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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Planning & Packing for a Trip

With the addition of more children to our family, I sense that certain drill sergeant aspects of my personality have become more pronounced.  This is especially true when preparing to travel.

Since we travel every. single. week. it’s something that I eat. sleep. and breathe.  (Hmm… that could explain the extra, inexplicable calories….)

Usually, I coax the kids to pick out their own clothes.  The girls lay them out on their beds in order of days of the week, outfit by outfit:  top, bottom, sweater or jacket.  The boys generally tell me verbally about their selections, and since my oldest is created in my image, he is the one to ensure that the outfits make it into their bag.  I have veto power over any too-interesting ensembles.

That’s our usual, weekly, back-and-forth.  However, we’re currently planning for a few, out-of-the-ordinary trips.  And, as usual, if it is to be (in terms of organizing every single detail of packing and planning), it is up to me.  While my actions may sound slightly OCD, it’s actually PSS (Plain & Simple Survival) when it comes to two boys, two girls, two parents, and two dogs.

Here’s a peek into a small portion of my Packing List for a few-day getaway:

1.  Clothing that will span warm or cold weather, hurricanes, earthquakes or war.  Not to mention rain or drought.

2.  Dress & casual clothes.  Sports clothes.  Socks and underwear.

3.  Sports equipment.

4.  Dog beds, food bowls, dog food.

5.  Dogs.

6.  Children.  (Oh, do we have to…?  Never mind, don’t answer that, just thinkng aloud.)

7.   Menus for several days that can be made on the hood of a car, or on the engine of a plane—you know, chateaubriand, ratatouille, asparagus with bernaise sauce.  Plus, those perennial favorites that may be found in almost any market worldwide:  bread, yogurt, milk, fruits and veggies.

8.  Napkins, paper plates & bowls, plasticware, a few kitchen-sized trash bags.  In case we want to order take-out and not eat straight out of the cartons.  In case plates are included and  there are four place settings for six people.

9.  A big pasta pot., if necessary.  Cooking pasta in three or four small pots is not my idea of fun.

10.  Sandwich-sized ziplocks to make simple sandwiches to carry while touring or traipsing here or there.  Remember, the army travels on its stomach.

11.  Also, the army marches on its feet:  comfy shoes, combining style and support, whenever possible.

12.  Toiletries and vitamins.  Aspirin.  If we need more medications than this, we’re not ready for this kind of travel.

13.  Extra cloth or plastic bags for shopping and schlepping in markets.

14.  Pop-up hamper and a bit of laundry soap.

15.  Plugs for phones and computers.

16.  Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, dry soup mix for use in a pinch.  Snacks such as whole wheat cheese crackers, indispensable in airports during layovers or delays.

17.  Passports, tickets, other I.D., maps, vouchers.

18.  Reading, writing, listening materials.

19.  Makeup, hairspray, nail polish.

20.  Small stuffed animals or plastic champagne glasses with removable stems for packing.  Perfect for the local sparkling water….

I like to plan ahead.  We may be in the middle of nowhere, but barbarians we are not.

Do you like prep work or would you rather wing it? (Which is why Benedetto spends half his vacay time searching for items which we could have easily brought from home….)



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2 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Shelley says:

    I wish I had your organizational skills. But don’t tell me you travel with a big pasta pot!

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