Monday, August 11, 2008

How to pack for a trip ~ read for lame attempt at humor!

When packing for a family of six, there are many things to consider in order to make it a success, and more importantly, leaving you wanting to do it all over again. Depending on the current phase of the moon, I am apt to make lots of pre-lists and lists of my lists. You may even go to the store and buy a new notebook like I did! Make sure it's trendy or you won't feel inspired to make endless lists.

Next, you'll need to stare endlessly into your fridge determining what stays and what goes. Make lists of friends you want to take your soon-to-be spoiled food to, prepare it and give them a nice treat. Done and done. You will be surprised how creative your meals will be the week prior to traveling as you are emptying out the fridge. Eat this! Don't eat that - we're taking it with us!

After that, you'll need to make sure your car is ready to handle that trip. Be sure to take care of it at the last minute possible because what good is it to plan for a trip if you can't anticipate a bit of procrastination?? We dedicated last Saturday to an oil change, a state inspection and getting the alignment done. We were pleasantly surprised to know that not only could they do an oil change at Firestone they were able to do the inspection too! Talk about three birds with two stones...or one...well, whatever. We got it done. Neil spent the rest of his day beating up his opponents on NBA '08 Live (this is basketball).

Now that the car stuff is officially crossed off one of the many lists, Monday rolls around and it's time to take the cat in for his visit. Why? Because the boarding place doesn't take animals who aren't up to date on their shots. How's this for convenience? Drew's pedi appt. (also on Monday) for a weight check is a two minute stroll from the veterinarian's office and the pet resort. So we take Templeton in for his visit, leave him behind - walk to the pedi's office for Drew's visit, come back and get the cat and go home. Bada bing bada bang!

Ok, onto the clothes. You must do massive amounts of laundry all day long, every day the week before you leave. Then you have the ridiculous task of figuring out what is packed, what's left behind. Then you have to have your day-of outfits, hotel jammies, and change of clothes all set aside. We pack a separate bag with our jammies and change of clothes along with our toiletries, diapers, wipes, food and such for our hotel stay. After one trip of staying at a late-night motel in the middle of nowhere and having to literally unpack everyone's bags just for jammies and one change of clothes - yup, that was enough to change my mind on the matter.

Two days before the trip, you *must* have a breakdown of some sort. It doesn't matter what triggers it or how long it lasts, but you *must* realize that you can't do it all alone and you must employ the help of your spouse who no doubt by this point is curious to know why there are chunks of hair all over the place, lol. You might be lucky enough to get your hunny to make you a meal - you *might* be lucky. Or they may just offer to take the kids to the pool and let's be honest, that's plenty of help right there!

Ok, it's the day before the trip and you are focused and ready to tackle this project. The more you check off your lists, the more seems to creep into your mind that you hadn't anticipated. It's not enough that we be packed, but I'm pretty sure we're all going to do a lot of household 'nuffins when we return. Sooo, add tidy up the house to the list. Nothing fancy. Just enough that we can plop in the house.

  1. Templeton taken to pet resort (litter box cleaned out and cat water dispenser turned off).
  2. Car is officially cleaned out and gassed up.
  3. Last Costco trip for straggler items including pre-made dinner.
  4. Laundry marathon continues.
  5. Food is sorted and put into bins and easy to grab bags.
  6. Last load of laundry is put into washer - a small choir sings ALLELUIA in the background!
  7. Pack camera (note to self: do not NOT shoot in RAW while gone or plan to spend money on several new memory cards!), flash and batteries.
  8. Use space bags to pack clothes.
  9. Efficiently load car. Quick need items are in an easy-to-get-to place. Kids baskets filled with their toys strategically placed.
  10. Leave at 6 a.m. with coffee cup filled to the brim.


dana said...

Have fun and safe travels!!

Samantha said...

I am such a list maker. Whenever we go on a trip, the lists start at the latest, 3 weeks in advance. By the time I am done, the list is miles long.

Hope you have a great time!

emily said...

oh my lordy, martina.... Did I say all my life I wanted four kids?

That may have been a mistake.

Just kidding... this is REALLY impressive/scary/insightful/insane/great to see!!

(and I love that your rat is named Templeton. Awesome!)