There are very few events in life that I find more frustrating than trying to pack the car the night before a trip. I’m generally tired after a long day (or week) of work, distracted, maybe hungry, definitely cranky. Perhaps hubby is as well? Not a good dynamic.
To top that off, we’re over-packers. I don’t know why, but we load up like we’re vacationing in the hinterlands, not 10 minutes from a shopping center. We’ve tried to change our ways, but I’m not sure we can.
Imagine that late-night scene of us cramming stuff into the back of the car only to realize that it won’t all fit. CUE: DEFCON 1 readiness
Here’s the good news. By using this one simple tip, we can avoid all of that drama: Pack and unpack for your trip ahead of time. Yep, I said unpack.
Do this a few days ahead, a week ahead, it doesn’t matter. You’re going to pack your clothes at some point, anyway. Might as well do it early.
After you’ve loaded the car with everything you’re taking, snap a picture of the trunk or cargo area using your phone’s camera.
Next, unload the car one layer at a time, taking a picture after each layer is removed.
This whole process of loading, photographing and unloading the car should not take very long; and it will save you from a massive headache when you’re ready to hit the road.
Simply pull out your phone, follow the photos starting with Layer One and re-pack the car.
You’ve got a handy reference on your phone for packing the car at the end of your vacation. You can hit the road relaxed, happy and have a great vacation!
Now that school has let out for the summer, it’s time to hit the road for some fun in the sun! Once a year, my family gets together for beach week. Maybe we’re strange, because beach week is spent on the beach; we rarely leave the island. We read, go shelling, run and walk, play in the tide pools, build sand castles, people-watch and doze under the umbrella. The men, nieces and nephews boogie-board for hours on end. We try to solve the Mazematician’s puzzles.
In the evening, we play all sorts of games. Some favorites are Codenames, Telestrations, Exploding Kittens, Apples to Apples and Balderdash. Those with more patience for board games (bored) than I, play Pandemic for hours on end. Our evening Mad Libs sessions on the porch are legendary. Some of our favorite inside jokes and malapropisms are born on the porch during beach week. We plan one evening for the entire 20+ person group to go souvenir shopping at the local gift shop.
Beach week is very casual. Tee shirts and shorts are the order of the day. Because we have laundry facilities in the beach house, we can pack lean and throw clothes in the wash as needed.
Recently, I’ve started packing capsule wardrobes for travel. They’re amazing because they are like Garanimals™ for grown folks! Grab a top and some pants and they coordinate. No thinking necessary, and it doesn’t matter what’s in the wash at the moment!
Here’s how I plan our capsule wardrobe:
Decide on the number of outfits needed. I’ll pack four tops, three bottoms and we’ll wear one of the capsule outfits on our travel day. (Because nudity is frowned upon during family beach week.) With this small capsule, we have the potential for 12 different looks and won’t have to repeat the same outfit during a week long vacation. In case of cooler weather, I’m adding one jersey and one pair of jeans.
Pick a color scheme. It’s red, white, blue and khaki for us this year. Look at the colors you wear routinely. What do you have on hand? Which colors are most flattering on you? If you are able to dress the whole family in the same color scheme, even casual snapshots will be color-coordinated.
Each top must work with each of the bottom pieces. Outfit coordination is easiest if only the tops or only the bottoms are patterned, not both. Pattern mixing in a capsule wardrobe is expert level. If that’s your jam, go for it!
Pack shoes that will work with each outfit. Neutral colored flip-flops and a pair of kicks are all we need for the week.
If you’re fancier than we are, pack coordinating accessories. I’ll pack one everyday necklace and one set of earrings. Maybe throw in a scarf? Hubby keeps his accessories minimal with a leather wrap bracelet.
These bags contain all of our clothes for the week plus bathing suits, cover-ups, running clothes, lounge wear, pajamas, socks and underwear, We had enough room left over to pack hand towels and washcloths in the tote bag.
So, that’s the sum total of my capsule wardrobe knowledge. This makes packing for any trip so much easier. Now, it’s your turn! Will you give this a try? Are you already a capsule wardrobe expert?
Pro tip for flying to your vacation destination: In each piece of checked luggage, pack at least one complete outfit for every member of your family. If the airline misdirects a piece of luggage, you each still have a fresh change of clothes.