This year (2016) I will average 207 days living out of a suitcase… that is over half the year!! I have not even totaled up my traveling, preacher-man husband’s days. Those numbers alone are mine… all mine. Of course, for the most part we all travel together, which means my travel days include my two little minions. I think I have packing down to a science, and would like to share some of my tips & tricks with you.
First things first, let’s set the scene…
I dash down the hall like a half-crazed lunatic, grabbing garments of clothing from the piles of unfolded laundry heaped upon the living room sofa, all while yelling “Shekinah, Glory… Where are my leggings? Kids, do you have your clothes set out on your beds? I am not doing everything for everyone! Deep breath, Brynn. Shalom, shalom… Prince of Peace, Help me!”
Okay. So now that you have a lovely image of me pillaging my own home, let me tell you exactly what happens. My husband travels the most, so I am in a constant state of doing his laundry. He packs himself, but I always unpack and wash. So, usually I am finishing up said laundry for him, myself and kiddos before I ever set gaze upon a virgin suitcase. See, I do insist the large luggage be put away in it’s storage between trips… though our carry-ons have made themselves somewhat of a permanent fixture in our bedroom decor.
Once laundry is clean, I sort outfits for the kids depending on the length of trip. I lay them out on their beds and count off the days, then I cut it in half. Yep. Straight down the middle and say, you will most likely never wear this while we are away. I skim down on the kid’s clothes until they can share 1 suitcase for the both of them, with room to spare.
- Always pack a swimsuit… just trust me.
- Ziplock gallon bags for socks & undies.
- Roll clothing, place in bags, label
- Use a sharpie to label bags… who needs to color code??
- 2 pairs of shoes… 1 for play & 1 for party
- Each child should have a small, rolling carry-on full of toys & snacks. Options are your friend when it comes to boring Airports & Hotel rooms.
Now on to the adult bags. Most above tips can be used for you as well, but then there are the miscellaneous items, like mouth guards or eye drops we may need. This is where I should own stock in ziplock, because LITERALLY EVERYTHING in my bag is inside another bag. Packing cubes are a great item to have too!
- Take half of what you plan to pack, believe me you won’t use it.
- Roll everything, its a space saver.
- 2-3 pairs of shoes… you’re not going to wear the electric blue heels, you didn’t last time either.
- Liquid toiletries like shampoo, face cream, sunscreen should be in a ziplock so you don’t stain your favorite shirt. You could even cut a small square of plastic to place over the open container and twist the cap back on to ensure and extra tight seal and no leaks.
- Bring those jeans… they are your favorite and despite them being heavy, smelly when wet or too casual… you know you’ll wear them.
- Layers, Layers, Layers. It is super easy to change up outfits with the same top but a different cardigan or blazer.
- 1 fancy dress… you may have a date night or just want to dress up, its okay to pack at least one nice dress and heels that are versatile.
Alright, so these are a few of my tips… I can’t emphasize ziplocks enough and bringing a few extra bags to sort dirty from clean or contain muddy shoes until they can be cleaned. I am currently mid- 3 month trip to the UK and have managed 1 suitcase per person with a small carry-on for Homeschool supplies. Yep. That’s another blog in itself… homeschooling on the road.
Since I haven’t covered everything in this post, leave a comment with your favorite travel tip or hack. Remember to keep your destination in mind and obviously that will impact the necessary items you bring.
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” ~Saint Augustine of Hippo
When given the choice, always choose the adventure…