August 11, 2008 by Marj Hatzell
Because I am the Queen of Organization (IRL friends can insert hearty guffaw here. Now shut up.) I am pleased to share my best packing tips with y’all. You know, because you asked. You didn’t? Ummm…well, it won’t kill you. Without further ado:
- Start by dreaming up some goofy vacation with tons of stops and sights that most people would run away screaming from.
- Whittle your list of destinations (yes, I said DESTINATIONS with an ‘S’) down to a manageable amount and save the Badlands and Mt. Rushmore for another trip. That is, if you come back alive from this one.
- Buy yourself a pretty, trendy binder and colored tab page separators. Make all of your reservations, print out the confirmations and directions and then put in pretty binder, with each leg separated by a pretty colored tabs. Go ahead, it’ll impress people and they’ll think you are really on top of things (MWAHAHAHAHAHA!).
- Make all reservations in hotels with POOLS and FREE, HOT BREAKFAST because, trust me, it is more fun, the kids will be happier and breakfast for four is freaking expensive. It is healthier this way. Plus it is FREE! Oh, and don’t forget FREE Wifi so you can chronicle your trip. That is, if you ever find a laptop to bring. The husband’s blackberry will drive you nuts.
- Type up a master list of your trip with confirmation numbers and put it in the front of the binder, like a table of contents. It looks really impressive. Put pocket folders or clear page holders in the back to hold things like National Park passes, brochures and other things.
- Order this and this and this and this so you feel better about your Autistic child’s safety because you think you are nuts to take him to the great wide open in the first place.
- Throw a fit because you only have one week left to get everything ready
- Make a Master packing list while your husband is making his world-famous ribs because it is the only time you can engage Mr. Reticent in conversation, when he’s making his ribs he is actually EXCITED. Type master packing list up with little check boxes and put it in your pretty binder to impress your friends. Do a few things on your list to make it look even better when you check them off IN RED PEN.
- Throw a fit while he is in a good making his ribs because you don’t have a laptop. He might actually bring one home from work that they ain’t using (FOR FREE!) that is Wifi-friendly (albeit, a little slow.).
- Have friends over to eat the ribs and make Margaritas. Drink at least three, it takes the pain away.
- Line up tons of therapists, sitters and helpers to keep Bugaboo busy while you attempt to pack. When he gets into the pills for the third time and gets a bloody nose, throw a fit so your husband takes him out for a few hours. They might come home with chocolate. And a new blender. And Margartia Mix. No, I wasn’t hung over. Too much.
- A few days before the trip, decide which days you will need to accomplish which tasks. Spread it out so you aren’t too stressed out. Or procrastinate like I do and save it all for the day before you leave so you are up until at least one a.m. and then can’t drive the entire first day because you’ve had no sleep.
- Just kidding.
- Catch up on laundry and then pack all of the nice outfits and clothes so the kids can’t wear them. They’ll be stuck with stained or ugly stuff for a few days, but TOO BAD. Do the same thing for your husband so he won’t wear a brand-new pair of shorts while applying joint compound. Ooops. Too late. Go buy him a few new pairs of shorts and a few new shirts so you can go on your trip without being embarassed that your husband has ripped-out arm holes, large stains, paint and grease on EVERY SINGLE ARTICLE OF CLOTHING HE OWNS even though he has a pile of “rags” and “work clothes” in his garage.
- Go to the pharmacy to make sure you can get all refills or partial refills ahead of time so you have, I dunno, seizure meds? Happy Pills? Also not locations of all hospitals on your route and make sure you know where they are at all times, just in case. This isn’t a joke, honest. With seizures and anaphylaxis, you can’t be too careful. While you are at it, check on your husband’s epipen because he SWEARS it is fine and it actually expired in 2006, which means IT ISN’T FINE. Get a new prescription because he’s a doo-doo head.
- Start dreaming about the margaritas you will make tonight because you still have so freaking much to do.