I constantly feel like I'm always on-the-go now that I'm a traveling-working mom. Even when I'm home for the week or weekend, there is so much to do with my family and friends. I'm constantly trying to soak in time with those I love and get things done that I otherwise can't while I'm away.
Due to this (traveling) transition, I'm finding ways to simplify my on-the-go lifestyle. When you're traveling for work there is only so much that you need. Yet at the same time, if you're traveling often, there are still things that you've just got to have so you have to go about packing in a particular way. Here are a few key things I keep in mind when packing.
Pack SmartI have to remember that the purpose of the travel is to go to work. The first week I started traveling regularly I brought my biggest piece of luggage and I packed it full of things from my closet that I just knew I needed. I thought I'd need several pairs of shoes and outfits, "just in case". I thought I'd have to pack up all of my toiletries and loads of items from my linen closet every single time. After that first week it hit me; I needed to pack light and pack essentials. That's it!
Pack LightWhen I travel I usually fly out for five business days. I always check a bag and take my book bag with me that includes my laptop and work documents. My checked bag usually includes the following:
- 3-4 Dress Pants
- 1 Pair - Jeans
- 5 Shirts
- 1 Dress
- 1 Work out/around the "house" outfit
- 4 Pair - Shoes
- 2 flats,
- 1 tennis shoes
- 1 fully closed - required for certain areas at work,
Toiletries are also a must, and so are a few household items, surprisingly, since I'm staying in a rented house (versus a hotel). This allows me to leave things at the house instead of having to pack up everything each and every time (and yes, all expenses are paid).
Although the house is fully furnished, including washer/dryer, pots, pans, etc., I recently made a Target run to gather things like a cutting board, colander, detergent (dish, laundry), etc., since I plan to cook during the week. I hate to say that this place is like a "home" away from home that I have no business calling home, but it is. I still pack the following essentials each and every time:
- Phone Charger
- Sun Glasses
- Head scarf
- Curling Iron(s)
- Tampax Pocket Pearl (occasionally)
I, begrudgingly, had to bring tampons along for this past trip, and tucked a Tampax Pocket Pearl away right into my wallet, just to have on hand during my flight. Since I don't carry a purse while traveling/on-the-go, it's imperative that I find essentials that can fit in my wallet when needed. Luckily, I can still get full size protection that fits in my wallet and/or pocket!
Sidebar: I'm getting old(er), y'all. I've been rocking with Tampax since 1997; back when I was buying the boxes with a cardboard applicator versus the smooth extendable applicator that's available nowadays in all the sizes one might need. Who else has the courage to share when they started puberty? Anyone?!
There are items that I've purchased just to keep at the house simply because it's so much easier than having to worry about making sure I don't forget them each trip; such as:
- Wash cloths
- Towels, etc.
I must admit, living out of a house versus a hotel has been one of the blessings in all of this traveling-working mom thing. As an introvert, my home is my safe place. Knowing have a place to go to that's an actual house and "full" of my things, feels familiar and makes my travels a bit more comfortable than it would be otherwise.