Tuesday, December 23, 2008

One Bag… And Then Some More

I have never been an advocate of traveling light. When I was single, I would bring along 2 brimming suitcases full of “girl” essentials. The sight of me lugging along two gigantic baggage must have been a hilarious airport sight, giving not a few porters a chuckle. Now that I have kids, I have toned it down a whole lot and have managed to fit all of our essentials in 2 suitcases – if our destination is a resort. But for a city tour kind of thing, I try my very, very best to keep it down to just 3 suitcases, plus one carry-on trolley.

I am the family’s designated packer for every trip. I have mastered this craft so well that I can now effortlessly pack 3 suitcases in one go, if there’s an urgent need for it. However, as most trip goes, I usually start packing 3 days before a big trip. Packing for a few hours at a time, taking breaks every now and then. Packing for 5 may seem daunting at first but through the years I have thought out a technique that keeps packing organized and systematic.

I discovered packing cubes early on in my marriage, and I cannot extol its merits enough. I managed to keep our clothes in order by segregating and putting everything in containers designed for that purpose. I would put all underwear and toiletires in our his-and-hers bags, another one for the sleeping clothes, still another one for the shirts, the list goes on. That way as we search through everything that we brought with us for the trip, the clothes don’t end up scattered and messy inside the luggage.

I remember when the kids were much younger, going away on trips means carrying almost the whole nursery with me. The portable playpen, bottle sterilizer, electric thermos, blender, booster seat, baby tub, et al. The baby clothes alone would fit almost a whole suitcase. Thankfully, as they grow older their traveling essentials decrease.

Since C cannot be counted on to lend a hand during packing, I have made 2 packing checklists, one for C and me, and the other one for the kids to ease the confusion (and avoid the backaches). These lists are a life saver and I have not yet experienced leaving anything behind because of them. 

Save for that one time we took J to her first Disneyland trip. Everything was ready and packed the night before.   On the morning of departure, I was supposed to fix myself up and do a little bit of make up, when C decided that we have to leave already. Ok, no big deal, I thought to myself, I will just fix myself up at the airport’s waiting lounge. As I was rummaging through my bag to get our passports and tickets for check-in, I realized that I left my make up bag behind! In my hurry to go down the stairs, I left my entire make-up bag in the bathroom. Without exaggerating, let me tell you that was one traumatic traveling experience. I had to buy new ones as soon as we landed to replace the ones I left behind.

Two suitcases done and the third one still lying around empty, I am right on time. I still have a full day to go. The third suitcase is going to make its debut this trip. I just got it recently – as a freebie! Chris has a new BDO Titanium Card (of which I am a supplementary cardholder), and the mechanics says that if the cardholder spends a minimum of PHP70 grand for the first two months of card usage, the suitcase set is free. How wonderful is that. Talk about perfect timing!


jen laceda said...

wow, it's like taking the whole troop out...well, because i guess it is!! packing for 5 is daunting, but you have the system right down to a T.

we also like segregating our stuff. we always pack our clothes according to type in Ziplock bags!

don't forget to post pics from your trip. would love to see them!

mich said...

packing is always left to me too! never tried using the packing cubes, will try that the next time we go on a trip.

RONE said...

I'm a mother packer too =) I think as Filipinos it is in our nature to have the ability to pack as many things in a maleta. I also like packing in little bags and containers.

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