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• Expand your area of grabbing. You may have to do a two or three stop load for your pile by going from bedroom to bedroom. It could be 5 pair of underwear for son #1 out of a drawer. It could be 5 pair of socks for daughter #2 from a dryer. It could be 3 t-shirts for yourself or a pair of sandals for procrastinating spouse. It does not matter what it is but grab something every time you run by a bedroom for any reason.
• Divide into several piles. Basically, each person traveling has a piles within your spot. Divide your spot up into several piles based upon how many people are traveling: 3 people, 3 piles; 4 people, 4 piles, etc. When you grab something for someone place it in their pile and go on your way. Next time around, do same thing for someone else. Over a few days each person will have a nice accumulated pile of items for trip.
• Take inventory. When you have a few minutes every 3-5 days take a mental inventory of piles. Then just add missing items on successive days.
In seconds a day over about a week you can have everyone nicely prepared for trip. From here there are two ways you can handle actual packing since you are “Preparation Police.”
Method 1 This is “I got it ready you wear it” Method. Everyone, no matter how unhappy they are with what with what they have in their bag, has to use it. Whatever it is they wear it because you had to pack for them. Yes, you can imagine results. The benefit of this is that you rarely will have to prepare for anyone again unless they are very young children!
Method 2 Let everyone "edit" their pile. Twenty four hours before departure each family member outside of young children gets a chance to edit their pile. Then, they pack their own bag. They either do it or they don’t. If they don’t, this Method quickly becomes Method 1. Either way, you are off hook.
Finally, depending on how much you want to be “Preparation Police” you can pack a few "essentials" in your own bag for those items everyone seems to leave behind: sunscreen, toothpaste, swimsuit, underwear, sunglasses.
In end your family will spend less time trying to find forgotten items at your destination. And if you have traveled before, you know that this can add up to a lot of saved time and money on road.
There is nothing better than good travel planning and preparation to guarantee a great trip everytime. But, for those few trips that catch you short of time, use “Snippets” Its a great a stopgap measure.
Joyce Jackson is a 30 year travel veteran offering travel packing tips on her website for new or inexperienced travelers. http://travelpackingtips.cashhosters.com