Gearing Up for Packing

Before packing anything, make sure your travel mugs are filled with coffee and are in their cup holders. Stay awake now …

It can be difficult to determine what to take when you begin traveling with a travel spouse. We were told from the beginning that we would end up taking what we thought we’d need, accounting for just about any and every possibility … and as time goes on that we would weed things out that we never used, doing our best to lighten the load. We found this to be quite true. Even so, as longtime travelers we ended up planning our first trip rather nicely, so going into the next there wasn’t much we left behind. Hopefully you can do the same.

We began by getting four of the 27-gallon storage containers shown in the image, and set them out along with a suitcase for each of us solely for clothes, shoes, etc. Knowing the weather where we were going, we began to assemble the lists you’ll find on the Downloads page and putting the items into the bins or suitcases as appropriate. As it turned out we only needed three of the bins that first trip, and left the fourth at home. How many bins you’ll need depends on you and yours. One bin is used for overflow from Mary’s suitcase, as she needs to also carry uniforms and work shoes, as well as her nursing bag with her scope, clipboard, coffee mug, etc. A second bin is then used to carry the kitchen gear I travel with (which is discussed on this page), and a third bin is for coats, pillows and blankets. In colder weather, the fourth bin can come into play as coats and clothes are heavier with more layers.

It’s a matter of getting organized and staying organized. It all makes those transition periods before and after an assignment that much easier.