Vacations and holidays is something I always look forward to, but packing and preparing for travel – not so much. We took two vacations in the last year and a half. One was in the fall of last year, and one a few weeks ago. I must say, there was a huge difference between the two.
The one where we traveled in the fall of last year (let’s call it T1), it was much more stressful than the one (let’s call it T2) we went just few weeks ago. You ask, why? Why were the two vacations so different from each other? Well, my planning strategy for T2 was quite different from T1.
You see, when we were preparing for T1, we simply booked the tickets, did some shopping, waited for our travel dates, packed our bags and off we went. It was only when we were mid flight, or at our layover location that I realized I had forgotten many important things that I should have packed.
My 2 yr old was missing his favorite books and his stuffed animal. I forgot to bring my floss. Hubs forgot to bring his sunglasses. Oh boy! How I hated the fact that we had forgotten to pack these important items in our luggage. Needless to say, our vacation turned out to be one of the sour experiences. With time, we found out we were missing many more small but important items that we should have packed to make our time off more enjoyable.
As they say, you learn every time you make a mistake. So this time for T2, I had vowed to make our vacation a memorable one. So I decided to take matters in my own hands. I took charge of packing and putting together our luggage. You know what happened during T2? This time around, our luggage bags seemed like little magic bags that held every important item that we needed for our little getaway.
So What Made The Difference?
Are you wondering what was so different at T2 that was not there in T1? Well, one very important document that I printed before I started packing our bags. Travel Packing Checklist! This checklist is a list of small and big items that are essential for a travel.
Let’s take a look at my travel packing checklist. In the nicely divided sections, it lists “The Essentials”, “Toiletries”, “Health and Medical Essentials”, “Summer / Winter Clothing”, “Kids Stuff” and most important “Things to do before we leave”
With this checklist I was able to figure out the quantity of each item that went in my luggage and each item marked off when I put that item away in my luggage. When traveling with a child, this checklist becomes a necessity not just an option.
Thanks to this packing checklist, I remembered to take his handheld games and activity books. These kept SV busy during the long flight. He was tired within a few hours and dozed off pretty easily.
I remembered to bring my gloves and woolen hat, that I almost forgot to pack. There were many different items that I would normally forget to pack, but this checklist made it so much easier to pack everything I needed for a pleasant journey.
More Things To Do To Make Your Travel Stress Free
Once you have packed your bags, you can now focus on other important things that you can do to make your travel even more stress free.
- Wear Comfortable Clothing
- Pack Light
- Charge your gadgets like phone, tablets, laptops fully
- Upload games apps for children, ebooks or audiobooks for adults
- Install airlines apps, maps and directions apps on your smartphone
- Arrive Early
- Check in Online if possible
- While at the Security Line, take out all the items that need to go into the bin. That includes laptop(s), key chains, watch, belt, shoes, coins etc.
- Follow the rules for carrying toiletries
- Hold onto your valuables like passport, boarding passes while at the security check. It’s this time when you have to handle million different things at the same time.
- Relax and think about the destination
This is all I could think of the important things while traveling.
Do you travel a lot? What do you do to make it stress free and more enjoyable?