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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Organizing Tip Thursday - Travel edition

We are leaving on vacation in a little over a week, so packing and organizing for our trip have been on my mind...since it's the start of vacation season I thought it would be appropriate to do a travel edition of Organizing Tip Thursday! :)

The most helpful organizing tool in my experience when organizing and packing for a trip is a list. The exact list will likely vary from trip to trip, but it's helpful to keep a generic list or save a few specific lists for future use. I get pretty detailed with my lists, down to the amount of clothes I need for various length stays. (I love to mix and match and do laundry when possible, with the possible exception of underwear...I ran out of underwear in Korea once when a trip got extended, and there is nothing like washing your skivvies in the sink!) Speaking of keeping lists for future use - don't forget to add notes to your lists regarding what went well or improvements you might want to make when you return.

There are a few items we always pack, regardless of where we are going - a couple of kitchen sized garbage bags, several large and sandwich sized ziploc bags, a few kitchen sized towels and diaper wipes. You never know when you might have a mess to clean up or something smelly you don't want affecting the rest of your luggage.

Speaking of ziploc bags, I love this idea for organizing outfits for kids. And speaking of kids, I know I'll be putting one of these activity binders together for Sweetpea to enjoy on our trip! In addition to printables I'll likely be sliding some simple dollar store puzzles and Target one spot toys into some plastic sleeves as well. I always try and keep a stash of cheap toys that she hasn't seen for traveling and rainy days.

What strategies do you use to get ready for a trip or vacation? What do you find helps when you're traveling with kids? I'd love to hear your ideas!

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Fly Girl said...

I love all of your organization, but I tend to pack for a trip the night before! I usually finish the morning of the trip! I know... pretty bad, but I tend to where my favorite clothes all the time, so they always need washed.

Fortunately, my daughter is old enough now to pack her own things (although it can be interesting to see what she pulled together once we get to our destination!).

I think your activity binder is a great idea. I always packed an activity bag, but your idea sounds neater and easier to keep together.

On long trips I use a scrapbooking open-topped organizer to carry things in the car with me. It holds my CD case, camera batteries, the photo card reader for the computer, my cell phone and the charger. It's pretty handy. I may post a picture one day next week since I'll be using it then.


Steph at Problem Solvin' Mom said...

I love your scrapbook organizer idea, FlyGirl! I use a compartmentalized bag for Sweetpea's toys, but could benefit just as much (if not more) from keeping my stuff organized! ;)

The original activity binder idea came from Organized Home - I'll be sure to share how ours turns out.

Jen said...

I also have a detailed trip packing list that I print off for every big trip to get us organized. I also always pack all the clothes for 1 day for everyone in a plastic bag (from Target or where ever.) This helps me coordinate a bit since I like everyone's stuff to go well together for pictures. It also makes it handy if we are making multiple stops because we can pack several suitcaes and only pull it that one we need for that day since everyone's clothes are together for each day.

Also, I made a little scavenger hunt for the kids for our trip to Colorado...things we'd see on a hike. They loved it. I think I posted about it last June/July.

Monica said...

I love your ideas! I have a list I keep saved on the computer so when it is time to go I can just print it out and double check that I have everything I need. Have fun on your vacation!

Ellie said...

This is a good tip. Packing for me is very hard when I have to pick what I want to bring. I often overpack and thus, end up with a bunch of clothes that I don't end up needing.

My only advice would be to think twice before you pack something. I guess laying out actual outfits is good if you have time that, that way it lessens the chance that you will overpack.

Laura said...

Don't you LOVE that idea for packing outfits?? I am using that on our vacation this summer too.