Recovering Pack-Aholic

Life has recently brought us a variety of overnight trips: work conference, Hopkins visits, Weddings – that has me a little proud of me improved packing ability. People, I am here to say that I am a recovering pack-aholic. Probably comes as no surprise – but I tend to over pack thinking of EVERYTHING I could possibly need. Dan even teases me about the double bags I take with me for a day out of the house: a purse and a bag of to dos (blog stuff, prayer stuff, errand stuff, a magazine, a book), because you just never know when you are going to have time to get something done! So packing for an actual trip, I can go a little overboard.

House Sitting for a Week Packing
March 2014

Certianly there is still LOTS of room for improvement. My work bag for conference was the heaviest of my traveling work crew and I still have to talk myself out of a lot of extras – will I REALLY write 30 thank you notes on one plane ride or should I just take a few? But a few tricks that I have come across led to a big improvement in the amount of stuff I grab, the length of time it takes me, and in reducing the anxiety for what I may have forgotten.

Beach Travel
September 2016

First: write out a plan. I love pens and paper…. I have notebooks for EVERYTHING…. and I believe in the power that comes from crossing thigs off. Sure – that is just MORE TIME that you could use actually packing, but without a plan I tend to say “I might need it” more often. So I write out each of the days I am going to be there, the exact outfit I want to wear for each day (shoes and jewelry included), and then write out my list of extras (workout clothes, pjs, hair products). Once everything is written out, I take a moment to really look at the list. What outfits could share shoes? Are these outfits all things that currently fit comfortably (I am famous for wanting to wear a “really cute” outfit, but it is a little tight – so I will pack it, but then feel I have to pack a back up in case I am not feeling it that day….. seriously? What sense does that make??)? Is it all clean? From there I am able to really narrow the list, pick the necessary piece of luggage and go for it!

Hopkins Traveling
August 2016

Second: have a toiletries bag ready to go. I read about this trick in Maria Menounos Book “The EveryGirl’s Guide to Life” (On a side note, I read this book years ago and then gave it to my sister and we BOTH still reference it and use tips that she provided for a bunch of different areas of life). It sounds silly to double buy things, and in being super honest, it could be a bit of a high bill at Ulta to accomplish this task, but I promise you…… WORTH IT! In this book Maria points out a lot of tricks that require a little money up front – but pay back in dividends such as: time saved, and not having to spend triple the price on toothpaste at a sundries shop. For my bag I go through my morning and evening routines pre-shower, in shower, post-shower, and then for my hair. Then 90% of these things are purchased and placed in a travel bag in my closet. Every once in awhile I will still have to remember to pull something from the bathroom (right now I am using a oil on my hair that I am not quite ready to invest in for my travel bag – but wanted to take it with me these last few trips. Plus I still have to pack up my brushes, blow dryer, straighter and make-up bag – but these things things feel minimal and are pretty easy to grab (not like the three different face lotions I need daily). So I add the things that I know aren’t in my tolitries bag onto my packing list – but I am still winning since its not the full list of 50 items.

Work Travel
October 2016

Third: travel notebook. Did you see above where I love paper to pen and have notebooks for everything? Well….. sometimes I try and take ALL those notebooks with me. Cause I might need them all!!! Well this year I am doing something differnet – I have a travel notebook. In this book I write notes that I will need from the collection of notebooks that want to make the trip AND I have one place to store all the notes while traveling. Once I am home, I can just trasfer the writing all over to the appropriate place. And bonus, often travel notes can be messy #turbulance #spilledcoffee #Dannylikestodoodle and this way when I transfer over my notes to the proper notebook they are clean.

Beach Travel
September 2016

Fourth: use your phone. Finally there ain’t anywhere I am going that I can’t take my phone. So I always think of the items I hope to accomplish, or need to access while on the road and consider how I can just use my phone. I have taken pictures of pages that I need to reference out of books, added things to my Evernote and had Danny text me details. It makes life super easy…. and can fulfill my need of wanting to bring a lot of things with me – because if it can be in the phone, I just add it no questions asked!

Work Travel
July 2016

So there you have it – my tips for travel as summer finds us all! I am still a bit of an over packer…. and no matter where we are headed it almost always requires a Target or CVS run on our way out of town….. BUT I have really improved. Most importantly, I have found a way to feel a lot calmer as I prepare for a trip, reduce the packing time, and be ready to go instead of racing against the clock as Dan hollers upstairs aren’t you ready yet?? Instead I grab my list, lay it all out, pop it into luggage and go! Huge bonus?? Dan has been so presently surprised by the fast pace at which I get ready these days – often our first stop is coffee or lunch versus silence for the first 20 minutes while we try and forget the mass exodus that just occurred and the sweat we experienced from the running around!!

Share below any tips you have for packing or if you find that any of these work for you.

Thank you so much for reading and remember to make it a great day!

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