It's now 24 hours until me and 14 of my closest friends are on a plane to the Dominican Republic. My excitement is truly unreal and I've been a stressed out mess all week. Between finishing up midterms, sorority initiation, tanning, packing, and running around to get everything I need, it's been a rough one. I need a vacation just from preparing for vacation!

Packing is such a process because you never know what you are going to need once you get there. I love having options for outfits and I overpack when I'm going somewhere for one night so for me, it was all about prioritizing.

I made check lists on check lists to try to remember everything I need. It's crazy and if you've ever gone on a trip like this, you understand my pain. It's also my first actual vacation without my parents so I don't have my mom breathing down my neck to make sure I remembered everything.

Here are some tips for packing lightly but efficiently for Spring Break:

1. Only the essentials: DO NOT OVERPACK. Do you really want to pay the extra money to go over the 50 pound limit? I don't. Plan accordingly and ahead of time. If you're going to a beach vacation for five days, don't bring 10 bathing suits. Think about it, you'll only be wearing a bathing suit and cover up during the day and dressy clothes at night. Don't bring too many pairs of shorts or too many dresses. Bring at most, three extra outfit options so you have a choice in what you'd like to wear.

2. Plan with your friends/roomies: If you're going away with your best friends, pitch in on stuff. Instead of everyone bringing a blow dryer or straightener, bring one or two per room. There's no need for everyone to bring shampoo and conditioner, buy a large one at Target and spilt the price. It'll free up some space in your suitcases and it'll be cheaper for everyone in the long run.

3. Roll your clothes: Instead of folding your clothes or laying them flat, roll them. Yes, they will be wrinkled but there will be so much room in your suitcase. You can stack the clothes on top of each other and pair them side by side, tuck them into the nooks and crannies of your suitcase. It'll take a little more time rather than just dumping everything into your suitcase at once but it'll save you space which is all what packing is about.

4. Pack in compartments: Utilize the compartments in your suitcase; pack your undergarments and bathing suits in those zippered parts to allow more room for shoes and actual clothing in the main part of your suitcase. As for toiletries and makeup, buy little pouch bags or makeup bags to keep everything together and save space. Also, if everything liquid is together, it'll be harder for them to spill out all over your clothes. #Nightmare

A few other traveling tips:

-Pack your carryon last so you don't forget anything!
-Keep your passport, drivers license, tickets, and money together in a separate little bag so everything is altogether.
-Don't forget to pack your chargers and wires for your electronic devices!
-Even if you're on a beach vacay, bring a pair of sneakers because there might be some outdoor excursions you want to go on that require sneakers.
-Wear your heaviest shoes on the plane to save space and weight in your suitcase.
-Don't bring expensive jewelry, you don't really need it and God forbid it gets lost.
-Pack your shoes on the bottom so you can stack clothes on top and they won't get dirty.
-Download new music and update your iPod before you get on the plane.
-Look up the weight and other travel restrictions before you get to the airport.

Whenever I have traveled in the past, my carryon is my favorite bag to pack! That's where all the good stuff is and the most important because it'll keep you occupied on the plane. Here are my Carry On Essentials:

-Ipad, iPod, and cell phone: they'll all keep you occupied and a lot of airlines now have WiFi on the planes
-A book or magazine: If you're not the e-book type, bring a book or magazine to keep you occupied and entertained.
-Motion Sickness Medicine: I get ridiculously motion sickness and nervous on planes (as you can imagine, (#TypeA) so my Dramamine medication is a must whenever I fly
-Ear plugs and gum: No one enjoys the feeling of having your ears pop as the plane takes off and lands. Be prepared!
-Sunglasses: You'll want/need/beg for them as soon as you get off the plane!
-Change of Clothes: Some hotels and flights don't line up correctly so you might not be able to check in as soon as you get to the hotel. To get every bit of time in on your first day, pack a bathing suit, cover up and pair of sandals to change into quickly so you can hit the beach ASAP.

Point of Interest: Put ALL liquids in your suitcase; if you have them in your carryon, it's sure to be a disaster at the airport. 

What are your travel and packing tips for any type of vacation? Tell me in the comments! 

Happy Spring Break everyone!!!

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