In less than 48 hours, I'll be boarding a plane, heading for warmer weather, palm trees, and the ocean. Heading to my favourite resort in south Florida with my family is one of my favourite things to do in the winter, because we all need to get away around this time of year.
Travelling and packing for a vacation takes on a whole new meaning when you have children. Gone are the days when you can throw a dozen pair of shoes and 10 bikinis in your suitcase and be set to go. Now, everything that goes in the suitcase has to be carefully thought out. I have been packed for a few days now, in order to avoid the last-minute headaches that come with last-minute packing for the little ones.
I had big intentions of packing only one suitcase for my children and myself for this trip, but after filling an entire suitcase of things belonging only to my children, I grabbed a medium sized suitcase for myself, determined to not to overboard like I do whenever I travel. (This has gotten better since having kids, though, and with each trip I go on, I end up bringing one pair of shoes less!)
What I packed for a one-week vacation:
Three dresses: I have packed one maxi black dress, one strapless fun black dress, and one J.Crew ruffly grey dress.( And two over swim suit beach dresses, but those don't count! Do they?)
Jeans: I am bringing two pairs of jeans—the pair I'm travelling in, and an extra pair.
Bathing suits: Okay, so I may have ordered two new bathing suits from Victoria's Secret and had them delivered to my hotel since they wouldn't have shipped to Canada on time...so what of it? I've also brought another 3 swim suits, because I like having a selection to choose from and you know, anxiety about what suit to put on every morning is just what I need on my relaxing vacation! (Sigh.) ALSO IMPORTANT: I always pack my swim suit and my children's swimming shorts in my carry-on bag, just in case our luggage gets lost (knock on wood) so at least we'll be ready to hit the beach and pool.
Shoes: The tricky thing about packing shoes is you never know when you've brought too many pairs. Of course, on almost every vacation I've ever been on, I bring too many pairs. I know this because at least three pairs sit in the bottom of the suitcase, lonely. Most of my really high heels are staying home, because I'm travelling with my children and there won't be any late nights. I've brought my Tory Burch Reva flats, a sensible pair of wedge heels (Burberry, bought on sale, and they go with everything, hoorah!) a pair of brown wedge heels, and a higher, sexier, yet oh-so-comfortable pair of sandals. And two pairs of flip flops, and the pair of boots I'm travelling in. (Is this too much? Now I'm panicking...)
Tops: I think it's almost pointless to really count how many tops you're packing, because it's okay to bring more than you can wear. I simply cannot plan outfits ahead of time! I need to lay things out, the day of, and decide what to wear at that moment. So, I go easy on myself when packing shirts and tank tops. You never know what combo will be the winning look each night of your vacation!
Extra stuff: Bras—strapless, regular, you name it, bring it. Underwear, lulus, pjs—check! Running shoes? Um, no. What else? Books! Magazines! Make-up, suntan lotion, toiletry bag filled with coconut body butter, razors, hair stuff? Already packed! And, of course, laptop. For those late nights on the balcony after the kids have gone to sleep...blogging while listening to the sound of the waves? Pretty awesome.
For the children: I managed to have their suitcase packed in five minutes. I packed an outfit each for every day, and some extra clothes, including a couple of sweaters just in case it's cold at night. I packed them three swimming shorts each, and they each have two pairs of shoes packed (their beloved Crocs!) and are travelling in their running shoes. Each boy has a backpack filled with goodies like ipods and ipads, notebooks, markers, and books galore. They're set!
Moms, my last word of advice when it comes to packing and what to bring with you on your vacation? ADVIL. For you, and for the children.
Now, all that's left to do is: HAVE FUN while on vacation—and don't forget the sunscreen!