How Early Do You Pack?

Updated on May 07, 2012
M.D. asks from Washington, DC
19 answers

I am SO excited!! My kids and I are going on a beach vacation with my parents, my brothers, and one of my sister's (plus her fiance and my niece) next Sunday! YAY!!

Because we are SO busy, I've already got the biggest suitcase we have open in the living room. I have two of my 3 kids home right now and they both already have some pajama's and 2 bathing suits each in there. My baby will be home soon and then he'll add his things.

I'm going to make check lists for them (as soon as I finish my homework) so they can check off items as they drop them in, and then we're off.

Anyone else pack a week early?

(Also, we will get back on the 20th, but then turn around on the 25th for a weekend get-a-way to an amusement we'll need to wash while we are I'm kind of packing for two trips back to back.)

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So What Happened?

Truth be told, hubby will end up doing the final pack the day before we go. I'm hoping to have my homework done so I can go to my daughter's dance competition 3.5 hours away on Saturday, but still make it home in time to get a good night's sleep to drive the 7 hours the next day as well.

I think my husband always repacks whatever I pack though :). I'm attempting to take my Camry and avoid taking my packing light is kind of key - plus stuffing things like boogie boards and coolers with my parents :).

Featured Answers



answers from Houston on

I am a last-minute packer, but I start early planning and making lists. I even created a form to use to plan outfits based on activities. I start washing and ironing (?) and putting things away as we get closer, so I know where to find it all.



answers from San Francisco on

Suggestion.....3 small bags for each child....personally, I keep a bag packed at all times....for good times and bad. When it is an emergency, one bag by the door or a special place for the family is fine. When it is vacation, each person should have their own little bag....(travel light)

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answers from Washington DC on

I make a list about a week before and add to it just incase I forgot anything. I don't start putting anything into the suitcases until the night before and I check off my list as I put stuff in.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I'm not going to the beach until August, and I already started packing. I've got formula, baby food, snacks, and toiletries all packed up. I've got a list made of all the outfits I intend to bring and what I need to buy. We are limited on space as well in our car so I need to make sure I have room for everything.


answers from Milwaukee on

i always pack year we were going to disney world in february so when it was time to pack away our summer clothes in the fall before we went i just packed my favorite summer clothes in a i actually starting packing several months early!!! i also have a habit of over packing too!!


answers from St. Louis on

I start packing stuff I won't use but the real packing is the night before and the morning I leave. I find it easier to use and pack toiletries, shampoo, that stuff. That way I never forget anything.



answers from Philadelphia on

Nope, I always pack the night before. My husband and I both pack our own stuff and I give my kids each a list of what they need to pack. I double check my 11 year old's stuff though, to make sure he has enough matching outfits, lol.



answers from Santa Barbara on

12 Hours...4 hours if is just me!



answers from Amarillo on

I kind of stay half packed due to hubby's health and trips to son's house. I have a suitcase which usually has extra undies and toiletries in it. The I just put in the extra clothes and hair dryer.

When I was single I would pack about a week before a trip and usually overpacked. Now I pack enough and know that there is a laundry near by if I need to wash something.

Enjoy your trips.

The other S.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I never pack a week early.
I "mentally pack" and make lists.
I pack the night before.

If I pack early, I forget exactly what I've packed even if, for example "shorts" is checked off the list--I need to unpack & repack to make sure it's the stuff I want the most!

(We always do laundry on vacation and so we TRY to keep clothing to a minimum!)


answers from Dallas on

I usually pack the morning I am heading to the airport.

I have a good idea of what I am taking and I do make sure all options are cleaned and ready to pack if needed.

My 17 yr old is the same way. She packs right before we leave.

We figure if we forgot something important, we'll just buy something when we get there.



answers from Saginaw on

If the trip requires a different wardrobe than what I need before the trip, I have been known to pack as early as 2 weeks before...whenever there is a good pocket of time. We went to Arizona to visit my sister the last week of March, and we were almost fully packed 1 1/2 weeks ahead of time, because we did not need to wear the shorts and t-shirts in Northern Michigan that month. Then we still enjoyed local events the weekend before and were not stressed when it came time to leave.


answers from Tulsa on

Oh, yes. I pack for big trips a week or two early. I'm going to my parents this Wednesday and I am packing now once the laundry gets out of the dryer. I have a separate toiletry bag for trips, so I can pack that stuff in advance too. Just makes it easier for me to not rush the day before the trip.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I pack the night before. If we are travelling out of the country, I make sure we have the passports 4-5 days before.



answers from Minneapolis on

Before having baby, I would pack at the last hour. But now, I just have one but still I start early because I don't want to forget anything. I make a list and do the shopping , laundry etc and keep the things aside. On the last day my husband packs the suitcases, it takes no time as everything is right there. I then go through my list to make sure I have packed everything. Yes I always over pack.



answers from Dallas on

We are going on vacation to England in June. I have not actually started packing yet, of course, but I have already made my list of what I need to take and things I have to do before we leave. I have to start this early or I will definitely forget something, and it's usually always something important. I will probably start to actually pack about a week or so before our trip. Have a wonderful trip with your family!! :)



answers from Eugene on

I start putting things in a pile up to a week ahead of leaving. And I'm always glad when I pack early... less stress the day before the trip.



answers from Los Angeles on

I make a list.

Then pack from that list so I don't forget a key item.

Then I re-check. Voila.

Have a fun, safe trip!



answers from Cleveland on

i pack the day/night before we go anywhere. everything is already to go and last minute things that are needing washed get packed the morning before we leave but in a month we are taking a 4 day vaca to niagara falls so i will be packing EVERYTHING the night before and loading it in the car except for the gps and dvd player this way come 7am we can just lock and load and hit the road

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