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Merry Christmas from everyone here at Great Escape Publishing!

Free gifts are always nice this time of year, so here’s a newly updated one from our archives: Train to be a Packing Ninja.

I’ve spent the last four years over-packing because I’m usually traveling with the kids and I’m afraid I won’t have what I need (especially with a food-allergic kid, I’m afraid I won’t have enough food).

But come January, I’m resolving to get back into the habit of packing less.  After all, my 2-year old has more fun pouring Tic Tacs out and putting them back into their container than he does playing with real toys, and Charlie has outgrown her allergies enough that I feel pretty confident I can find food in an emergency (even if it is only a banana – which she used to be allergic to but no more).

And so, I give you my Packing Resolutions for 2014 and beyond:

Never will I:

  • Pack more than three outfits
  • Pack extra shoes (I sometimes do this for last-minute itinerary changes, but no more)
  • Bring my own shampoo when I really only care about my conditioner
  • Forget a scarf
  • Forget an iPad
  • Forget Tic Tacs

I’m also resolving to:

  • Buy extra chargers for everything and never unpack them
  • Buy one of those winter jackets that stuffs into its own pocket for easier packing when leaving someplace really cold to go someplace really warm
  • Bring a pillow – I don’t sleep well on planes

And I’ll always bring:

  • Toothpaste – for teeth cleaning, jewelry cleaning and an overnight pimple fix.
  • A dryer sheet for static removal, stinky hotel closets, and to put in front of the vent if my room smells funny
  • Bread clips for hanging the kids laundry I wash in the sink when they spill something
  • Garbage bag twist ties to fix everything from  loose buttons to sunglasses and doubles as a hair tie
  • And granola bars in case the in-flight meal service is either late or simply not available.

If you have any other packing tips, please comment below.

And again, get your free Christmas gift — a guide on packing everything into one carry-on bag– here!

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