1) Don’t peak too soon. If I get excited and start packing a week before my trip, I soon lose my train of thought and forget to pack essential items. Stick a note on your front door with items you will use up until last minute (e.g. toiletries) but need to pack. It is also helpful to print off a packing checklist to help you on your way.
2) Don’t leave yourself open to the enemy. If you leave half empty suitcases around ‘mid pack’, you will likely find a child rifling through your medicine kit or adding unwanted household items.
3) Be prepared. Of course you are going to go shopping at your destination (you should see me in Target when I visit the US). Pack an empty bag that can fold up small to carry your foreign bounty on the return leg.
4) Check the weather. On a recent London trip if I’d known there would be blizzard conditions in April, I would have packed my snow shoes!
5) Check your airline’s luggage allowance – even an infant on a lap gets some. Then be super cautious and weigh your packed luggage. Use your own bathroom scales or buy a nifty handheld scale to take with you like this one from Travelon.