Tag: packing for holidays

How (NOT) to pack a suitcase.

The countdown is on. In 3 sleeps (I count everything in ‘sleeps’ because I have a four year old and to be honest I am kind of immature when it comes to EXCITING THINGS anyhow), I am going to be on my way to Sydney for what has accidentally become my annual birthday getaway (this being only the second time)! I will be travelling with my parents (who practically live there anyway), sleeping on the fold out couch and shopping, socialising, drinking and eating.

Woohoo!

I am going for what will essentially be a long weekend. I can’t wait. It’s not long enough away that I start to feel guilty, but it’s long enough (and far enough away) that I can forget a bunch of responsibilities and just relax/have fun as an individual entity. YES!

This morning my mum called me and asked, “So, are you all packed for Sydney yet?”

And we laughed and laughed. Oh, how we laughed.

Because it’s me we’re talking about. I mean, come on. Packing is not my forte. I am neither organised nor timely.

It always works out in the end, though. Right? Kind of?

I thought I’d put together some tips so you too can be as awful at packing as I am…

Enjoy!

  1. Pack at the last minute. I mean it. Put it off for as long as you can. Become distracted by ‘life’. And by ‘life’, I mean the internet and agreeing to countless social interactions that steal away the time that you could be packing. I’m serious. Fill those little moments of ‘free’ time and pack them tight with other shit to do. Before you know it you’ll be packing in a panicked frenzy at some weird hour the night before. Because people in a panicked frenzy know how to GSD (Get Shit Done).
  2. Realise that you need to wash all of the clothes you might bring, because right now they’re just lying unwashed in your floordrobe (because domestic goddess – obvs). Pray that everything will dry before your flight leaves. Also pray that the mental list you’ve made of the stuff you’ve washed and need to pack won’t fail you when you’re in the aforementioned panicked frenzy.
  3. Put absolutely everything you could ever possibly need in your suitcase. I mean it. EVERYTHING. Umbrellas, raincoats, summer clothes, winter clothes, activewear, swimming gear, a beach towel, clothes you can wear when you feel fat, clothes you can wear when you’re feeling skinny, party dresses, 10 times more of the daggy underwear that you actually need because who knows what could happen (seriously – WTF), every pair of shoes. You get the idea. I mean, while you’re away you just never know. You might need that dress you haven’t even worn in 3 years.
  4. Take a few things out. At some point, you’ll realise you are being ridiculous and you’ll start to google the airline’s baggage weight limit. So you’ll take out a few things. You know, so you can close the suitcase. Sure, you’re only going for a weekend. But it’s always good to be prepared. Like I said; anything could happen! Remember NOT to leave room to bring home any stuff you buy while you’re away. That’s what the fucking unzippable suitcase expander is for, people. Keep up.
  5. Don’t ever nail the packing of your toiletries. Where’s the fun in that? The whole point of going away is so that you feel a sense of adventure and fun. If you replicate your exact toiletry products/routines from home, then you’re just not living. Try to get out of your comfort zone. Forget your razor so by the time you realise you have super hairy legs, it’s after hours in a city you haven’t been in for a while. Because you don’t have your own transport, you’ll need your parents (yes – you are a grown person) to drive you around in their rental car until you find what you need at a dodgy 7/11 kind of place. You could also mix things up a bit by packing two bottles of conditioner, instead of one shampoo bottle and one conditioner like a normal person. You should use the tiny bottle of shampoo at the hotel. Ration that stuff out for like 4 days. It will feel like you’re Bear Grylls in the wild, surviving off whatever you can find. SENSE OF ADVENTURE.

If anything, these adult fails will give you a sense of childlike escape from all that awaits you at home when you get back in a few days. I’m doing you a favour.

Is anyone else out there as good bad at packing as I am? Do you love it or hate it? Have you ever had an epic packing fail? 

Sydney is only a day away.

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Somebody. Pinch me.

Tomorrow, I will be in Sydney. For a few nights. Child free. And while I’ve been very excited about it, and feeling a little guilty about not feeling guilty (haha), I think my nervous stomach (blergh) has betrayed me. This will be the longest I’ve ever left the Little Mister for. It’s not a super long time (not even a week – four nights), but it’s new to us. Of course, he will be fine with his dad. This could actually be quite good for the both of us. Still, it’s weird. The best thing that could happen is that I have a great time and miss him terribly by the time I get home. Then I’ll know I had just the right amount of time out!

Let’s just say I’ve been terribly stir crazy lately. I am more than ready to shake everything up!

True to Kez style, I haven’t really packed yet. Yesterday I threw stuff at my suitcase. Literally. Just threw stuff. At it. Not into it. At it. I wrote a list, though. I may be crap at packing, but I’m good at lists. I know that by tonight’s end, I will have way too many things in my case. My method of packing is not meticulous and well thought out like my mum’s (she’s amazing). I just throw in ANYTHING I might need and then remove a few things so it all fits. When I reach my destination, I end up living in about 5% of the clothes I took with me and something is sure to be missing. Very precise. Not.

Did I mention that there needs to be room for all the things I hope I can buy while I am there? Oops.

I am travelling with my parents. They were already going over for my dad’s work, but some good timing (and a little advance on my birthday privileges) means that I am now tagging along! I am excited about quality girl time with my mum. We are going to shop until we drop (if picky me can find anything I like)! We are also going to spend time with family friends and a long lost cousin of my dad’s who I am going to meet for the first time (she’s not ‘long lost’ anymore haha).

I find that I am excited about the smallest things.

  • Sitting on a plane child free.
  • Reading a magazine. I am determined to finish a Marie Claire. Just the one.
  • My handbag containing no child related items.
  • Doing my hair and make up properly EVERY day.
  • No-one yelling out for me in the night (it could be creepy if they did haha).
  • Not having to have constant eyes in the back of my head, always supervising someone.
  • Not having to plan each day around the needs of a three year old, which can often limit your options.
  • Not cooking dinner. No rushed meals as witching hour descends. Sorry, Mr Unprepared! 😉

Sorry not sorry, Little Mister! Haha.

I am going to miss him. I mean, duh. I am going to enjoy photo updates from Mr Unprepared. We’ll probably Face time or Skype or something. I’m going to tell everyone (who wants to know) about him. I will think about him every day – especially when I see/do things I know he’d love. But I am going to enjoy this break. F*ck yeah, I am!

When did you last get a break? What would you do if you could take one right now?

Sporadic “Newsletter”: January 2015 edition.

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OK, so this isn’t really a newsletter, it’s more of a “newsletter” because it’s not really a proper one. I am far too lazy and unfocused to actually send them regularly. Hence, the fact that it is a sporadic “newsletter”. Basically, this series will just be some random stuff I’ve been doing/thinking about/reading/watching…or whatever. Gee, I’m really selling this. 

Now that we’ve recovered from Christmas and New Year (trust me – a dear friend referred to it as an ’emotional hangover’ which described it perfectly), it’s been great diving into January with great excitement for all of the possibilities that 2015 might bring. I love that whole ‘fresh new year full of potential’ feeling.

So what have we been up to lately?

Losing actual sleep over toilet training. 

Yeah. I’m not proud. The night before last, I woke at 3am and started irrationally panicking about the Little Mister’s toilet training progress. I have no idea what possessed me as I lay in bed googling the shit out of the situation (or should I say ‘shit-uation’). Maybe the fact that he seemed to keep waking in the night (but not needing my help) because he’d held in his number 2s for a couple of days and was clearly not too comfortable. He has had a phobia of doing them on the toilet, you see. He’d get really anxious and freak out a bit, despite trying to please me. I was starting to worry about how backed up he might be getting and I didn’t want to pressure him and like scar him for life or anything.

So instead of learning that worrying in the middle of the night is not good for you, I came to the conclusion that an incentives chart was what he needed (revolutionary I know). So yesterday we gathered everything we needed. A hanging whiteboard, some dry erase markers and some cool little toy cars from K-mart that cost hardly anything, but would be FANTASTIC bribes to dangle in front of him. He has to get a certain number of ‘ticks’ on his chart to get a reward for various things, like doing wees without us having to ask him to go, wees when we ask him (he has to work harder for this because he’s already fairly good at it), and just one big tick for a poo on the toilet. When he gets all the ticks for a certain task, he gets a little car/truck/helicopter (one of whatever’s in the multi-packs I bought). As he progresses, I will up the ante – wearing jocks all day, standing up to wee, using the toilets at the shops (hey – I’d want a reward for that too) etc.

So on our way home from the shops with all these toilet training incentive supplies, he told me “I need to do wees.” He then held on until we got to our house 5 minutes later (I had offered that we could go to the shops if it was urgent). This never happens. Usually he has to be prompted or he wets his training pull ups because he doesn’t think to tell anyone ahead of time. Then we were home and right before his day sleep, he told me he needed to poo and blow me away with a feather, he did it. On the toilet. No accidents. No hiding anywhere, no crying, no fussing. Yes!

I have heard that sometimes the novelty wears off quite quickly, but I shall remain hopeful and try to keep things interesting and motivational (but still realistically achievable) for him. I don’t think he’d understood the concept fully before, so that’s probably why we didn’t introduce it earlier. The moral of the story? Insomnia pays off. Sigh. I am not nailing this whole ‘functioning as a grown person’ thing haha.

Planning our camping trip.

We’re really excited because we’re going camping soon. I’ve been excited about it since last year! I am looking forward to beach days, fish and chips from the front shop (the best ever) and watching the Little Mister run around. Mr Unprepared has done some stuff to make sure our camper van is ready for another year (it was made in the 80s – the type with the pull out ends) and I have been making some lists. Because I’m good at lists. It should be so much easier to pack this year, because we set so much of it up last time. Such a relief, because I HATE PACKING.

There’s been plenty of beach time at home too.  1743670_10152726859693218_2598099152522802652_n Yep. That’s my fam and that’s our local. A beauty, isn’t it? We’ve also been enjoying my parents’ pool (I recommend that everybody’s parents have a pool haha). The weather has finally started to heat up and while we’ve had some stinkers, it’s still worth it (and I know I only say that as a spoilt person with aircon in my house and parents with a pool). I love the summer.

I’ve been watching a lot of teevs.

Yep. I am loving the fact that now summer has come (and brought with it a lot of lame TV reruns and sports), I can finally start watching everything I’ve recorded on my DVR for the last year or so (I’m not kidding)! I’ve had a massive Parks and Recreation marathon (best time of my life) and now I’m obsessed with the MTV show Catfish. Like the episode where a dude sent a chick money and she bought an engagement ring and sent it to herself without him knowing (rendering them engaged for all intents and purposes) and it got all creepy, or the time a chick was a catfish but then came clean with the dude she was chatting with, but it turned out he was a (transgender) catfish too, but they fell in love anyway. Yeah, I know. Weird and wonderful stuff. If you don’t know what a catfish is, this doesn’t make much sense. Basically, it’s when you lure someone into an online relationship, by pretending you’re somebody else (usually a fictional person you’ve created by using stolen profile pictures and stuff). You’re welcome.

Hey, I’ve had to fill the hole in my life that has been left after I finished listening to the Serial podcast!

Catch up on Awesomely Unprepared here!

Here are some of the blog posts I’ve written lately (and some updates on those situations)…

Happiness starts with us. I’ve been reflecting on what happiness means. The whole toilet training insomnia thing shows me that I need to work on the ‘not stressing excessively’ part, but we’ll get there 🙂

Reading list. I listed the books I am keen to devour. I am making good progress with Mindy Kaling’s book because I’ve sacrificed some stupid time wasting I was doing before bed (playing a rather addictive word game on my phone). I am really enjoying it, thanks for asking 😉

My thoughts on spiders…and how to kill them. So I confessed to my ridiculous arachnophobia and how to kill a red back spider the Aussie way (hint: it involves footwear). Just last night, Mr Unprepared saw a huntsman spider jump out of nowhere. He emptied his lunchbox (for work the next day) and threw it at the spider, in the hopes of trapping it…but accidentally killed it in the process. It was equally horrifying and hilarious and terrifying. I mean, killing a spider with a lunchbox? Who does that? My husband does. The lunchbox was re-packed (well – a clean replacement one was) and I sat there for the rest of the night, wondering where the spider had come from and how many times I had walked past it. Also, THEY JUMP. Spiders should NOT be allowed to jump. Oh holy sh*t.

What have you been up to lately? Tell me everything! x

How I feel about packing for a holiday.

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I honestly think that the one (flying) holiday related task that I dread the most is the packing process. I always hated it, but now we have a toddler. Too young to do it himself, apparently. Also, he’s not much use in carting his own things around either. Lame haha.

But seriously, I have the same issues/thoughts/nightmares every single time. Which isn’t many times. So that’s probably a part of it. I am probably not experienced enough to have a regular go-to packing routine. I have tried googling blogs with packing advice before, but to be honest, they made me feel stabby. I resent those people with their amazing organisational packing skills. I just bug my mum with questions and various anxieties 5 times a day instead. I’m sure she loves it.

So what are the things that drive me crazy when packing?

I keep forgetting that there are shops in other countries that sell things. Seriously. You’d think I was headed deep into the Amazonian jungles or something. So I freak out about making sure I have every. single. freakin’. item. a. human. being. could. possibly. need. ever. Which of course is not always practical.

I get Sorting My Clothing Into Piles Rage. Like when I try to pack lots of basics that will mix and match and also be flattering, I soon realise that all the clothes I want to take end up being black. And then when I’m trying to sort through the clothes I have put into a pile for packing potential (a PPP), THEY ALL LOOK THE SAME and I want to scream because I can’t find that one black clothing item I want and WAAAAAAH.

How much is too much and how much is not enough? Seriously. Is there some kind of magical formula? Like the time you’re travelling for multiplied by the kinds of transport you are taking, divided by your age, minus your shoe size = the precise amount of underwear to pack? What? You think it’s easier than that and maybe I am just a bit dim? My brain does not agree. My brain is very special. My brain makes it complicated. My brain wants to find that absolutely perfect balance between bare minimalism (which never feels like enough – what am I? Bear Grylls?) and being that idiot at the airport being told to pay more or throw stuff out while being publicly humiliated. You know what I mean? The bare necessities + just a little bit of cushion (not an actual cushion…you know what I mean) just in case. Right? There is a chance I overanalyse this stuff. But that’s sooooo unlikely. I mean, I’m a very together person. Yeah, I couldn’t keep a straight face while typing that…moving along…

Fear of ending up on Border Security. I am generally a ‘follow all the rules all the time’ kind of person. I freak out about being a bit naughty. Like, I won’t even jay walk or enter through an exit door. I sound like so much fun to hang out with. Doesn’t mean I haven’t broken ‘the rules’ before and had an amazing time…just that…well, I don’t want to end up on that Border Security show because I packed something I shouldn’t by accident. Like some corpse of a rare protected animal species or like a bomb or something. Oh, whoops. How did they get in there?? Wait, where are you taking me???? Are those handcuffs necessary???? I’m innocent, I swear!!!

*some bogan watching Border Security from his couch in suburban Australia shakes his head and says, “It’s always the funny looking ones…”*

I once got an unimpressed frown from a customs/security lady who discovered a full sized shampoo bottle in my hand luggage. A bottle of shampoo I had accidentally left there from our last little weekend road trip months earlier. She looked at me like I was a criminal and as I was forced to throw it away in front of her, I wished I could grab it back to wash off the shame.

Sudden obsession with lists and not sleeping. Packing makes me anxious. It’s always that fear of forgetting something. There’s all the stuff you have to do before you leave home. The things you need to buy specifically for the trip. The last minute things that you can’t put in your luggage until the very last minute (like phones and make-up etc). I spend the weeks/days leading up to a trip away obsessively writing to-do lists in the hopes that writing it all down will ease my anxiety. I have lists of stuff to do for each individual day. These are part of a bigger list of things that must be done by the time we leave. There are lists of admin related things. Lists of errands grouped by category as to where I will be and how I can kill several birds with as few stones as possible. There are the lists of what I will need in my hand luggage, what will go in my larger suitcase, lists for the Little Mister, lists for Mr Unprepared. Lists I write when I can’t get to sleep at night. Lists I write as soon as I wake up. LISTS LISTS LISTS!

I am drowning in lists.

As you can see, I am just so good at this. And such a spontaneous spirit. So whimsical and carefree. I know I’ll be fine once we’re at the airport. Then my mind will be freed up for me to worry about how the Little Mister will behave on the plane…did I mention he’s started screaming for fun lately – especially when he’s bored of sitting still?

Hold me.

And then give me your international holiday packing tips…extra points if you can also give toddler related baggage tips!