Home for Christmas: Tips for packing your bags

After having my bag for 3 out of the 8 days I was home I learned a lot about packing for Christmas in America. And those three day were of course my last days. During those suitcase-less times, I realized what I was able to survive without, how I could have been more resourceful when relying on things that were already at my parents home, and so much more.

I had an outfit for everyday and my house clearly had toothpaste and stuff like that, my tooth brush was already on my carry one and so were my contacts so I had everything I needed. Losing my suitcase made me realize that I packed so much unnecessary stuff. I had outfits, socks, and everything else at my house and in my room. Of course finding these outfits didn’t go without “mom i have nothing to wear!!!” but I eventually pulled something together. I already had yoga pants from traveling home and if you have yoga pants you have everything. Through them with some Uggs or nice boots and you have a nice outfit. Sorry if you’re a guy.

And no, this isn’t my pink infested suitcase picture.


Edit Toiletries – I don’t even know why I brought any toiletries home, I wasn’t staying in a hotel. Tooth paste, body wash, face wash, deodorant, shaving cream and things like that all could have been left behind. Of course, bring your own razors, contacts, tooth brush, and other important must haves, but other than that, remember you’ll have more than you need already at your parents house. So bum off of them, they’ll love it. Or communicate with someone to buy quick things at the store for you so they will be there already upon arrival. Toiletries add so much weight, so leave as many behind as you can.

Bring back clothes you don’t wear – THIS IS A MUST. You know those pile of shirts in your closest that you brought with you, but never wear? Yeah, pack those. Why? Because when you are making that final pack in April/May and you are trying to stuff every thing you brought plus the things that you consumed here, you’ll be happy you had the extra room. Bring back that extra coat that gets no love because you always wear your team jacket, all those cute outfits that never get worn because you proudly live the bum lifestyle while overseas, the shoes you don’t wear or have the time to wear, the books you finished reading and don’t want to throw away, and don’t forget about the summer clothes.

Be picky – Don’t just bring anything and everything. You’ll wish you would have listened when you find yourself at the counter and they are telling you to cough up $100 for being over weight.

Make your clothes multitask – Don’t just bring every outfit that you have. Of course you want to look cute for the holidays and plan for anything and any event but try to bring different items that you can mix and match. A pare of jeans that go with everything or black leggings. Don’t just bring 5 different type of bottoms. Also, don’t forget that huge closet of clothes that you couldn’t bring with you overseas, they are still waiting to be loved and worn.

I learned this because when I didn’t have my suitcase till the last three days of my trip I had to make use of what was in my carry on and in my closet and to my surprise I came up with some really cute outfits.

Plan for Christmas gifts – Unless your traveling to a place where no one loves you, plan for bringing a few new things and gifts to to bring back with you.

Leave room for food – This is the ultimate reason why you should ditch more toiletries and clothes. It’s all about the food. Leave room for all the snacks, protein powder, cereal, and whatever else you have been craving that last 5 months.

Bring a heavy carry on – This is my ultimate secret. I almost don’t want to share it because I feel like it’s bad luck. Maybe everyone already knows this but the trick to not getting baggage fees for your checked luggage is to pack a heavy carry on. Tell me a time when they weighed your carry on? And they wont weigh it at security either, they are more worried about liquids and what is inside than the size. I’ve packed all kinds of nonsense in there.

Pack for your bag to be lost – You never know what is going to happen so just expect and plan for the worst. Pack  jewerly, contacts, tooth brush, gifts, glasses, an outfits, and other important things in your carry on.

Tie a ribbon – Make your bag standout so when you have to describe to the people your luggage you have something to tell them other than “it’s black”

Buy a hand held bag scale.



Rachael Adams
My Scenic Route 
Features on our blog

3 Responses to “Home for Christmas: Tips for packing your bags”

  1. che210

    Always great to have some suggestions about packing – it’s such a pain and somehow I always manage to overpack even if I am staring at my bag for hours questioning whether I really need everything. The toiletries – that’s what gets me each time. Good to keep in mind for next time!

      • che210

        Well, it’s always useful to have in the back of your mind, that’s for sure! I am about to head back from a long trip and will keep these ideas in my thoughts as I shove everything into my suitcase!

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