Again, I'm thankful for advance preparation. Has anyone ever NOT been thankful that they prepared in advance? Last October, the same advance preparation allowed us to get packed in an hour to go home when my mom passed away.
Every time after we get home from a trip, I unpack our stuff and put it away. Then, I REPACK our toiletries bag and our bin of travel food. I started doing this some time ago to make sure that we didn't forget things like allergy medicines that we don't normally use, but always need when traveling because of changes in climate. It also helps spread the cost of food for our trip out over several months...instead of in the month OF the trip...when we're already strapped for cash. Food is typically a fairly big expense for us when traveling because of food allergies. We either take it with us or have to buy it when we get there.
There are some basics that we all use that can be packed for a future trip:
- Toothbrushes (we put new ones in a baggie)
- Lotion (coconut oil for us)
- Hair stuff (ponytails, headbands, bobby-pins, etc)
- Small brush
- Hair gel
- Medicines for the trip (For us, that means allergy meds, 1 month of maintenance meds, and extra nebulizer mask for our son.)
- Socks (For some reason, this flip-flop family nearly always forgot socks...so we pre-pack them. We barely wear them so we've got extra to keep packed.)
- Granola bars
- Fruit leathers
- Dried fruits
- Canned fruits
- A small can opener
- Bags for trash
- Travel bowls and silverware (we keep a cheap set for travel)
- Extra blender (smoothies are a regular part of our diet and family members don't have a blender so this is a necessity)
- Shelf-stable milk like rice milk (I was missing this for this trip, we took cold milk instead.)
The extra that add for a winter trip is winter stuff "just in case" we get stuck somewhere. Here in Vegas, we just keep all of our winter stuff in a bin year-round anyway because...well, we never need it. (Please don't hate me, Michigan friends.)
I cannot tell you how valuable it is to have our toiletries bag almost completely packed and our food and food supplies already gathered in one place. I pull them out, added clothes for the trip and we are ready to go.
What things do you do to make travel easier on your family?