Friday, November 30, 2012

Taking a Big Trip? How I Plan and Pack

This past week we took a trip to the ocean.  We have a family home there and so there is no rent.  It is a rental property though so we don't keep "normal" supplies down there.  We have to bring everything from our food to towels and sheets.  Since we are trying to take this trip "on the cheap" I needed to make sure I planned everything that I could and take everything with me that we would need.  I didn't want to have to run out to the store and replace things we left. (However that did still happen and I will get to that).

So here was what I did.  I made lists.

1.  Menu plan for the days we would be down there including planned eating out.  We planned to eat out one meal on the way down and one on the way back and one while we were there.  For the meal we picked while we were there we chose a pizza place, a favorite of ours for lunch one day.  While the menu wasn't strict it did include everything we would eat, all meals (maybe not in the order I listed them) and all snacks.  I also included all spices and regular pantry items such as flour, salt and pepper, and sugar.  I have nothing down there so I have to take it all with me.

2.  Clothing.  This was a bit more relaxed.  I didn't stress if we didn't have enough clothing to get us through the week as we have a washer and dryer there in the house.  We can do laundry.  I did list out weather related items such as winter coats and socks. Shoes and sweatshirts.  An umbrella.

3.  Household linens.  We had to take take bath towels, wash cloths, sheets, blankets, kitchen towels, and pot holders. (I forgot kitchen towels and pot holders so we had to go to the Dollar Store and buy these items.  They are now down there in the owner's closet waiting for us to return.)

4.  Cleaning supplies.  Clorox wipes, laundry detergent and dryer sheets, dishwasher detergent and dish soap, hand soap, paper towels and toilet paper.

5.  Toiletries. Shampoos and conditioners, toothbrush and toothpaste, soaps, deodorant, etc.

6.  Activities and supplies.  We had some science activities we wanted to do while there and we made sure we had all the supplies we needed.  I also made sure each child brought two books with them to read and other activities they wanted to do or toys they wanted to pack (within reason).

7.  Kitchen pots and pans.  I like to cook on cast iron so I tend to bring my pans with me.  So I packed them also.

I began packing and planning a week in advance of our departure.  Most of the planning was done in list form and the scheduling was done in my head.  I made one last trip to the grocery store two days prior to our departure.

I began to pack our food stuffs the day before and the kids packed their clothes the day before.  The linens and towels were packed a few days before our departure.  On the day of our departure our daughter was sick and we delayed leaving for a day.  So instead of leaving on Tuesday evening we left Wednesday about mid-day.

The day of our departure I packed the rest of our food stuff and our cold food in the cooler.  Everything else was packed and in the car the night before.

Once we arrived and unpacked I knew there were a few things I did need from the store.  I did not pack eggs because they tend to not travel well.  I did not pack milk and I wanted to get some ice cream and knew that wouldn't travel well in the cooler.  We ended up spending about $50 with other fresh items like fruits we purchased.  We also spent $14 at the Dollar Store where I purchased a disposable turkey pan, a Reynolds Roasting bag and kitchen towels and pot holders.

We stayed at the ocean for 6 days and 6 nights and brought all our food from home and enjoyed the time we spent down there tremendously.

We think the off season is the best time to be at the beach.  We enjoy having the beach almost to ourselves and the weather usually isn't too bad in the fall and spring times.  Winters can be a bit windy and chilly but the views are still awesome.

If you plan, make lists, and follow your lists then you won't have any emergency trips to the store with added expense.

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