Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I'm a last minute packer. Not an on-the-way-to-the-airport kind of packer, but definitely a last-hour packer. I don't have elaborate preparation rituals for most things, and I do usually plan ahead well enough that I'm not asking the cab driver to stop at the grocery store on the way to the airport. I do forget things on occasion, but I blame that on early morning flights more than last-minute packing. :D

So, in case you've been looking for tips on how to speed up your vacation preparation, below are a few of the most important things:

  • Always have quart-size bags on hand. Clear, preferably freezer bags.
  • Check your supply of medications/contacts/other stuff you can't buy where you're going 10 days prior to departure. If you're low or out, order that day.
  • Check whether the Rottweilers you'll be filling your house with while away have any allergies at least 5 days prior to departure. That will give you enough time to move things offsite or fumigate.
  • Count your children, if you're taking them with you. Memorize that number 3 days prior to departure.
  • Ask the postal service to hold your mail, or the paper deliverer to hold the paper 2 days prior to departure. Charge everything: MP3 players, cameras, everything. Pack the charge cords now. Otherwise they will disappear or inexplicably stop fitting your devices the day of flight, guaranteed.
  • Print out all tickets, reservations, maps you might need 1 day prior to departure. If traveling abroad, note the locations and contact information for your embassy. If you are a fugitive, make sure your destination is still a non-extradition territory.
  • Pick up the Rotties and concertina wire the day of departure, unless you are leaving very early. Then assemble your vacation-proofing materials the day before. Remember kibble and/or those massive gloves for running C-wire.
  • Pack one outfit for every day of your trip, up to five. After that, you can repeat. You'll never need as many pairs of shoes as you think, and you'll always need more underwear.
  • Have fun!


  1. If you're going to take the plane and have a transfer, you want to have a set of new underwear and your basic hygiene stuff in your hand luggage somewhere.

    Trust me, I've slept in an airport before. Delayed flights are no fun and you want to be prepared for it.

  2. Amen to that Claudie. I was part of a tour group (London, Paris) back in 2000. Our luggage made it to Memphis - we spent the night in Jersey. I was the object of envy because I'm the only one who kept his carry-on complete with a change of clothes and a shaving kit.

  3. In addition to your last minute packer tips, make sure to have a travel protection plans(travel insurance) to provide assistance services like an emergency hotline and medical transportation services. This is very valuable when a crisis hits in a foreign country for example, where you may not speak the language or know your way around a city well enough to locate the nearest emergency facility.