After all the years of traveling, it would seem that I could pack in a flash. For myself only, I can. But when the whole family is involved, it is a different matter.
There was a memorable trip when my son was a baby that we managed to pack a 10 pound salmon and completely forget clothes or diapers for said child. Luckily we were staying with my sister and her youngest was the same size. On another of those Calgary trips, my son decided that he desperately needed to have some medicine as the plane descended and started to cry uncontrollably. It was lucky for all of us that I had priority baggage and could lay my hands on the medicine so quickly.
Even when it is just me, there have been incidents. I once had to wash one pair of undies in my bathroom sink to make do for a couple of days whilst attending really important meetings with the Federal Government in Ottawa. Imagine my surprise to routinely unpack my things for the start of a 2 week trip and realize the major omission.
Another time, I was surprised to learn that the entire town of Aspen did not have a compatible charging cord for my brand new MacBook Pro. In 2 and half days, I had to carefully use my computer for necessities only in order to conserve my battery.
This time there are 4 of us departing together, returning at different times and travelling on different schedules. So the needs for each of us are vary widely. Looking at this picture, you may wonder why we need a snow ball thrower, cheetah high heel shoes and snow boots. (And this is just the start of the staging area).
My mother used to say, “Don’t pack more than you can carry”. That has always been my motto when we fly, but when we drive that all flies out the window and we pack for the vehicle. That means we are taking way more stuff than we need.
To mitigate that problem, the experts suggest a list. I have been refining mine for years. A slightly different one for each type of vacation and a column for each of us. It is the only way I can feel we are all ready to go and that we have a hope of brining everything we need. Compounding my worry is that by trying to leave at the “crack of stupid” for a whole day of driving, we are sure to rush out the door and forget some all important item.
Usually, as I am pulling away from my house bound for a trip, I say to myself – passport, money and computer? Check, check and check, I can literally buy everything else!