I hope you enjoyed our first Money Saving Monday. I loved seeing the new ideas from around the web! I can’t wait to see what you all come up with for this week’s travel theme. The hubby and I just returned from a quick overnight in Chicago. Of course, I did all the usual things right—checked Priceline and Hotwire for the best hotel deal, filled up the car at the best price in advance and planned our meals to fit into our budget.
What I failed to do was properly pack to avoid unexpected purchases. I was so busy preparing my little sister for a weekend with four kids (hers plus mine)—buying snacks, preparing meals, making up the beds—that I didn’t organize myself well at all. We were halfway to Chicago for a concert when the hubby suddenly remembered our tickets were tucked safely on a memo board in the kitchen. Thank you, Ticketmaster, for reprinting them at Will Call. That was about when I realized I had also forgotten to pack my necessary medications. I also thought we were going to need to pick up some toothbrushes on that errand, but the hubby apparently tucked them into our bag unconsciously when he finished using his that morning.
Let this be your “what not to do” lesson. If I had sat down to create an actual packing list, then followed it I could have saved $30 and a lot of stress. It’s time to go back to an old packing system. Years ago, I laminated a generic packing list for each family member, then consulted it before each trip. I also packed the list with us, which helps be sure the hotel is cleared out when it’s time to go back home. Not only did it help keep me organized, but it allowed the girls to be more involved in the process as they could easily follow the list. The lists are so old that my almost 4-year-old’s list includes diapers & a pacifier so it’s obviously time to update. My list looked a little like this:
- Shoes, socks, tights
- Dressy clothes?
- Medications (prescriptions & OTC as needed)
- Hotel/Flight Confirmation
- Extra batteries
- Cell phone/laptop & charger