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How to Pack for a Family Vacation
Professional Organizers in Canada

Being able to pack efficiently and successfully—taking only what you need with nothing left... more

How to Pack for a Family Vacation
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Being able to pack efficiently and successfully—taking only what you need with nothing left behind—is a very useful skill. Vacations are not daily life—so we don’t need to bring all our everyday life items with us.

Many airlines are now charging extra fees to have luggage checked, so for cost effective purposes, plan carefully. If you do, you may be able to fit a week’s worth of warm-weather vacation clothes and essentials into a carry-on suitcase.

When it comes to packing your bags, a light touch is what you need. Use your weather app before your trip to get a better sense of what to expect.


  • Lay out your clothes ahead of time; select carefully.
  • Stick with one or two colours that coordinate and are versatile.
  • Layer the outfits, so you can peel off and on according to the temperatures.
  • Choose clothing you can wear on more than one occasion.


  • Roll clothing items to save space and provide greater visibility if you are going to be living out of the suitcase for a while.
  • Use space-saving bags, packing cubes or transparent kitchen-storage bags. These are useful if you are going to be making several stops, because it keeps like items together and eliminates random packing.
  • Leave space in your suitcase if you think you are going to shop.
  • Pack shoes last, soles up. Fill them with small crushable items such as hosiery or socks.

Loss or Theft

  • Be prepared for lost luggage: carry a change of clothing and must-have medications, and possibly jewelry on the airplane with you.
  • Buy luggage that—if lost—is easy to describe or identify.
  • Consider a second copy of passports, important ID and credit cards in luggage or on your smart phone as back up.
  • Once you’ve selected the items to pack, take photos of them. To make an insurance claim, you may need to remember everything that was in the lost suitcase. The photos may be useful for the next trip as well in planning what you took.
The Professional Organizers in Canada is a national registered non-profit association that provides education, business development tools and a code of ethics for all types of organizers across Canada. Currently representing more than 500 Professional Organizers in more than 14 chapters nation-wide, POC’s mandate is to provide a supportive environment for members to learn, share ideas, network and exchange resources. For more information, please visit
Comments | Tagged under organizing, travel, vacation
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watermelon salsa
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Let’s talk about summer weather. Canadians work hard for their very few and very short dog days of the season. My hope is that you make the most of them with delicious hydrating, high-nutrient foods. Just for fun, take a look at what the Meteorological Service of Canada predicts the hottest day will be in your area. Then we can stock up on the high nutrient foods to keep you going.

Predicted Hottest Day of the year, by Canadian city
Provided by: Environment Canada’s Meteorological Service of Canada

Barrie Jul-24
Brandon Jul-29
Calgary Jul-31
Charlottetown Jul-28
Edmonton Jul-30
Fredericton Jul-26
Halifax Aug-01
Iqaluit Jul-26
Kamloops Jul-30
Kelowna Aug-01
London Jul-23
Montreal Jul-22
Ottawa Jul-22
Quebec City Jul-24
Regina Aug-02
Saskatoon Aug-01
St. John’s Jul-29
Sudbury Jul-23
Thunder Bay Jul-26
Timmins Jul-21
Toronto   Jul-23
Vancouver Aug-02
Victoria Jul-31
Whitehorse Jul-20
Winnipeg Jul-28
Yellowknife Jul-17

Summer’s quintessential quencher, watermelon, can not only hydrate but also balance your electrolytes with its mineral content. According to Medical News Today, one cup of watermelon contains 17% of Vitamin A, 21% of Vitamin C, 2% of iron and 1% of your calcium needs for the day. Watermelon also contains thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, choline, lycopene and betaine. Safe to say it’s summer’s superfood.

Delicious on it’s own, you can also incorporate waterrmelon into your summer snacks and meals. Here’s a few ideas:

  • Make watermelon water by blending one cup of cubed watermelon and adding to one litre of water.
  • Freeze cubes to suck on (great dog treats too!)
  • Use watermelon to make gazpacho in place of tomatoes. Check out a few recipes at
  • Make watermelon salsa (recipe below). It pairs well with corn chips (and a Riesling, just saying) but watermelon salsa is also a refreshing addition to grilled fish, chicken or pork.
  • Slip a slice of watermelon into a grilled cheese. Trust me, it’s delicious!

Any fruit or vegetable will help hydrate you to beat the heat, but there is something special about watermelon juice running down your forearms that brings you right back to summer camp days.

Watermelon Salsa

This is a high-nutrient, low-sodium salsa to serve in place of tomato salsas with bread or corn chips. It is also great as a topping for grilled chicken, fish or pork. And when you are done with that application, blend it and serve it as gazpacho.

Makes 4–6 servings
Takes: 10–12 minutes

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup diced seedless watermelon
  • 3/4 cup diced strawberries
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 Tbsp diced seeded jalapeño chili pepper
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice


Toss all ingredients together gently in a bowl. Chill in fridge at least one hour before serving.

Theresa is a Food Communications Specialist and Nutritionist. Her French Canadian influences are a part of her 'no bologna' style as everything is on the table...not just the dinner. She has the unique ability to distill complex health concepts into simple, savvy steps to improve any lifestyle choice. Theresa is a sought after media commentator and lifestyle pundit on many topics with a particular fascination with human relationships with food and culture. She has two books published in Canada and the US: Cook Once a Week, Eat Well Every Day and Ace Your Health, 52 Ways to Stack Your Deck. She can be found on Twitter as @theresaalbert and at
Comments | Tagged under summer, snacks, water, watermelon
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