Thursday, June 12, 2008

Penny-pinching packing

I procrastinate when it comes to packing. Seems like there's always a $20 Walmart trip the night before we leave.

This year, I'm setting out our suitcases weeks ahead.


Vicky said...

What a good idea! I am constantly forgetting something, and making a list of what to take seems too tedious. Now if I could only keep the little one from unpacking as I go.... :o)

Anonymous said...

I hate those last minute expensive trips to the store before a trip! We're trying to avoid that this year with our trip. And we're all in our rags this week since I won't let anyone wear their nice clothes that are already nicely packed :)

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

Meredith I always did this.
Being a mother with 4 children and sometimes several trips a year.
Of course this was in the past.
But I would lay a suitcase out for every child in their room 2 weeks before. Put some outfits together.
No way I could have traveled without doing it this way. Seemed like everyday I would think of something and place it in their bag.
Best Wishes for your upcoming trip.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if it's every airline, but at least some of them are now charging extra for every checked bag. No charge for carry-on yet. And are they even serving snacks/beverages anymore? Good for you, preparing weeks ahead. Did you find a dress yet?
Mrs. L.

Anonymous said...

Great idea! The night before you travel is always so hectic, and with extra baggage fees now, it's pays to plan ahead!!! -Melissa

Alissa said...

Oh, this is a GREAT idea!! We're going on a trip next month, and I'm never quite sure how I'm going to fit in packing on top of everything else I have to do. This way it's like you're not even doing it! I love it. :)

TracyMichele said...

Traveling to Maine and Florida a few times a year, I have become VERY fond of this approach. :) I usually have the suitcases out 2 weeks before.

I also keep a notebook inside the open suitcase so when I think of something I need to pack that is currently in use or something to buy (I always have 2 running lists), I know exactly where to find the list.

When you have to prepare a family for a trip, your mind is always running in a million directions. This helps take some of the pressure off. I rarely arrive and realize I forgot something.

Good Post!

Anonymous said...

We just made our travel plans yesterday. We are going to Vegas for the first time in years. I am looking forward to it. I will be doing this same thing. I always pack days in advance. (just for my husband and myself) We made arrangements yesterday to get the girls into a kennel. Expensive when you have 5. But hey, that is part of being a pet parent.
I hope that you have a wonderful trip. Hope that you get just the perfect dress. Roxie

gclyne said...

I'm a big fan of lists (maybe it's my personality type). I put out a notebook on the kitchen counter or dining table a few days before my trip. As I think of them, write down all the random tasks I need to do (like reset the AC/heat or put lights on timers) and things I need to pack.

I recently made what feels like my 20 billionth trip to MI in the past two years. My DH said, "You've done this trip so many times, do you really need a list?" (Let's just say lists don't jive with this personality type). So I didn't make the list, and sure enough, things were forgotten and left undone!! That'll teach him to question my precious lists!!!

I also keep a pre-packed toiletries bag for everyone in the family, so there's no "oops, I forgot to pack deodorant" moments.

Grace in Nashville
(making my last trip to MI in 10 days and not coming back)

Mamame said...

One trick with packing for kids that I found VERY handy is to pack an entire outfit in a gallon sized baggie. My kids are all potty trained so I do top, bottoms, underwear and socks in one baggie, take out the air and seal it. This way, they can take one baggie out and know that they have the entire outfit for that day. I do pack an extra few outfits and a few extra tops (and shorts if it's close to the potty training and we risk accidents), and another baggie with some extra undies and socks.

I do keep a list in the kitchen taped to the cabinet for those things that must be packed at the last minute (cell phone, pillows, special lovies, etc.) but I make sure we have extras of most everything so they can all be packed ahead of time.

Anonymous said...

I keep our wardrobes to a bare minimum so we really don't have enough clothes to put away clothes in advance. The thing I usually do is pack for the trip on the laundry day before the trip. So the clothes going with us are not returned to their rooms. That way they don't creatively use up the clothes I intended for them to wear before the trip.

Even still, I often do laundry again the day before or on the day we leave and pop clothes into the suitcases straight from the dryer.

The benefit to having few items in our closets is: a. we always have enough closet space. b. low clothing budget. c. I can do all our laundry, including all linens, in about 6 hours of concentrated effort. The only extra would be cleaning curtains and the sofa slip covers.

Oh, and I almost always do laundry while on vacation. As the only vacation we've ever taken was camping and with a bed wetting son we had to launder those sheets asap!

Anonymous said...

I did that before we went to England. I knew early on what things I didn't have and wanted and I had everything clean and separated. It was definitely worth the effort to do it earlier.

Anne Marie@Married to the Empire said...

I hate those last-minute trips to the store the night before. I try to be so organized ahead of time, but something always comes up that I forgot we'd need.

This has reminded me that I should start thinking ahead to youth camp next month.

The suitcase thing wouldn't work at our house. I have a cat who gets pretty upset when we pack suitcases. I once had the embarrassing experience of having to tell a bride's mother on the phone that I was going to be late to her daughter's bridal luncheon because my cat had urinated in my suitcase and ruined everything in it.

Debra said...

I have always packed this way. It works for me. The few times I think that I can do it like 'normal' people I end up regretting it and forgetting lots of things. Have a great trip!

Kelly said...

What a great idea!

Becky said...

I have master packing lists for myself and the girls. I print them up in advance, cross off any items we won't need for that particular trip, pencil in extra items as I think of them, and check items off as they go into the suitcase. I highlight any purchases I need to make well in advance.
I also know I will travel once a year to visit my mom, so I've been collecting free samples of shampoo, toothpaste, deoderant and other travel-sized necessities since early Spring. Found the freebies through Money Saving Mom and Freebies 4 Mom blogs. Saving lots of $$$ this year!

Amiyrah said...

That's one of my favorite little tricks when it comes to packing! DH's family is in Ohio and we travel there quite a bit(even with the rise in gas....they pay for it!). When my sonny was first born, I was always forgetting something for him or for us and we would end up at the local walmart there getting items that we had plenty of back home. What a waste! Now, I pack at least 2 weeks before.

Anonymous said...

Be careful -- this is what I do, too, and it's not a successful strategy for disorganized me. I put underwear into the suitcase on 3 occasions, but forget bras, or running socks, or only put in 1 pair of shorts. It's always a surprise when I arrive at my destination to see what's in the suitcase and what's not. Keep a list with each suitcase and write/check off as you add an item.

Anonymous said...

I always make lists before a trip: one for toilet articles (travel sizes when available and small plastic jars to hold products for which I don't have samples or travel sizes; also be sure to include pain reliever, antacids, etc) and basics like underwear, swimwear, sleepwear and then I write down what I will wear every day I will be gone. I then tweak that to try to eliminate what I can. I plan outfits so that I will only have to take the minimum pairs of shoes and accessories. I have found one can get a lot of mileage out of a good quality pair of black pants that don't bag or wrinkle - easy to dress up or down. Of course, when going to a special event such as a wedding, it is impossible to pare those down and all shoes, etc. that won't be worn for anything else have to take up lots of packing space.

Have a great trip and take lots of pictures for us! P

the momma said...

speaking of packing ~ what did you settle on to wear for the wedding??