Take Me Away

THE pack plan

Summer’s almost here and hopefully that means at least one vacation for you. I love vacations. I love dreaming of them, planning for them, and doing the countdown with the kids  …. And then its time to get packing.

I like to create lists to keep organized and make sure nothing is forgotten. A list for me, for each of the kids and a common one (for things like sunblock).  Sometimes this list making is just a form of procrastination, but it does help me feel organized and not overwhelmed when packing for three out of four of us!

My strategy for making these lists is working from top down, i.e. head to feet.

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I like to create lists to keep organized and make sure nothing is forgotten. A list for me, for each of the kids and a common one (for things like sunblock).  Sometimes this list making is just a form of procrastination, but it does help me feel organized and not overwhelmed when packing for three out of four of us!

My strategy for making these lists is working from top down, i.e. head to feet.

 
  • Hat
  • Brushes and other tools
  • Hair products
  • Skincare including face SPF
  • Contacts and glasses, sunglasses
  • Makeup, don’t forget SPF tinted moisturizer and SPF lip product
  • Tooth brush, toothpaste, floss
  • Vitamins or medication
  • Razor
  • Deodorant
  • Small tube of hand lotion
  • Nail file, some touch up polish for fingers or toes? Go neutral on fingers, requires fewer touch ups.

Work your way down, and then I group my outfits by time of day … sleep, swim, day, evening. Then any extra accessories for outfits ….

 
  • A piece for layering, like a scarf or cardigan.  must for evenings and cooler weather… Pick a neutral color and it can be worn on the plane or chilly car as part of your travel outfit as well as your evening outfit.
  • Bags. A beach tote and a small bag that can double as an evening clutch. Hopefully the beach tote can do double duty as a personal carry-on for the plane.
  • Shoes. I try to limit it to three (I said try). A beach/pool sandal, evening sandal, and then a slip on I can wear on during travel or if I’m doing a little more walking.
  • Jewelry. Other than your rings and a watch (find a water proof one if you can)  you will wear all day, don’t bring anything expensive. No one will know if those diamond studs in your ears are the real thing or the great faux studs you found at Nordstrom’s. A necklace to wear all the time and a couple of bangles for evening.

The last items I put on my list are related to “entertainment”:

 
  • My kindle
  • My iPad
  • Camera
  • Some headphones or ear plugs
  • A portable charger
  • IDs and a credit card, some cash
  • Maybe a magazine. These get heavy … buy one at the airport then give it to someone else to enjoy after the flight.

I do the same for the kids. Remember swim goggles but try to get the sand and pool toys at your destination. Then gift them to a family who’s just arrived when you are saying your goodbyes.

Finally, the common list includes:

 
  • Sun protection, body and face
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Antibacterial gel for hands
  • Aquaphor
  • Bandaids and Neosporin
  • Children’s ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • Ear plugs to ease pain from the plane ride
  • All passports

I usually use our guest bedroom as a staging area and put everything on the bed in piles. I group outfits together, swimwear, pjs, underwear, toiletries, etc and put each category into packing cubes (get different colors and assign a color to each family member).  Packing cubes are great because nothing slides around in the suitcase, and you can transfer them right into the drawers at your destination.  As I put items into their cubes, I also delete them from my list. Only the last items we need to grab are left on the list.

I always try to put the heaviest things, like sun protection and shoes, into the smallest suitcase. I also don’t assign one suitcase to one person. I break it up just in case one suitcase goes missing.  For this reason, I also put in each person’s carry-on: swimsuit, two changes of underwear, pj, t-shirt, shorts and their extra pair of shoes. Their hat and sunglasses also go in their carry-on. Put these extras in a packing cube as well to keep their carry-on neat and not have things falling out if they need to get into it during travel.  This helps ease the pain of a lost or delayed bag and helps if the bags don’t make it to the room and little ones can’t wait to head to the pool.

Ok, you’re packed. Now where are you going? Safe travels ☀️🌴🍹