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As relaxing as a Myrtle Beach vacation can be, packing for the trip can be a real stress maker. You usually wind up stand there in front of your suitcase staring at your things and wondering "What do I need?" before frustration kicks in and just start stuffing items in until you can barely get it zipped up.
While that strategy may work for some, most folks find it best to put a lot more thought and planning into the process, especially if you are packing for the whole family. Four or five suitcases can really take up some space, so follow these four simple rules to pack light, pack tight, pack right and pack for night:
Pack light: You have been guilty of over packing before but can't seem to break the habit. Half of the clothes you take with you never leave the suitcase and end up being extra weight to tote around. In your attempt to be prepared for every possible scenario, you bring more outfits and shoes than you can possible use. Get serious and make some tough decisions about what you want and want you need. Do you really have to wear a different swimsuit every day, with a cover to match, or can you recycle a few? By the way, Ocean Reef Resort has on-site laundry facilities so you can cut your luggage in half by doing a load or two mid-week. The key is to bring only what you know you will need and leave the rest at home.
Pack tight: If you have ever served in the military, you know the importance of this rule. Hauling around everything you own on your back will teach you to be efficient and maximize your space. T-shirts, shorts, beach towels, socks and underwear can be rolled up like a burrito to make room for more clothes that need to be folded. Unroll the clothes when you arrive, shake them out and fold them up with no wrinkles. Dress shirts, blouses and skirts can be folded to lay flat, but be sure to transfer them to a hanger when you unpack. This method will allow you to squeeze more stuff into a smaller space, or bring a smaller suitcase.
Pack right: Remember "Goldilocks and the Three Bears"? You don't pack too much or too little, but just right. That may mean making some compromises based on the amount of space each item occupies. For instance, the kids can bring more small toys by giving up a larger one; a whole stack of Frisbees use less room than a Tonka truck, and a flat boogie board is easier to pack than an odd-shaped bicycle. Make smart choices about the stuff you bring and you can bring more of it. The same applies to adults. You can't ask the little ones to bring smaller toys if you don't do the same. A small iPod is much better than a bulky boom box.
Pack for night: Everyone remembers to bring daytime wear and gear to Myrtle Beach. Swimsuits, flip-flops and tank tops are a no-brainer. But few vacationers, especially those visiting in the spring and fall, remember that it gets dark about 12 hours a day, and the temperatures can be significantly cooler. In April and even early May, it can get a bit chilly in the evenings. Factor in the ocean breeze and mild sunburn and you can get downright cold. Don't go overboard with an entire winter wardrobe, but be sure to throw in a windbreaker or light jacket for those nights out on the town or simply sitting on the oceanfront balcony at night.