Thursday, January 6, 2011

I am an uptight control-freak

That is why I have started making a list of what to bring to Florida. Apparently this is not how you pack. According to people at work, you just throw some stuff in a suitcase the night before, or the morning you're leaving. And if you're going to Florida? Forget it - you don't need to "pack" you just take a bathing suit, because going to Florida is "just going to Florida, it's not a real trip." More than one person said this. I thought like, you bring everything you use at home, but consider the weather differences and use your new luggage. Guess that's wrong though, and I should just toss a bathing suit in my messenger bag and consider myself packed. Except really I keep writing down things to bring and crossing them off. I have no clue what I'm doing.

I asked Danielle what she thought, since she's gone on real trips before. Except I forgot that she packed based on what I told her, so she brought both her jeans, a pair of socks and underwear for each day she was gone, two shirts and a sweater. But she was useful in telling me to check the weather.

We leave Friday night and come back like nine days later. It's between 60 and 76 degrees in Orlando and in the low or mid 70's in Miami. In Miami we're staying in a hotel and I know you don't have to bring your own towels to hotels. In Orlando we're staying in a villa though, and I'm not really clear on what that means. Danielle thinks it's like a mini-house. I can not visualize this. Danielle said to just assume everything will be fancy, and that I should bring a dress. Going on vacation is really stressful. I need my mom..


Shannon said...

Hello Sam,

Wow, the trip is coming up fast now! Very exciting.

For "fun" travel, I always make a list. I'm organized that way. I consider the weather, the types of activities we'll be doing, and whether or not I'll have access to a washer/dryer (and will want to take the time to use them).

I'm not a big dresser, so I tend to bring undergarments for # of days traveling + 1 and then I plan to wear everything a couple of times (in, say, a one week trip). I hate carrying shoes b/c they are heavy, so I usually bring the pair I'm wearing and one in the luggage (but I am a minimalist that way, for a woman). I bring a couple of changes of earrings. I bring a hat and sunglasses if I'm going where it's warm (and bathing suit if there will be an opportunity to swim/hot tub). I bring one piece of outerwear (coat or sweater). I bring one small purse (in the luggage) if we are going out to dinner. I bring one of those small kits with toiletries. I bring a small bag of medicines.

I think a list is a good idea for your first trip. If you over-pack or under-pack a bit, it doesn't matter. It's your first trip! You've just got to learn how to do it.

If you'd like even more detailed thoughts on what I'd bring (like a packing list), I'm happy to provide it for you to customize for yourself.


Nina said...

Lists are great! I've never been to Florida, but I'm sure you'll be wearing more than a bathing suit, at least part of the day.

I always pack # of days for underwear + 1. I usually bring 2 pairs of shoes when I travel, one casual and one dressy-ish, but for the beach I'd also bring a pair of sandals. A couple pairs of socks. Hat and sunglasses for sure. 1-2 pairs of pants, a couple pairs of shorts or loose skirts, a shirt for each day (it's humid in Florida, right? So you'll get sweaty?), pjs, a sweater or light jacket (hotels can be cold bc of A/C). A dress for nice dinners out. A set of jewelry, if that's your thing. All the toiletries I usually use in a toiletry bag (esp sunscreen), but I usually skip the shampoo/conditioner/soap/body wash and use the tiny free stuff in the hotel. Makeup in a toiletry bag. The hotel/villa will have towels that you can use for bath/shower and pool, but maybe a beach towel or two if you're at the beach?

I always try to think about what I usually use in a week (or 9 days) at home and pack that, but add or subtract things according to weather and any out-of-the-ordinary events (like fancy dinners out or swimming).

I know this is all stressful, but I'm so excited for you!

Anonymous said...

I make a list too. I wouldn't waste space on a beach towel. That's one of the things you get from Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is for all the things you forgot (even with a list). There's always something. Wal-Mart is not expensive. Have Fun!!!

Yankee, Transferred said...

Lists are terrific! I'm a huge list-maker, always have been. I'm with the others:
Sun Screen
1 dress
1 dressy-ish shoes
1 casual shoes
Flip Flops
Enough shorts for 1/2 the time and wear them twice.
For 9 days, 3 pairs of pants.
A shirt a day, unless you're doing laundry (don't do it if you don't have to! It's vacation!)
1 sweat shirt.
Bathing suit. Or 2.
You're good to go.

To me, (I'm very fair-skinned) the most important thing on the list is the sun screen.


Jane said...

Go to Duane Reade and buy one of those little clear pouches with travel stuff in it (shampoo, toothpaste etc). That's what the airlines allow, and it has to be in a clear pouch. I always bring books because I get panicy if I don't have something to read. In my exeperience, you always need less than you think you do.

traci in virginia said...

Well, I am a planner and wouldn't do well with just throwing stuff in a suitcase. I'm with Nina...underwear for each day +1. If you guys are going to just relax and chill it will be less stressful. Comfy, casual stuff for the weather. Take a sweater/jacket for cooler nights. (I am always cold) The hotel will have shampoo/conditioner and hair dryer etc. I would think a Villa would have that and more! I think Danielle is right about the "mini house" and also taking a dress!
I hope you have a wonderful time and are able to relax and enjoy!

Heidi said...

I am a planner and definitely pack two weeks before and have lots of lists. Everyone gave you great suggestions on what to bring, but I do have some input on the villa:

The word villa does not mean it will be fancy - it is probably just the term the rental place uses. We stayed at Orange Lake and they called all their timeshares villas also. It will be like a furnished apartment. There will be towels and bedsheets there and also laundry facilities, so you can do laundry while you are there. Also, don't stress if you forget something - there are stores everywhere down there. Are you guys renting a car? Most villas do not provide toiletries like shampoo and soap, but do have pots and pans and things like that. Hotels will provide basic toiletries, but I would still recommend using your own as the quality is not usually that great.

Have a great trip!

Lisa said...

I always make lists, and inevitably forget socks and underwear.

Ditto on everyone else's suggestions, esp Yankee. And you're right, you bring what you use at home with appropriate variations for weather and activities. If you're staying at a villa I bet they will have towels there for you already. You could probably call ahead and ask or check their website.

I try to stick to two pair of shoes (they usually take up alot of space, especially in carry-on), but you could bring 2 sandals and one pair of sneakers. (Do not forget sneakers and sunscreen for Disneyland.)

I almost always overpack, but I generally go with the attitude that I can buy just about anything I forget that's really important, and make do without if not.

Have fun :-)

kateypie35 said...

I always make lists, because I hate forgetting things! It is way less stressful for me to plan ahead.

I recommend light layers - it is warm in Florida obviously, but it gets cool at night, and some places are over air-conditioned.
So 1 or 2 pairs of jeans, a light pair of pants or capris if you have some, some shorts, t's, tanks, maybe 2 cardigans to throw on? A warm sweatshirt in case you get really cold. One nice dress if you go out to eat. One dressy shoe, one flip flop, and maybe a pair of sneakers if you will be doing a lot of walking? Socks. Underwear, 1 per day plus 1 or 2. Bras. Bathing Suits. Jammies. SUNSCREEN!

I never pack much jewelry, because I am always afraid I will lose it.

A villa should have everything you need, and probably laundry facilities, so you can pack less and just do some laundry. Also, it is ok to wear things more than once on vacay - you can't pack your whole wardrobe.
Don't pack towels, hotels and villas will have all that for you.
Hmmmm, a hat if you have one, sunglasses, your toiletries.
Don't feel like you have to pack EVERYTHING you use at can be a little more casual on vacation, and if you forget something, you can always ask the hotel for stuff (soap, razors, hair dryer, toothbrush) or buy a travel size replacement.
OH! One other thing...if you are checking a bag, pack a change of clothes and a bit of makeup in your CARRY ON bag, because should your luggage get delayed, it is nice to have at least some fresh clothes to change into.
WOW, I hope I didn't just overwhelm you more!
HAVE FUN! Keep breathing - remember, Florida has stores, so although you don't want to spend needless money, if you REALLY forget something vital - you can get it when you get there.
I hope you have a great time!!

Kizz said...

Some people just toss stuff in a bag. Lots of people make lists. LOTS. Some people who travel a lot keep a standard list in a document on their computer then modify it for each destination. There's nothing wrong with a list.

A friend of mine whose wife is a list maker always tells her, "They'll make whatever we need there if we forget it." And, while I know he's totally right and it won't be a tragedy if I forget something, I like to make lists. You do whatever helps you to go on this trip and enjoy it. Whatever way you decide to do it is the right way. Next time maybe you'll do it differently but only if you want to.

Bon voyage! Can't wait to hear about it.