With finals approaching, you might find yourself prioritizing studying rather than completing the necessary steps to prepare for your travels home over winter break. The last thing you want is to end up frantically throwing random pieces of clothing into an open bag 20 minutes before your ride to the airport arrives. Check out these things to do before traveling home for the holidays and start preparing before the stress of finals hits!
Pack with intention—and in advance
Packing in advance can save you time, stress, and even make your trip go smoother in the long run. Something helpful to keep in mind is to pack at least a few days, if not a week, in advance. Here are a few things to do and know when packing for your trip.
What to pack
Pack mostly dirty laundry, investing in a vacuum-sealable bag can save you space. Put as much dirty laundry as you can into the bag, seal it, vacuum out the air, and simply place the dirty clothes in your suitcase. This way, you can do free laundry at home over break, have plenty of clothes to wear, and not dirty any clean clothes.
Lay out your travel day outfit
Pick out what you’ll wear on your travel day in advance so you don’t accidentally pack or wear the items prior. You’ll want to be comfy, especially if you’ve got a lengthy plane ride home. Wear comfortable pants and layers on top, such as a t-shirt with a removable cardigan, since planes can be a bit chilly—especially in the winter. Feet swelling is common on flights, so make sure to set a pair of compression socks aside to wear to the airport. Compression socks can help prevent swelling, blood clots, and more common ailments of air travelers.
Figure out which toiletries you need to bring, and which will be available at home. Then, make a list and pack these the morning of your flight, checking off each item from the list as you go to prevent forgetting something essential. Similarly, make a list of all the school-related items you’ll need, such as your laptop and its charger, your book for class next semester, etc.
Clean your room
Coming back to your dorms after a long winter break is never fun—but it’s especially disheartening if you have a mess to clean. Make sure to clean your room before departing so your return is more relaxing. Wash your sheets the night before you leave and put fresh ones on so you can come home to a clean and well-made bed to crawl into.
Empty your trash, wipe down your hard surfaces, and vacuum or sweep your floors the week you leave. Another great thing to set your next semester up for success is to purge your desk of ghosts from semesters past—meaning, throw away your old papers, notebooks, and other remnants from classes you’ll never have to think about again.
Bonus Tip: If your dorm has a fridge, clean it out. Avoid coming back to moldy cheese and rotten eggs!