below.

Big Summer Raffle Details

Who doesn’t like to win FREE Disney merchandise just for commenting and sharing Facebook posts?! I know I do and here is your chance to do exactly that. Throughout the month of July until August 9th, share and comment on the new posts that are made. Each time you do so you will get an entry into the raffle to win Disney Merchandise. You could win one or several of the gifts in the above picture. Some posts will be worth double or triple entries so keep an eye out for those ones. If you book a Disney trip before August 9th you will automatically get 5 extra entries. There will be multiple winners!

Booking Incentives Details

When you book ANY Disney vacation package with Woodbrey Family Travel between now and August 9th, you will receive all sorts of extra Disney themed gifts when you book your trip.  Below you will find the extra gifts that are given for each Disney Destination. Make sure to mention this blog or code DisneySummerGift to qualify for the extra gifts… So where will you be vacationing this next year?

Walt Disney World Vacation Package Gifts

Lanyards, Luggage Tags, Trading Pins, Disney Activity Book (Packages with kids)
Disney Autograph Book and Pen or Disney Activity Pack (One Per Child), Disney Key Chains (One Per Adult), Disney Crayons Disney (One Per Child), Toy Story Tsum Tsum
Disney Mini Golf Voucher, Planet Hollywood Souvenir Voucher (One per package)
Planet Hollywood $15 Meal Voucher (One per Package), Walt Disney Travel Savings book – Special offerings and savings at many participating dining and merchandise locations throughout the Downtown Disney shopping area – “Disney Springs.”

Disneyland Vacation Package Gifts

Diamond Anniversary Lanyards, Diamond Anniversary Luggage Tags, Diamond Anniversary Trading Pins, Disney Diamond Anniversary Activity Book (Packages with kids), Disney Diamond Anniversary Pen, Disney Diamond Anniversary Magnet, Toy Story Tsum Tsum, $10 ESPN Game Card, Free 5X7 photopass Photo (Photo can be either an attractions photo or one from the park), Disney Autograph Book and Pen or Disney Activity Pack (One Per Child), Disney Key Chains (One Per Adult)
Disney Crayons Disney (One Per Child), Walt Disney Travel Savings Card – A special card offering savings and values at many participating dining and merchandise locations throughout the Disneyland Resort and Early Entrance into Disneyland as long as you have 3 days or more.

Disney Cruise Line Vacation Package Gifts

$30 Onboard Credit, Disney Lanyards
Disney Trading Pins, Disney Activity Book
(Packages with kids), Disney Autograph Book and Pen or Disney Activity Pack (One Per Child), Disney Key Chains (One Per Adult)
Disney Crayons Disney (One Per Child), Disney Dry Erase Board, Disney Playing Card, Toy Story Tsum Tsum, Disney’s Frozen String Bag and a Disney’s Frozen Kids Purse

 Aulani Vacation Gifts

Disney Lanyards, Disney Trading Pins, Disney Activity Book (Packages with kids), Disney Autograph Book and Pen or Disney Activity Pack (One Per Child), Disney Key Chains (One Per Adult), Disney Crayons Disney (One Per Child), Disney Playing Card, Toy Story Tsum Tsum, Disney’s Frozen String Bag, Disney’s Frozen Kids Purse, Disney Chalk Board and a $30 booking Credit (Must be at least 6 nights)

 Adventures by Disney Vacation Gifts

Disney Lanyards, Disney Trading Pins, Adventures by Disney Luggage Tags, Adventures by Disney laptop bag, Adventures by Disney, Disney Activity Book (Packages with kids), Disney Autograph Book and Pen or Disney Activity Pack (One Per Child), Disney Key Chains (One Per Adult), Disney Crayons Disney (One Per Child), Toy Story Tsum Tsum, Disney’s Frozen String Bag, Disney’s Frozen Kids Purse and a $50 booking credit (Must book at least a 6 night trip)

I hope, as you look to future Disney adventures, that you will think of Woodbrey Family Travel when planning. Remember, at Woodbrey Family Travel, my services are absolutely free. Disney takes care of me with no extra cost to you. I am a current Disney cast member and know Disney travel extremely well and I promise you will have the best possible trip planned when booking with us.

– Cody Woodbrey

Creating Magical Vacations
Cell: 435-757-0838