Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Minimalist-ing Vacation

I've mostly recovered from our vacation. (Which seems like a ridiculous thing to say, but after our flight, staying up until 1 am, then having to get ready for school the next, I do feel like I need to recover.) I don't have much laundry left to wash, and much of what's left is leftover from Easter dinner. I think I had one extra load from the vacation, consisting of swimsuits.

I'm really happy with what we pack, and what we brought home, for the most part. We went to Hawaii, courtesy of my parents (thanks, Mom and Dad!), so we didn't need much in the way of warm clothing. As I mentioned before, we brought two backpacks, two carry-on suitcases and a dufflebag of snorkel gear for a week. I would leave the snorkel gear next time, and just rent it there. When you add up the number of days we spent snorkeling vs. the price of buying the gear and paying for checked baggage (both ways), it wasn't worth the cost, and I do not see myself snorkeling here.

I will bring an umbrella next time (we ended up buying some there) because, although rain is usually light, it isn't always. I did bring a sweater (against advice) and that was useful, both on the flight and one or two evenings. It seems like Hawaiians air condition the buildings a lot, and I got chilly indoors, even though it was nice outside. But that's just me.

For the return trip we dropped off a couple things at a thrift store. It gave us space in our bags for the things we collected on the trip (I hesitate to call them souvenirs, but they came home anyway.) Four or five shell necklaces, from the luau. I left mine behind, but the rest of the family seemed to need to take them home. Several boxes of chocolate covered macadamia nuts, and a bag of plain macadamias. A couple of pens with faces and fluffy hair that the kids were given at a show. Palm frond fish that we made at the Polynesian Village (a great outing!) and a couple palm frond headbands. Really, not that bad, although several of these things I wouldn't have brought myself (I would rather then necklaces have been left at the luau, but I'm trying not to make my family nuts with this project, so I didn't suggest they leave their necklaces behind.)

In all, for one week in Hawaii, I packed:
3 dresses (I wore one on the plane, for four dresses in total. One was a "luau dress.")
1 sweater
2 swimsuits
pajamas and robe (because I have a phobia of having to evacuate my room in the middle of the night. It's happened a couple times before, for fire alarms, and I am NOT going out without clothes.)
2 pairs of shoes

The rest of the family packed similarly, with two pairs of shorts and 2-3 t-shirts and 1-2 collared/luau shirts for the guys. We hung up our clothes to air, after wearing, and didn't feel grubby for wearing the same thing more than once. Backpacks contained a reusable water bottle, books and entertainment for the plane, and snacks.

We absolutely did not feel that we needed more, and we thrilled to have a minimal amount of stuff to transport. I hope this information is helpful to you if you're planning to go away for a while -- I looked at a lot of "packing tips" sited before our last vacation, to make sure I wouldn't get there and not have "enough."

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