We are a little over a week from our next trip — a cruise to ALASKA! 🙂 Can you tell I’m excited? We’ve been there once before (in 2012) which makes me even more excited to go back for a much needed do-over!

To get ready, I’ve started my pre-packing routine and I thought I would share that with you today.

First, I always start with creating a list. I have a few packing lists saved on my computer and I just create a list from those depending on where this particular trip takes us!

Below are links to each of my packing lists:

Next, I usually have our toiletry bags already packed and in our travel closet. I just go through it and make sure everything is filled and replace anything that needs replacing from my travel toiletries stash.

I have a couple of bins that I start gathering items that we want to include in our suitcase.

Then, I start gathering all the things I want to keep close at hand in my purse. The most important things — travel documents, passports, camera, dramamine, sunglasses, tissue, gum and mints.

To start thinking about the clothes I want to bring, I always start at Polyvore. I create a plan for each outfit. It helps me not to overpack. Also, I don’t have to think about what I’m wearing from day to day. I have a definite plan. Once I’m done on the site, I just make a screenshot and send it to my phone. That way, I’ll have something to reference when we are on the trip.

Once I’ve got my outfits worked out in Polyvore, I start pulling those clothes from my closet and hanging them on a clothing rack in our bedroom. It helps me to take them out of the rotation of clothes I’m wearing on a regular basis so I’m not scrambling to do laundry at the last minute. For this trip, it didn’t really matter, because I’m packing mostly winter clothes while currently wearing springtime clothing.

This is the time when I usually pack my carry on bag, as well. It would be the bag that I carry our electronics, camera equipment, medications, etc. to take on the plane. However, for this trip, I’m trying to consolidate the amount of suitcases that we bring. So, my thought at the moment is to pack both myself and my husband in one medium sized (25″-ish) checked bag and use a carry on sized suitcase for any overflow and our valuables.  Then, we would end up having only one big suitcase, one small suitcase and a small backpack instead of two big suitcases and two carry on bags. I’m not totally convinced that I want to lug a carry on bag onto the plane since I’m used to just checking our luggage (We have the American Airlines credit card which gets us free checked bags). So, I’m not sure if it’s going to work out that way, but that’s my plan at the moment.  I’ll let you know how it works out. At this point, I have one side of the carry on pre-packed with all our camera equipment (and a space for my laptop) and it’s ready and waiting for any overflow from the big bag. But, again, it’s going to end up being a last minute decision since I don’t know how much the bag will weigh with all our stuff in it. After all, we are packing winter clothes.

My plan is to keep you updated on the packing process. Here’s hoping I’m not scrambling around at the last minute! Because, to be honest, I’ve been getting stuff ready and pre-packing stuff since January! 😮