Packing it in...

>> Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Moscow doesn't seem to like me too much at the moment.  Not only did it put in an extremely poor performance when friends visited last weekend, throwing torrential rain at them, releasing super-strength mosquitoes on their children and - to add insult to injury - closing the doors to the Kremlin on not one but two attempts made to visit it, but it paid no attention when I banged my head and gave myself concussion a couple of weeks ago, and yesterday did it's damnedest to take the top off a couple of my fingers when I was trying to close a door in hurricane-strength wind.

(And if you see any typos in this post, try using a keyboard without the second and third fingers of your right hand before you judge me too harshly, please).

So naturally, given Moscow's hissy fit and the fact that the Boys' school term ends in less than 48 hours, my thoughts have turned to summer holidays.  More especially, the packing that goes with them.

Being an expat presents a special set of challenges when packing to go away for the summer, especially when you don't have just one place to get to and then relax in for a few weeks.  In an attempt to see as much of our families and as many of our friends as possible, our 6 week summer break will cover no less than 4 different countries and 6 different destinations - some of them twice.  Sounds great, and it will be, but dealing with both the UK and southern Europe from within the same suitcase, whilst leaving space for those essential purchases I need to make back home to bring back to Russia is a something of a logistical nightmare.

But it's not the first, and probably won't be the last time I need to do this, so I've picked up some tricks along the way, not the least of which is that once you've decided what to take clothes-wise, take a good look and pull out one third of it and put it straight back in the cupboard or wardrobe; that seems to be a fairly consistent average for the amount of clothes that I bring back unworn from most holidays I go on.

And then secondly, if you have a partner like mine who insists on packing everything else himself to minimise space, do ensure that he also repeats the process before you return from your trip - dirty laundry and all.  It's all about sharing the burden, after all - and you did do the hard work of selecting the clothes in the first place...

For more tips on successful holiday packing, expat or not, short or long-haul, check out Toni Hargis' recent Expat Focus piece on the matter here.  (You might even recognise the names of a couple of bloggers who contributed advice...)


nappy valley girl 14 June 2012 at 01:07  

Your summer break certainly sounds full on! I find that as long as I have access to a washing machine and dryer, I really don't need to take that much. Although inevitably the one item of clothing you leave behind is the one you really, really need for some particular occasion. Luckily the boys don't care what they wear, and I have finally given in and let them wear Crocs virtually all summer long, which makes footwear easy.

MsCaroline 14 June 2012 at 10:43  

Four countries? Really? Augh! I'm just going to one, with two children who can mostly pack for themselves (Son#2 tends to pack useless things and forget underpants, so I still have to check on him, though) and I'm still putting it off.
Well done you for getting started well in advance. I am behind the power curve.

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