Friday, January 18, 2013

Get Your Pack On!

Happy Friday everyone!

It's been a busy week in our household trying to get our kiddies healthy and rid of the flu, but one of the things I've started to do is pack for our trip to Dominican next week. Do you write down lists of everything you need to do? Or are the lists stored in your head? I'm a write 'em down kind of girl. I definitely got it from my mum. Since I've been little she's always had a few running lists going on post-it-notes stuck to the kitchen counter.

I find writing them down keeps me in check and organized, otherwise I will definitely forget something (especially at 8 months pregnant...the baby has stolen my brain).

Are you planning on going on vacation soon? If you're looking for packing lists, just google them...there are tons online (although I often find they include the most random things). Here are a few tips and tricks that I thought I would share with you that help me when travelling to a hot destination with kiddies.

Most families I know, the mama does the packing. This is no different in our family. I pack us all up and Mr. Fix-it packs the car (it's his responsiblity to figure out how to play Tetris with our luggage).

I find, the more often you pack, the better and more efficient you get at it. We packed the car so many times last summer with trips here and there that I'm sure I could pack us all up and in the car in an hour by the end of the summer. It makes you realize that you really don't need as much stuff as you think!

Get those kiddies amped up for your vacation! Last year when we were heading to the sunny South we had to wake up around 4am to get to the airport. Normally if I woke up our big guy at that time he would be a bear. However, he was so excited to go to the beach that it didn't matter what time it was, he was ready! Hopefully this tactic will work again this time.

Talk to them about what they want to bring on the trip so that you don't pack the wrong thing or forget something that they just assumed you would bring. For example, I was going to pack our big guy's Trunki (see pic) to stash his stuff for the airplane. (On a side note, I love this little case. Its sturdy and they can ride on it through the airport!).

However, he quickly reminded me that he didn't want to bring his Trunki this time, he wanted to bring his Thomas the Train suitcase. He looked at me like I had two heads, like of course I would know that. I know. Glad we had this discussion.

In a dream world, your kids will sleep through the whole plane ride. In reality world, prepare for them to get bored and want to walk the aisles. You might want to pack a few fun things for them to do. Check out my post Oh the Places We'll Go for ideas on what kind of activities to pack for your kids.

If you don't remember anything, just don't forget the lovely or pacifier!! In our house it's called the "binkie" and God help me if I forget them. I'll have a sticky note on the door before we leave..."Did you bring the binkie"???

If you know that you're going to be hitting the beach in December or January, try to pick up summer clothes at the end of the summer prior. You'll get great deals, but most importantly trying to find summer clothes in December and January is tough! I know I've had that challenge this year. The stores are just starting to get their Spring/Summer lines in now, so the selection is limited. If you are going in the next little while, I found that Children's Place and Gap has the biggest selection of kids summer stuff.

The beauty of packing for a hot vacation is that your clothes are light and take up much less space then packing for a ski vacation where you need mucho sweaters and gear. Remember, when your spending a week or two at the beach, you're likely going to be in your bathing suit all day and really just need clothes for dinner and going on any excursions off the resort.

A tip that I found works really well when packing for everyone, including myself, is I pack outfits rather than just a bunch of random pieces. So if we're there for 7 days, I pack 7 different outfits and an extra one just in case. For the kids, I'll probably pack an extra few outfits bc Lord knows our little guy can't get through any meal or snack without having his meal all over him ;)

And don't forget to pack (or remind your guys to pack), a couple pairs of pants. Often, restaurants on resorts require men to wear full pants in the evenings.

Also, do you really need your giant stroller? Likely not. The travel strollers have come a long way since these flimsy babies...

Even when our little guy was only 3 months, we brought down our travel stroller and it worked like a dream, held all our beach gear and didn't take up much space.

Do you need a crib for your room? Don't forget to bring a crib sheet, sometimes they will provide one but sometimes not.

Often times when you arrive at the resort your room isn't ready (especially if you have taken an early flight). If you have a bathing suit for each person in your carry-on or beach bag then it's easy to change into when you arrive at the resort and hit the beach!! Otherwise you'll have to open up your nicely packed suitcase in the lobby of the hotel and look through everything.

If you are going to a resort, you're likely there for a week or longer. Unpack! Make the space your own and you'll feel organized. Sometimes I iron my clothes before I pack them. Once we arrive at the hotel, any wrinkles that have happened en-route usually just flatten out when you hang them up with the humidity.

You might as well just park your suitcases next to the washing machine when you get home. I find that with the humidity in the air down in the resorts, that everything usually needs a good wash.

Those are a few tips and tricks to help you stay organized and sane when heading to a warm destination. Do you have any to share?

We're very excited to feel that hot sun! See you in February!!!

Keep it Beautiful.

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