More Adventures in a Suitcase: New Jersey
Happy day, reader dearest!
Are you an overpacker? An underpacker? A just right packer?
I asked this question on social media a while ago and received a variety of answers, with most people admitting to being overpackers.
Which begs a very personal question, How much is just right?
I know many of us haven’t taken ANY trips for quite a while, but what’s your packing history?
Do you even remember?
If you don’t, ask your travel companion(s). I bet they know!
What do you need to know to pack well?
Let’s talk that through today AND in another post. (I’m trying AGAIN to shorten my posts.)
From where does my packing know-how come? I’ll give you the condensed version.
If you only want the steps, read this!
Long, Long Ago…
When our boys were young (9, 5 and 3 years old), we lived in Spain. Sunny Andalucia to be precise! My father passed unexpectedly and I spent the next year flying back and forth with our three lads in tow to help my mother with the logistics of the loss–and the lawyers, accountants, etc. The boys and I made 6 international round trip flights in that year after Daddy’s passing. Oh, did I mention that we were flying Unaccompanied Space-A? (That’s like flying standby for your non-military types.) We were always at the bottom of the list, but managed to get on every flight we needed. Talk about providence!
The first trip for the funeral was a packing disaster. That wasn’t my fault. The call came and I packed all the dirty clothes (Because we didn’t know how long we would be gone.) and the basics for a funeral. No one went naked, so it wasn’t THAT much of a disaster.
By the third trip, we had it down. One large suitcase for everyone’s clothes. A small carryon for each boy with snacks and entertainment. By trip three, even our two older boys could pull their own clothes. They knew packing for a week meant 6 Pair of Underwear, 6 Socks, Pajamas, One Church Outfit, Four Shirts, Two Bottoms, Light Jacket, Sweater, Play Shoes, Church Shoes. Done. I think the youngest learned to count by counting clothes for the suitcase… (Why only a week? Because we were staying with family and laundry was available. To this day, if you tell our boys (now men) there’s a trip, they’ll ask, Weekend? Long Weekend? or Week? And they pack.
So much for a shorter post…
Let’s get packing! (We’ll tackle the first four steps.)
1: Check the Weather
In these interweb times, there’s no excuse NOT to do this! When I was young, you called the library and they would research weather averages for you, but now a click of the button reveals all you need to know. I’ve checked Weather.com, AccuWeather and Weather Underground. they all look about the same with a little precipitation variation.
This tells me that YAY!, the weather won’t be nearly as cold as I was fearing. What a blessing! I WILL need my winter coat because nights will be cold and this girl’s blood has gotten thin living here in the South. I’ll make sure to pack a hat, gloves and cozy scarf, too! Chilly mornings mean add a warm sweater or two and cozy socks to the list.
This one runs the gamut, friends. I will need everything from workout clothes to my gown for the wedding. Want to know more about that? Read about my options, here. You name the Level of Refinement, we’ve got it going on this trip!
Itinerary Includes: Hanging out with friends and family. Errands as needed for the MOG. Airport runs. Exercise. Aufruf and meal at the synogogue. Wedding guest/family Meet & Greet at lovely hotel. Afternoon/Evening weddding and reception at a beatiful venue.
Whew. It’s going to be busy. I’d been hoping for a trip into the city to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but I don’t think that will be happening. Sigh. Just looking at that last paragraph is making me tired!
Why do I start with shoes? Because: If your feet aren’t happy, you will have a miserable trip. Full stop.
I’m taking easy on/off boots or booties for travel days and casual wear. Easy on/off is mandatory for airport security!
Dressy shoes for the wedding— mandatory. Got those. I may also wear them for the Meet & Greet Saturday night with whatever else I cobble together? (Get it? Cobble? Shoes? I kill me…)
My dress boots would be great for the Aufruf and for whenever I manage to squeeze in Mass that weekend. (Dress boots are likely to take a back seat to something more packable.)
Sneakers for exercise. Slippers or Flip Flops for around the room.
Yes, that IS a LOT of shoes for one short trip.
4: Travel Clothes
You’ll find me traveling in jeans, boots/booties (as mentioned above) and some layers. I’ll bring a wooly pashmina style scarf to wear for the cold and as a shawl on the plane as needed (Because a shawl or large scarf is on my Always Pack list.) and my winter coat will top it off. (Because weather as noted above.) I’d like a blazer/jacket, but I’m not sure that will be happening. Maybe I’ll trade my jeans for trousers for more polish. I’m still hoping for that surprise upgrade…
How About You?
Are you an overpacker? An underpacker? A just right packer? With what do you start? What is your biggest packing challenge? Do tell… I love to hear from you!