Monday, April 19, 2010

Things to remember when packing for a trip I might not be able to go on

Next weekend Princess D and I are scheduled to travel to England and France. If you don't pay attention to the news then you might not have heard that a volcano is erupting in Iceland and the ash has halted all air travel across Northern Europe. This trip I have worked so hard to make happen might get delayed. I am trying to not let my anxiety get the best of me with this uncontrollable situation. Instead I am staying positive that Mother Nature will calm the "cuss" down. (Sorry, just watched Fantastic Mr. Fox. If you haven't seen it I highly recommend it.)

Even though I haven't been able to travel to as many places as I would like to, I am a veteran traveler. My 4.5 year old daughter is quickly becoming one too. Her first flight was to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico when she was only 5 months old. She has been to Hawaii twice, Minnesota twice, and San Francisco. This will be her first time traveling to Europe. She is so excited to see where Harry Potter, 101 Dalmatians, Mary Poppins, and so many more of her favorite characters come from. I am excited to show her a land that I love so much.

Thanks to my traveling experiences and my neurotic organizations skills I have turned packing a suitcase into an art form (just ask Miss), but packing for this trip is definitely giving me a new challenge. I am packing for myself and my daughter for a 12 day trip. The weather over there is about 20* colder than it is here. We will be on the move most of the trip which means living out of our suitcases. Lastly, I need to think about how to juggle all of our bags AND her until we meet up with my boyfriend after we get through customs (you know I will be getting a luggage trolley).

There are a few things I never forget when packing ...

#1: Ziplocks. They are a necessity. I personally like the Hefty Travel Bags quart size and Ziploc gallon storage size. I use them to pack clothes (like dresses and delicates), pills and vitamins, toiletry bottles (which have a tendency to leak) and anything else that needs sectioning off. Later they come in handy for wet or dirty clothes, souvenirs and day trip snacks.

bagged clothes

#2: A list of who I need to buy souvenirs for and what they are. This will help prevent buying unnecessary stuff and from forgetting anyone. Collapsible folding duffle luggage bag is perfect for bringing souvenirs home in if you run out of space in your suitcase. This bag folds into the size of a pad of paper and expands to the size of a carry on. I also bring a list of addresses of anyone I might want to send a postcard to.

#3: Pack outfits that are both casual and can be worn out at night. I also pack a few separates that can be mixed, matched and layered. I always try to stick to one color palate (black or brown) to limit the number of shoes I have to pack. Considering the unpredictable weather in England this time of year I am packing scarves/gloves/hats. I also pack swimsuits and flip flops since there are indoor pools at the hotels.

#4: A hanging bathroom bag with travel size items. Some hotels lack bathroom counter space and this will keep my stuff organized and dry. I love the one Miss got from Target, so I picked one up for myself too. You can get really good travel bottles and jars at The Body Shop. I always ask the cosmetics counter and fragrance counter if they have travel sizes or samples.

Contents Basic Black Cosmetic Valet

#5: Since my hair dryer is a beast I don't bother bringing it. Most hotels provide them and with the different electrical converters it is more than likely your personal hair dryer will burn out anyways. This saves a significant amount of space and weight in my suitcase.

I spent the weekend packing and as of today I am 90% done, and there is still room in our suitcases. All that is left is that last of the laundry, photo coping all of my legal travel documents, and keep a close watch on the news. *fingers crossed*