Saturday, July 9, 2011

Leaving On A Jet Plane.

Next week the Clan of Wrath is going on vacation for two weeks. We'll be flying to Newfoundland, and spending the first week in St John's with my extended family. Then we're renting an RV and driving to a family reunion on the small island where my father was raised. My husband is a saint for agreeing to this trip.
I have already started packing. So far this has involved hemming a pair of jeans and sewing a new bed for the dog to use at the kennel. I've placed a big cardboard box in the guest room to use as a catchall for things that we need to bring. At present it contains an empty cooler (that I use as my toiletry bag), fly dope, sunscreen, our swimsuits and sunshirts, my new hat, my pajamas, the boys' new sandals, and a Transformers toy. The latter item was contributed by Klaxon.

The truth is, I'm having a hard time packing. In December we went to Mexico and for the first time ever, I felt we under packed for a trip. Also on the return trip we were charged $50 by the airline because one of our suitcases was over the weight allowance. Now for a normal person this would be a minor matter. Not for me. I'm an ENTJ/Fieldmarshal. I need to analyze problems AND ensure that we do not repeat these mistakes. I don't want to be washing underwear and socks in the sink and then using an iron to dry them out. Hence I need to rethink my notions of what we should bring with us. At the same time we must reconfigure our luggage so that we can easily re-allocate items and ensure we aren't over the weight limits.

The boys are easy to pack: 6 pairs of pants, 2 pairs of shorts, 4 t-shirts, 4 long-sleeve shirts, pajamas, 2 sweaters, polar fleece vest, raincoat and puddle pants, baseball cap, sneakers, sandals, 8 pairs of underwear, 8 pairs of socks, swimsuits.

Mr Wrath will do his own packing. He'll probably bring five pairs of underwear, five pairs of socks, two pairs of pants, a swimsuit, five shirts, one sweater, a hat, sneakers, hiking boots, and a raincoat. He will pack 8 minutes before we leave the house.

I'm definitely the high maintenance packer in the family. Right now I'm focused upon pants. How many pairs of "bottoms" should I bring for a fourteen day trip? We'll be camping (but in an RV, which I don't really think is REAL camping) for seven nights. We'll be hiking, whale watching, seal hunting, berry picking and many other outdoor activities in close proximity to water. We'll also we eating out in restaurants (probably not very fancy ones, mind you) and there will be family dinners to attend. I won't need anything fancy (hence no skirts, which are also not dual function enough to warrant inclusion) but I do want to look respectable. For the first week, we have access to a washer and dryer.

At present I'm thinking of bringing a pair of army green knee length capris, two pairs of slacks trousers, one pair of jeans. I wish I had a decent looking pair of synthetic yoga-style pants to pack. They dry so much quicker than cotton. I could pick up a pair of these in St. John's since I haven't been able to find a pair that I like even though I've been looking for months. Is five pairs too many? Usually on trips I only pack one pair of pants, and then wear the other. But this is Newfoundland and the weather tends to be cool and chilly even in July.

I'm packing pajamas, a rain coat, my polar fleece vest, and a polar fleece jacket. I'll have sandals and hiking style running shoes.  I'm thinking four t-shirts, and four long-sleeve shirts. Plus 8 pairs of socks of various weights, 3 bras of various support-levels, and 8 pairs of underwear (one for every day of the first week, plus an extra in case I get thrown into a pool while fully clothed).

So what do you think? Four pants? Five pants? Two pants? Should I bring a blouse, or will t-shirts be okay? I think we'll need toques, Mr Wrath disagrees -- what are your thoughts?


  1. I'm a minimal packer so probably not the best person to ask. I always skim by on the least amount of anything for a trip. I like to think of it as living on the edge, where in reality, I'm just too lazy to carry a lot of luggage with me.

  2. Okay, I didn't realize that you had laundry facilities for just one week. I would say five pairs of pants, not four, especially for camping. So maybe the pants you listed plus a pair of yoga pants, if you have them. No blouses (too much wrinkle maintenance, unless you have wrinkle-free ones) but a nice looking fitted t-shirt might fit the bill. Why not pack toques, they don't take up much room. As for underwear and socks, you can really never pack too many, so eight is probably good. Have fun!

  3. Your lists involving polar fleece have brought tears to my eyes...where I am, it has been above 90 degrees with high humidity every day for two months. I am definitely living on the wrong side of this continent! So jealous - and jealous of the RV week. Granted I have only stayed in an RV on my uncle's farm when all the bedrooms were full (long story) for a long weekend, but I was enchanted by the entire experience. It just seems so efficient. Sleeping/eating/traveling/ability to stop at will/etc...all in one!!

    Cannot wait to hear all about it!

    P.S. I would go with 5 pants also. The RV week with no laundry might be rough otherwise?? Plus more flexibility??

  4. I tend to pack as much luggage as I can possibly get away with, so I'd say at least 6 pants, a skirt, and two blouses since you never know when some horrible (probably child caused) catastrophe will befall the first one three seconds after putting it on. But that's only if you want to keep it light :-p

  5. How fun! Have a blast! I tend to go with the less is more philosophy, but it's too personal a choice for me to want to weigh in your packing choices. Except to say a definite yes to the Transformers toy. That's like two in one, right?

  6. Oh the worst kind of packing - all seasons! I am a chronic over packer for sure, you might need it is my motto. Over the years I have gotten much better though and have learned to pair down what I pack.

    I think I would pack at least five pants, you can wear the darker/denim again if needed. As for tops I would go with what I call fancy t's a little embellishment goes a long way to spiffing up a lowly t-shirt. Maybe a funky necklace and earrings if there is room. Not sure if you are a jewelery girl.

    Or, look for a "blouse" that is supposed to look wrinkly, the one I have from Marks Work Warehouse is white short-sleeved button up and meant to be crinkly, perfect for packing. It rolls up to nothing and I layer it with a tank.

    Toques?! Just how cold does it get? I would say pack them even if you just think you will need them.

    I loved NFLD even if whale-watching made me horribly HORRIBLY seasick. Everyone was dashing around the boat looking at the head/tail while I was firming sitting, praying I didn't barf and waiting for the whale to come to me.

    I really like to talk about packing I think, it just appeals to my love of all things ordered and accounted for I guess.

  7. Gah! Packing! I have a similar reaction to packing as yours to vomit. Of course, I don't love vomit either. But packing might be worse. The trip sounds great, though.

  8. I kind of like making lists and packing. Weird, right? My favorite part is the list making. Which is the story of my life. We are going to be gone for five days at the end of the month on a family road trip. I've been in the pre-packing list creation mode today, which is a happy place for me.

    I guess for your can plan on taking some time before you leave in the RV to wash some clothes, yes? So no worries about underpacking, because you can reload mid-trip. And keep reminding yourself that if you forget something, you can always buy it. Even if it's not totally true, just keep telling yourself that. It always helps ease my travel packing anxiety.

  9. I overpack like a fiend and almost always pay the overweight fee. I wouldn't listen to a thing I say, so I won't give any suggestions. Enjoy the trip. I've always wondered what Newfoundland is like. I'd like to see it one day.

  10. I'm hopeless about knowing what to pack. We are also going on vacation very soon, and we'll only have laundry facilities (for sure) for two of the ten days. So don't ask me, I'm already fretting about it.

    I will say this though - you won't need toques. Newfoundland this time of year *is* foggy, sometimes rainy, and chillier than some other places, but definitely not so cold as to need toques. Promise.