<![CDATA[Travel Time Mama - Planning & Packing ]]>Thu, 21 Jan 2016 20:36:09 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Beach Camping Packing List]]>Wed, 22 Jul 2015 23:01:00 GMThttp://traveltimemama.weebly.com/planning--packing/beach-camping-packing-list
Now that we have officially completed our beach camping trip I wanted to share our improved packing list. So basically, this is our packing list minus the things we did not need and plus the things we ended up buying or will bring on our next beach camping adventure.   

The Sleeping Gear

  • Tent ( Ours is a Wentzel Air Pitch Tent- Check out the details on my blog post about it. It inflates!)
  • Tent air pump and stakes. GET SAND STAKES!
  • Sleeping bags for the kids
  • 1 set of sheets for the air mattress
  • 1 comforter for the air mattress
  • Pillows ( travel size for the kids and standard size for me)
  • Self Inflating air mattress

The Eating Gear

 Please Note: We do not normally even attempt to cook camp food other than hot dogs, smores, and sandwiches. If you plan to do more extensive camp cooking there are some great packing resources that can be found online. 
  • Rolling soft sided cooler
  • Plastic utensils
  • Paper Plates
  • Plastic cups
  • Paper towels ( removed from the roll and folded in a zip lock bag to save space)
  • Wet Wipes (A.K.A baby wipes. They are your best camping friend)
  • Marshmallow/Hot dog roasting sticks. ( Mine are extendable to save space. I got them at walmart and they are a smart investment if your kids love scores and hotdogs. 
  • Candle lighter or matches
  • Citronella bug candle
  • Small plastic totes with locking lids for your dry food goods. 
  • Zip lock bags. ( I use the Hefty brand with the slider.)
  • Vinyle fabric backed table cloths. There are great for use as a picnic blanket or even putting your beach towels on top of.
  • Scissors
  • Kitchen Knife
  • Leftover condiment packets from fast food trips are great to take camping. It saves a lot space verses packing a full size ketchup, mustard and mayo bottles. 
  • Dryer lent ( to use as a fire starter.)

Food Packing List

  • Hot dogs
  • Sandwich meat
  • Cheese
  • Buns
  • Bread
  • Pop-tarts
  • Granola  or cereal bars
  • Bagels
  • Single serving Cream cheese (Left over from the continental breakfast at the hotel
  • Leftover condiment packets from fast food trips are great to take camping. It saves a lot space verses packing a full size ketchup, mustard and mayo bottles. 
  • Lunchables
  • Salt & Pepper in travel size
  • Fiber one bars
  • Jiff to go peanut butter
  • Travel size grape jelly jar from the dollar tree
  • 12 packs of soda
  • Case of bottled water ( Some frozen to use as ice packs)
  • gallon of water (frozen to use as ice pack)
  • Chips
  • Marshmallows
  • Snack Size Hershey's bars
  • Graham crackers 
  • Assorted single serve snacks 

If I am attempting to eat healthy I will also pack the following things for me:
  • Baby Carrots
  • Quest Bars for breakfast and snacks
  • Fresh Pre cut fruits and veggies
  • Beef Jerky
  • Almonds/Cranberry/Chocolate chip mix
  • Bananas

First Aid & Medication

For any trip I bring along my pre packed medication bag. I always restock it after each trip. I don't take full size bottles of medications. To save space I use the travel size packets of over the counter medication. For my prescription or not travel size medication I place  a weeks worth of each in the small bags you can get at craft supply stores. I peel the label from the bottle and place it on each bag.
  • Personal Medications
  • Burn Relief Cream
  • After Sun Aloe Gel 
  • Sunscreen
  • Bandaids
  • Triple antibacterial ointments
  • Medication for tooth pain
  • Pain Relievers
  • Migrane/Sinus relief medication
  • Nasal Spray
  • Allergy medication
  • Inhaler
  • Moleskin for blisters
  • Nausea motion sickness Medication
  • Pepto
  • Vitamins/Supplements
  • Bug Repellant
  • Deoderant
  • Tooth Brush
  • Tooth Paste
  • Toiletries
  • Makeup
  • Comb /Brush
  • Hair Ties, pins, clips, headbands
  • Extra Sunblock

Glamping Stuff: Just to make camping fun and pretty. 

  • Cute Battery Operated lights strings. I wrap these around the front of my tent.
  • Solar  Powered Light stakes. Mine are shaped like tulips and I place them at each of the tie out strings on my tent. It helps to keep people from tripping over the tie outs at night.
  • Brightly colored camp chairs
  • Umbrella that clips onto your camp chair
  • Large colorful beach umbrella. ( I use another strand of battery op lights on the inside of the umbrella to add extra lighting at night.)
  • The mason jar lanterns I made. You can view the tutorial on the craft section of my blog. I have ended up using these for many different things.
  • $1 bag of decorative rocks or marbles- leave them in the netting bag they come in and use them to help hold down the corners of your towels and beach blankets.
  • Brightly colored folding table. Can be used in the tent as a side table at night or as a side table for your camp chairs during the day.
  • Lightweight rugs that can be placed inside the tent or outside the tent to help keep your area tidy and fun. 
  • Glow stick and bubbles for the kids

Must Have Gear

  • LED Lantern
  • Extra Batteries
  • Flashlights
  • Headlamps
  • String or rope
  • Zip ties
  • Bungee cord  ( there are great if you have a tree. Wrap it around the tree and then tuck your trash bag , baby wipes, hot dog roasting  forks, scissors and utensils between the cord and tree.)
  • Small dust pan and broom for cleaning sand out of the tent and car. 

Beach Gear

  • Towels
  • Sun hats
  • Beach Blanket
  • Extra Swim Wear for each person
  • Sand Toys
  • Inflatable Beach Toys
  • Fishing Net
  • Fishing Poles and tackle
  • A few good books or a well stocked Kindle
  • Sunglasses
  • Beachwear & Cover ups
  • Life Vests or flotation devices if needed
  • Zip Lock bags for holding your phone or other items you do not want to rick getting wet.
  • Zip lock bags for storing collected seashells.
  • Mesh laundry bag for storing sand and water toys. When it is time to go, put this all in the bag and dunk them in the water to clean.
  • Baby Powder for getting the sand off your skin 

<![CDATA[Our biggest challenges when packing]]>Tue, 14 Jul 2015 21:15:01 GMThttp://traveltimemama.weebly.com/planning--packing/our-biggest-challenges-when-packingPicture
#1 TOYS:  My children think that their suitcase is for toys, electronics, and books. It is good thing I can almost always fit their clothes in my suitcase. They want to be prepared by taking every other toy they own. They are getting much better about this through trial and error. My solution? You can take it but you have to carry it, clean it, and repack it. 

#2 ELECTRONICS: We really struggle with this. I am as much at fault as my children. Do we really need to bring 2 iPads, a mac, a kindle, 3 phones, a camera, a leap pad, a nintendo 3DS, a leap reader with 3 books and 1200 chargers. I don't have a solution yet. I have started leaving the kindle at home. Thats a start right?
#3 EXTRA SPACE: Seriously. You think it is not a problem but it is. I have gotten good at the minimal packing thing. So I end up with extra space. Which would be great, if I didn't start grabbing a few extra "might need" items into that carefully created extra space. For some reason, I tend to start adding extra shirts. I have no idea why. I have NEVER worn all of the shirts I packed for any trip I have ever taken.

#4 SMALL CAR: I love my little car. I love the cheap gas milage and the way it fits in tight parking spots. It has a decent size trunk that can easily hold several suitcases but when you add camping gear or beach gear things start to get a little crazy. I try to pack travel sized items and when shopping for any travel gear I go for compact and space saving whenever possible. 

#5 LEAKY LUGGAGE: Okay. I love and use lots of ziplock bags and that helps prevent leaky luggage but sometimes it still happens. Sunblock and lipgloss seem to be my biggest offenders. The leaks normally happen in my drawstring backpacks that I use when I am out and about on vacation, not in my main luggage. I am trying to more diligent about PUTTING my lip gloss and sunblock BACK in their own ziplock bags after each use. 

What are your biggest packing challenges? How have you solved them and do you have any suggestions of mine?

<![CDATA[Packing Experiment: Envelope Challenge]]>Sun, 12 Jul 2015 00:29:28 GMThttp://traveltimemama.weebly.com/planning--packing/packing-experiment-envelope-challenge
    I was super thrilled to find a Eagle Creek packing envelope at a thrift store for $3. What a steal! I love my usual packing method of rolling my clothing and using lots of zip lock bags but I was pretty excited to try out the packing envelope.

   My biggest concern was that I was taking my smaller carry on suitcase on the 5 day cruise and the packing envelope was only slightly smaller that the length and width of the suitcase. I had several fancy dresses, a pair of heels, and a bulky beaded shall that needed to fit in the case along with all my other clothing. Challenge accepted.

   Here is a run down of what I packed.

Other than the items above I also had a pair of heels, 2 pair of flip flops and a hair dryer. My back up plan was to put my hair dryer in my moms suitcase. I really figured I would need to do that. I also considered not packing the heels because I basically only wear them for a few hours on the evenings I wear my "fancy" dresses. 

I also had a backpack that would serve as my carry on/hotel bag. When I pack for a cruise that includes a night at a hotel I always pack the clothing for embarkation day, all toiletries, electronics and basically anything I might need before the cruise in my carryon/hotel bag. After all my packing work, who wants to mess it up before you even sail away?
A few "fun" details about the backpack. It had wheels and a handle. I did not like it. It was heavy. It hurt my back and then to top it all off the strap broke while we were disembarking at Galveston.  But, back to the packing envelope. 

All the other clothing would go in the envelope.  So basically, I started with the smallest lightest clothing items and placing them in the middle of the envelope. I layered in the longer heavier clothing, tucking and folding sleeves and legs to form a square bundle of clothing. I ended with the long formal dress and the heavy beaded shall. From there it was just a matter of folding the packing envelope around the clothing and closing it with the velcro on the envelope. Super Simple and faster than rolling all my clothing. 

To my surprise It fit nicely in the suitcase and I still had plenty of room to tuck my shoes underneath and fit the hair dryer in one of the corners. I am pretty sure I managed to smash in a few other last minute items.  The biggest advantage to the envelope was that it was fast to pack. It also forced me to unpack, put away, and hang all of the items. Which is both a plus and minus to me.  When I pack in ziplock/mesh bags I often leave some of the outfits in the bags and just toss in the drawer until I am ready to wear which is easier than putting everything thing away. However, I did like that hanging everything gave some of the clothing time to loose a little of that packing wrinkle they sometimes have and it was easier to decide what to wear with everything hanging in the closet instead of in the drawer. 

<![CDATA[Camping Packing List: Because the Kids Love it. Glamping packing List... because am trying to!]]>Wed, 25 Jun 2014 19:37:14 GMThttp://traveltimemama.weebly.com/planning--packing/camping-packing-list-because-the-kids-love-it-glamping-packing-list-because-i-dontPicture
  I must confess that I do not love camping. I do not love sleeping on the ground, gross bathrooms (or yikes- no bathrooms) and not having all the comforts of home. I do love being outside, campfires, and the sounds of nature. Most of all, I love that my kids love camping.       We have not been since my husband passed away two years ago and they miss it very much. So, I have swallowed my camping dislikes and we are going camping. I am going to divide this packing list into two posts. The first will focus on the basic camping stuff. The second, my Glamping Packing list,  will focus on adding comfort and luxury to our camping experience to make it more enjoyable for me. * Side note: Camping for our family is not camping if we are not near a body of water be it pond, lake, river or ocean!

Basic Camping Packing List

  • Tent & Stakes
  • Tarp 
  • Zip Ties/Duct Tape
  • Sleeping Bags/Blankets
  • Air mattress with pump
  • Rope
  • Folding Chairs
  • Bug Spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Towels
  • Ponchos/Umbrellas
  • Toilet Tissue
  • Baby Wipes

  • Coolers
  • Ice
  • Frozen Jugs of Water
  • Paper Plates
  • Plastic cups
  • Sharpie for writing names on cups
  • Knives/camp Knife
  • Can Opener
  • Cookware/Utensils
  • Trash Bags
  • Paper Towels/Napkins
  • Dish Soap
  • Aluminum foil/Zip lock Bags
  • Roasting Sticks
  • Table Cloth & Clips

  • Clothing 
  • Toothpaste/brushes
  • Hairbrush/clips/combs
  • Shampoo/Conditioner/Hair Products
  • First Aid Kit
  • Swim Wear
  • Swim Toys/Sand Toys

  • Battery Powered Lanterns
  • Flashlights
  • Glowsticks 
  • Extra Batteries 
  • Charcoal/Firewood
  • Lighter Fluid
  • Lighter

<![CDATA[Packing light(er)... I am winning this fight! ]]>Mon, 16 Dec 2013 18:53:34 GMThttp://traveltimemama.weebly.com/planning--packing/packing-lighter-i-am-winning-this-fightPicture
At this point in my packing adventure I have eliminated one bag. I am not completely finished packing so that could change but I do have empty space in each packed bag so far. I must confess, that we have substituted a backpack for the small purple overnight bag. That bag is just doesn't work as a carry on bag for me. 

I thought I would share my scaled down packing list. This is for a four night cruise and 2 days pre cruise in Galveston Tx.  I also want to share my top 5 Cruise MUST HAVE items. These are things that make life easier and save packing space.


#1 Leopard Print: This is the big one. It holds all of my cruise clothing, items and my daughters cruise clothing. 
FOR ME                                                                        For Sassy DIva
* 5 purple tops                                                               * 3 Day Dresses
* 2 pair of Denim Capri                                                  * 3 Evening Dresses
* Undergarments                                                           * 2 Outfits
* 1 formal dress                                                             *Pull ups
* 1 Cocktail dress                                                          * Swim Diaper
* 1 Infinity Dress                                                            * 3 princess dresses
* 1 Day Dress                                                                * Pirate Dress
* 1 Swim Suit/cover up                                                   *Dress Shoes
* yoga pants                                                                    OTHER ITEMS
* Silver Heels                                                                  * Hot air brush
* Foldable Flats                                                              * Travel Size flat iron
* Flip Flops                                                                     * Shampoo, Conditioner
*extra shoes                                                                    *Wrinkle releaser spray
* Beaded Shawl                                                              *Hair items
* Ruffled Scarf                                                                * Travel Alarm Clock, Watch, Highlighters, Pens, 

#2 The Purple: Slightly smaller, this bag is for 7 year old boy's cruise clothing and for this trip it is also crammed to the brim with gifts for FE. 
*4 Day outfits for 7yo- each outfit packed in a zip lock bag
*2 pair Khaki pants/shorts
*3 Nice tops
*clip on tie
*Flip Flops
*Canvas Deck shoes
*1 pair of black dress pants
*Pirate Costume
#3 The rolling backpack: This is strictly for the 12 year olds clothing. I hope it will hold it all. 
* 3 nice outfits
* 4 day outfits
#4 Hello Kitty Backpack: 
For the Sassy Divas toys, sippy cup and stuffed my little pony!

#5 My backpack: My carry on bag
*Cruise Documents
*Passports or Birth certificates
*Money, Credit Cards, and ID
*Hotel & Parking receipts
*Iphone, Ipad mini, Chargers, Camera, 
*1 Pair Black Pants
* PJs
*1 Pair Jeans
*3 tops
*Sassy Diva 2 days of clothing
*2 Days of pullups
#6 Nike Drawstring backpack: 2 days pre cruise clothing for the boys.(Dirty clothing from this bag will be tossed in the trunk before the cruise and the empty bag will tuck inside the luggage - just in case we need an extra bag to bring home goodies!)
#7 Boys backpack: Electronics, chargers and toys. 
<![CDATA[Yikes! New Travel Packing Challenges]]>Mon, 02 Dec 2013 01:29:31 GMThttp://traveltimemama.weebly.com/planning--packing/yikes-new-travel-packing-challenges
I am happy to report that I have a couple of new packing challenges for our upcoming cruise. I say happy, because, I do like a challenge. 

Our last cruise packing went really well. We had everything we needed, but a whole lot of stuff we did not need. This would not have been a huge deal, except that my 11 year old broke his wrist 2 days before the cruise and was sporting a cast. This left us a hand shorted. We took 2 rolling carry on suitcases, 1 regular rolling luggage bag, 1 rolling backpack, a overnight bag for electronics, my purse, and the two little ones had small backpacks for toys. Now, try lugging all that luggage while pushing a two year old, with the help of a one handed pre teen and an overexcited 6 year old.  We managed but it was not ideal. 

Now, that I have said that... we are going take about the same amount of bags and hopefully no broken limbs this go around. However, because we are participating the FE gift exchange aboard the Disney Wonder we will be dedicating one of the carry ons  for toting the gifts we are bringing for our fellow cruisers. I could ship them to ship, but I am terrible at mailing things. So that brings us to the first challenge

Challenge #1: Take everything we need in one less suitcase. Pack all gifts in ONE bag.

Challenge #2: Scaled down travel space. We traded our roomy van for small gas saving car. 

Challenge #3  Take less clothing. On the last trip, I confess we packed to many clothes. I did not even think about wearing 
half the stuff I brought.

Challenge #4  Hot & Cold: We have never cruised in the winter. I have researched  our ports and come to the conclusion it is a little unpredictable in January. We want to pack for a range of temperatures without overloading our bags. 

There you have it. Our latest challenge. I plan to address each one in an upcoming post. 

<![CDATA[Almost time to start planning.... again! ]]>Mon, 22 Jul 2013 17:01:51 GMThttp://traveltimemama.weebly.com/planning--packing/almost-time-to-start-planning-againPicture
We are still set to cruise on Disney Wonder in January. I booked early and got a great price. I don't regret that one bit! Now that it is getting closer I do have some concerns that will take some planning a preparation.

  1. First Concern: This is right after Christmas and Christmas if famous for eating my budget. I like to buy gifts and every year I intend to spend less and then the Christmas Spirit hits and all that goes out the window and under the tree. So, I will need to do better on that this year. The cruise may help, knowing that I have something fun after Christmas could prompt me NOT to go gift crazy.
  2. Second Concern: The weather. Oklahoma and Texas weather can be unpredictable. Unlike spring, summer, or fall travel I will need to allow extra time (days!) to get to the port. Driving in winter weather stresses me out. 
  3. Third Concern: This cruise is part of my turning 8 year old's birthday celebration but is true birthday is a few days after we get back. I need to plan and budget so that he still have a special birthday at home with extended family without overspending.
All in all, just a few extra things that will factor into our Cruise, Christmas, and Birthday plans. I am not going to lie, I am already mulling over ideas for the next vacation after t

<![CDATA[Unpacking Confessions]]>Wed, 05 Jun 2013 15:47:01 GMThttp://traveltimemama.weebly.com/planning--packing/unpacking-confessions      It is now almost a month after our cruise and I am still unpacking. I guess that is fitting, considering the amount of time I spent packing and planning before the cruise. We ended up taking 2 carry on suitcases, 1 regular size, a back pack suitcase, a small overnight bag (for electronics, and a tiny toddler backpack. 
      As I am unpacking I am hit with the truth I suspected on-board the ship. We over packed. We took so much stuff that we did not use. I will post a full list of items that sat dormant in our suitcase taking up valuable space but until then, enjoy these top 5 lists. 

  1. Clothing. Way to much clothing. 
  2. Over the door organizer
  3. Small inflatable pool  (for toddler swimming & bathing)
  4. Full size power strip  ( We used a small one with 3 outlets)
  5. Travel Alarm Clock     

  1. Wristwatch
  2. Swim Suits/ Rash Guards
  3. Stroller
  4. Electronic Devices/ Chargers
  5. Small Toys for in room playtime.

  1. Shoes. ( Sassy Diva lost one pair and broke another before we boarded.
  2. Sunglasses. (Sassy Diva lost hers & mine.)
  3. Short Sleeved polo  We packed long sleeved, but they didn't fit over his new cast.
  4. Toys. We did not HAVE to buy these but we did and they were worth it.
  5. Bottomless Bubbles (Soda Card)

<![CDATA[Luggage packing]]>Sat, 13 Apr 2013 23:13:02 GMThttp://traveltimemama.weebly.com/planning--packing/luggage-packing
<![CDATA[Cruise Packing: Toddlers]]>Thu, 11 Apr 2013 00:32:26 GMThttp://traveltimemama.weebly.com/planning--packing/cruise-packing-toddlers

 Packing for a baby or toddler can be quite a challenge.  As parents we always want to be prepared, but I don't think any of us want to lug around extra items we may not need. So, in this post I am going to share what we are packing for our Sassy Diva (age 2) for our 4 day cruise to Mexico. Keep in mind, this includes  two days or driving and one night in a hotel.  After our cruise I will update this post, as to what worked and what did not, because you never really know until you go! Please be patient, I am taking photo's as I pack, so I will be adding to this post over the next few weeks. 

Space Saving Diaper Packing: Travel Time Mama Style

We are currently using size a 4. More or less will fit depending on the size that you are using. I also do this with a quart size zip bag for the carry bar or diaper bag.  It holds 4 vertically & 2 horizontally. 

So, why pack diaper's this way? You can fit more into the bag, and they stay neater. Here is the comparison of rolling verses stacking. There are 14 stacked diaper's in the first bag and 14 plus 2 flat diapers in the second. The rolled bag lays flat and takes up less room. 

14 diaper's verses 16 rolled. And, as you can see the rolled are neater and take up less space.

Now, that we have that covered lets move on to clothing: