Sometimes I run short on time before I head out on a trip. The demands of work, friends and family can eat up necessary planning time. As a travel veteran I know if I don’t plan and prepare chances of having a great trip are really reduced. If it’s a vacation I start to worry about ruining it with a bad start. I I’ll forget to pack something I need. This means I’ll have to buy it road or go without. Leaving home unprepared adds stress and wastes my time and money. We’ve all been there and it’s not fun.
I discovered a number of years a go a little trick on how to prepare for any trip with very little time. I still use it off and on today. I called it “Snippets” travel prep. Basically, you prepare a little each day over about a week. You lay your stuff out in “Snippets” of time –a few seconds here and there each day – and by time you leave you’re ready!
It goes like this:
• Pick a place in house to use. It can be a closet shelf or floor, bedroom corner, under a table or dining room table. Just pick a convenient spot about 5' x 5'. Call it your “Spot.”
• Each day as you’re running around house pick up something for packing and place it in your spot. It could be 5 pair of underwear you just pulled from dryer. Instead of putting them away in a drawer place it in your spot. This is a “Snippet.” of time you just spent preparing for your trip.
• The next day you could drop 3 t-shirts on pile in spot. Later that night as you change clothes from work take you sandals and put them on spot. There’s two more snippets of time you just spent preparing to travel.
Over course of a week you can get most of what you need onto your spot pile. It feels better mentally since you do not have to schedule large blocks of time to prepare.
If you scan pile several times a day as you walk by it your mind will subconsciously note what you need to add. This means it will also take inventory of what is missing. It’s amazing what you will remember to add to spot. And, you can do it when you walk by next time.
Take inventory of your pile a day before you pack it. Add missing items and place it all into your bag.
In seconds or “Snippets” each day you will prepare adequately for your trip. For extended or long periods of travel or trips to areas of weather extremes you may need to “Snippet” over a two week period. But, this will still work if you get jammed for time.
The “Snippet” prep method even works if you are “Preparation Police” for a family summer vacation. Everything is same, just more of it with a few minor adjustments.
• Pick a place in house no one goes in but you. It can be a closet, closet shelf, office floor under your desk, bedroom corner, a table or behind a chair. It just needs to be anywhere no one walks.