When it comes to packing for a vacation getaway, it’s easy to want to pack everything in your suitcase that you can and then throw the kitchen sink on top. In reality, you can’t fit everything in just a few bags and even when you do it’s inevitable that you’ll feel like you still forgot something. So let’s take the time to figure out what your essentials should be, how you can make the most of limited packing space and maybe cover some things you would have otherwise forgotten.

It’s common for any time away from home, no matter how long or short, to want a variety of options, clothing wise, just like you would at home. With space limited, how do you pack the options you know you absolutely need, but still give yourself some choices in case you want to mix it up a little? To make the most of that space, and save yourself valuable vacation time, mainly ironing, think about bringing clothing options that are more maintenance free. Meaning, many clothing companies, these days, make wrinkle free options. You can roll that dress or shirt up nice and tight, saving much needed luggage space, but still keep that fresh pressed look once you arrive at your destination. Keep an open eye for blends of cotton, spandex, bamboo or polyester when digging through potential outfits for packing, These items will be the most forgiving and give you more time for enjoyment rather than preparation.

Knowing how much even the simplest of vacations can cost, it’s hard to imagine blowing even the smallest amount of that budget before you’ve set out the door. Spending a little beforehand may save you lots in the long run, however, with keeping these next few items in mind. These items may go without saving, but let’s discuss them a little differently than maybe you normally would. Chances are you need sunglasses, sunscreen, a swimsuit and of course some kind of bag/purse, not just for the beach or poolside specifically, but in general wherever you go. Normally any of these items will cost you an arm and a leg at the hotel gift shop and that’s for good reason…they know at that point you have no other choice! Buying these items in advance may seem like a no brainer with that in mind, but maybe you didn’t think about those designer sunglasses you already have are super expensive, in which point a less expensive pair bought specifically for your trip would be a smart move since it’s a sure thing the expensive ones will be the first thing you misplace once arriving at your destination. Back to that bag we mentioned, it may also be wise to pick one up before you leave or maybe you already have one that fits the bill. A large tote is generally going to be your best choice and maybe just a clutch that fits neatly inside for id/money/credit card essentials in case you’re planning on having a fancier night out at some point of your journey. The size of the tote will allow you to maximize space, possibly using it as a much needed carry-on if you’re going to be flying, while having all of your important items nearby. Get one with a fun design and made of an easily cleaned material, both inside and out, and you’ve got your purse, carry-on, beach bag and diaper bag all in one. The great thing is it’s still small enough to throw over your shoulder and keep on the move with that busy vacation schedule you planned out.

We mentioned earlier that it’s rare to feel like you completely covered all your bases the night before you leave for vacation and zip up that suitcase before heading out the door. So it’s just as difficult to try to cover everything in one writing. Hopefully, it gives you some things to think about or helps with your planning though. Remember to keep things light, being smart about the things you do put in the suitcase with the idea to choose as many items that can be multi-purposed. Things like a single pair of sandals, which are good both for the beach in your bathing suit or out on the town in that lovely dress at dinner. Or maybe you can save space by including that sarong you picked up, which doubles as a poolside blanket and also a comfortable cover up for a light day of shopping at local shops. Items that have many uses aren’t only going to save room and weight with packing, but may also have you covered when you check into your room and realize you forgot that one thing you meant to bring. No worries though, simply being there should be the hardest part of all. After arrival you’re only concern should be fun and relaxation.