Wednesday, September 21, 2022

all about getting ready to leave town for a few days

Happy Wednesday, friends! I love to hear about how people get ready to travel, so I thought I'd share the things I do before leaving town. I hope you enjoy this little post! (The above pack has no relation to what I'm writing today, I just think it's adorable and looks touristy.)

I love to leave home with a clean house. This is especially nice when we're all going out of town together. I've been known to put a little Pine Sol into our toilets, to help keep things smelling fresh in the house. Since I'm the only one leaving, I will still leave the house clean. My husband and sons are awesome and always make sure that things are as I left them on the day I return home. Now, I realize that probably means that the house is a disaster while I'm away, but I'm not here to see it, so who cares? Jonah especially is so nice about vacuuming really well and making sure my bed is made just like I like it. 

I always try to have grocery shopped before leaving. Hopefully Todd and I will do this on Thursday night when we go to Costco. (He doesn't know about this yet, but we'll take the opportunity to have a date night, then we'll go shop.) I like to have things on hand for them to eat here at home, without having to cook and so they won't have to go out to buy food. I utilize all the yummy and healthier food  choices from Costco for this, much of which come from the freezer section. I make lunches during the work week, and though there will be things here for them to make their own while I'm gone, that may or may not happen. I'll make sure we have everything they will need for their sandwiches, though, just in case. 

I start planning and making lists a few days before leaving home. This time around I am flying with just a carry on bag, so my packing space is limited. That just means I'll buy some things at a Target when we get there, which works well for us, since we will also want some snacks for our stay at the hotel. I am the kind of person who usually travels with my own food. I'm used to drinking protein drinks for breakfast and eating protein bars for snacks and I always take something with me when I leave home. I am very prone to getting hangry, which is a side to me that is not attractive and that NOBODY wants to see. Seriously, my blood sugar drops, I get irritable and then I get nauseous if I go too long between meals. The products I'm buying there are (cheap) mousse for my hair, a bar of soap and a small travel toothpaste. I don't like flying with things that are likely to explode, not that soap does that, but you get my drift.

I like to have a plan when I travel, so I have all kinds of notes on my phone for this. I keep a "general plan", because I want to leave room for flexibility, but we have an idea of what we want to do on which days, even though it's not exact. I try to be as laid back and flexible as possible and at all times. When I'm like that, I'm less likely to become irritated when something changes last minute. Tell me I am not the only one like this! It also makes things far less stressful if something doesn't work out the way we hope. New York City was a classic example of this when Todd and I went there a few years ago. We'd purchased city pass tickets to several things, but one thing we tried to get to, we walked to the wrong place and missed the opportunity. We didn't stress about it at all, we just took the time to leisurely make our way back and we rested on benches in parks along the way. 

Because I'm traveling light, I am packing very minimally. We'll be gone from Saturday to Thursday, so my plan is to take two additional pairs of pants, one additional pair of shoes, and options of mix-and-match tops for variation that can be dressed up or dressed down. I will carry my regular crossbody purse, but I will also pack another smaller purse for when we're out and about that's also crossbody. I plan on "practicing" this one night while I'm home this week, because my best friend lent me a tiny rolling computer bag that I'm hoping to use as my carry on bag. We'll see if I accomplish this, but I think I can do it. I am a classic over-packer because of our years of camping, so this will be my first time to pack so lightly. I'm challenging myself, because sometimes I feel high maintenance. 🤣 

I've been reading a few articles on how to do this since I'm a newbie at traveling light. Pinterest has been a great resource! One other thing I do is that I watch the weather like a hawk so that I am prepared. I will be packing a small travel umbrella when we go, for instance, and the shoes I planned on packing have changed since I've been watching it so closely. I also pack things like Bounce dryer sheets in Ziploc bags so that things will keep smelling fresh while I live out of a suitcase. 

When I'm going somewhere without my husband, I always make sure that he has all of my information for where I'll be while I'm gone. He knows my flight information and we talk often during the day when I'm gone. Even if we don't talk, per se, we communicate over Snapchat videos. If I have an itinerary, I'll leave a copy of one hanging on the fridge, but who has those nowadays? One last thing I do is clean out my purse before leaving. I only keep the things I will need easy access to on the flight, like glasses, lipstick, a charger, my handheld rechargeable fan, my wallet, my phone. It will also carry my Kindle, since I'll need that on the flight and I'll make sure to charge it the night before I leave. I'll also make sure my books are already downloaded there, in case I finish one and want to start another. 

Do you have any tips or tricks that you want to share, if I've not mentioned it already? I'd love to hear your thoughts! I am officially on countdown mode. Thanks for reading my blog, friends. Love to all! 


  1. I like to pack a small size of Downy Wrinkle Release! It really helps to get those wrinkles out and I like the smell. I also roll all my clothes. You will be so happy packing light. You will be amazed at how free it feels! My problem is thinking that I need to be stylish and want options, but honestly, just take your favorite tops and pants and why would you be a person you aren't on vacation? That's always my hang up! Love this post!

  2. Traveling light is a toughie and isn't for the faint of heart! It sounds like you have a good handle on it, thankfully. My only tip would be to bring as large a personal item as you can. My big personal item of choice is a backpack. I can pack a smaller purse or cross body in it for when we're at our destination and I don't want to wear a LL Bean with one of my kid's initials on it backpack (I always use one of the kids' old school backpacks!) and additionally use the extra space so I can bring more. Have a great time! I think you got this and I am looking forward to hearing how your trip goes ;). Have a great day, friend!

  3. Thanks, Amy! I may buy a bottle of that wrinkle release while I'm there, since we'll be finding a Target to stop at along the way to our hotel. I think I can do it and I like the reminder of just wanting to be myself. And five days isn't long- I am going to keep repeating that. Even if I don't use the tiny rolling bag my friend lent me, I can definitely use one of the regular carry on style pieces of luggage we own. I just didn't want it to be heavy to have to lift over my head, because I am short and will be struggling to get it up in the bin to begin with. I know I can always ask for help with that, though.

  4. Maria- thanks for that! I did think of that and how funny, because I also carry one of their old LL Bean backpacks! I'm excited to try it and look forward to becoming a light packer. I do have another trip coming up in October where I'll be flying again, and I don't think I'll be able to pack that way for that trip, because I'll be gone for over a week. I don't mind checking a bag for that trip, though.

  5. Ohhh... I love the idea of putting some Pine Sol in the toilets before you leave home. Totally trying that next time. I enjoy cleaning before we go too, but it always seems the house has a "closed-up" smell when you return. Maybe that would cure it. This trip sounds so fun, and you sound ready. And Joe and I totally do those type of date nights... dinner out followed by shopping at Costco. :)

  6. We havent had to pack our bags in over 14 years so I'm not help - LOL - but hope you have a great time

  7. Once you master the art of traveling light and/or going with just a carry-on, you will never look back! I love it! You are going to have a great time!!

  8. Jennifer, I do believe you are right! It was so freeing!


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