It has been three years since we went on a vacation. Last summer we had a staycation. Andrei was off work for a week and we were very intentional about enjoying those days. We went to a water park, celebrated 4th of July and some other family events. It was actually really fun and for the most part relaxing for Andrei. But we missed getting away. A few months ago we asked my parents to join us and seeing as they hadn’t had a vacation in some years, they agreed to join us. So two weeks ago, the six of us went to Surfside Beach, SC, near Murrell’s Inlet. It was a great week! Going into this, I knew that I wanted it to be simple. I didn’t want to over-pack, I didn’t want to over-plan. I wanted to lie on the beach, play with my kids and have coffee in the mornings with my dad and go out once or twice. Oh and let Andrei fish until his heart was content (fi that’s possible). I have a long history of taking everything but the kitchen sink with me everywhere I go. I’ve tried to change that in the past year. I knew for our first vacation since becoming a minimalist, I would really need to think through this and plan what I was taking. If I didn’t, I would, in a panic on Saturday night, throw way too many things into our bags and add more bags. Andrei set the bar by saying he wanted us to take the medium sized suitcase and a bag for the bath stuff. It sounded a little challenging, but possible, so I went for it. And honestly, I could have packed even less! I will say having a washer and dryer in the condo helped and is the main reason I could have packed less. Here is what I took for myself:
• Two dresses (one of which I wore on the way down)
• Chambray shirt which was my one “warm” item…I always get cold.
• One pair of shorts to wear out
• One pair of athletic shorts
• Two t-shirts
• Two swimsuits
• Flip flops
• Toms classic slip ons
I really could have gone without the athletic shorts. I ended up not running on the beach like I had envisioned. Why run when you can swim? Easier on the joints. I also could have really gotten by with only the two dresses. Also, just the sandals would have sufficed for footwear though I did wear the TOMS.
Honestly, I was really proud of myself and it proved once again, that I don’t have to have choices and a bazillion things to have a good time. I really liked the clothing I took. I always feel good in it. Not having choices made it so easy when going out. It felt freer and it was one less thing to worry about.
As for the kids, I also didn’t take many items of clothing. I took a little more than I did for myself. But knowing that most of our days would be spent on the beach, I only took several changes of clothes. Again, since we had the washer and dryer, I could have packed less for them as well.
Another hard part was packing for the time in the car. Its about a 10 hour drive. We were planning to leave early morning and have the kids sleep a few hours on the way. I think I fought harder against this than the clothing, but I packed one backpack for both. They each had their lovies, a few books to share that they love and I brought some cars for little man, because if you know him, he usually has a car in each hand. The books were the best. They looked out a lot and just talked to each other. I had stories on disc that didn’t really go over too well. They did not play the ipad or our phones. We just set that standard up front that we wouldn’t have enough battery life for the trip. They had a leapster, but no one even played with it. I did have Frozen on the iPad and they watched it mid day around their usual rest time.
All in all, I loved packing light. From now on, it is the only way to go. I could have gone even lighter. I truly see the value of it! We have a midsize car and we had space in the trunk to bring home the fish and crabs caught by Andrei. I think it is safe to say that I am a fully rehabilitated from my over packing.