Are you planning any last-minute seasonal getaways this year? Sometimes making the travel reservations seems downright simple next to the dreaded packing experience (double or triple that if you have children coming along). And who can remember all the airport regulations these days? How many ounces of liquid are allowed? At what age do you have to start taking off your shoes to get through security?

Whether packing for a weekend away, a week in the mountains or a 10-day Caribbean cruise, SEED has some tips and tricks that will make the process go smoother. Heck, you might even find it fun (if you like the inherent organization associated with packing, that is).

1. Make a list (and check it twice). It may seem obvious, but the best way to avoid the “I forgot to pack clean socks” scenario is to start with a list. Think big picture (passport if necessary) down to the smallest details (floss) to keep it together on the other end.

2. Fill every inch of space. With airlines charging for extra baggage these days, it’s time to get creative with your suitcase space. Roll your socks, underwear, tank tops and other small items and stuff them into your shoes or empty corners of your bag.

3. Keep it fresh. Especially if you’re thinking about stuffing clothes into your shoes, pack some fancy sachets or scented drawer liners to keep your clothes fresh upon arrival.

4. No books. Sorry bibliophiles, but keep the books at home. Resorts and hotels often have “libraries” that you can borrow from during your stay, or consider downloading a few of your favorite reads to an iPad or Kindle beforehand.

5. Decorate your luggage. You don’t have to go crazy here with ribbons and stickers and pompoms to distinguish your black suitcase from that guy’s black suitcase—a simple luggage tag will do the trick. Pick one color, especially if you’re traveling with a family, and tell everyone in the group to keep their eyes peeled for the green tags (or whatever color you choose) while waiting around at baggage claim.

6. Pack two days in advance. How many times have you arrived at your vacation destination only to realize you have over—or under—packed? Avoid this scenario by actually packing two days before you leave. That way when you wake up in the middle of the night and realize you won’t actually need your flannel pajamas on a 10-day cruise, it’s not too late to lighten your load.

7. Think about what you will want to wear when you get there. Another tip that seems obvious, but don’t pack that Vogue-esque caftan that you wore on your honeymoon if you’re going to be waking up early each morning with the kids (versus spending your afternoons lounging on the veranda). Visualize moving about your vacation day as you’re packing, and ask yourself if you will honestly find time to put on that pair of six-inch heels.

8. Ignore everyone else’s rules…even ours! At the end of the day, you know yourself better than anyone else does. If you want to bring Grant’s biography in hardback or six pairs of heels, by all means, enjoy your vacation your way.

If you get home from vacation and you’re still in a packing mood, perhaps it’s time to look into moving in the New Year. Check out the property listings at SEED, where you’ll find something for everyone in the Austin area!