When it's vacation season, I start packing at least a week in advance.
I know that sounds crazy, but doing a little bit each day have some wonderful advantages.
*I know if I am out of something important and need to get more before I leave town. I can also run last minute errands, like getting gas and going to the bank, on the last day before vacation.
*The day before the trip can also be spent resting, packing only last minute items, and getting my hair done.
*I stay more organized, which results in a much more pleasant trip....and easier unpacking!
Here are some of the ways I stay organized when packing.
1. Assign a place for bags in progress.
In a far corner of my kitchen, I assign a spot for bags that are only partially packed. Right now, my kitchen holds my suitcase and tote bags for: swim gear, car entertainment for the kids, my car entertainment bag, my coffee set-up (for camping), and snacks.
2. Make a list based on luggage.
I use old lists and the internet to make lists of items to bring, organized by which bag they will be carried in.
3. Check off items as you pack them.
Please never tell yourself you'll check things off later. If you are anything like me, you won't, and you'll waste valuable time checking to see if you packed goggles!
4. Pack anything you can in advance.
Swimsuits that you won't use until vacation? Pack them.
Snacks bought specifically for the trip? Pack them.
Your extra backpack that you are only using for the trip? Pack it.
Dressy clothes that you won't wear between then and now? Pack them.
5. Get the family involved by labeling the bags.
I use a simple sticky note to label each bag. That way, my husband can find the snack bag when he is unloading the groceries. My kids can put their headphones in the entertainment bag for me.
If you tweak your vacation packing just a little, it can be much more successful and pleasant!
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