We are T - 5 days and counting until our incredible trip to the South Pacific! The greatest struggle I'm challenged with is this...wait for it.... PACKING! Not only is this the longest trip at 3 full weeks that we have ever been on, but the weather varies significantly between countries. Here is the weather trend for our dates of travel to each country as seen on weatherunderground.com:
Hong Kong - Hot - Highs of 25 C , Lows of 18 C - some rain
Melbourne/Sydney Australia - Warm days/cool nights - Highs of 21 C, Lows of 13 C
Nadi, Fiji - HOT HOT - Highs of 30 C, Lows of 22 C - some rain
Santa Monica, California - Warm days cool nights - Highs 21 C, Lows 11 C
Thus, we have 3 weeks of travel with quite cool temps., very hot temps. and rainy times too! Also a 5 night beach vacation smack in the middle! What in the world to pack? We are each allotted 1 big suitcase and 1 carry on (as per our personal rules of management, but technically we are permitted to check 2 bags each) but we will see how that turns out! I'm thinking "layers" is the best approach. Clothing that is great for warmer days with plenty of options to layer over and under. Any of you who know my daughter knows she ONLY wears skirts and dresses so this suits her just fine! She can wear tights/leggings underneath dresses with a jacket/sweater over top for cooler weather, and take off the layers for warmer days - she's an easy solve!
I, on the other hand tend to get a little carried away when packing. There is nothing that makes me crazier during travel than to NOT have the exact right outfit at the exact right moment (with all proper accessories) so I attempt to pack everything - just in case! Clearly that is not going to happen on this trip, and I will have to reduce the quantity of shoes and hand bags too - which will certainly pain me but I will survive (I secretly know Hong Kong is the shopping capital of the world AND the 1st stop on our trip - hehe!). I will have to do the "pre-pack" which is when I lay all the outfits and clothes out on the bed, then force myself to "delete" at least 10 items from that group. This usually works, but then when I discover extra room in someone else's suitcase, I hoard in on them and jam those 10 items in somehow! Okay, I'm starting to sound a little psychotic re: the packing...I think I may even be frightening myself.
Sam's clothes are always the most inconvenient travelers. He requires the super annoying "coat bag" for most trips, which adds a piece of very awkward luggage to the pile but is essential since most of his shirts/jackets/pants are dry cleaned items and need to be kept proper (I also sneak nice dresses into this little nook too). After a few trips of noticing him in the same shirt/shorts for 3 days in a row - upon questioning him regarding this, he then revealed that was all he brought! Most men somehow just aren't quite as certain as females are regarding the essentials when traveling, thus I have him choose the clothes he wants to bring, and then I work my magic.
Luckily we have laundry available courtesy of our dear friends abroad, so we will do a wash before leaving Melboune on our way to Fiji. This we be of a great help for sure. Also shopping is available at any turn so we sometimes buy new and give away the old to homeless or local folks in need. That always makes everybody happy.
Clothes are the easy part to the packing, it's all the "other stuff" that makes it tricky i.e.: pharmaceuticals, sunblock, bug spray, rain gear, hair tools and products, toys & books, toiletries, accessories, etc.etc. The list goes on and on. Well, it's a dirty job to do the packing, but someone has to do it! As a treat to myself, I bought a nice new suitcase with some Christmas gift money, and can't wait to crack her open today! She's a beauty with 4 wheels for rolling and is purple!