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5 Helpful Summer Vacation Packing Tips

Before you go on vacation, check out these 5 Helpful Summer Vacation Packing Tips, like rolling your clothes and packing your shoes in bags.

For more help planning your trip, check out all of our travel posts.

A suitcase in a hotel room with the words "5 Helpful Summer Vacation Packing Tips" digitally written above it.

Summer vacation is quickly coming to an end. Which is weird to say this year, but it’s true. And even though trips are looking different this summer, people are still taking them. And people may still need these helpful summer vacation packing tips.

I’m calling these summer vacation packing tips because, well, we’re in summer. But honestly, these tips would be helpful during any season.

So read through them now with your summer vacation in mind, and then use them again during your winter holiday trips.

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Speaking of packing, this is just one of the packing lists we have on the site. For more, check out The Ultimate List Of Packing Lists.

5 Helpful Summer Vacation Packing Tips

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These tips aren’t really in any specific order, although I did try to post them in an order from planning to how you would actually pack.

Make a list.

I am the princess of packing lists (my mom is the queen). Lists just make your life so much easier and — as long as you follow the list — it prevents you from forgetting anything. I have packing lists for everything from vacations to our weekly farmers market.

When you’re planning your summer vacation, make a list of everything you might need for the trip, including electronics and their chargers, items for your toiletry bag, plus outfits by day.

Since different trips require different items (hotel stays don’t need tents like camping trips do), label each list: Hotel Trip, Overnight at Grandma’s, Camping, Road Trip, whatever the case may be. Save them all as separate documents in Google Drive. When you need to pack, just print out the appropriate list and check items off as you go.

If you realize you left something off the list, no worries. Just edit the doc and add it. Simple.

Tape down your liquids and put them in plastic bags.

When you fly, you can only bring 3 oz. bottles of liquid. And those bottles need to be in a quart-sized plastic bag.

But I think, regardless of where you’re going and how you’re getting there, the liquids in plastic bags method is a good way to go. But I will do you one better.

I always say tape the tops of your bottles using clear, sticky tape and then put them in bags. It’s just an extra layer of protection.

If for some reason the tape on these bottles open, the liquid will be contained in the plastic bag rather than getting all over your clothing. And when you finally get to your vacation destination, the last thing you want to do is open your suitcase and realize that your shampoo has covered everything. And now, instead of relaxing, you have to find the closest washing machine — and maybe quarters to use the washing machine too.

Roll your clothes.

There’s a good chance you’re not packing an iron in your suitcase. And I’m sure not everything you’re packing is wrinkle resistant. Rolling your clothes before you put them in your suitcase can help reduce wrinkles. And then you won’t even need an iron.

Plus, your clothes will take up less room in your suitcase when your roll them too. Taking up less room means you’ll be able to pack a lot more into your bag, which is helpful if you’re an over-packer.

And rolling your clothes is a lot better of a way to pack than folding your clothes.

Okay, you have to do a little folding.

Fold your sleeves into the center of your shirt, fold your shirt into thirds, then roll it. For pants, fold them in half and then roll them. Fold and roll shorts and bathing suits the same way.

Pack your shoes in bags.

Shoes get dirty. No matter how clean they are before you go on a trip, they’re not coming back that way. It might rain and you have to walk through mud. Your kids might just want to jump in puddles. Who knows.

And don’t even get me started on how disgusting cheap flip flops get over the summer. Plus, the other day at the gas station, I stepped in gum so of course, I had to deal with that on the bottom of my shoe.

You don’t want any of that grossness getting onto your clothing.

So, always pack your shoes in plastic bags because then you can take them home in said bags. You can use large ziptop plastic bags or you can just throw them in plastic bags from the grocery store. Either variety will get the trick done.

When you pack your shoes in bags, you never have to worry about any dirt or mud getting in you suitcase (and then forcing you to clean your suitcase when you get home). Putting out fires before they start. That’s a good motto.

Use lingerie bags.

Pack your undergarments in a clean lingerie bag. Unpack them into a drawer when you get to wherever you’re staying, then put the items back in the lingerie bag as you wear them.

Then, just toss the bag in the washing machine when you get home from your trip. Your undergarments and your lingerie bag will get clean at the same time.

And, if you do have to do laundry on your trip, these are great to have. You don’t have to worry about losing socks in the hotel’s laundromat. The bags stay zipped in the wash and everything stays inside.

In case you’re wondering, we’ve used a set of these for years and never had any problem with the zipper. Ours actually has an extra piece of fabric that you can slide the zipper under so that it doesn’t bang against the inside of your washing machine, potentially chipping the inside and causing rust to form.

What are your summer vacation packing tips? Be sure to leave them in the comments.


Saturday 15th of July 2023

Thank you so much for this helpful list of tips. We are heading out Thursday for a little trip, and this is very timely.


Monday 10th of July 2023

Yep, even with packing cubes nowadays I always roll my clothes! Great tips. Thanks for sharing with us.

Patrick Weseman

Sunday 9th of July 2023

Thanks for all the great tips.

Cara ~ Vintage Style Gal

Sunday 9th of July 2023

Great tips! My sister is the queen of travel, she rolls her clothing. I did not believe that her clothes did not wrinkle until I tried it myself. ha!


Tuesday 4th of July 2023

I always roll my clothing when we go on a long trip.