Thursday, August 6, 2015

Pack Rat

Flying to Europe over Christmas. Yes, that is a horse.

I love to travel. It is one of my favorite things. I do not care for packing, mainly because I hate getting destination and realizing that I forgot something essential. One time in high school, I was going away to a volleyball tournament. We were going to be gone 5 days. When I opened my toiletry bag, I realized that I had not packed a toothbrush. I panicked.  Sadly, I had to use the finger-toothpaste method because there were no stores near by. Needless to say, I chewed A LOT gum that week. 

Since then I have become a very thorough packer. There are a few things that I do to try and reduce the number of items I forget. First, I make a very detailed list. I list out pretty much everything that I will need. Sometimes I will simply write down vague categories like "toiletries" or "shorts" but I a lot of the time I like to list the items I am envisioning so I do not forget them. For example, if I am thinking of a specific outfit that I want to pack, I will list out the different articles of clothing so I do not forget a piece of it. I also like to be specific about the quantity of each item. There is hardly anything worse than running out of socks, especially if you are traveling during the winter.

While I am in the list-making stage, I like to plan out my outfits. I am not religious about this but I do like to have several outfits already planned in my mind before a trip. This helps eliminate some work while I am traveling because I will already know what I to want where. This also helps me pack smart. I try to take items that can be worn together. I try to mix and match as many articles of clothing as possible. This helps with space and overall efficiency. It also adds for a little variety. I can switch things up when outfit I planned falls flat since most of the pieces go together. 

Once my list is made, I begin to pack. I like to start a few days before my trip. I do not enjoy packing last minute. Usually, I have everything ready and waiting the night before I leave. I pack my last minute items, as I finish using them. For example, after I brush my teeth, I put my toothbrush in my bag. Same goes for my hair brush and make-up. This helps me to not overlook the smaller things in the hurry to get out the door on time. 

Lastly, I have to remind myself to chill out. I am probably going to forget something. It will not be the end of the world. Sometimes you just have to make the most out of an unfortunate situation. What is that quote about the best laid plans?

I am currently getting ready for a road trip to Disney World. I am putting my skills to the test because I am not only packing for myself but also my 2 month old son. Did you know that babies require a whole lot of stuff? His list is longer than mine by far. This is his second road trip We learned a lot after the first one and I am hoping to refine some techniques on this one.  I will put together another post specifically about traveling with a baby after we get back.

Any thoughts on packing? I am the only neurotic one out there?

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