Summer Holidays & Packing - We are off to Espana
Summer is here, and the school’s nearly out. We are heading to Spain where Emilio grew up. I get to indulge in packing for our first summer trip. Do you enjoy packing? I do. It’s just of one of those organisational things I enjoy (false sense of control over life etc.). Sharing below, a few write-ups that may provide you with some inspiration. Also, some sensible advice regarding packing. Agree or disagree? Any good ideas to share?
Sites offering packing inspiration
All sorts of packing lists from this fantastic site, including a packing list that kids can use to pack themselves. I printed the latter out for Jaime, and we discussed which items and how many - he enjoyed his first packing experience;
Good ideas of what to bring to a holiday if and when you are packing light (if you are a woman)(and tired of lugging items you end up not using);
Useful hacks for packing and other things relating to travelling with kids from CupofJo. Not just the blog post but also the comments left by the readers. (I’m adopting the tip of assigning a child to be the family reporter. Jaime will be equipped with a notebook, scissors, tape, glue stick and marker to chronicle the summer happenings).
Start packing at least one week before the trip
I like this tip. I usually start throwing things in a basket a few weeks before but pack last minute. Packing properly with some buffer time reduces stress and gives me a chance to do some last-minute shopping for items that I forget are low in supply. This act will hopefully avert potential meltdowns (e.g. travel size version of Isabel’s prefered toothpaste).
Follow a packing list
I’ve started a list on excel that will be updated continuously. The items fall under different headings such as Categories (clothes, gadgets, medications) or Activities (swimming, long car trip) or both. Adhering to the list as a matter of process has helped to ensure that important things like the kids’ pyjamas and my makeup are not forgotten (ref: our life - before). The challenge, of course, is to avoid long lists which will result in bulging suitcases. Also, unsolicited but friendly comments about the benefits of practising minimalism. Reducing quantity, maybe my answer.
Reduce quantity whenever possible
The adage of bringing only half the pieces you laid on your bed seems wise; however, is psychologically challenging to adopt. I have hoarding tendencies and little people around me. They are somewhat susceptible to motion sickness and prone to wiping their grimy hands on whatever I’m wearing. Still, I am going to bite the bullet and venture into uncomfortable territories by reducing the number of casual clothes. After all, we will have access to a washing machine. Also, drying will likely not be an issue given that our destination, Zaragoza*, has been forecasted with temperatures of around 40 Celsius. Gulp. Also, a confession: clothes shopping in Spain is always so much FUN.
*I have yet to come across a non-Spaniard who knows where Zaragoza is located. I’ve been coached to explain “oh it’s between Madrid and Barcelona”. Can you find it in the map below?