Christmas In Florida Part One: Packing Plan

This year I am spending my first Christmas away from Virginia. Let me tell you, Matthew is going to have a hard time getting me to leave. As you may know, I have a to do list for almost everything, including packing for vacations. 

We decided to drive down on Friday with the dogs which was not as bad as it sounds. However, I persuaded Matthew to rent an SUV this year because neither the Sentra nor the Cruiser was going to fit our luggage, two dogs and ourselves comfortably.  We set that to pick up at noon on Thursday, which we both had off. Now that I had the pick up time I could plan out our schedule. We had double booked dinners on Thursday so we had to be efficient! 

I just LOVE having an SUV...Can I keep it??

I just LOVE having an SUV...Can I keep it??

I started by listing out what we needed for the dogs. We had purchased a doggie hammock (which is great for long car rides for your fur baby, and protects the rented seats). We give them Benadryl to help settle their stomachs on car rides. Those were the first two items on this list followed by dog food, bottled water, their bowls, toys, and their seatbelt harnesses. 

Next I listed out what we would need in addition to my vacation packing list. For this trip, we needed presents for his family (still needed to be wrapped), board games, and things I wanted to work on during the drive down. Then I pulled up my packing list and worked on my schedule. 

First thing Thursday morning I made the bed for a clean packing surface. Then I gathered all the dogs' things in a pile while Matthew went to our garage and grabbed the suitcase and the board games. I divvied up breakfast and dinner in sandwich bags so it would be easier to feed them on the way. I went ahead and put the Benadryl dose in with the food as well. I threw everything into a recyclable shopping bag except the hammock and their seat belts. I put the bag of dog stuff on the couch we have by the front door along with the board games.

The next step was to wrap the gifts and put them on the couch followed by what I wanted to work on. I grabbed my computer bag and all the items that needed to go in their from my notebooks to my computer to several pens. Now it was time to go pick up the SUV and any snacks we wanted for ourselves.  

Gifts are all wrapped up!

Gifts are all wrapped up!

Once we had the SUV back at the apartment, I went ahead and put the hammock in the back seat and decided I wanted to make it a bit more comfortable for them and threw a duvet back there for them. The cool thing about this hammock is that there is still room under it for small bags and items like their doggie bag, which made it very easy to grab their toys from my seat. 

Now it was time to pull out the packing list and get to work. We had three hours to pack and make our first dinner! I find it easiest to use the list as more of a guide and plan out outfits for what I know I will be doing and then fill in where needed. For this trip, I knew I needed two Christmas outfits, two beach outfits and of course my travel outfit. So I picked those out first and then filled in some extra sun dresses, blouses and shorts. Shoes are the hardest part for me to decide on so I try to stick to neutral colors, one each: slip ons, sandals, and wedges. After clothes are packed, I move onto my make up and toiletries and then any electronics I need. 

Done! And with time to spare before our fist dinner. Now we just had to ensure the alarms were set for 2:30 AM and start our journey! 

If you have any packing and travel trips please share in the comments. There are so many good tips and I would love to know what you do to prepare for your trip!