Re-imagining the Travel To-Do List: Your Guide to Packing and Planning Smarter

Whether you’re planning a quick weekend getaway, or a three-week vacation, understanding how to better organize your next trip can save you a lot of time and stress. If you’re unsure of how many suitcases you’ll need and how much of each item is really necessary, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.  

First, discover our helpful packing tips for various types of trips. We will discuss beneficial packing hacks and outline how much you really need to bring along with you. It will probably surprise you…   

Then, we will help you navigate how to get a new passport in time for your next trip. Spoiler: the key is that you don’t have to tackle the confusing passport process alone. There are many reputable passport agencies who can help.   

At the end of this guide, you’ll be packing and traveling like a professional in no time! So, get your suitcases ready, grab your passport checklist and keep reading.  

Start planning and packing like a pro, from navigating the new passport process to figuring out how to organize your suitcase.

Discover How to Pack like a Pro for Your Next Trip    

We understand that sometimes the packing process can be overwhelming prior to your trip. By learning the secrets from travel experts, you’ll be able to focus more on the exciting elements of your next trip, like finding fun excursions and local events. Explore our following guide to stress-free, super simple packing.  

Weekend Trips 

How Many Suitcases Do You Need? 

Just one.  

How Much of Each Item is Necessary?  

Shoes- no more than two pairs. Consider bringing one comfortable pair, such as sneakers, if you’ll be doing a lot of walking. The second pair should be something versatile that you can easily dress up or down, such as a pair of flats or fancier sandals for women and nicer boots for men.  

Shirts and pants- try to limit yourself to one set of pajamas, two pairs of pants and two shirts total. By laying out your entire outfits for each day, you’ll feel less compelled to overpack several shirts that probably won’t get worn.  

Jewelry- Consider bringing one or two pairs of earrings and just one necklace. If your trip is only two days, this should give you enough options.  

Additional Helpful Packing Tips 

  • To save room in your suitcase, only bring travel-sized toiletries, such as shampoo, conditioner, face wash, and face lotions.  
  • If you’ll be swimming, be sure to pack large plastic Ziploc bags to ensure your wet swimwear won’t dampen your other clothing items when you repack. 
  • Roll, don’t fold your clothes to save even more space in your bag!  

One to Two Week Vacations 

How Many Suitcases Do You Need? 

One large suitcase and one medium-sized suitcase.   

How Much of Each Item is Necessary?  

Shoes- try to stick to no more than three pairs of shoes. By thinking of the types of activities you’ll be doing, this should be easy to achieve. Consider packing one pair for walking or hiking, another for casual daytime activities, and one more dressy pair for evening events.    

Shirts and pants- Pick out a specific outfit for each day of your trip. By committing to pre-planned outfits, you won’t have to stress about what to wear once you get to your destination, as it will already be decided for you. Consider factors such as the forecasted weather and how you’ll be spending each day as you select each day’s outfit.     

Jewelry- Depending on the type of trip you’re going on, how casual or formal your resort is, and how you prefer to accessorize your outfits, the jewelry you pack may vary. Generally, packing three to five pairs of earrings and three necklaces will give you lots of options.   

Additional Helpful Packing Tips 

  • Keep in mind that most hotels or home rentals will have a blow-dryer on hand for you. It’s worth double checking this before taking up valuable space in your suitcase for these items.  
  • Consider skipping bringing an extensive health kit with you, especially if you aren’t hiking or spending a lot of time in nature. Remember that you can most likely purchase these items at your destination.  
  • If you’re checking your bags at the airport, consider bringing a few essential items in your carry-on bag. For example, bringing an extra outfit with you is a great idea, in case you’re stranded without your bag for a day or two. It’s also a smart idea to pack a photocopy of your travel itinerary, driver’s license and new passport information in case any of these items get lost along the way.

Planning for Two Week Trips & Beyond   

How Many Suitcases Do You Need? 

This will vary depending on the length of your trip. If you plan each outfit in advance and you’re conscious not to overpack, you should be able to make do with one to two large suitcases for every two weeks you’re traveling. Consider also packing two medium-sized carry-on bags, as well.  

How Much of Each Item is Necessary?  

Shoes- if you’re traveling for more than two or three weeks, you may need to pack several different pairs of shoes, for multiple occasions. Keep in mind that it may be easier to purchase less expensive footwear, such as sandals for example, while on vacation if your suitcase doesn’t allow you to fit them. If your trip requires bulkier shoes, such as snow boots, it may make sense to mail some of your shoes ahead of time to your vacation rental to save precious suitcase space.       

Shirts and pants- Along with packing specific outfits for each day of your trip, consider including items in your suitcase that you’re able to wear multiple days. For example, packing staple items like white and black shirts, and blue jeans, allows you to re-wear the same outfit more than once inconspicuously. Also, consider using a laundry service while on vacation to cut back on the number of outfits you’ll need to bring with you.  

Jewelry- Again, generally speaking, packing three to five pairs of earrings and three necklaces will give you lots of options during your travels. Consider packing your more expensive jewelry in plastic bags and keeping them in your carry-on as you travel. This will help protect you in the event your bags are lost at the airport.   

Additional Helpful Packing Tips 

  • If you’re traveling somewhere that will allow you to buy toiletries and bathroom essentials at a local store while on vacation, that’s generally much easier than packing a month’s worth of products in your suitcase.   
  • Don’t forget to plan several weeks ahead for certain travel requirements for longer trips, like a new passport, or a passport renewal. Then, as you’re packing, be sure to pack a photocopy of these important documents in both your suitcase and your carry-on.  
  • Consider getting a suitcase with a TSA-approved lock on it. This will allow you to feel safe when you leave all of your belongings in your hotel room or house rental while on vacation.  

Now that you’ve mastered properly packing for your next trip, it’s time to review how to navigate the new passport process.   

How to Master the New Passport Process Prior to Traveling 

Learning how to pack like a pro is only one piece of the traveling equation. If you’re traveling internationally, you’ll want to ensure your passport is ready to go long before your trip. This may mean applying for a new passport or renewing your current one. The best way to ensure this is a stress-free and smooth process is by enlisting the help of a reputable passport agency.  

An agency can answer all your passport questions, from helping you check all the boxes on your passport renewal checklist to assisting you with a new passport or with the child passport process. Review the three easy steps below to get started.  

Step 1: A common question travelers have is “how long does it take to get a passport?” First, if you’re on a time crunch and your trip is fast approaching, don’t fret. Many passport agencies offer expedited passport services for your new passport, to help you through each step of the process. Some agencies, such as The Passport Office, even offer same day services at their locations.  

Step 2: Now that you’re aware of how quickly you’re able to get your new passport, it’s time to choose a reputable, experienced passport agency to help you. This part is important! Choose an agency that has positive online reviews, offers safe and fast services and excellent customer support.   

Step 3: Last, determine whether you want to get your new passport online with the help of The Passport Office, or at one of their convenient locations. The Passport Office has offices located across the U.S. in San Francisco, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Houston. To schedule an appointment for new passport services, expedited or renewal services, contact the Passport Office today.  

Start Planning and Packing Smarter for Your Travels 

The Passport Office has assisted the American traveling public with their passport needs for years. If you are within the United States and need a new passport, let The Passport Office team help you navigate the process securely.  

To get started, apply for a new passport online or contact our team to set up an appointment today.  

Re-do your travel checklist like an expert by learning packing and planning secrets from the pros.