How far in advance do you all pack for a trip?

Nov 11th, 2006, 07:15 AM
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How far in advance do you all pack for a trip?

I was pulling out things this morning that I thought I might want to take on our cruise my husband looked at me incredulously and said "you are already packing for a trip that is a month away?"

Yes, I was. Well, not officially packing a suitcase (though that is not far off!)but figuring out different outfits and shoes and setting things aside etc. This gives me time to re-think outfits (which I do) and make substitutions. It also gives me time to relaize that I have packed too much (or packed the wrong things) and start weeding things out. Plus I will have ample time to realize if I have forgotten anything (a huge travel fear of mine). I have dreams of getting to the caribbean and have forgetten swim suits and shoes but instead packed my turtlenecks!
I am also a list maker so I can make sure I haven't overlooked anything.

Plus, this trip I have to pack for all the kids too so that extra time is of even more importance.

AND....with Thanksgiving and Christmas decorating and present wrapping to do before we leave, that cuts into my packing time even more.

So, is anyone else an advance packing freak like me?
Kristen1206 is offline  
Nov 11th, 2006, 08:07 AM
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Kristen I am totally an advance packing freak. If I dont pack in advance I forget something and I take too much. If I pack in advance and think about what I am taking I take less. Because in the Caribbean you hardly need a thing!
MIM04 is offline  
Nov 11th, 2006, 09:25 AM
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I don't pack that early but I do get out the clothes that I think my kids and I are going to take to determine what fits, doesn't fit, may need clearning, etc. I usually do this in early January for a mid-February trip. That way I have time to order new items, reconsider outfits, etc. I don't actually pack for trips until a couple of days before we leave (actually I pack the day before we leave but lay clothes out a few day in advance).

With that said, however, I would guess my plan of attack for a trip near the holidays would be TOTALLY different. We all know (at least we moms do) that the more you can get done in November, the less stressed and forgetful you'll be. So I don't think you're crazy!

Where are you going on your cruise? Have fun!
ccrosner is offline  
Nov 11th, 2006, 09:27 AM
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I have a packing list. I'd forget something if I didn't.
Usually a week before the trip, I start putting out clothes in our guest bedroom. I pack the day before.

Enjoy your cruise. Where is it going? I've never done one. My husband's parents are big cruise fans. They just came back from another one, a 14-day European cruise. They loved it.
caribtraveler is offline  
Nov 11th, 2006, 03:28 PM
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I have a list I use for any warm weather trip.

I start doing laundry and laying aside things I run into a couple of days ahead and actually pack the night before we leave. Doing it any earlier just means I pack too much or have to unpack/repack things that I need.
liza is offline  
Nov 11th, 2006, 07:24 PM
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I'm notorious for being a last minute packer. I might put aside a few things days beforehand, but I never seem to get it done until the night or even an hour before we leave for the airport. I guess, as much as I want to get away, I still suffer from separation anxiety from my "normal" life. Anyway, I usually select enough clothing for the time we'll be away. I make myself choose and stick to the selections. I don't bring extra outfits "just in case." IMO, there's nothing wrong with making a list a month in advance if it helps you organize mentally. But if you're spending so much time that it's cutting into your other activities, maybe you're over-thinking it? I would try to keep it simple, e.g. 7 days, 7 outfits. Also, I remind myself that no problem which does not involve life safety is really that important. Who cares if you look a bit fatter in the green dress than the blue dress? Or the tan shoes would have gone better, you know what I mean? Relax! You're going on vacation, not being presented at court. Have a great time.
Tuxedocat is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 06:11 AM
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Like Tuxedocat, I am also a last-minute packer regardless of whether it's a business or pleasure trip. But I'm an obsessive list-maker as well. So, at least 2 months before a pleasure trip I have 3 lists, one "to do", one "to buy" and the other "to pack". The "to pack" list has 2 categories "last minute" and "the rest". These 3 lists are on the kitchen table from the time they are created til the minute I leave and are adjusted daily. The "last minute" list has all the stuff like prescription meds, glasses etc..

It usually takes me less than 30 minutes to really pack and the last thing I do before going out the door is double check the "to pack/take" list.

Since I'm a terrible procrastinator for real action (but a great planner) this works very well for me.
saharabee is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 06:24 AM
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Tuxedo, you are so right; we aren't being presented or judged as harshly as we judge ourselves. I can pack for my hubby in a minute, but then the process for me begins, and I start trying on things and end up in a little tizzy. I do try to get it all in the night before we leave, and I'm scaling down over the years. Still have the tendency to bring too many shoes. I am going to try to take your remarks to heart, and remember that what people remember is not your outfit, but your attitude and your smile.
twigsbuddy is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 06:42 AM
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Kristen, first of all I want to congratulate you and your husband for finally getting his exwife's permission for traveling with all of the kids. I know that was a battle that was hard-won. I hope that it is is the beginning of some wonderful family travels for all of you! Where will you be cruising this time?

As for the packing, I guess I'm somewhere in between. I make both mental and actual checklists and I start doing laundry ahead of time and then put thoses clothes somewhere so I can't wear them until the trip. And I start organizingg things like sunscreen, bug spray, camera chargers, electrical adaptors and other things that I don't use in my every day life. But I usually don't put anything in the suitcase until the night before we leave.

Now that I think about it, though, that's just for the Caribbean because it's been our only vacation destination for the past few years and I feel pretty comfy with my last minute style. I have the feeling that if I were packing for our next trip to, say, Europe, that I would be a bit more proactive.
ejcrowe is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 09:51 AM
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We are just doing a short 4 night Key West and Cozumel.
Kristen1206 is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 10:11 AM
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I think our second trip to the Caribbean in 2003 after a 5 year lapse I was all packed about 2 weeks out from the excitement. We leave for St John in 13 days and today I started the laundry and hanging things in a separate area. God forbid my ancient washer croak right before I were to leave with nothing ready. Like EJ, I also start organizing sunscreen, toiletries and other essentials as I think of them. I try to do the ironing a little at a time. Yuck. The actual packing will probably be the day before.
brenandg is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 10:18 AM
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I don't actually pack, but as others have mentioned, do begin laundry and hanging things in a separate place about a month before a trip. For warm weather beach vacations I pretty much have a separate and set wardrobe I take along each time.
suze is online now  
Nov 12th, 2006, 10:19 AM
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I am so glad that I am not the only one who packs early! I, too, am a list person and I pull out things to analyze them well in advance of the trip. I also lay things on the guest bed, but I don't put things in the suitcase until 2 days before to minimize wrinkling.
Have a great trip!!!!!! I am soooo jealous.
iw is offline  
Nov 13th, 2006, 02:55 PM
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I guess I fall into the 2 day before catagory. For a beach trip I made a list so it makes it so easy. For the beach trips I've learned I wear things over and over. Its a laid-back kind of vacation and couldn't care less if the couple by the pool saw me in the same top and shorts the day before. Plus, if I pack too early I take too much stuff.

I'm married to the packing nazi. "If you can't carry it you can't take it." Boy, that has helped me immensely.

Have a great trip!
BeachGirl247 is offline  
Nov 13th, 2006, 03:49 PM
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Beachgirl-our DH's must be related!! I was also told "carry ons only"!!
However, I have to thank him for that, it is amazing how much stuff we can get by on without!
i even travel to Vegas with my girlfriends every year with only carry ons and a couple of them have followed suit!
mahobaygirl is offline  
Nov 14th, 2006, 01:54 AM
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I don't know what happened to my "mental state" on our just finished trip to STX and STJ. All I can say is "it will never happen again". Before the liquid ban, we only took a carry on suitcase which included all of our snorkel gear. That included a flotation belt and running shoes. I say all of that because that left very little room for clothes and more shoes. This time I took a large suitcase. My reasoning was that we had to check anyhow. Bad idea. I just made it hard on myself by packing, hauling it around, having to hang it up, packing it again, and then coming home to unpack and having three times the amount of laundry. As has been said who cares if you are seen in the same outfit twice. Or, if it goes together. I do think it makes a bit of difference if you are staying in a nice resort rather than a villa. In a villa, you can wear the same thing over and over. Still, I won't ever do it again.

I do have a list of essentials and I use my spare bedroom to start gathering things early. One never knows what comes up at the last minute that might require time given elsewhere.

Happy travels everyone. Owa
Nov 14th, 2006, 04:53 AM
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Ok....not only am I jealous of the OP's trip, I am also in awe of those of you who can pack in carry on. Wow and kudos to you! My husband would take my temperature if I even suggested packing in carry on!!!!! I am proud of the fact that on our 3 island hopping tour last year, I did repeat the clothes and clothing options and only needed 2 pairs of shoes for night. That was my personal best!
iw is offline  
Nov 14th, 2006, 05:12 AM
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iw, you're funny! My husband and I wore it like a badge of honor last summer when we packed, only in carry-ons, what we needed for our two-week Caribbean vacation, which included full snorkel gear, some gifts for folks, and 6 books for each of us! That will never happen again, thanks to the lovely liquid restrictions. But we were certainly proud of ourselves!

Owa, I'd love to read your trip report, especially the snorkeling bits!
ejcrowe is offline  
Nov 14th, 2006, 09:06 AM
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I pack most clothes a day or two before; I pack toiletries the morning of - as I use them, I pack them; easier not to forget anything
sleeepy is offline  
Nov 14th, 2006, 01:57 PM
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EJ, I will try eventually to write, but I don't know when. When I write a report, I can't compose quickly. I'm way behind in everything since we returned, plus I'm having cataract surgery on both eyes in the next two weeks. Plus, my granddaughter may come and live with us in the next 2 weeks. Plus, Thanksgiving. I will try. Owa

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