The Joy of Packing for a Family Vacation (Part one)

So in just under two weeks, we will be heading out on a family vacation to Gatlinburg, TN.  We’re meeting up with two of my sisters and my grandparents to stay in a huge house for a week.  It promises to be crazy, chaotic and fun.  But before we can get there we have to get packed.  I personally find packing for six people for a week challenging.  Despite keeping things as simple as possible, I still need a huge detailed list to avoid forgetting anything.  I started writing out my list yesterday and filled one entire side of one piece of paper and I’m sure I don’t have everything on my list yet.  It also involved lots of discussion with Mr. J about what he thought we needed in certain categories.

The first decision that had to be made was how many changes of clothes were we bringing.  The house has a washer and dryer so we discussed bringing seven changes of clothes but that would have meant coming home and having to do laundry immediately since we keep our wardrobes pretty small and I wanted to avoid that because I have to be at work the day after vacation (silly me, I forgot that to take a week’s vacation I really need to take eight days off because my work week starts on Sunday).  We decided on five changes of clothes for everyone but I’ll probably throw in a few extras for P and G since they are most likely to need a mid-day outfit change.

Then we had to decide if we were bringing something for P to sleep on.  She’s too large for our Pack n’Play and she’s been sleeping on a toddler bed for several months now so I’m not sure how she’d handle having sides around her and sleeping in a strange house.  I was thinking we might purchase a Regalo My Cot, but Mr J isn’t sure that she’d actually sleep in it.  Lala suggested that she might be happiest sleeping at the end of J’s bed in the bunk room with the big kids but I’m not sure how J will feel about that.  Hopefully we can make a final decision about her sleeping arrangements in the next few days since Amazon Prime is fast but it’s nice to make sure things work before we leave.  Mostly, I don’t want to have her sharing our bed the entire week.  It was just a few months ago that she started sleeping the whole night in her own bed, I’m sure that a week bedsharing with mom and dad would make it hard for her to go back to her bed when we get home.

Things still to be decided include:

  • what toys each child will bring to play with at the house.
  • what car trip activities we will bring.
  • what, if any, groceries we will bring with us from home.
  • how best to pack everything so it fits in the car and is easy to load and unload.

I’ll be back with another post about packing later in the week.

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