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May 30, 2024 5 mins

Strike the right balance between being too-prepared or underprepared

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Speaker 1 (00:03):
Welcome to Before Breakfast, a production of iHeartRadio. Good Morning.
This is Laura. Welcome to the Before Breakfast podcast. Today's
tip is to pack about a day before a major trip.
There is no point packing a long time ahead of time,

(00:26):
as you will run out of clean clothes and maybe
spend more time packing than you need to. But if
you've got at least twenty four hours, then there is
usually time to solve any major problems and think of
anything you forgot. I have a lot of children, and

(00:47):
even if I am only traveling with a few of them,
travel tends to involve a lot of logistics. If we
are flying, we aim to travel carry on only. That
means pack needs to be strategic. I'd like to think
I'm pretty good at it. However, one strategy that is

(01:08):
particularly helpful is not just thinking about what I pack,
but when I pack. If I personally am traveling solo
on an overnight work trip, I can throw my stuff
in my bag in five minutes. If I'm traveling for
several days, on the other hand, and traveling with kids,

(01:30):
then I follow this rule pack at least twenty four
hours ahead of time. There is no need to pack
multiple days ahead of time and less. You're doing something
so incredibly specific that you need to procure and make
sure you have lots of special equipment. Packing expands to

(01:52):
fill the available space. If you give yourself five days
to pack, your packing will fill five days, and who
needs that? But giving yourself at least one day to
pack is wise. You can do a load of laundry
if it turns out you need to. If you need
to buy anything, you still have time to run to Target.

(02:16):
You probably don't have time to order from Amazon, though
sometimes same day shipping is an option, say you might
not even need to rule that out. You also have
time to think about what you might be forgetting. If
you realize you don't have enough reading material, you have
time to grab something from the house or download an ebook.
That is always an option. You can think through whether

(02:40):
you will need another snack. As you are walking around
the house that night, you will see something like a
pack of earplugs and realize, hey, that might be wise
to stick in my bag. You will double check that
you have all your prescription medications, and maybe you will
grab some tile in all or other such things that
it is just convenient to have. If you have a

(03:02):
tendency to overpack. Filling your suit case about twenty four
hours ahead of time also allows you to reconsider. You
can see that not everything is fitting and so you
will need to do some editing. A little bit of
time allows you to do this thoughtfully versus as a
last minute rush. In any case, there is no perfect

(03:26):
packing job, but it generally doesn't matter that much. Most
places around the world have stores, so if you forget something,
you can buy it. On my recent trip to Spain
with my two older boys, we wound up buying a
hoodie when it was colder than expected. We bought two
more umbrellas when it was rainier than expected. All good,

(03:51):
but as with much in life, planning and preparation are
always about optimizing within certain constraints. Doing too much ahead
of time as a problem, as it takes more time.
Life can change, and it is frustrating to do a
stellar packing job for a trip that gets canceled or

(04:11):
shifts significantly. But you don't want to be underprepared either.
I think packing about twenty four hours before is a
good balance, so that is what I do, and maybe
you would like to make it a general policy too.
In the meantime, this is Laura. Thanks for listening, and

(04:34):
here's to making the most of our time. Thanks for
listening to Before Breakfast. If you've got questions, ideas, or feedback,
you can reach me at Laura at Laura vandercam dot com.

(04:59):
Before Breakfast this is a production of iHeartMedia. For more
podcasts from iHeartMedia, please visit the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts,
or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.

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Laura Vanderkam

Laura Vanderkam

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