a lot of people ask me how i’ve packed for international trips in the past. so i thought i’d share a tidbit of what goes on in my brain to prepare for a trip! [disclaimer – things have gotten very color-coded/listed since having a baby, mostly because i can’t afford to forget anything for him!]
i start by editing my packing list – i made the original when i was about 16 [in retrospect it probably makes a whole lot of sense that i made a power point presentation at age 9 called “Why I Deserve A Later Bedtime” … oldest child, much?]
now, brace yourself – it’s a bit crazy looking. but there’s a method to the madness.
there are sections for clothing, handy things [like baby-friendly hand sanitizer & travel toilet paper – trust me, you need it in Ukraine], travel & electronics, toiletries, supplies & comforts [peanut butter – am i right or am i right?].
in the item column i put the item – duh. if it’s highlighted a different color, it means i need it in my carry-on bag [see the last note below].
then the amount – i really try to estimate a reasonable number & stick to this because if i don’t, i’ll just jam a bunch of stuff in the bag & end up with an overweight bag, which equals $$$.
next is the “Have?” column – i check that off when i’ve either laid eyes on the particular items or bought them. if i’m really ahead of the game, i’ll color that square yellow to remind myself that i need to find said item or buy it!
the “Packed?” column feels great to check off! it means i actually, physically put it in the bag. done!
the last column is for any Notes – like “travel size” to remind myself that i can buy big-sized shampoo in Ukraine, or the number of that item i would need in my carry-on. for example, i don’t need all my t-shirts with me on the plane, just 1 in case my check baggage is lost!
i also have separate sheets on the spreadsheet for my boys – one for Chambers, one for Yura.
the last sheet is a checklist for the weeks & days before departure, as well as a trip budget. there are lots of things i’d forget to do as we are rushing around if i didn’t have this list!
typically i print my lists out about 2 weeks before we leave – it gives me plenty of time to sort & collect items, as well as buy anything i might need. after carrying it with my everywhere & marking as i go along, the list ends up looking like chicken scratch, but it works & i feel so accomplished every time i cross an item out!
& this is what our guest bedroom looks like as we pack…
not to bad, though, right?
i want to take this moment to apologize to Mary Chandler, my college roommate, who, for the last 2 years at Samford, put up with me packing in a not-quite-so-organized fashion about 6 times. no lie. love you Mary – sorry i left the room a mess & didn’t follow my packing sheets 🙂
that’s pretty much it! i’ve tried lots of packing apps, but none have met my needs like my beloved spreadsheets! we are about ready to go this week to Ukraine – i can’t wait to get on that plane, although i’m sure i’ll be ready to get off just as quickly. happy travels!