Procrastination! Trip Prep Travel Series – Pt 2

We all have a system…or think we do… and if you’ve found something that works for you, congrats!

Photo Credit: Hope Burkard-Cook (The French Mouse)

I have been the notorious last-minute packer.  I have been known to pull an all nighter rummaging around for things, debating about if I’ve over packed, and trying to figure out how to renegotiate the pounds if I’m over.  ….Nightmare!  I morph into an absolute zombie and it takes me three times as long to get a task done.  I shrug the last-minute frenzy off figuring I’ll slip into a coma on the plane and I’ll just sleep while I travel.  Who was I kidding?  When did that ever happen?  I’m usually so stressed, sleep deprived, and buzzed with excitement that I’m wide awake past the point of exhaustion.

NOT a good start to a business/pleasure trip.  What a fiasco.  It hardly sets the tone to a successful adventure!

I do my best to learn from my experiences and have vowed up and down to not repeat that brutal habit.  I’m not always successful, but for the most part I’ve become better about time management and being more realistic about how long it’s going to take me to officially get out the door.  I’ve actually missed a plane because “day-of” I repeatedly needed “just five more minutes” and I coupled that with vastly underestimating traffic.  Then you bum around the airport for three hours waiting for the next flight…hardly the picture of the easy breezy care-free traveler.

There’s no need to be rigid, but harnessing your use of time will go a long way.  Rather than staring at my makeup bag at 3am “day-of” trying to figure out if I really need to bring both mascaras, I treat myself like I’m the family member that can’t get to the party on time.   I lie to myself and set the day before as my packing deadline.  Day-of is reserved as the travel day, not the last-minute “shoving things into any available corner” day.  …which should be a national holiday of sorts.

There’s a peace of mind knowing that all your odds & ends are accounted for and ready to rock & roll.  Whether your travel day begins at 4am or you’re taking the Red-Eye, you should strive to be cool, calm, and collected on your “day-of” so that you can think on your feet.  Being short-tempered and short on time is a disastrous mix.

There’s an old Irish Proverb that says…

“Plenty of sleep and plenty of laughter will get you through just about anything.”

I’d love to know: what’s your “day-of” strategy?


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2 thoughts on “Procrastination! Trip Prep Travel Series – Pt 2

  1. Lavonne May 4, 2012 at 10:18 am Reply

    I just stumbled onto this site. I’m traveling 2x in the next month, so hoping to get a few ideas. I have the perfect packing regime, though I don’t always stick to it. No packing until a few hours before the flight, but in the days preceeding I do all my ‘prep’ and organization work so I can think about possible wardrobes, makeup selections, etc. I make sure all possible outfits, nylons, undergarments are clean and ready, all hung up in their proper place, underwear all in my drawers, all my makeup consolidated from its various purses, bathrooms, etc. I assemble my travel makeup bag a day or two before and set it on my bathroom couner. That gives me time to think about it, and maybe change my mind and go with blue instead of green shadow, etc. Same with wardrobe. I hang the items I think I’ll take together in the closet maybe 2 days before, then swap out items as it occurs to me. Sometimes I will take appropriate undergarments and drape them over the outfits, black tights, etc. but not always.
    A couple of hours before I have to leave for the airport, I pack. It takes about 15 minutes. Then I have lunch/ dinner with the family, do something relaxing, so I am just sitting out on a deck chair when the taxi comes. Of course, I’m talking about 2-3 day trips. Not sure this would work for more extensive excursions.

    • Thanks for your input! I love that you let things marinate and give yourself a couple of days to adjust things as needed.

      Where was your last trip?

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