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Posted: June 12, 2011 12:00 a.m.

Packing for vacation

I bet you're about to hit the beach for your annual summer vacation! Well, I am too, and I know the secret to a successful trip.

Those fancy travel brochures will tell you that a great beach vacation depends on the destination you visit, the quality of the food, the comfort of your room and the fun activities you get to do. Those are all nice, but the real secret to a happy vacation is much simpler. It's all about how you pack for the trip. If you don't pack well, you'll be miserable even if you're sitting on the prettiest beach in the Caribbean. Bad packing equals a bad vacation.

First, you'll need a big suitcase - preferably one of those plastic ones that opens up like a clam. Get a baby blue one, if you can. Nothing says, "I'm going on a beach vacation" like a baby blue plastic suitcase. Next, open it and examine all of those little compartments, elastic pockets and zippered pouches. Each is designed to hold a specific item you'll need on your trip. Put the wrong thing in the wrong place, and you might as well skip the beach and go to Akron and watch them make tires. There's always a pocket for shoes. But, who needs shoes at the beach? Fill that pocket up with a bunch of twenty dollar bills so you'll have enough money for gasoline or a plane ticket. You'll also find a little compartment for cosmetics and toothpaste, but the hotel will have plenty of free toothpaste, so fill that compartment up with fives and tens.

After all, you'll have to pay for food, and that's not cheap during vacation season.

The main compartment of the suitcase should be filled with folding money too. Have you priced hotels, lately? Brother, they're expensive! And you should probably put some dollars in those little zippered compartments.

You'll need money for toll roads, and post cards, and tips. Just pack the whole suitcase full of money. You're going on vacation! And if you're worried about clothes and stuff like that, just shove a bathing suit, a toothbrush and a cheap detective novel in a plastic grocery bag, and you'll be fine.

And when you're ready to come home from the beach, just open up your fancy, empty baby blue suitcase and pack your wet bathing suit and some of that free hotel toothpaste. It's always easier to pack for the return trip.

For some reason.

David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Conyers. He can be reached a tdavmccoy@bellsouth.net.

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