Last month, I wrote a blog detailing the ways I was trying to take the stress out of packing for a family vacation. And I promised to write a follow-up the blog, letting you know whether it worked and what, if anything, didn’t.
You can catch up on the last blog about taking the stress out of packing when traveling with kids, here.
Making a List (Including Things to Buy)
Making a list is one of the best tools I have to help make the packing process smoother and more straightforward. And having a master list means I don’t have to start from scratch each time.
I start each about two weeks before I pack, so I have time to think about what we’re going to need (or won’t need) and add or subtract them from the list. When it comes time to pack, I use the check-box function and check everything off as I go. And when we’re repacking when it’s time to go home, I can also make sure we have everything.
Making a list of things I need to buy for the trip is also helpful. For this trip, I needed to buy a few books, some odds and ends, snacks, and download several emergency shows for the Little to watch on the road when she was at her limits.
I try to pack early, but this time I packed super early. I started packing about a week out. I put things into piles, or after I’d used them, I would stick them on the counter. I even packed the basics, including clothes and shoes, about five days before I packed, which really helped when it came time to pack. I had already finished half of it, and since I had already put clothes and shoes in the suitcases, all I had to do was add the piles to the bags (if that makes sense).
Do you ever go on vacation and realized you forgot something as you ran out the door? It happened one too many times, and there are certain things we desperately need to help our little one sleep. But we can’t pack them because, well, she needs them to sleep.
This time, I decided to use sticky notes, write down what we needed in that room, and post it on the door/mirror/suitcase. It worked so well! It took a lot of the stress and anxiety out of leaving the next morning because I knew exactly what we needed and wasn’t worried about forgetting anything.
Breathing and Keeping Things in Perspective
Breathing was a huge help—deep, belly breaths. But keeping things in perspective also helped. Instead of worrying I would forget something, I realized that we weren’t going to a deserted island and that we could get anything we really needed. It also helped me pack a lot less than I usually do, trying to cover every possibility.
Our vacation actually turned out to be pretty stressful, unfortunately. But between the tips above, breathing, and keeping things in perspective, at least packing took a lot less stress than usual.
I even found that I had time to fully relax and go to bed on time that night, which hasn’t happened before! I was so surprised that I double-checked my list to make sure I hadn’t missed anything!
‘Till next time!