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Top Tips on What to Pack for Vacation

Hate packing but love to travel? We caught up with some avid travellers to get their tips on how to ease the process for what to pack for vacation.

Packing is somewhat of a polarizing topic: some people write lists and prepare weeks in advance of their trip, and others throw everything together the night before departure. The more you travel though, the easier it gets to narrow the process down to a science that works for you.

That’s why we wanted to catch up with some of our favourite Canadian travel influencers and ask them how they prepare for their travels, and they’ve shared with us some of their top tips on what to pack for vacation.

opened suitcase of packing essentials like hat, slippers, list, camera, wipes, makeup, clothes
Top Tips on What to Pack for Vacation: Take the Essentials

Alexa Cude, @seriouslyalexa

Travelling photographer from Halifax loves travelling carry-on only!

Halifax-based photographer Alexa Cude spends a ton of time on the road. Whether she’s driving to a nearby waterfall or setting off on a plane, she’s packing her bags often!

Do you have any packing hacks to make the process easier? 

Ziplock bags are a lifesaver for me; I always have one for cords and chargers, one for liquids (saves time in airport security, too), one for snacks and one for vitamins and medicine. It keeps everything easy to find and organized. It goes without saying but I reuse the same bags as long as possible.

What do you bring in your carry-on during plane rides?

For the past two years, I’ve only flown carry-on. I’m too impatient to wait for baggage and nervous about losing checked baggage. That being said, sometimes on full flights, my roller will get checked at the gate so I make sure that my backpack always stays with me has my valuables (passport, laptop and camera most importantly). Beyond that – I make sure to pack as many snacks as possible, a good book, chargers for all my electronics and a warm layer because you never know what the plane climate will be like.

Do you have any space-saving hacks when packing?

Pack outside the bag whenever possible. I have a great backpack (the small weekender by North Face) with lots of loops and straps. I keep my camera, tripod, water bottle and other odds and ends like hiking boots or hats attached to the outside of my bag to give me more room inside and push the carry-on limits.

Want to pack carry-on only, too? Brush up on baggage rules and our tips on how to avoid fees.

two backpacks outside against a wall with hiking boots tied to them
Top Tips on What to Pack for Vacation: How to Pack

Davindra Ramnarine, @goatroti

Toronto foodie traveller shares his tips on what to pack for vacation

This Toronto-based traveller loves food, and was recently featured in the Gusto TV show, ‘Around The World In 8 Days’. Davindra shares his unique insight into what he packs for his trips. 

What’s one travel item you can’t live without? 

It’s not a travel item, but I can’t travel without my CPAP machine. Yeah I know it’s a kind of silly answer but I could literally die without it (Debbie Downer over here). But I think it shows that many people have certain conditions that prevent us from doing a lot of things that other people find it so easy to do. I won’t go camping or backpacking because I need my machine with me.

What items do you pack for a vacation in your carry-on?

For the plane, I always have water, a neck pillow, a book or magazine, and a laptop which I can use for working offline or entertainment. And headphones.

What kind of packer are you… organized, or last-minute? What’s your process like? 

I always tend to overpack because I’m a last-minute packer. Does the night before constitute a last-minute packer? I don’t really have a process, I try to figure out what we’ll be doing while we’re away and then I try to pack outfits for those days. We were in Trinidad recently and I packed a ton of shorts but a lot of the time we were there we were just visiting family and sitting in their houses, so my shorts weren’t “dirty” and I ended up wearing the same ones multiple times. I brought back some that I didn’t even touch.

If you’re a last-minute kind of traveller, check out our tips for finding last minute travel deals!

woman at the beach with headphones on listening to music on her phone and her hair blowing in the wind
Top Tips on What to Pack for Vacation

Jennifer Fast, @jennexplores

Travel and lifestyle blogger from Alberta is a last-minute packer

This photographer and writer runs Jenn Explores, a travel and lifestyle blog with a focus on visual storytelling. Jennifer is from the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, and her amazing nature photography from the area will make you want to pack your bags ASAP!

Check out how Jenn prepares for her trips and her tips on what to pack for vacation.

Do you have any space-saving hacks when packing?

I roll all of my clothing – I find it really helps to save space, as well as keeps the clothing organized and wrinkle-free! I also make sure to stuff items inside of any shoes that I’m packing. I also pack using packing cubes (EagleCreek brand are my favourite). I travel almost exclusively with carry-on only, so these tricks really help save a ton of space when I’m packing for my trips!

What do you bring in your carry-on during plane rides?

I always have noise-cancelling headphones, snacks and water, phone charger (I watch movies and read books on my phone during plane rides), one of my favourite comfy sweaters as planes are notoriously chilly, chapstick (can’t go anywhere without this) and a neck pillow.

What kind of packer are you? Organized, or last-minute? What’s your process like?

Super last-minute, for sure! Although I do have one small suitcase always packed for hot/beach destinations should a last-minute trip arise, and one other small suitcase packed with clothing for cooler destinations. I book a lot of trips last-minute and don’t always have time to pack so it’s nice always having a bag at least partially ready to go. I have lists on my phone of the basics I need for each kind of trip (road trip, hot destination, colder climate, etc) then I quickly run through all of the items I should need and pack all at once.

Further reading: 11 must-pack items for an international trip

Now that you’re armed with these tips on what to pack for vacation, are you ready to set off on your next adventure? We bet you are! Book with Skyscanner today for awesome deals.