Thursday, June 13, 2013

7,369 Miles - The Packing List

For several years we've been dreaming of taking a long vacation, going to some of the places we traveled as kids and visiting new places together. On April 4th, 2013 we took the opportunity! 

David has been studying for months to get his CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician), which he received in March. In April he quit his job and we headed out on our big adventure.

The plan was to visit family in New Mexico and Arizona, take a consulting job in Nevada, then on to California for a few days to vacation and check out a couple job leads.

After 7,369 Miles, 1 Month, 3 Weeks, 4 Days, and 10 States, with 1 Suitcase, 1 Duffle Bag, a Toddler and an iPod. I have a few things to share with you!

Thinking we'd only be gone 2-3 weeks I scoured the web for ideas on packing light, I knew I could do laundry along the way, the weather would be hot most of the trip and we have a 2010 Honda Civic, however, there's more room in those things than you'd think!

Here's what I found: 

Taking the things I gleaned from these articles, I made my list. 

I also tried to only pack clothes that make me feel happy. I know that sounds crazy, but I have a few black, brown and olive colored shirts that I love because they're soft, but I don't feel very girly in them, I feel happier wearing pinks, purples, blues, and greens. The lesson here is, pack what you're comfortable and happy wearing, a lot, because you will end up wearing the same things over and over.

Here's our packing list, I packed the same type of items for David, Caden and myself:
  • 2-3 pairs of shorts
  • 1 pair of lightweight pants / capris (for me)
  • 6 Shirts  We could have taken 3-4 shirts, we ended up wearing our favorites the whole time.
  • 3 pairs of Socks
  • Swimsuits
  • Jammies
  • 1 long sleeve shirt
  • 1 pair of Jeans
  • 1 Sweatshirt
  • Enough underwear to last a week. For Caden, I packed cloth undies and pull-ups. We started potty training in January and I wanted to continue with that as much as possible on our trip. I'm happy to report that we only had 2 poopy pull-ups the whole trip and he told us when he needed to go, most of the time. I'm one proud Mama!
  • Sandals
  • Tennis Shoes

David also needed 1 pair of dress pants, 3 button up shirts, 1 tie and dress shoes for the consulting job and interviews along the way. 

Just in case, I threw in a pair of mittens for Caden and my scarf. I wish I would have brought my rain jacket with the fleece lining and hats for everyone, but how was I to know it would snow 6 inches the end of May in Montana? 

All the items above were rolled into little bundles of shirt, shorts, underwear, and rubber banded together, so all we had to do was grab a bundle and be ready for the day (this also kept the suitcase and duffle bag from getting messy). The extra items, like the shirts were bundled together by owner, so we could find what we needed quickly, in case of an accidental spill or diaper blow out.

We also packed Caden's blanket, toy puppy,"ees" (sock monkeys), happy presents (to be given out during the long car rides), potty chair, favorite toys (which he didn't play with very much, he wanted the iPod; during the trip he learned his ABC's, 123's, shapes and colors), a queen size blanket, pillow, cooler, 2 gallon water jug, snacks, pack n play, my sewing machine, fabric, cutting board and notions, David's books for his next test, and our essential toiletries.

Most everything fit into a full size suitcase, you really save a lot of room by rolling your clothes.

I thought I'd make it easy and pack our jammies, a new change of clothes for everyone, toiletries and blankets in the duffle bag, that way if we arrived late to a hotel we could just grab what we needed and not have to haul everything in, every night. 

My sister was staying with us at the time and rode 4 hours with us to our first stop at Uncle CoCo's in New Mexico. She brought a few items as well, since she'd be staying there while we were away. She was a huge help in keeping Caden happy and entertained.

More stories and pictures of our Great Adventure coming soon!

Photos: David & Tammy Larsen - Do not copy or alter
Digital Scrapbook: SmileBox
Stock Image:

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