HOW TO: Pack for Spring Break

It’s finally here. The moment we’ve been waiting for since the spring semester began: Spring Break.

For a lot of us, Spring Break is the one week we relax during the spring semester. It’s our chance to take a breather from the busy college life and get away from the stress of campus and classes, whether we’re jetting off to warmer climates or simply going home to see our family.

Before the rest, though, comes the packing. As if the week before Spring Break wasn’t stressful enough with midterms and last minute projects due, we also have to pack and get organized for wherever we’re going. Packing is hard enough as it is when you’re just going home for a week, but when you add in a change in climate it becomes a chore as a bad as cleaning the bathroom.

There are just so many things to consider. If you’re flying, is there a weight limit for your baggage?

How do you avoid overpacking? But at the same time, isn’t under-packing almost worse?

What if you forget something vital? How do you know how much of something to bring?

To successfully pack for Spring Break, consider these five tips:

1)   Know the rules and regulations of whatever transportation you will be taking. Some airlines don’t allow certain items and nothing will put a damper on your Spring Break like a delay (or, gasp, strip search) at the airport. If you have a smart phone, check out the “Can I Bring…” app from TSA to make sure all of your items will be cleared.

2) Check the weather of wherever it is you’re going. Whether it’s Florida, Cancun, Alaska or even just your hometown, check out the weather forecast a few days before so you can pack appropriate attire. Be prepared for a few surprises. Adding a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt or an umbrella won’t overload you and can come in handy should the weather throw a curveball at you. We’re all from Michigan and know what it’s like to experience all four seasons in one day. Be prepared.

3) Map out a tentative schedule of your week. It may sound like something your mom would do, but knowing what you plan on doing can help you to pack exactly what you need without over or under-doing it. If you plan to spend three of your five days lounging on the beach, for example, go easy on the shorts and add an extra swimsuit cover-up. Or if you know for sure that you’ll be eating at least one meal in a fancy restaurant, pick out your outfit beforehand (shoes, jewelry, everything) and pack in all together in a zip-lock baggie.

4)  Take the time to organize your bag. Don’t just throw half the contents of your closet into a duffel bag and call it good. Folding everything neatly and organizing your suitcase gives you a chance to double check what you are packing and make sure you need everything. It also gives you one last chance to add in anything you have forgotten (and, if you have a tendency to over-pack, it allows more room for extra items).

5)  Don’t panic! If you forget something, you can always buy it there. Try not to stress too much about packing-it is a vacation, after all.