Packing for Vacation with the Organized Mom

Organization expert Lorraine Brock gives our readers great tips on packing for your next vacation…

MP900446447[1].JPGMy family is about to go on a long overdue and much needed vacation. Nothing extraordinary but something fun for our family… a cruise. This cruise is one of the best vacation values I have ever found. With five in our family and four eating like the men they are, the endless food supply on cruises is worth its weight in gold.
Our trip is still a month away and I am already beginning to get things organized. I have contacted a neighbor to take care of our dog and pick up our mail, asked a family member to water plants, and have arranged for someone to take our responsibilities at church while we are away.
MP900305798[1].JPGI have begun buying and collecting items that we will need on our cruise that many families forget and thus pay extra for once on board. Some of these items are swim shoes, a waterproof container to hold ID’s, room cards, and even cash. Floatation devices are another thing we have spent top dollar for and then could not bring them home. We buy the cheap ones here at home, and then air them up when on the beach. When our day is over we leave them on the beach or at the pool for someone else to use since they would be a hassle to deflate and repack.
WP_000356 (1).jpgTravelling with five people and a lot of luggage, I get creative in making sure we can locate our bags quickly in a sea of mostly black cases. Instead of reading all the luggage tags, I use bold colored duct tape to wrap around the handle or make an “X” on the front or back. This allows our bags to stand out. See the photo showing the colors available when I was shopping at Michaels craft store.
Do you hate filling out those paper identification tags at the airport? If you have a business card you might want to consider placing your business card in the luggage tag holder. This is a simple and effortless way to include your contact information on your luggage.
My final suggestion is about spending money. We give each person in our family their own spending money for the trip a few minutes before we leave. The amount depends on the kind of year it has been….lean or mean. The money is placed in envelopes for each child and they can choose to spend the money on the trip or save it for something else. This prevents me from having to approve or monitor every purchase. On a prior trip one of my sons spent all his money on video game machines while another brought back money to spend on something at home. This is a way to teach our children to manage and budget their money for the things they want. They have to make wise decisions to make the money last the entire week of vacation.
One of my boys, our fashion king, has already decided how to spend his money: island jewelry, maybe a watch, a beach towel, and t-shirts. I am sure he will come back with nada in his pockets, but instead be filled with happy memories stored up until our next family vacation.
Lorraine Brock is a professional organizer, family coach, speaker, and president and founder of “Get Organized!” “Get Organized!” is a professional organizing company in the Dallas, Texas area. “Get Organized!” specializes in organizing and de-cluttering homes for moms as well as implementing systems in the home for better family management.
Description: Description: LB-EmailBW.jpegA popular media guest, Lorraine has appeared on Dallas’ two top morning television shows: Good Morning Texas and Good Day Fox , and has been featured on various radio outlets. She has been hallmarked in many local, regional, and national print and online magazines, such as the Dallas Morning News,,, and Daily Candy Kids. Additionally, Lorraine has shared the stage with stars from HGTV and DYI Network at the Great Big Texas Home Show at the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium. To obtain more information about Lorraine, visit