Remember The Girl Scout Motto: Be Prepared

retrochick.JPGIvy says:

WARNING: This post might be a classic case of overshare. Read at your own risk.

So, Heather and I are sitting here in Myrtle Beach, enjoying ourselves immensely. But I have already had a couple of instances of not being prepared. The worst would be on the drive here. Nate got so excited that he forgot to tell me he had to go to the bathroom in time, resulting in an accident. We stopped at a tiny gas station in East Tennessee to clean up, and I made two discoveries.

Bad discovery #1: I allowed my daughter to pack for both herself and her brother. Unfortunately, in the hurry as we left, I failed to check her packing. She forgot Nate’s underwear. Awesome. Lesson Learned: Always check your kid’s job of packing. They might forget something essential.

Bad Discovery #2: I started my period early. With no supplies. And the gas station didn’t have any supplies, so I had to drive to a local grocery store, which then informed me they didn’t have public bathrooms, so I had to drive back to the original gas station to take care of things. Awesome. Lesson Learned: Always, always, always have tampons or maxi pads on hand. Even if you’re not about to start your period.

Okay, Home Eccers, it’s your turn: what is an essential item you have forgotten before when packing for a vacation?


  1. Jan on August 6, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    wow, fun trip.

    do you think your kids would follow a check list?

  2. Mom4nell on August 3, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    Sarah’s comment about forgetting her shoes reminded me of a family story. Aunt Jeannie and Dad were both 6 feet tall. Well, Aunt Jeannie arrived with only her bedroom slippers that she drove in with. Dad had to go downtown to buy some shoes for her because his and her feet were the same size. Thank heavens we live in New Orleans, so even in the 1960’s the shoe stores were used to men brying on and buying ladies shoes in large sizes.

  3. Cindy on July 31, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Well, I’ve done the usual forget a toothbrush or toothpaste kind of thing more than once, but I’ve learned that when you fly, you should always be prepared for unexpected delays. I got stuck in Minneapolis I think one night. My luggage made my destination ahead of me. My carry on did not contain a spare set of clothes. I was coming back from Hawaii and had already spent 24 hours traveling between planes and airports. I asked the taxi driver to stop by a drugstore real fast so I could get a few necessities. Fortunately the drugstores often sell things like plain cotton granny panties and socks. I now carry a change of clothes (or at least drawers and socks) in my carry on bag.

    On a different trip to my parents’ home in SC, I realized I had forgotten my Allegra. Fortunately I had refills available and being on active duty, I wouldn’t have to pay. It was the one prescription I needed that the military pharmacy didn’t carry, so I had to go “out in town” to get it. I went to Walgreen’s, and lucky I did because I was able to easily get a refill!

  4. christopher575 on July 31, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Once when my (now ex) partner and I arrived at the train station for a weekend trip to Vancouver, I realized I’d left my passport at home. I left my things with him at the station, grabbed a cab, sped home, and had him park in back because the loading zone in front isn’t always available.

    That’s when I realized my keys were in my backpack at the train station, so I ran around the block to the front of the building, and was very lucky to see my resident manager in the lobby. I took her with me upstairs and she let me into my apartment.

    While I was inside, she headed for the elevator. Luckily, I caught her before it came, because I needed her to lock the door again for me. Both my sets of keys were down at the train station, you see.

    So, I went back to the train station in the cab, having wasted 30 or so dollars. At least we were really early and I didn’t miss the train.

  5. Tara on July 30, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    I have forgotten pajamas and socks more time than I care to count. On vacations that require both of these things. Needless to say, they are the first thing packed these days.

  6. JaxCC on July 30, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Awesome timing on this post, Ivy. This is a great checklist of what I shouldn’t forget as I pack for the cruise I’m going on tomorrow. (I am SO excited I can’t stand it 😀 ) ….
    A problem I’m running into tonight is I figured I’d wait til the last minute to do the last bit of laundry. Completely forgot about that one shirt that I really want to take that has to air dry. It’s got about 11 hours, and I’m about to put it in front of my fan, but Doh!

  7. Judith on July 30, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Oh, I’ve had a few disasters along the way.
    Like the time I only grabbed one diaper and shoved it in my purse (instead of grabbing the stocked diaper bag) as I took the kids to the movies ……….. and the baby got diarrhea. And the bathroom at the theater had hand blowers, not paper towels!

    Or the time we packed a picnic lunch for our on-the-road-to-Grandma’s trip ….. lots of good things to eat, but no forks, knives, or spoons. Or napkins. Or bottle opener. Oops. Oh, and no hand wipes. I found pair of shorts that I was willing to use as a communal napkin (and washed them when we got to grandma’s)

    Having driven 12 hours from Chicago to WV, on our way to NC for our wedding, my future sister-in-law asked to see my wedding dress. I asked my soon-to-be husband to get the dress bag from the car so I could show her ………….. and it wasn’t there! He’d left it on the couch in Chicago when he’d packed the car for the trip. No wedding dress! (We had it air-shipped to NC the next day, a day before the wedding.)

    I have a bad habit of not double checking ……………

  8. Nancy on July 30, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    We had one very lucky save. While rushing out the door (suitcases already packed and in the car), my older daughter thrust into my hands a dress she just had to take with her. Already late to get to the airport, rather than argue, I stuffed it into the carryon bag. About six hours into our eight hour flight, my younger daughter announces that she is cold because she is wet. Sure enough, she peed in her seat because she didn’t want to climb over Dad to get to the bathroom. While she didn’t have any clean underwear, I was able to put her in her sister’s dry and clean dress for the remainder of the flight, while the flight attendants changed out her seat cushion for a spare.

    Since then we nag our children incessantly about using the bathroom before, during and after the flight.

  9. Julie on July 30, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    I inevitably will remember to pack my toothbrush but completely forget to pack toothpaste. I have bought toothpaste in at least a dozen different gas stations in the south and southwest. I’ve learned to be flexible about things like mintiness, whitening power, and expiration dates.

  10. Di on July 30, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    We always make sure that any sort of stomach remedy is on hand. Sure you can take the time to find a drugstore if you’ve got a headache, but if your digestive tract is on the fritz you haven’t got a moment to spare!

  11. Tina on July 30, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Two different times on weekends away, I’ve forgotten my OWN underwear! Crazy, I know. Thankfully I was able to buy some, but really! I don’t have the excuse of being a kid.

    • Heather on July 31, 2009 at 7:06 am

      I packed underwear for this trip, but my toddler decided to be helpful and put it away for me. The sad part is I remember walking through my closet and thinking, “Didn’t I pack those?” as I glanced at the wire basket that serves as my drawer.

  12. Jen on July 30, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    This whole post made me smile–thanks!

    I went on a trip once with the hubs and discovered I’d forgotten my birth control and wasted 1/2 a day finding a new pharmacy and getting a refill called in for me.

    And when I went to the hospital to have my daughter (not a result of the forgotten pills trip, lol!) I forgot to pack nursing pads or a bigger bra. Had to stuff the big girls into the bra I walked in wearing and peel apart the whole sticky wet enormous mess when I got home and instead of just putting my feet up and relaxing with my baby girl, the first thing I got to do was hand-wash my yucky bra in the sink. Won’t make that mistake this time!

  13. Chele on July 30, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Mine would be my camera!! That is a necessity! 🙂

  14. moonablaze on July 30, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    when I was 5 my parents put me in charge of getting my own pre-packed bag to the car and into the airport. bag made it. the ski jacket I was supposed to be wearing got left on the stairs at home. I have never heard the end of this. in my defense, it was a very warm California afternoon and I was FIVE!!!

  15. Jenni on July 30, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Okay, I don’t have something new, but I do want to add that in the “be prepared” with the period thing I have a box of supplies in my car, in my desk, at home, and at my MIL. I almost ALWAYS have my car with me and I am NEVER out. I replace each box seperately. So, when I only have one left in my car, I don’t fill that box from the one at home, I buy a box specifically for the car. I can’t tell you the last time I’ve been without since I started doing this…oh yeah, NEVER!

    Oh, as for the packing thing, I have a bag of toiletries that I use specifically for travel. This way, I don’t have to remember to pack the toothbrush in the morning as we’re running around trying to do last minute things, there already is a toothbrush/comb/toothpaste/soap/etc… in the bag. No “last minute” packing of supplies that would then be forgotten.

    • ToyLady on July 31, 2009 at 6:28 am

      Jenni, I do the same thing, both with the overnight bag and the, uh, “lady items.”

      Added bonus of keeping some in your desk – it keeps your boss from poking around in there when you’re not there!

  16. Pam on July 30, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    I loved the statement….”I was just hanging out”…followed
    by no bra…..made me smile

  17. crackerjackheart on July 30, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    My mom taught me to pack very lightly, claiming that if necessary I could always buy anything that I forgot (like a toothbrush), but your post proves this theory wrong. Some things you just really need to have on hand immediately!

  18. Heather on July 30, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    I went on a surprise vacation to Las Vegas with no bras!!! My friends thought I needed to get away for a day and I was just hanging out at home when they came and got me, they told me we were going on a quick ride to see a friend for a minute who needed some support. They took me all the way to Vegas…no bra, then when we got there I couldn’t find one in my size. It was an interesting day and night.

  19. Sarah on July 30, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    I forgot shoes one time. All I wound up with was the flip flops I was wearing.

    I also used to regularly forget my contact lense case, shaving cream, razors, etc. On the contact lense case, if we’re staying at a relative’s I just snag two shot glasses to use during our visit. They are the perfect size.

    I now start making a list about a week in advance and check things off as they get packed. So make a list and check it twice like Santa!

  20. Ceci on July 30, 2009 at 11:48 am

    This isn’t mine, but when my parents got married, my father’s mother packed his suitcase for the honeymoon. And she forgot his underwear. Now on a honeymoon that isn’t such a big deal, but the part I always get a kick out of the fact that his mommy packed the suitcase for his honeymoon.

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