To begin with learn the "One Bag" Plan. A couple of reasons why - First is cost - the airlines now charge $20 - $50 per checked bag. Make it a carry-on and you'll also save time - while others are wasting their time at the baggage carrousel you'll already be on your way to your resort. (Note: for a carry on use only soft-sided duffel bags or shoulder bags. Even if your upright roller is within carry-on dimensions, many airlines are now requiring them to be checked - increasing your cost and decreasing your convenience.)
Whether or not your one bag is carry on or checked, follow these suggestions for easy and smart packing.
- Make a list then check it twice. Write down everything you think you need to take, then circle "absolute musts" (underwear) and leave the "might" needs at home. Remember you can buy just about everything, if you end up needing it, and you probably won't.
- Pack travel-sized toiletries. Smaller bottles take up less space, and only pack the basics. You can find these at sundry stores, on-line as free samples, and as hotel freebies (gather them as you travel). Or consider buying these at your destination.
- Make all clothes count. Be creative and mix-and-match each piece to create at least 3 different outfits. Make it easy by choosing one color scheme. If you must take bulky things such as a heavy coat or hiking boots, wear them on the plane.
- Start stuffing. Many items can be stuffed inside each other. For example don't waste the space inside shoes, or all those pockets in slacks and jackets.
- Do "double-duty." Look for things that can double their use, such as sun-screen with moisturizer, men's swim trunks for gym shorts, a simple fleece jacket that can be combined with layers of other clothing.
- Plan to do laundry. There is almost always a laundry facility at your timeshare rental, so, packing light is easy!