We leave Friday morning for Arkansas and Texas. We have a work event to attend on Thursday night so I am aiming to be ready for two weeks in another country by Wednesday night. 60% of me believes this is achievable the other 40% knows better. There is a strong possibility I will be seeing 2am come Friday.
Right now packing, planning, seeing people we want to see before we leave for two weeks plus worrying about things that matter and lots that don't is the plan for my week.
That wouldn't be so bad if getting ready wasn't my second to least favorite thing about traveling. My least favorite thing is unpacking and the week of saying no to coffee or lunch that follows so you can wash all those cardigans and underwear.
To make my second to least favorite thing about traveling less ugggh I have a few tips. Here they are in no particular order.
Do all (yes all) the laundry five days in advance... then only wear the stuff you know you won't bring. I'm not known for my advance planning but last minute laundry is stress and frustration in a spinning container. It's not worth it. Only do this if necessary....and if you think its necessary think some more and choose something different to wear.
Lay out the small not-so-everyday things in plain sight. Your nice camera, your sunglasses (I live in London - not an everyday thing), that beach hat, the mix CD your tenth grade bestie made you that you only listen to on car trips. Reserve a place to collect the things you want to bring but are more likely to forget. A list is great and all but this is better. It will only take up a side table or corner of a room for a couple of days so you OCD folks don't fret too much.
Don't pack outfits pack pieces. Don't be over committed to having an outfit planned for everyday. Only plan out your attire for special or themed events - dinner out at that Michelin starred place or for the Cardinals game you want to see. Just pick a couple of pairs of pants, some shorts and a skirt or two and then take some tops that make you feel pretty plus a couple of things to keep you warm if need be. This makes packing at least 4 times faster.
Begin with coming back in mind. You should make a list of anything you know you want to bring back. It's the worst when your bag coming back is just too stuffed. We are headed "home" - you know to America. So our list of things to bring back is actually kinda substantial and includes things like tiny candy bars, Hanes undershirts and stone ground grits. Yours might be something like a beautiful blanket from the market in Istanbul. Either way. Leave some room in your bag for the bring-backs.
Don't stress about the stuff you can get at a Walgreens. If you leave your toothbrush all you really did was guarantee yourself that amazing first brush feeling. They also sell things like dry shampoo and tampons at local drugstores world-wide. Don't forget too much on purpose but don't worry about getting it all either. A $17.50 trip to CVS is worth it. It's more important that you leave with your passport - stress over that.