8 Tips for Successful Last-Minute Packing

8 Tips for Successful Last-Minute Packing

Forgot you needed to pack for a trip? We got your back!
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When you're juggling with school, work, and social events, time just flies by. The next thing you know, you're going away for a few days! Here's what you should do when you're packing at the last minute:

1. Check the weather

It's important to check the weather first. This will show you what you need to pack and be prepared for.

2. Make a list of items to bring

Break down your packing list to the following categories: clothes, electronics, food, personal care, essentials. Then, bullet point the items you need. And then only when you put the item in your bag do you then delete the item on the list, because if you're forgetful like me, you will realize you forgot to pack socks for winter break and have to buy new ones from 3 towns over.

3. Don't overpack

People usually do this wherever they go. An easy solution is packing the essential clothing you need first, e.g. raincoat, comfy sleepwear, etc. Then, you can pick some of your favorite outfits and choose between them. You don't need 5 dresses for a 2-day trip. Think about what you will actually wear.

4. Overpack

"Wait, but you just said don't do it."

Yes, BUT there are some items you need extras of, such as socks and tops. You never know how many pairs of socks you need. They could get wet from the rain or you might need to wear multiple pairs if it's cold where you're going. As for tops, they could be covered in sweat or have food stains or you could spill something on it. Either way, you will not want to stay in those all day, which is why extras come in handy. That's not to say pack twenty shirts for a 5-day trip. Being realistic is important here.

5. Rolling is key

Personally, I have never tried this, but some people swear by it. They advise packers to role their clothes to save luggage space and reduce wrinkles. You can also attempt what this insanely skilled guy did.

6. Comfortable footwear

This will make or break your trip, especially if you're going to be walking around a lot. Also, you need something comfortable to stay on your feet while you're riding the bus or on the plane. You may think it's silly because you're not walking, but it's like choosing a blanket made out of fur or sandpaper. You're not going to be moving, but you still want something comfortable to hug your feet.

7. Carry-on is necessary

That may not be the case when you're flying (because some airline companies charge for carry-on's), but having a bag on you when you're in a vehicle is great, because you can pack the essential things you need to keep you happy, entertained, and comfortable.

Be aware that some buses and planes get really cold, so you'll want to bring a flannel or a sweatshirt with you. Also, some people like to have their electronics and chargers on them so the items don't get lost and are accessible. However, it's not ideal when you have a phone, an iPad, and a laptop to account for. It's best to just have a bag with you to keep all your items in one place.

8. Entertainment

That leads us to the next thing: if you're traveling for a long time, you need entertainment. Bring a book, a laptop with downloaded movies, or music and games. You can also talk to the person sitting next to you and make a new friend.

Bon voyage!

Cover Image Credit: Fodors

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If You Give A Girl A Little Brother

You've given her the world.
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I remember back to my childhood, standing at the top of the steps yelling down to my parents "Why did you decide to have another child?" I remember riding in the backseat yelling "Mom, was I not good enough for you?" as my brother threw snow at me .

I remember crying when my mom made us share our first cell phone. I remember playing in a pool at a waterpark, and my dad couldn't play with me because my brother couldn't swim and needed my dad to be with him. I played by myself, thinking "They must have not wanted a girl when they only pay attention to him."

But now, at almost 22, I realized that the best gift God has ever given me was my little brother.

Give a girl a little brother, and you give her a pain in her ass.

Oh, he'll be annoying. He'll get in the shower just because you said you were going to. He'll start talking every time you do. He'll pull stupid pranks, he'll make you listen to bogus music, he'll make you watch stupid tv shows, he'll smell up the bathroom (and probably smell himself.) and boy, I promise there will be day's you will resent him. But he's just training for living with your husband one day.

Give a girl a little brother, and you give her a role.

As a big sister, I had somebody copying all my moves. If I did something, so did he. If I didn't eat something, neither did he. If I didn't like somebody neither did he. He was like a little shadow that did everything I did, so I was always motivated to make good choices and make him proud of me.

Give a girl a little brother, and you give her a rough side.

I wouldn't have done half the things I did if it wasn't for him. Play basketball in the drive way, spend hours on our bikes, spend the summer days in the pool, or down at the park. I wouldn't have learned that it's okay to get in the dirt and have some fun. I wouldn't have played half the made up, imaginary games we played every day. I wouldn't have played with Hot Wheels, or Lincoln Logs, or Leggo's. I would have played with Barbies by myself all day long, and what's the fun in that?

Give a girl a little brother, and you give her the best friend she'll ever have.

In the end, when our parent's both pass away, I won't be alone, because I will have my little brother. When the world gets tough, and everyone turns away from me, he will always be there. No matter where he end's up in life, I know he will drop everything and come running when I'm in need.

For Christmas this year, I bought my brother his first tattoo. We got matching tattoo's on our sides. Our lives our different now, because we're grown up and live on opposite sides of the state. But no matter where we go in life, if we look up, we will be looking at the same sun and moon. We are made up of the same matter, 'made' by the same people, and love each other more than I think we'd like to admit.

Alex is my true other-half.

Give a girl a little brother, and you made her whole.

Cover Image Credit: Abby Engel

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What It's Like Being A West Coaster Attending College On The East Coast

From California to New Jersey, here are changes I've encountered and how I've handled them.

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Aside from better pizza and bagels, I've encountered a lot of changes since I've moved to New Jersey. I'm from the coastal side of Los Angeles where rain doesn't exist and you could wear either shorts and a tank top almost everyday of the year and be comfortable.

There's an abundance of coffee shops and little boutiques that occupy some of the coastal front. We don't go "down the shore," we don't have to pay to get on the beach, and we don't have debates on whether it's called pork roll or Taylor Ham. It was nice knowing that the weather ranges from 65 to 75 about eighty percent of the year. But, at the same time, I like having a variety of seasons.

Apparently leaves falling from trees is an annual thing. Southern California has a small number of deciduous trees, so I experienced a real fall last year. I picked a pumpkin from the vine instead of from a tub at the grocery store and got farm fresh donuts from an actual farm with fields and animals.

I was able to witness a first snow and how pretty the trees look when they're covered. I made a snowman in the back of campus and had a snowball fight with some friends.

I also experienced a terrible snowstorm where my umbrella turned inside out and smacked me in the face and then hit the person behind me. I then tried to go after my umbrella and slipped on some ice which the person also saw...so after that I died of embarrassment in my dorm for the rest of the weekend. There were a lot of ups and downs.

Everything in suburban New Jersey is spread out, so it's been a struggle not having access to a car. Back home in California, a CVS, Target, Office Depot, and even a Spencer's (if you're in that weird shopping mood,) was right around the corner. The other night I tried looking up the nearest Mexican restaurant and it was 15 miles away. The Uber was expensive so I canceled it and decided my basic white girl order of plain chicken tacos with a side of guac wasn't worth the trip.

I've tried remembering major cities in Jersey so that when I meet someone and they talk about where they are from I can say, "Oh, I know where that is!" I try asking about their town, how school was, or their family. The only question I've been asked when telling someone I'm from LA is, "do you know any celebrities?"

I don't really mind the question, I've actually come up with some pretty good fake stories on the spot. I just can't believe people think that the famous actors of Beverly Hills just randomly walk the streets. But just for the record, one time I met Wee-Man from "Jack-Ass" at his chronic taco shop. And yes, I got plain chicken tacos.

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