Monday, June 24, 2013

Packing for Belize

Before I go on holiday, I spend a lot of time planning and organizing, as you might have seen in my Overexcited post. That's just the type of person I am. I like to plan what I can because it's important to me to be prepared, though, I still remind myself that sometimes things might not go exactly how I imagined.

Typically, about one month ahead of the trip, I'll start to make a list of anything I need to buy. One month gives me enough time if I need to order anything online (like underwater cameras) because I'm cheap and I always opt for the free shipping option, which means my package will take a little longer to arrive at my doorstep. Plus, if what I've ordered is not to my liking, I still have time to send it back and reorder. And I usually spend one weekend going wherever I need to go (usually Target) to pick up things like travel-size body wash and cheap sandals.

Oh, and another thing I do about a month or two ahead - if I need to bring cash with me, I like to take out a little bit at a time so that neither my bank account nor I feel overwhelmed by a large withdrawal. So for example, if I plan on bringing $1000 with me, I might split that up into four weekly trips to the ATM to withdraw $250 at a time.

A week ahead of my departure date, I make sure the laundry is done because 1) I want to make sure that everything I'm packing is clean and good to go and 2) when I return from trips, I dump the contents of my suitcase into my laundry basket so it's nice to not have an overwhelming amount of laundry to do after a holiday.

About three or four days before the trip I start to pull out the clothes and shoes I want to bring and make a pile in the corner of my room like this:

It looks a little messy but it's what I like to do.

I also always plan my outfits ahead of time, so I know exactly what to pull from my closet and what to leave behind. Often times, my outfit planning goes to extremes and I draw them out like this:
Though I do have fun drawing my outfits, the real reason I plan them so meticulously is to prevent myself from packing too much. Sure, I throw in an extra singlet or pair of shorts as 'just in case' items but for the most part, I stick to my list, especially because it's so easy to over-pack for tropical holidays where all of the clothing items you need are quite small.

The actual packing of the suitcase doesn't usually happen until the night before I leave and it's at that time that I'll do a little bit of fine tuning and omit things that I don't absolutely need if my luggage starts to get a bit too fat or allow myself a few more luxuries if my luggage is looking a bit thin.

When I travel with my sister (which is true of our trip to Belize), we like to share a suitcase, at which point, it becomes quite interesting to see how well we can pack all of our stuff. We've never had a problem making everything fit because we are both practical about what we pack. I'm going to try to document my packing methods (via video) but we'll see how that goes. I like to pack my shoes in the bottom, underwear and socks go in pockets, all clothes get rolled up, and random things (like snorkels) get packed where they fit.

5 days!

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