Ten Tips for Organized Travel

May 15, 2014

Summer is just around the corner, which means that it’s time to trade in your rain boots for your flip-flops and trade in your school calendar for your vacation calendar.  Whoo-hoo!

10 Tips for Organized Travel via A Bowl Full of Lemons

 A little over a year ago, my family and I moved overseas to Europe.  Since living in Europe, we have been taking advantage of traveling – a lot (just over spring break we were in three different countries and two different continents!)  So, what I’m sharing about today is from my own firsthand experience.  My ten tips for “organized travel” will help you to better organize your travels, so you will be able to truly enjoy your time away!


Tip #1 – Be Realistic 


Whenever you travel, you need to be realistic.  Anticipate that there will be some unplanned events.  Expect the unexpected.  Remember that just because you are on vacation doesn’t mean that everything will be smooth.  Allow for “regular life” to sneak in from time to time.  Plan in extra margin into your time schedule and allow for the hiccups!  (Hiccups like lost luggage, traffic jams, sickness and delayed departures.)



Tip #2 – Invest In Quality Luggage


Your bag of choice should roll easily and stand up to the wear and tear that usually occurs when you travel.  I’m a fan of black luggage but I actually recommend that you buy a different sort of color so that you can easily spot your luggage when picking it up from baggage claim.  Each family member should have a piece of luggage that they can roll and/or carry themselves (age-appropriate).

*If you plan to travel with only carry on luggage be sure to double-check the airline’s specific measurement requirements for carry on luggage.


10 Tips for Organized Travel via A Bowl Full of Lemons



Tip #3 – Plan Neutral Outfits


When packing your clothes, stick to neutral colors.  White, grey, black, browns and navy, as your basic pieces (pants, skirts and shirts).  Then use your accessories; earrings, scarves, hats, belts etc., to add your punches of colors.  This will allow you to easily mix and match your pieces and stretch your wardrobe while on vacation.  When packing be sure to be focused on packing “outfits” so that when you open up your suitcase you can quickly know what to wear from day-to-day.  Also include lots of layers; light jackets, vests and cardigans will easily stretch your outfits.



Tip #4 – Organize Your Carry On  


Each family member should have their own carry on (age appropriate) that can be carried hands free.  A bag with lots of compartments is essential to easily organize all of the items you should pack. (I also carry a small cross body bag (purse) that I can easily slip into my backpack.)


 Here are the items that I recommend packing in your carry on:

  • 1 Outfit (a change of clothes, just in case…)
  • Toiletries (chapstick, tissues, lotion)
  • Reading/Entertainment Phone/Camera/Computer
  • Medicine (cough drops, eye drops)
  • All Travel Documents
  • Snacks (food, gum, mints, lollipops)
  • Comfort Items (neck pillow, eye pillow, ear buds, ear plugs)



10 Tips for Organized Travel via A Bowl Full of Lemons


Tip #5 – Carry (extra) Bags 


While not very sexy, these are sooo important.  I can’t begin to tell you how important it is for my family to carry plastic bags.  We use them to protect our electronics, phone and/or camera.  We use them for sick kids, I won’t elaborate.  We use them to collect garbage from the car or plane.  We place the seashells and wet bathing suits in them.  We place toiletries that need to be held out for security (the quart size).  And we use a plastic bag to contain the travel documents and passports.  Additionally, we also pack along a laundry mesh bag to collect the dirty laundry and I also toss in a collapsible shopping bag, just in case we do a little of what I like to call, “over-shopping!”



Tip #6 – Add Snacks & Entertainment


Plan ahead by packing snacks so that you are prepared.  Sometimes when traveling you have to go longer between regular meals.  There is often a degree of uncertainty when traveling, so have some convenient snacks just in case.  It is also important to pack along items that will help you during the “down” time.  Pack your books, I-pad, magazines, games or anything that will be helpful to keep you (and your family) entertained.


10 Tips for Organized Travel via A Bowl Full of Lemons


Tip #7 – Label Everything


I made luggage tags for our bags so that we have one less step to take care of when we are checking in our bags.  They also provide us with the peace of mind that if we misplace a bag at any point, the bag is already labeled.  And, the tags help us to spot our black luggage because the tags are bright green!  (A great solution if you DO have black luggage.)



Tip #8 – Pack Medicine & Comfort Items


Be sure to include in your packing all of your regular medications and the extras that you might need rather for motion sickness or sleeping aid.  When you are traveling, it is helpful to be prepared for any physical upsets that might happen when you are away from home.  Additionally, pack the things from home that help to make you comfortable, your child’s blanket, a noisemaker, a special pillow…


10 Tips for Organized Travel via A Bowl Full of Lemons

Tip #9 – Bring Your Second Best


Bring your best version of YOU, but don’t bring along your nicest pair of sunglasses, your favorite pair of earrings or the hat that you just couldn’t bear to part with.  As you pack for vacation, plan to bring the items that will serve the purpose, but won’t break the bank if you lose them or break them.



Tip #10 –  Ask Questions & Seek Advice


Talk to anyone you can before going to your destination.  Pick their brain, ask them all your questions, or google your questions.  It is better to ask questions on the front end and have as much knowledge as possible before taking off on any kind of adventure.


Hoping you have Happy, Safe, and Organized Travels this summer!  

Bon Voyage!!!


Headshot-CircleMorgan is the energetic and motivated, but also realistic girl, behind Morganize with Me. Her mission is to share tried and true techniques that she hopes will encourage her readers and clients as they focus on their health and homes.  Her life is full and fun and somewhat messy too.  She is focused on trying to control the “chaos” while managing her health and home in a way that aligns with her values and goals.  While living abroad in sunny Portugal, she is working to simplify, prioritize, and measure progress one day at a time.  Join her as she attempts to control the chaos!


Hi! I'm Morgan, the energetic and motivated, but also realistic girl, behind Morganize with Me. My mission is to share tried and true techniques that I hope will encourage my readers and clients as they focus on their health and homes. I believe in simplifying, prioritizing, and measuring progress one day at a time. When I'm not blogging, organizing, or exercising, I can be found cooking a simple dinner or spending time with my sweet family. My life is full and fun and somewhat messy too. A motto that I hold near and dear to my heart, is that less IS more. Unless, of course, there is an opportunity for another Chai Tea Latte or I'm shopping at Target.

14 comments on “Ten Tips for Organized Travel

  1. Mammu says:

    These tips are great! My biggest mistake is definitely nr.1 – I always expect everything to go perfectly and if something small happens I get upset and feel like everything is ruined (I can be overly dramatic lol).

  2. Janet W. says:

    When I pack my kids, because they are small (6 & 4) I pack their outfits in plastic gal bags – one outfit (pants/shorts, tops, underwear, socks, headband for my daughter) – and that way they can grab a bag a dress themselves without going through the suitcase looking for stuff. It’s all in one place. When they go to grammies for the weekend, it makes it easy for her as well to get them dressed. 🙂 You can also squeeze the air out of the bag and save on space in the suitcase. Happy packing!

  3. Chris Bannard says:

    Here’s another idea to add to your luggage suggestions. Choose a wild/different/bright duck tape and wrap the handles of each bag (top handle, side handle and bottom one if your suitcase has it). The tape doesn’t come off (at least not in the past few years of frequent travels) and it is a great at-a-glance way to identify your bag(s). Confirmation comes with distinctive luggage tags but I always see the tape first – and in a sea of bags that is a good thing indeed.

    • Morgan says:

      I’m a huge fan of all the fun duck tape that is now available!
      Bright-colored duck tape would be the perfect addition to help spot those bags within the sea. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Sarah Spain says:

    Thanks for these tips! I’d never thought of bringing the ziplock bags before, genius!

  5. I do so wish I had thought of #9! I am still heartsick over losing my coral sweater and scarf in the Honolulu airport! They were the perfect color match and tied so many of my outfits together. Never again will I take my best along!

  6. Amanda says:

    Can you tell me which font you used for “Organized Travel”? I love it!

  7. Marei says:

    My beloved husband once came up with another great tip along the lines of “label everything”:
    Before going on a trip he prints an A4 or letter sized paper containing our names and addresses as well as our itinerary in as large a print as possible.
    So if anything happens to our luggage and the luggage tags get lost as well, one of these nifty informative flyers can be found inside every compartment on top of everything we packed – maximizing our chances to get our luggage back.

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